Best place to buy parts for those of us who don't have a dealers license ?

So, do you "visualize" each motion sensor placement, or do you train each customer in the art of motion sensor placement? You know, mirrors, windows, vents, where the motion is looking in relation to the rising/setting sun, etc..

Do you "visualize" the Smoke detector placement, so that it will actually perform as desired? Oh wait- you can't, because you can't see the premises and it's unseen variables.

I agree that a certain percentage can, (or just will) do their own installs. I would, even if I wasn't an alarm guy. I also agree that many systems will work just fine, though you and I both know the ratio of problems exponentially increases as planning and experience decrease, whether you care to admit it or not. Where we thoroughly disagree is that you believe anyone can do it and get the desired result, time after time. I caution folks to get direct professional "eyes-on" advice for at least the planning stages of the system, before selling them DIY products. You seem to feel that selling them products for a sight-unseen application with telephone support only (which is better than none, granted) is "just as good" as a professional installation. You know better, Robert.

Reply to
Stanley Barthfarkle
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It's not an art. It's simple logic. Don't point motion detectors at windows, stairs or stuff that's going to cause problems. Do place motion detectors where the thief is likely to move, such as a bedroom hallway, the vicinity of the hi-fi equipment and, for most of my customers, near the computer.

I can and do explain that much over the phone. Your average primate knows what a window or mirror looks like. :^)

Smoke detector placement is simple enough in the average residence. Don't put them in the garage, furnace room, attic, kitchen, etc. Do place at least one on every residential level (ie, not the attic), at the top of the stairs and at the bottom of the basement stairs. Place one within 12 feet outside bedroom doors but stay 5 feet (a bit more than NFPA minimum) from bathrooms with showers or tubs, laundry room and kitchen. Stay away from air vents. On new construction and wherever possible in existing homes place a smoke in each sleeping room.

There are other issues such as sloped ceilings which I determine over the phone.

I can learn as much as is needed to spec a fire alarm system for just about any job without ever seeing the premises. On new construction and on most commercial fire alarms, I ask for plans. I learned to read prints over 25 years ago and can spec a fire system from them or from architectural drawings when necessary.

You've said a mouthful there. The fact is that I've been spec'ing alarms longer than most salesmen you'll meet and can easily see potential problems that most younger salesmen don't even think about -- without ever visiting the site. That comes with years of planning, installing and servicing alarms. Consider the number of times techs post complaints here about idiot salesmen specifying work that either can't be done or (more often) in ways that no sane technician would consider doing it.

I know that there are plenty of online dealers who will sell the customer anything just to make a buck without a second thought as to the level of protection the client will get. Many employ telephone sales clerks with no background in security at all. Remember that moron who came here bragging that he was selling the finest magnetic contacts in the industry yet refused to disclose who the manufacturer was? It turned out he was pushing Tane (ugh). I try to provide solid hardware and I offer advice based on many years in the trade -- far more than most here. In doing so I'm able to give customers more than just parts.

Not *anyone* -- only those with a bit of tool skill and the willingness to take a little time learning how to accomplish the task. Remember, DIY is probably less than 2% of the security market. The vast majority of clients cannot and should not install their own systems. For example, my father is 85 years old. He has a near genius IQ and a mater's in engineering. However, he has neither the interest nor the willingness to learn how to do the job.

OTOH, there are (and we both know this) plenty of incompetent, uncaring slobs in this industry who should never be allowed to hold a screwdriver, much less pull cable through someone's home. Remember the fellow from California who posted pictures of the damage some Protection One dealer did when they pierced the DWV stack (for those unfamiliar, that's the "poop pipe"). His walls and ceiling were literally soaked with sewage.

It's often better than what some of these nimrods consider a "professional" installation. It's always better than dealing with an online dealer who provides no tech support at all like several of the characters Olson recommends.

Indeed I do. Continue doing the best darned installations you can and taking proper care of your clients. I do the same for my DIY customers. Their jobs may not be the same quality as yours (I prefer to assume the best) but the work will be better than many and much better than a few "professionals." That's not by any stretch intended as a slight to true professionals. But let's face it. Buying a professionally installed alarm system isn't what it used to be. For the customer it's a crap shoot hoping they've chosen someone honest and competent. Sometimes you're the windshield; sometimes you're the bug. Sometimes you're the Louisville slugger; sometimes you're the ball."

Reply to
Robert L Bass

Good reply. My point is stands, though. How many times have you seen a smoke detector right next to an attic fan? Or right outside a bathroom door? (Steamy shower, anyone?)

Sounds like you're making a good attempt at educating the average person the best you can, helping to plan the system with them, which is commendable. But to say that those installations are every bit as comprehensively designed as one you or I would design if we had access to the premises, and the myriad of variables each premises presents, is inaccurate.

I'm not anti-DIY. I am anti-telling-them-it's-exactly-the-same-so-I-can-make-a-profit. It's my reponsibility as an alarm professional to inform my customers of their options, and point out things which help maximize their level of protection. Most DIY'ers are already convinced that they ARE going to do it themselves, so the only thing I can do is give them the information that they need in a non-judgemental way. The only way to get the best system possible for a DIY'er, is to have a qualified person design it by visiting the site. This is also important information that they need to hear- we kmow they aren't going to follow it, but it's my responsibility to tell them, because it's what I believe.

Reply to
Stanley Barthfarkle

"-)... I only install the ones I feel like doing. I've gotten really selective in my old age. If a cllient is a pain in the butt I won't take the job.

Did a real nice one today up in the mountains a referral by someone herein. Nice client, nice trip, nice install, good money.

Reply to
Crash Gordon

I've lost count. Every time it was a professionally installed system. I *always* explain to DIYers why they should not do that.

Thanks. I do the best I can. From what you've said so far, it appears you've got a similar attitude toward your side of the trade. That's the way it's supposed to be.

How many times have you planned a job from prints long before the home was built? I can't speak for others but I've done so hundreds of times over the years. I use the same parameters in evaluating prints and plans for a customer as I used to when planning my own installations.

Sometimes things change though. The customer may decide to change a window out for French doors (are we now supposed to call them "freedom" doors? :^)). Sometimes a window is added where none was planned. Just as I would when planning my own job, I tell clients that if they change the job after I spec it out they need to consult with me to make certain their changes won't negatively affect the alarm system.

That was not my read. You sound like you sincerely believe in what you do. That portends good for your clients. Regardless what certain moron "professionals" who've never met either of us may say, I do the same.

Is DIY the same as professional installation. Definitely not. Are some DIY jobs better than some professionally installed systems? Without question many are. Are some worse? Of course. Clients, like installers, come with a diversity of skills levels, attitudes and work ethics. Some are DIYers and some paid installers are devoid of all three. Some are competent, patient and very sharp.

I've seen the results, across the board, of DIY and paid technicians' work. Some of both are unspeakably bad. Some jobs, both pro and DIY, are magnificent.

So am I. But I've proven time and again that I can teach any reasonably intelligent person who has the patience to listen to and follow professional advice how to do a competent, proficient job of protecting his home. It might take the DIYer twice as long as you and his work might not be quite as elegant, but I can teach him to do a competent job. For most DIYers that is enough.

Same here. The only difference is I need to spend more time discussing it with the client than you do. Once you've scoped out the job you can write up the plan and (assuming they pay the deposit) start the work. I have to explain everything in exact detail and (sometimes) walk them through it.

Nothing wrong with that.

On that we disagree, mainly because (1) the consumer has no way to evaluate the professional qualifications of the guy on site; and (2) most professional installers are not at all interested in visiting a site to tell the end user what he needs and how to install it. Worse, way too many brick 'n' mortar alarm company salesmen have less of a clue than the typical DIYer.

That's a far sight better than characters like Olson recommending a bunch of companies he knows nothing about.

Reply to
Robert L Bass

In most states (including yours), you're reqired to be *LICENSED* to purchase product from ADI. Since it's obvious you have an account established with them, you must have "smooth talked" your way through as well.

Here you go comparing yourself to a professional installer once again. You run an online parts counter. I won't mention the fact that you're a convicted felon and probably can't get a license in your jursidiction.

OH??? Where has *anyone* here whined about DIY (except to say they've had to clean up the mess afterwards)? Where has anyone attacked a DIY? Give us an example where a professional has failed to answer a DIY's question in this forum.

Have *you* ever lied to make a sale?? Your website is chalker-block full of lies and misrepresentation. I make this statement because what you say about DSC on your website (where their products are extolled) is completely different from what you say about them here.

Now, you see... I wouldn't have even bothered responding to you if you hadn't dragged my name into this. You just gotta get your little "dig" in here and there... What a schmuck (that's a Jewish term if you didn't already know).

Heh... I believe Bob Worthy mentioned that he'd received a call from one of your "clients". What's the matter?? Couldn't figure out a way to install the system on your own (for free) "as a friend/neighbour/uncle/cousin"??

And another moron in Sarasota with penchant for hurling children around a stage...

He didn't have your "flair" for the business. Didn't like the fact that he'd have to spend upwards of two to three hours on the phone coaching the guy through an install. Unlike you... whose "technical support" has been taken to new heights (doesn't *answer* the phone, email, fax, etc...). And speaking of technical support... When someone does press "2" on the phone options menu, who do they wind up talking to when someone *is* there??

You *still* haven't changed the address on your multiple websites (even though you moved weeks ago), *still* dont' have an 800 number (which you once stated was an absolute necessity when you were deriding another individual's efforts at starting an online business), and *still* haven't been able to prove I've lied about anything.

And likley you couldn't, given the fact that your criminal record would prohibit you from obtaining licensing in Florida.

So... Let's have a little math fun while I'm "warmed up" on the subject (I just happened to finish doing my tax return). Robert "says" he's been in the trade for 27 years (28 or 29 it doesn't matter) and that he's specifically run a "modestly successful alarm company" for 24 years where he's also inferred he was actively involved in installing, and servicing alarm equipment (mostly Napco by his own admission). Taken at face value, that's pretty impressive, but let's remove some of the "pink face makeup" Robert's so fond of (and keeps slathering on).

Robert incorporated a business in 1979 (at least this is what he's stated frequently in this Newsgroup) in Hartford, CT. I don't have any record of that except from a Better Business Bureau Report which lists the business start date as January 1, 1980. OK... So he's only "off" by a year. No "biggie".

This *is* interesting though...

His criminal record states that he was "on Parol" between 1979 and 1984 in *Polk County, Florida*. Ermmm... Last time I looked at a map of the U.S., there's about seven States between FL and CT, but it's not beyond the realm of possibility that he could have incorporated this business in CT and acted as an "absentee President" (sort of like Bush). It doesn't explain how he got his installation experience *in CT* like he says though (he could have rented the "Alarm Installation Made Easy" series of videos at the local "Block Buster"). He's admitted to having to obtain the CT "L-5" in 1989 when he was "nailed" by a license inspector on an installation and has also admitted to getting his "L-6" in 1984.

OK... So let's say he's "off to CT" in 1984 (where his business has been doing absolutely swimmingly in his absence and while he was finishing up Parol in Florida). 1984 to 1993 is nine years. Why do I mention 1993? Well, that's the other part of the "Bass Story" I've managed to "dig up". You see, he's involved in a couple of Florida real estate transactions between 1993 and 1996. That's "no biggie" either except for the fact that the address he's provided as a residence at the time of these transactions is in *OHIO* (Cuyuga County to be precise) and the proof he gave the Notary Public was an *OHIO* Drivers License. Let's see... There's Ohio, and there's Connecticut... Ummm... two States away.

He started his online store in 1996 and began posting in this Group from a CT address around about the same time. He moved to Florida in 1999. The last time he was shown as having been registered as an "L-6" in CT was 2000.

Let's "thin" (as Desi Arnaz would have said) this through:

1979 - 1984 On Parol in Polk County, Florida. 1980 N S Systems Inc registered in CT. Robert's listed as "President" (at the time of the BBB report). The BBB opened its file on N S Systems in 1983. The report I have is from a later date (February 25, 1999) since it also makes a reference to not having received "no customer complaints within the last three years". I've talked to the BBB several times (not about Robert) and they tell me that ownership/directorship and incorporation date information on non-member companies isn't usually confirmed unless there's a problem involving criminal fraud or theft. George Bush or Errol Flynn could have been named as the President of N.S. Systems and they wouldn't have even "blinked". 1984 Robert licensed (and living) in CT as an L-6. 1989 Robert runs afoul of a CT License Inspector and gets his L-5. 1993 - 1996 Robert's in *OHIO*. 1996 Robert opens (an online store selling security items and tube tops) after returning to CT. 1999 - Present Robert's living in Florida. He currently runs *four* online stores all selling security items (in an effort to "sneak" under the BBB's "radar").

Plotted out on a time line it would look like this ("CT" is Connecticut).

|Florida | | | | |On Parol| CT |Ohio | CT |Florida .... |________|____________|_____|_____|________....

79 84 93 96 99

What's all this mean?? Quite simple. Robert has obviously installed/serviced alarm equipment. What's always been difficult for me to swallow is that he'd been doing it for 20+ years (like he keeps saying). I've just provided verifiable proof that Robert could only have been installing security equipment in CT between 1984 and 1993, and possibly between 1996 and 1999 (unlikely since he was full time operating his online business and posting in this and other Newsgroups during the day). That's twelve years max, not twenty, 27, 28, 33, or what-ever his latest number is. OK, OK... So he actually had a valid CT license until 2000, but I sincerely doubt he could have been

*installing and servicing* equipment *in CT* while he was living in Florida. He also could have applied to have his Parol served in CT, but the funny thing is there's no mention of it on the record I've seen. It's the New Year and I'm feeling generous, so let's give him the benefit of the doubt and say he worked in CT between 1980 and 1993. That's still five years short of the twenty he says he installed/serviced alarms *in CT*.
Reply to
Frank Olson

What exactly *is* your experience?? "Running an alarm company" isn't installing or servicing equipment. Owning a restaurant doesn't make you a chef. From the information I have, you were licensed in CT between

1984 and 2000 (and even this fact doesn't prove you were actually involved in installation/service). You didn't live in CT for at least three years (between 1993 and 1996). You started your online business and were posting full time in numerous Newsgroups between 1996 and the present, moved to Florida in 1999. How much actual experience do you have installing alarms??

Yet you sell DSC and Ademco contacts, both products which you continue to deride. I've witnessed numerous individuals who post in the group out of frustration because they can't get ahold of you. Your messages are full, and your email is set to "auto-respond". How many complaints at the BBB do you have and what proportion involve lack of response??

"Likely"?? You really don't know what you're talking about, do you??

What "experienced technicians" do you employ?? Who are they?? What are their qualifications?? Seems to me that there is a distinct lack of such information on your website. Your prices are high and the number of complaints at the BBB keeps climbing. Why is it you're running four different websites all selling the same thing again??

Uh-huh... And using the "driving" example in this instance is an insult to the family of the woman you killed *while driving*.

And most Americans who "DIY" would recognize when it's time to pull over too. Somehow I can't see you doing a "professional job" at anything so far (other than running your mouth off).

Oh?? And how do you determine which "system is appropriate"?? I'm wondering when you'd ever "recommend" DSC considering how you extoll it's virtues on your multiple websites.

Hahahahahahahahahaha!!! Right, Bass... Only a "technician" can determine whether a homeowner wants a home automation system or a "simple, burg only system"... Hahahahahahahahahaha!!!

Which would tend to rank the systems you sell and "support" amoung the ones with the "greater incidence of false alarms" and failures.

"When the DIYer is experienced"? At what?? Alarm installation?? As for receiving "proper technical support", I seriously doubt that anyone would be getting this from *your* store... How's the weather in Bahia by the way??

Ahhhh... So... you've actually *seen* one of his installations?? How did they differ from yours??

What statistics are you referring to here?? Where can I find the specific reference to "shoddy professional workmanship and poor customer training"??

Since the prospective customer has no way of knowing he's dealing with a convicted felon when he emails or calls you, he may have a better chance of getting it right with a *licensed* Alarm Company employing *licensed* professional technicians.

Only the fact that what he said is the truth. You have so much as admitted that you carry DSC and Ademco contacts only because you don't want to "lose a sale".

Heh... Now you've "switched" again. "Most people"??

You say that frequently. And a "paid technician" is who?? Someone who's employed by an alarm company perhaps?? Someone with more than just a modicum of tool skills?? Someone with demonstrated experience that is earning substantially more than minimum wage?? Someone that's


OK... now you've gone from "most people can install their own alarms" to "most consumers don't want to DIY"...

And with stores like yours that number's liable to fall to 1%.

You wouldn't be, I know... You'd be wrong again though...

As long as they don't need the kind of "technical support" you provide.

Ahhh... Is this same "obnoxious installer" you're referring to the one you tried to get fired from his job?? The one whom you continue to viciously attack whenever he posts into the group??

Really?? Perhaps this was your "experience". It's certainly not been mine. Permits are pulled for every job. To "get caught" without one exposes the company doing the work to some pretty nasty stuff. ISTR that you found yourself in exactly this situation in CT...

Uh-huh... sure...

Reply to
Frank Olson

Why do I think it's 1997 all over again?

Reply to
Mark Leuck

Here as well (S Florida).

Reply to
Bob Worthy

One customer , Um!, doesn't replace all the "Kicks and Giggles" I get from messing with you Robert. If a referral from you means giving up my fun, keep it. I spend more for lunch than their monthly monitoring fee.

Not exactly true, Robert. All legitimate companies can deal with as much or as many segments of the industry as they choose to invest the time and money into. It doesn't take a fool to figure out what choices you have at your disposal. Let me count them. 1..................ahh, 1................. I guess that's all folks. Too bad Robert, you made your bed, now lie in it. Any more unwarranted snide remarks, Wanntabe? Cheeeshh!! and I wanted to start the year out right.

Reply to
Bob Worthy

So probably see more varied panels than anyone here...what do you think as far as ease of programming...low end Vistas or Nappys?

| > > 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. | >

| > What exactly *is* your experience?? "Running an alarm company" isn't | > installing or servicing equipment. Owning a restaurant doesn't make you | > a chef. From the information I have, you were licensed in CT between | > 1984 and 2000 (and even this fact doesn't prove you were actually | > involved in installation/service). You didn't live in CT for at least | > three years (between 1993 and 1996). You started your online business | > and were posting full time in numerous Newsgroups between 1996 and the | > present, moved to Florida in 1999. How much actual experience do you | > have installing alarms?? | | Why do I think it's 1997 all over again? | |

Reply to
Crash Gordon

Seeing you wanted to start with me again this new year, let me ask this question, "Where are your clients getting this advice?"

Usually driven by the cheap client that is trying to save money from the git anyway.

Like when they are on vacation and can't be reached by phone, email or fax?

You truely live in your own little world, Wannabe.

very important electrical/electronic

Is this what you suggest or what you practice? Be careful. Being an employer in the State of Florida opens up a big can of "Kicks and Giggles." hey hey hey :>)

Especially when there is a fatality!

We know, you should have caught a cab!

If a client is inquiring about a burg system, why, other than financial gain, are you putting them into a home automation system. When a client is looking for something specific, you will talk yourself out of the sale trying to sell the benefits of having their sprinkler system and coffee pot come on simultaneously. First learn the clients concerns, not what "you" think better suits them.

Yah they all have duct tape.

And where is the results and false alarm percentages of all these DYI installs documented? How many actually got so frustrated that the parts are in a box in the closet? How many of your DYI systems have you actually seen? One man's treasures are another man's trash. Simple enough to remember, everyone is proud of their own work regardless of what it turns out to be. I do know that what ever percentage of false alarms they generate are lumped in with the other false alarm figures. I wonder just what that percentage would be.

Since the prospective customer has

It is called referrals. Another is called BBB. Another is called municiple building department. Another is called licensing board. Another is called Trade Association. Another is called "open your damn eyes, if it doesn't look professional, it probably isn't." hour on the phone with someone that is trying to sell you something will have you believing exactly what Robert is trying sell here.


He figured you out, Robert.

In Florida the building (installation) permit is crossed referenced with the application for a user permit in most jurisdictions, just to bring you up to speed on what goes on around you Robert. No inspection, no user permit ie: no response.

tsk tsk......Only recites what he reads and has no practical experience to back it up. What a Wannabe! It is a shame you'll never be able to come in from the cold little boy. You might have had some potential if you hadn't made so many bad...bad decisions. On the other hand, this post was fun. Keep them coming Robert, seeing as how you chose to start the New Year.

Reply to
Bob Worthy

No question Ademco, Any Napco panel above the 801 is too much trouble to deal with programming at the keypad or via downloading. Both methods of programming are VERY slow and tedious. Napco panels have in my opinion no feature superior to any other brand to switch to it. Napco themselves know this since they released the new version panels with slightly simpler programming. As far as I'm concerned anyone who likes Napco also likes intense pain.

As far as the panel itself is concerned Napco is bulletproof

Reply to
Mark Leuck

I can answer that one for you. Ademco / Honeywell Vista-15P and Vista-20P control panels are easier to program than Napco's P1632, P3200, etc. With all of that Napco flexibility come a lot more programming options from which to choose. Some things you can leave untouched if you're not using them.

If you like the standard zone types (pre-configured sets of options) you can use those much like you can with a Vista panel. But if you want to change the way one or more zones function beyond the basics, you're going to spend more time in the Napco manual. The difference is that with Napco you have the choice. With most other brands your options are far more limited.

Side note to a certain moron from BC: I lived and worked in CT, running a small alarm company, continuously for much longer than said moron pretends to believe.

Reply to
Robert L Bass

The P's now have configurable zone response types.

Reply to
Crash Gordon

The 20PS has configurable zones... OK only 2 of 'em but its a start...

Reply to

True, but with Napco all 32 or 96 zones are configurable. With

62 selectable options per zones you have umm..., roughly 4.6*10^18 or, using the longhand method, 4,600,000,000,000,000,000 ways to configure any given zone. Technically, it's not quite that large a number since some options are mutually exclusive and some require selection of certain other options, but you get the point.
Reply to
Robert L Bass

Umm no that panel has 4

Reply to
Mark Leuck

I don't "pretend" to believe anything there, Robert. Like I said before, you can "run" a restaurant but that doesn't make you a "chef". I know guys that have been licensed in Security Installations for

*eons*, but haven't touched the tools for years.

You still haven't answered my questions, by the way...

Reply to
Frank Olson

Sure, if you are using a downloader. I thought we were talking hand programming... We do alomost all our programming in the field. Especially the smaller panels. There are a few laptops floating around for the bigger panels but I never seem to have one when I am installing one... go figure...

Reply to
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