Hey guys, After searching the web and local stores I have come up with various high prices of many alarm parts I need. Basically I was wondering if anyone knows of an online site that sells at good prices to those of us who don't do this professionally. I just help Churches and various other non-profits I volunteer with keep their systems functioning. I need a new alarm battery, a few door contacts (wired), and a transformer. Do you all think I should just keep searching ebay until a good deal shows ? Thanks for the input.
I drop ship batteries to clients quite frequently...sometimes they don't need to pay for a service call to replace a battery if they're physically able to reach the panel and do it themselves. I certainly wouldn't want 85 year old aunt Mabel climbing a ladder!
| > Scott | >
| | Have you tried your local alarm companies? The more selling stuff and less | little service calls (like changing batteries) we do the better. I assume | other companies would feel the same way. | |
I'm not in the alarm business but when i needed stuff for my alarm, i was told about the Home Security Store
They have good prices, shipped fast, and I could call toll-free to ask questions. I know others who shopped there and they said it was good shopping. They also have a great forum (not like this landfill) for do it yourself people, where you ask questions on alarms and you get real honest answers without wasting time reading hundreds of post on spelling, grammer, fish, or if spackle was a correct answer.
You can buy from Bass, I bought an item from him before, and he did a good job, but you can never say so here cause those in the alarm business hate him cause he sells direct to us home owners. I wouldn't take advice from any of the alarm guys who post here. If you read what half of them write, they are proof that any "primate" can do their job. Hell, they are proof that an ass is capable of being an alarm installer.
I just installed one of their kits and so far am pleased. Also, they have tech support via email ( email@example.com) and they responded to me within hours and provided the correct information on the first go-around.
A lot of the branches are refusing to do even that lately. For one thing, they don't want to answer an end user's questions. More importantly, they don't want dealers to see them even talking to end users.
I get referrals from a number of branches. End users call asking for something and the reps would rather give them the name of a dealer who wants DIY business.
I wouldn't send someone who doesn't understand the game though. I have a few clients that I send and they keep their mouths shut. Personally, I buy AC refrigeration and swimming pool parts, car parts etc. wholesale on a their accounts we kinda swap favors.
I did have a problem with an ADI branch dealing with a customer once. The client ordered a complete system from my online store, kept it past the 30-day grace period and then tried to return the entire order, claiming "it didn't work."
I asked what parts he wanted to return and he listed, along with part numbers he ordered from my online store, several items that he got elsewhere. When I saw that I contacted my local branch and they investigated the matter for me. They found that a Massachusetts branch near him had opened an account for him after I allowed him to pick up his order there.
It turned out the customer bought replacements for the entire system from ADI *after* installing what he bought from me. I told him he could return it to ADI and they would credit his new account. My branch manager then called corporate and complained about them opening an account for the end user. I have no idea what they did about it... probably nothing.
A few of the posters here are childish idiots, just like every other newsgroup in existence. Yes, any "primate" can install alarm systems (and many do, as evidenced by high false alarm rates and substandard workmanship)- but only a qualified professional can do it properly. Unlike cable tv, LAN, or telephone installation, which are fairly straightforward, there are numerous environmental, electronic, and application oriented considerations that, when applied properly, are invisible to the end user.
This is why my alarm system never falses or does anything unexpected- (unless it eventually happens to develop a problem due to electronics failure) I know what environmental factors to account for in designing the system, which equipment & options best suit my particular application & lifestyle, and some simple but very important electrical/electronic principles that guide the installation parameters for not just the system at "rest", but also in every conceivable situation or condition that it might be called upon to react to.
If you botch your cable tv installation, you can't watch your favorite program. If you don't install your telephones properly, you might have to use your cell phone. If you don't install your alarm system properly, (which is much more than running a wire from point A to point B, in most cases) you put your life and property at greater risk. That's not to say it "can't" be done, but someone who advises that "anyone can do it- no problem" is misleading you and minimizing the risks involved- usually for their own financial benefit.
If you still think that "any monkey" can install security systems, install your own, then call your local electrical inspector to have him inspect your work. If your workmanship passes muster, keep track of your false alarm rate over a period of time. Make a note every time the system does something unusual or unsuspected. Keep track of equipment that fails, and when. Then, come back in a year or so and ask anyone here who holds a NICET level 2 or higher how your list compares to his personal system's performance, or to that of his clients.
A while back I had done a quote for home CCTV, quite extensive system. Gave the guy my proposal and he calls back the next day and starts quoting prices out of the ADI catalog, saying that he was not going to allow me to make "that much money" on the system. He'd called ADI and told them he worked for me and went by one of the branches and picked up a cat. with prices. Needless to say I ripped that branch a new asshole...then I told the client that if he thought it was so easy to install the equipment he could just do it himself...which he did..or actually he tried. A couple of weeks later he paid me HOURLY to redo everything he tried to do properly.
On that we disagree. Alarm installation isn't rocket science. There are a few basic principals to properly installing motion detectors, glass breaks, magnetic contacts and smoke detectors. With advice from an experienced technician, anyone with a modicum of tool skills and a bit of patience can do a proper installation.
The problems with DIY installations are most often associated with poor quality hardware sold by some vendors (both online and brick and mortar) and the lack of technical support.
Anything invisible to the end user is likely invisible to a paid installer as well.
The reality is that those considerations are mainly determined by discussing the alarm plan before selecting the equipment and planning the installation. A good DIY store will employ experienced technicians who know what questions to ask to help the client make those assessments.
If you screw up while driving you put yourself and your family at much greater risk. Yet most Americans choose to DIY rather than hire a professional driver. Frankly, alarm installation is not a complex art. There are certain basic questions that must be answered to determine which system is appropriate, which detectors will best work in the environment (for example, are there pets, how many, how active and how large).
A good technician can determine whether the homeowner's needs will be better suited by a simple, burg only system or a complete home automation system. Beyond that, running wire from A to B and physically connecting the components together is simple enough.
I'll grant you that many DIY projects are not properly supported and that those installations are subject to greater incidence of false alarms, as well as possible failure. But when the DIYer is experienced or has proper technical support from the store where s/he bought the system false alarms and system failures are less of a problem than with many alarm companies.
The other side of this coin is that while there are many truly talented, caring individuals in this trade whose installations are impeccable, there are also far too many jerks like that moron from Milford who have zero technical skill and even less concern for their vict... er, customers' security.
You may be a fine, competent installer and your installations might employ nothing but the best. Without having seen your work or heard anything to the contrary, I prefer to assume as much. But you and I both know the kind of trash work many of these so-called "authorized dealers" do every day.
We all know that false alarm problems that plague our industry are, by and large, the result of shoddy professional workmanship and poor customer training. Since the prospective customer has no way to know in advance whether the fellow proposing to install an alarm system is like you or like Milford, he may have a better chance of getting it right by DIY.
That is patently unfair. The reality is that most people can indeed install their own alarms and do so effectively and properly. I might just as easily say that anyone who tells a customer that the only way to get a proper installation is to hire a paid technician is misleading them for financial gain. The truth is that most consumers don't want to DIY -- some because they haven't the time or inclination and others because they don't have any tool skills. DIY is probably less than 2% of the alarm industry marketplace. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that DIY plumbing and electrical work are a similar proportion.
For those with zero ability to install anything, professional installation is a good choice as long as they know for certain the kind of workmanship and support they are going to receive before signing the contract. For those who can handle a drill and a few simple tools plus the willingness to learn something new, DIY is a viable choice.
You are aware, I assume, that monkeys are not the only primates. I had a good laugh when one particularly obnoxious alarm installer said here that he didn't like being called a primate. :^)
By way of contrast, most professionally installed alarms on existing homes are not inspected because most alarm companies don't bother pulling permits unless it's new construction. In many places this is a violation of law and in some it exposes the consumer to fines should an inspector see the work later.
If it's anything better than 98% false, the DIY job is better than the industry standard for professionally installed systems.
That guy got what he deserved -- not for DIYing the job but for taking advantage of you and ADI. In this case, one can understand ADI's error. The guy smooth talked them. At least they didn't offer to open account for him.
Crash, I don't have anything against installers making a fair price for their work, their hardware and their knowledge. Guys like you and I try to give people what they pay for. But if you stop and look at it carefully, the ones doing most of the whining here about DIY are the unskilled "professionals" who cheat their clients, lie to make the sale, do slovenly work and (often) bend the client over a five-year contract that would do old Slew Foot proud. The true professionals don't give a rat's Olson about DIY. They figure that DIY customers are not their market and concentrate on the 98% who are.
It's the same for me. I have no problem with most people hiring a pro to do an installation for them. Heck, I occasionally refer customers to professional installers. I've referred customers to Jim Rojas on occasion and he made good money doing the work. I also used to refer people to Worthless until he started behaving like a fool in the newsgroup.
The point is there are distinct segments of the security marketplace. Few, if any, companies are equipped to deal with all of them. Bob Campbell is respected by every technician in this forum (well, except one moron from Brooklyn with a penchant for assaulting children with hammers). He tried servicing the DIY market and for various reasons it didn't work for him. No problem. I owned a small but modestly successful alarm company for ~24 years until I sold it. At this stage of life I have zero interest in starting a new installation business. I'll leave that to guys like you. :)