I am planning to purchase a DIY home alarm system and I was wondering if
I could get your opinions about the alarm systems present here:
that captured my attention:
- Ademco Wireless Ready Package
- Ademco Plus PowerPack V20P
- PowerMax Plus Wireless System
Here are my constraints:
- Want to cover about 10 windows and 3 doors
- Need a feature that has the ability to send alerts via. phone, e-mail
- Easy to install (wireless most probably)
- Price limit $350
- Expandability (ability to monitor to about 30 devices)
- Supports a couple of motion sensors
Nice to have:
- Access from the internet to the alarm system
- Ability to send alerts to more than one phone number
I am new to home security alarm systems but I have chalked down all the
features that I like to see. I would really appreciate if you would
please give me feedback on the systems that are present in the web page.
I am open to alternatives.
Thanks for your time.
One question about Elk M1EZ8 though. If any of the wired connections get
disconnected or if the PSTN wired is cut off from the control unit does
the device set off an alarm in another way (like triggering the siren
through the speakers)? If the PSTN wire is cut off how can the alarm
system notify the owner? Can we run some software elsewhere on the
internet and keep poking the control unit to see if it is reachable or
something like that? I am just thinking about the extreme conditions
where the burglar might cut off the PSTN or the magnetic sensor wires
before breaking in.
Variety of ways of dealing with this, ask over on cocoontech.com, there's a
TON of Elk users there.
Ways that i've heard&remember:
- CAT5 in the same conduit as the telephone, terminated at one end and setup
as a N/C circuit, which if cut activates an alarm
- cellular backup if above or other issues occur
- use the automation capabilities to blast speakers/siren/lights at the
point of intrusion to deter the thief before he enters
others are doing some neat stuff, don't remember it though.
Note: I am a mere end-user with no financial stake in any products that I
My Personal Website w/my Home Automation PC:
I believe most if not all current alarm panels can detect if the phone
line is cut.
The mighty M1 from Elk surely can, and does!
I use an M1 Gold myself. Spend the extra money - go for the gold!
Most alarm systems have the phone wired such that the home's incoming
PSTN wires loop through the alarm panel, THEN back out to the house. As
such if the phone is in use, the alarm can still take control and dial
out - as needed. This also prevents the intruder from interrupting the
call out by picking up a phone within the house, etc.
The alarm will monitor the PSTN... This is a low level feature.
On a higher level the M1 is an automation controller. You program it
with "Rules" with just about ANY desired result.
So for example you might write a rule like this one:
WHENEVER TelephoneTamper becomes Active
AND Alarm is NOT Armed
THEN Speak "Warning: Telephone is disabled"
THEN send e-mail message #2
The AND statement shown isn't needed, of course. But I show you to
illustrate the kind of control you have. M1 knows if it is Dark or Light
outside, and that might make a difference to you...
You can have multiple Rules for any given situation. So if the alarm was
armed, in Away-mode, and the PSTN goes away, you might choose to
activate the siren(s) and flash the lights, etc.
You can control the action(s) easily. The ElkRP software works very
well. Use it to program the M1 with your PC via serial, or even modem.
Add the Ethernet option to the Elk, and you can communicate with the M1
over your LAN or over the Internet! And the M1 can send e-mails, etc.
ElkRM software is a cool option, and I love it! I use it on a wireless
PDA to monitor and control the M1. It also allows M1 controlled things
like lights and thermostat to be controlled by my hand-held device
I use MisterHouse software, and I've interfaced it with the Elk M1 too.
I have MH send messages to the M1 over the LAN, and I've written Rules
to deal with them. For example I use MH to do a CallerID lookup. Each
database entry has a category (vendor, family, friend, etc.) associated
with it. So if it is a friend, the word "Friend" - when received by the
M1 on it's ethernet port, will trigger it to speak a pre-defined
message! Same thing as when my mailbox is opened: A wireless signal
received my MH results in M1 telling the home's occupants verbally.
If you want it ALL, and you know the extra $$$ spent divided by the
number of years of service you'll get out of it (not to mention the
improved functionality) make it an easy choice...
You want the Elk M1 Gold.
Now go shopping!
Thanks for the detailed info. I think I will go for the M1 Gold. I was
also thinking about the following in the alarm system to trigger alarms
(something similar to peer-peer software).
When the alarm in one house goes off it should send a signal it's peer
which is nearest to it (probably the neighbour's security system). In
this case even if the PSTN line or the iternet line is cut off we can at
least warn our helpful/watchful neighbours for a quick response. In this
collaborative way we can make the alarm system more secure and tamper
proof. And our neighbour's alarm system can do the same thing. I don't
know if such a system already exists. But if it does not do you think I
can patent this technology ;-)?
Now off to froogling for the M1 Gold :).