Allegro vs. Lynx for a small student apartment

I'm preparing to move into a new apartment, and the time has come to choose a burglar alarm system.

Alarms have been a bit of a hobby of mine for quite a few years, so while I'm going into this with far less knowledge than most of the regular posters here who have years of professional experience behind them, I'd like to think of myself as one who possesses enough knowledge to design and install a limited system for a small apartment.

As a student, I lack the resources to contract this out to someone, so I really have no choice but to go the DIY route.

The building is of historical significance, and the lease does not permit hardwire systems so my initial inclination to pursue a Vista hardwire or hybrid system is going to have to be set aside.

My current options as I see them are:

- GE Allegro

- Ademco Lynx

- GE Simon

- Powermax

The DSC Envoy seems to have earned a place of infamy among both professionals and DIY-ers alike, so I have kept it off the list (no one even seems to sell it to DIY-ers anymore anyway).

The apartment itself has an open floorplan. The unit sits on the ground floor of a building, with the bedroom and living room side by side facing the street with two windows in each room. Directly behind these two rooms (no hallway between them) lay the kitchen/entry (two doors, one leading to the hallway, one leading elsewhere in the building) with a bathroom off to one side. The bathroom and kitchen also contain one window apiece that lead to a miniscule, fairly inaccessible courtyard.

It's not quite a "standard" layout by any means.

The openness of the floorplan and the wireless-only rule make system survivability a major concern of mine. The sheer number of windows and doors (6 and 2, respectively) is driving the budget for wireless sensors through the roof any way I look at it. Buying a separate keypad and a separate siren on top of that without any decent place to hide the all-in-one control is proving to be expensive and borderline futile.

I've personally used (but not installed) an Allegro before, and it's included separate DTIM is attractive when compared to spending an additional $100-ish to add one to an off-the-shelf Simon 3.

The Lynx, while a true "Squawk In A Box" at least offers the ability for a separate keypad, something the Allegro does not, as far as I know. Unlike the Simon 3 keypad (Wireless TouchTalk 2 Way RF Touchpad -

60-924-3), the 5828V is capable of providing entry beeps, which along with bypassing the internal siren on the Lynx itself seems to offer a decent level of protection when taking into account the inherent limitations of the unit.

The Powermax has no ability to split the dialer and control panel, but as with the Lynx, it offers the user the option of a keypad. I'm not sure if the external keypad provides real-time audible system status upon a fault condition while armed.

I find myself leaning towards the Allegro or the Lynx. I had a solid trouble-free year with the Allegro that I used previously, but I'm concerned that the control/keypad would be obliterated too quickly after an intruder knocked down the delay door, and before the DTIM could receive the go-ahead signal.

The Lynx seems to be well-thought of when you accept what it is and the situations it is best suited for (ie: not a 20 minute, 3 sensor, trunk-slamming solution to a 3,000 sqft home), but in a small, open floorplan unit, the gigantic control panel might be a bit difficult to hide, even with the 5828V put in as a distraction.

I'm trying to maximize my protection while minimizing my costs (as I understandably have limited resources). I'm trying to decide wether spending the extra money on the Lynx + accessories is really worth it when compared to the Allegro which has a leg up on survivability from the get-go (yet will guide an intruder to the keypad).

I would really appreciate any opinions or suggestions that anyone could offer.


- Bill

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You've skipped the best choice available which of course is the AT&T 8000, a system far ahead of it's time

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Mark Leuck

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Frank Olson

Allegro - great little wireless system, especially with the DTIM module... menu based programming in english and nothing too technical... after installing maybe 20 now, it takes about 5 minutes to program without a manual... also everything is lightweight (panel, door contacts, motions, etc.) so you don't need to overdo it with the screws, which will make your manager happier if you ever move out

Lynx - very loud annoying keypad beeps, may even irritate your neighbors... and just looks like it's 20 years old, much like the rest of the ademco line (except the new touchscreen stuff, of course)

Simon - good systems, but seem to be obsolete since the allegro came out... can also be annoying having the panel talk to you

Powermax - never worked on one, can't help ya there

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I thought the construction of the Allegro was a little too cheap but thats a personal preference


The volume can be turned down

Obsolete? The Allegro was never designed to eliminate the Simon which has quite a number of features the Allegro doesn't have such as X-10 capability and 2-way voice. You also can add modules such as the Premises Pro Ethernet Gateway and Alarm.Com to the Simon that you can't to the Allegro. The Simon can also use the same DTIM module that the Allegro requires.

The Allegro was designed to be the most basic system to install which isn't bad but it doesn't have ANY additional features other than pager

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Mark Leuck

I like having the remote dialer that the Allegro has. Simon will work with it also, but you will need to buy it seperately. I have installed only 4 Allegro systems so I am not sure about the reliablility but it seems to be a good easy system. I have seen the "all in one systems" be defeated by pulling them from the wall. Allegro seems to have solved that problem.


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J Barnes

What little there is to read about the Allegro online (outside of official documentation that GE keeps in their restricted, installer-only archives) seemed to suggest it would be a much less annoying install than the Lynx.

I'm fairly technically inclined, but looking over the Lynx installation manual suggests Ademco decided to go with a "good enough" approach to making the programming experience friendly to the installer. I kept telling myself "There is no reason it should be this way" while reading the entire text.

The > The Allegro was designed to be the most basic system to install which isn't

I'm just look> I like having the remote dialer that the Allegro has. Simon will work with

When exactly does the DTIM get the go-ahead signal? Is it a matter of:

- Delay zone fault. DTIM does not receive any signal until the entry delay has expired.

- Delay zone fault. DTIM receives a signal to dial upon the expiration of the delay unless the control/kepyad sends an all-clear.

If it's the former, then I really wish they had bundled the control/DTIM together and kept the keypad/sounder separate.

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Worry not about the restricted site, the main dufus here will soon post the login

I don't quite know what you mean by a Lynx annoying install but I know quite a bit about the Allegro, Lynx and Simon and the Allegro isn't close to the other two systems in features or variety of sensors, then again it wasn't designed that way

Then I suggest you rethink your "I'm technically inclined" opinion since what you just said makes no sense, there is nothing about the Lynx that was designed to be "good enough" in fact it has more features than some of Honeywell's other conventional systems

Compared to the Allegro they ARE bulky because because they have more features such as 2-way voice, larger battery backup, terminals for a zone, X-10 and external siren/speakers. I also know what Radio Shack had on the shelf back then and no system out today is that crappy

You can't compare the Allegro to the other all-in-one panels, they are each designed for different purposes, the Allegro is the cheapest way to get a basic wireless panel, the Simon/Lynx are more expensive and have many more features

Now you are starting to see the problem with the Allegro, the problem with it is if you require ANYTHING more it cannot deliver whereas the Simon and Lynx can.

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