I'm not in the alarm business. I know a little about some makes and models because I've actually installed them for my own use. I can understand that there probably isin't an internet resource for info and reviews of various makes/models - it's not a very common consumer item. I'm also in Canada (Ontario).
Yes you can.
You will probably have to buy an alarm panel and sensors from an "authorized" dealer. I would recommend that you obtain a DSC model
1550 panel, metal enclosure box, 12 volt sealed lead-acid battery, door switches and (if you need them) infra-red motion sensors. The sensors will probably cost $30 each, the door switches maybe a buck or two each, the panel, box and battery maybe $300, and the keypad maybe $100.
Here is some info about the 1550:
Note that DSC is a Canadian company.
Just go through your phone book under alarm or security and make it clear you just want to buy the hardware. I'm sure they will try really hard to sign you up for a monitoring service. They might even tell you that they won't sell you the hardware unless you sign up with their monitoring service (in that case I'd just drop the phone and call someone else).
Also note that you don't have to pay a monitoring company to monitor your alarm system. You can program the alarm panel yourself so that it will call 1 or 2 phone numbers when the alarm goes off. When it calls a number and you answer it, you will just hear silence. If you hang up, it will try again (sometimes 10 times or more). I'm speaking specifically about the DSC 1550, but other types probably do the same. You could, for example, have it call your cell phone, a work phone number, etc, and therefore completely do away with the monthly monitoring costs.
What you won't be able to do in that case is get any information about what zone is causing the alarm - but once you reach the location and look at the keypad you can easily find out what zone caused the alarm. It's really not necessary to know (at the time the alarm is activated and you are being called) what zone is causing the alarm.
It's very easy to hook these units up, wire up the sensors, etc. If you can wire up a door bell, then you can wire up a motion detector and door switch. You will just need to run ordinary 4-wire telephone wire to every door switch and motion detector. You can buy a box of telephone wire from Home Depot for $50 for 500 feet.
That's all too common. You end up paying several times what the system is worth and the contract is only slightly more binding than a contract with Lucifer.
You can order a system from one of several hundred online stores. Alarm installation is not rocket science. Anyone with a modicum of intelligence and a bit of patience can handle it. A professional installer might get the job done faster and *some* might do a neater, more professional looking job, but you really can't tell what you'll get based on the salesman's pitch. There are good and bad installers working for large and small companies so the size of the firm means little either.
Not really. Some folks who make their living installing and monitoring alarms might like you to think so though.
You could start to learn by browsing some of the manufacturers' and dealers' websites. That will give you an idea what kind of systems are available and what types of features exist. I own one of the larger online alarm stores and (naturally) I'd encourage you to browse it. If you'd like to discuss your needs, feel free to call my office during the week. Note that I'll be traveling Wednesday through Thursday of this week (Jan 11-12, 2006) though. I should be available again by Friday afternoon.
I just noticed that in the OP's message he mentioned being in Canada. I concur that Bob Campbel is an excellent source of information. I'm not fond of DSC though. If I had to choose a Canadian make for my own, I'd probably go with Paradox.
Bob C might not be catering to DIYers any more. If he still is, definitely go with him. If not, I'd be happy to accommodate
Then why sell/market it?? Your website makes some impressive remarks about DSC, a product you've now admitted you're "not fond" of. I seriously doubt you've ever installed or worked with the Paradox line of products. Stick with Napco, Robert. That's something you know.
And, naturally he forgot to let you know he also has
1) The largest list of complaints with the Better Business Bureau.
2) A Conviction for felony.
3) Poor history with this newsgroup.
4) Possibly operates from Brazil to avoid US consumer protection laws.
It's not rocket science to have an online store.....or rocket science to keep the complaints to the BBB down either.
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Oh common, you can get out of it easy enough. You just have to be able to pick a guitar with the combined skills of Joe Satriani, Carlo Santana, Roy Clark, and Eddy Van Halen. Well, if you are from Texas you have to be able to saw a fiddle with similar skills. (If yer gonna play in Texas you gotta have a fiddle in the band.)
Sir, do not judge this group by any of us individually (me included). This group is made up of individuals in the security trade, most of whom are a decent albeit hard headed bunch !! There are some strong feelings that arise from time to time versus differences in approaches to this business, that quickly turn into "flame wars" when someone doesn't think out their response carefully enough. This group is really no different than any other newsgroup !!
If you post legitimate questions, and weed through the answers, you will usually get the benefit of advice from professional installation folks who can likely save you some grief.
Ignore the crap and take away only that which benefits you.
R.H.Campbell Home Security Metal Products Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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No this is not a good representation of all the professional of the trade...
its just some high ego poeple argumenting there business plan on the level of 3 years old kids...
I know mrs Campbell is a giving his client a very good service,i know where he connect his client accounr and know some poeple working there...so have good info on him..
Jim And Alarman, i dont know much about them,but what i really know is that they really like to stir the pot,with about any one here,what can i say this is Usenet,i am sure that if they were all in the same room they would talk to each other on a much higher level...
in fact you can think of this place as: The stress releasing exhaust pipe of some Alarm industry worker..
in an exhaust pipe,a lot can go out,and its not allways good ;-)
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"Bob La Londe" wrote in message news: firstname.lastname@example.org...
Makes you feel like you are shooting yourself in the foot doesn't it? They can't find a manufactures website to get their questions answered, tech support won't help them if they aren't a dealer (wonder why), so they come here. They are tinkerers that will mess with anything they can get their hands on, (did you ever take apart a clock or a radio when you were a kid? Were you able to put it back together and have it work as intended?), or hobbyist that will get tired of this new found pass time after about 20 minutes in the attic, or just plain cheap asses that will risk family and fortune to save a buck, especially at todays prices. I'll help any other in the trade but won't give free advice to the public, which might lead them to believe they can install something they think is first class, get some monitoring center somewhere out of cyber space for $1.00 a month and cause more problems than the industry already has with the PD's. Either that or have poor little old Ms. Betty, their neighbor, go check their home because they received a "whatever" call on there cell phone, putting her in possible harms way. What are these people thinking. Whatever it is, I try to stay clear of them and their thought process. Don't take just this industry, but any industry, there is a very and I capitolize VERY small percentage of DIY work that is up to professional standards. The rest is pure garbage, not designed properly, easily recognized as DIY work, didn't pull a permit, doesn't get inspected, and is usually incomplete (forever). But hey, they saved a buck, passed some time and are proud to say, "Now I know everything about the alarm business. I read on this NG that its not rocket science and only takes a modicum of intelligence, so I'll do your system and save you some money. Hmmm....side business, extra money, ching ching!! Let them find bASS and keep an arms length away. I wonder if there might be some liability for given info if things go bad? I want to check on that.
Interesting observation Bob !! There's another breed of quasi "installers" that can cause a lot of problems that I am starting to run up against. These are people who have installed one or two alarms for friends and decide that they are now experts, and have decided to install alarms "on the side" to supplement their income. They generally know just enough to be dangerous. And since there is no licensing or any restrictions whatsoever up here, the market is wide open for this sort of thing.
I had two instances recently where the homeowners went to a chap who worked installing alarms on the side in order to save big money over what I had quoted for the installation. Then the client was going to come back to me to save on the monitoring, since the guy that did the work wasn't interested in the monitoring, didn't have an account with any station, and didn't want to have anything to do with monitoring. Since I charge BIG time for the installation so that I am able to save the client money on the monitoring, the clients thought they'd get someone else to install it for far less money, and then come to me for the monitoring vis a vis the same way as I would do a takeover. This way they'd save at both ends....
Well as it turned out, the guy spent a lot of time with me on the phone just getting the basics down...how to on keypad zones, programming etc. If the two people hadn't been my customers in their old homes, I would have walked away from everything, but as it was, I felt a bit committed. When I went to put the client on line, I was flabbergasted at the poor quality of work, and had him do a lot of it over again. Even his choice of panels and motions left a lot to be desired (IMO).!!
So the client saved a few hundred dollars up front and ended up with a mess of a system. I told him the systems were so poorly installed that my usual complete warranty didn't apply for problems caused by poor installation. Plus I'm going to insist we "trial" it on the station for a few weeks before it goes live. And he is going to have to return to fix any installation related problems that crop up before it goes off test..
Penny wise and pound foolish !!
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Mr. Mugford and I, along with a third person in the industry, have been appointed to a committee that is being formed by the Florida Police Chiefs Association. The committee will deal with alarm issues in the State of Florida. The type of activity, talked about here, will naturally be a topic of discussion, as well as, the DIY market. I don't believe the Police community realizes that the DIY market exists and that the public safety departments are being dispatched to alarms from some of these abortions. I have always thought that a system that is put into service for police dispatch needs to be inspected by city/county officals and a State Certified alarm contractor before being activated to a CS for police response, whether it is installed by a a company or an individual. IMO commercial applications should never be installed by anyone other than a licensed company for insurance reasons and for the health, safety and welfare of the public that frequent these locations. If someone wants to tinker in their own home assemblying something to make a noise, go for it. Enough wire, relays, contacts, a siren and a transformer, one would get from their old electric train set, will do. Don't bother the police departments with your inventions and don't expect a professional to give away the store. I really get a kick out of these guys that have purchased a HA system online and then come here to ask questions after they get past the introduction section of the manual. They would have had less stress and been much happier taking the money they spent and gone on a nice vacation. Reminds me of someone building one of those classic "kit" cars. They can't get it to pass the safety requirements to get registered to drive on the road because it is a disaster looking to happen. It cost a lot of time and money, but it is doing nothing but taking up space in the garage. Next project!!
"R.H.Campbell" wrote in message news:vkyxf.20250$ email@example.com...
According to your website you charge $600 Canadian for a residential system with all ground floor openings, 2 motions and a Paradox System, I'm not knocking your pricing structure since it works for you, but to me that looks to be anything but "charging BIG time"
That's where it starts ! Most systems involve much more and usually average from $750 to $1000 by the time it's finished....couple of smokes, sump switches, extra motions, glassbreaks, extra pre-wired windows beyond the first 10, plus all the physical things I add such as strikes, patio door re-inforcement and extra cost basement window bars.
The fairly large home I was talking about was quoted at $1700. The other installer did it for $850, so the client saved significant dollars up front.
Average price of a system around here is $300 to $400 installed, with a 3 year contract at about $26 per month. My average installation runs about $750 plus $15 a month, but does include somewhat more. So my installation is quite a bit more than average relatively speaking...
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The whole point of usenet was to share information about different topics. If you're not going to do that, you might as well be reading and posting to "alt.shoot.the.shit" or go to some private, invite-only web forum where DIY'ers are not allowed.
Truth is, you alarm guys are dinosaurs. The alarm hardware companies and monitoring companies are merging and being bought up by big players. They are building more and more wireless and smart sensors. The big players want to cut labor costs, so they will (and are) designing hardware that can be installed by a teenager. They will be (or already are) giving the hardware away for free just to get the monthly revenue.
It used to be that only a Bell tech could wire up a telephone extension in your house. It used to be that you could only RENT a phone from Bell. Won't be long until you guys will be talking about the good-old-days, where you had the corner on the alarm hardware and installation market.
Wait till WalMart starts selling the panels and sensors.