Does anyone have experience with the Ademco 7830R which connects the panel to Alarmnet by Mobitex? How long is Mobitex likely to remain around? Is this technology two way, and does it have any ability to send out heartbeat signals from AlarmNet, to make sure the device is still online?
The 7830R is a two way radio. The network polls the radio at a programmable interval which you select, including one option that detects a loss of communication within six minutes. The radio is expensive, and the monthly fee is also quite expensive, even more so if you select that six minute option.
The more frequent polling also requires a very strong radio signal in order to work properly. Radio reception varies throughout the year, meaning it might work fine today and then start causing problems a month from now. Those problems appear as frequent comm fail/restore signals. Sometimes, this simply can't be fixed.
The radio is only a four zone radio. It does not do Contact ID data transmission.
Do you need line of site through a window, or do you need to mount an external antenna on the roof? How many feet of coax can that cable run to the base unit?
Well that's nasty. Why would they limit it so much? Is there any way to map all of the extra zones into one of those four zones so you at least get a generic zone triggering? You could get the detail from the primary if that is up and also sending information to AlarmNet.
It sounds like you are not in the alarm business. The 7830 is emphatically not a do-it-yourself product. It is a very expensive radio, and requires the use of a separate programming tool. There is no way to know in advance whether the radio will even work in your location; you have to take the radio and the programmer to the location and conduct tests. You could easily spend a pile of money on this stuff, only to discover it isn't going to work.
That also applies to the type and location of the antenna: you have to conduct tests using the radio. As a rule, the antenna can be located up to 25 feet from the radio. Sometimes, the antenna has to go outside, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes, putting it outside still doesn't help.
I can recall one place where I tried three different types of radios, and couldn't get any of them to work. Even while standing outside the building.
It's a high cost, low volume product. I'm guessing they just didn't want to spend the engineering dollars on it. The four zones are usually triggered by voltage outputs from the control panel. Larger Ademco panels, for example, provide voltage outputs for burglary, fire, and holdup. The panel sends more detailed information over the telephone line, as if the radio weren't even there.
As to pricing, since you're a retail customer, I'd rather not quote any numbers. Suffice it to say that it will cost you much more than you are expecting. This is one product that requires professional installation. Talk to some alarm companies in your area, and see what they can do for you.
I was never planning a do it yourself project. I was simply trying to stay informed about the technology and options so that I can have an intelligent conversation with the vendors involved in the installation.