RHC: The new DSC Alexor is a decent panel and VERY easy to program. I've put in about 6 or them now in homes that are TOTALLY finished (even the basement). Feedback from clients has been all good (so far)
RHC; It retains the design of a normal alarm( ie: main control panel away from the keypad and not IN the keypad) yet allows total flexibility in where you can place it, as well as all other wireless components.
I've never been a big fan of these totally wireless systems because they have been overutilized in the past by the "quick buck artists" and "money machine" companies more interested in the customers bank account than in their security. However, these later breed of panels actually seem to work pretty well and have their place in some homes and businesses where running wires conventionally is just not an option.
As you may remember in past threads, one of the reasons I don't use DSC has been what I consider "an apparent cheap feel " about their hardware. Thin, soft, plastic. Thin metal and PCBs. Just the looks of the "innards" look like it was made in the furthest reaches of China. I know DSC is used by a lot of people but I assume that it's due to low cost. Or ..... maybe the cost is about par but the "look" quality is substantially less than most other mfg's. I don't deny that they're pretty much equal in features but, in my opinion, it just doesn't look quality. And ..... I don't mean to say that the equipment looks "bad" ..... just chinzsy ..... flimsy.
About 2 years ago, I had occasion to take over a wireless DSC installation and the little flat transmitters "look" really neat. But you try to open them up and the plastic gives out before you can get the cover off. When I finally got a few of them open, the boards fell out because the plastic was so soft the little tabs had "ooozed" off from flexing while trying to open the case. The door on the cabinet was as flexable as a piece of cardboard. The programing was pretty simple. The keypad looked alright .... but it just couldn't offset the low quality "feel" of the hardware make ..... to me .... anyway.
The current most common DSC panels (PC1616, 1832 and 1864) are low cost systems however I disagree about being flimsy especially the keypads, the PK keypad construction is in my opinion the best out there as far as look and feel.
I came from the circuit board industry and the minimal design of DSC, Honeywell etc is the result of massive circuit integration and custom chips which not only are cheaper to produce but also are less likely to fail because of fewer components.
Knowing you like Napco I've always felt they overbuilt their circuit boards for no reason, ask any circuit board designer/manufacturer and you'll find that when you have a board filled with tons of surface circuitry like resistors, caps, diodes etc you have something that is very labor intensive to produce which is likely why Napco panels are in general more expensive with little if any additional features over the competition. Same with their keypads (although keypads do have a quality feel)
When you have installation companies not looking to outlay a lot of money for equipment it's not hard to see why most pick Honeywell or DSC over Napco, again my opinion.
Sounds like you had an older series wireless sensor and I agree a lot of DSC's older stuff was like that, GE and Honeywell sensors are still better as far as construction but the current DSC wireless is close.
ust couldn't offset the
The older Power Series keypads were like that, the front cover never felt secure on the base plate especially on an uneven wall surface, the current keypads are by far better, they now have the faceplate and circuit board in a thicker plastic "tub". My only complaint is DSC has gone to using international symbols for LED's and icons instead of text which can be very confusing to customers.
Ok, so I just found this group because someone mentioned it in the Home Repair newsgroup and I need to put in a new system. My old one, wired, has gone bad.
It's a small house, and I'd like to protect the doors and windows, and have a fire and/or CO2 alarm. Maybe a basement flood alarm? I'd like to do this without monthly fees so if it can call my cell number (I have a landline) I suppose that would be best. I have cats so I guess motion detection would be out.
Wireless would be easiest since the wiring is suspect. I'm fairly good at reading and following directions so it looks like something I can do. Assuming that I use one of the OPs options, maybe the Lynx Touch, is it reasonable to think that I can get this done? The panel is around $200 so I guess the whole thing would come in under $500 or so?