Napco Magnum Alert 825HS

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  #1  
Old 09-16-04, 09:40 PM
mnixon
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Napco Magnum Alert 825HS

I bought a house with this alarm system, but would like to update it using as much of the original equipment/wiring etc...as possible. I would like to remotely detect entry doors opening in my bedroom and have an interface to my in house data network for monitoring via a browser or the web.

I know that door chime mode is part of the answer for my first requirement, but I am not sure where to connect a buzzer or light to remotely signal an entry door opening.

I am guessing from reading here that the second requirement might require a whole new board to hook to my existing wiring. I don't have integrated fire sensors/alarms on this unit. So what would make a good upgrade if required?This system has 4 N/C zones and 2 N/O zones. Thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 09-17-04, 03:36 PM
M
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If your house is of relatively recent vintage, there's a fair chance that there may be a keypad prewire already in the master bedroom. Most new construction wiring puts a keypad at the front, rear/garage, and master bedroom doors. The wire may just be coiled up behind the drywall near the light switches. That's one way of solving your annunciation issue, since it sounds like you plan to swap the system out. There are other ways to do the trick, but that's the simplest.

Your existing contacts and motions can normally be used with any conventional system. You have to change the control and keypads. Your existing system is pretty small and simple, but the kind of features you want are not on the entry-level systems.

There are a couple of systems that you can interface with your computer. The GE Networx NX-8E has a serial port output that can feed data to home automation software on a computer. The same brand has an add on card that adopts the other models for the same interface.

There are a few others, but not many; most of which are pretty high end systems, and not DIY friendly unless you have good electrical and computer hardware skills. This is an area where alarm manufacturers have been hesitant to tread because most view it as a potential security hole. Few of the RS232 interfaces are UL listed for anything other than system setup use.

Some of the other folk here may have other brands that they know more of.
 
  #3  
Old 09-18-04, 11:37 PM
mnixon
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Thanks... DL-900 SW?

The installer's hand drawn schematic for the alarm system shows a prewire for the MB but I have yet to find it or indication of a third set connected at the board. There are only two connected, but I suppose they could have daisy chained te 3rd one from the front door since it is on the same side of the house.

Do you figure I can put a buzzer or light across the sounder line and ground or do you think I would have to get a third panel to make an indicator work off this 3rd prewire? When I find it I will try bulb or buzzer first. So far no switch box in the area has extra wires nor can I find any dropped from the ceiling below.

Thanks for the tip on the GE board I may end going that route since it appears pretty reasonable. The only thing I want to know before jumping in is what the interface will allow me to monitor. So far searches on the DL-900 SW have not turned up anything... Anyone know who makes this SW?
 
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Old 09-19-04, 04:13 PM
M
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The wire for the MB keypad is probably just tucked into the wall behind the panel along with any other extras that didn't get used (there's usually a couple of drops for motions and possibly hard-wired smokes).

I generally find the other end using a tone generator and sniffer, and can reliably get within few inches of the cable location. If your attic is accessable, you can find it in the attic, and simply follow down the wall from that point.

Otherwise, most newer panels have some type of programmable output that can be use to trigger things like low current buzzers and LEDs. The NX 8 you are looking at has 4, for example.

The DL 900 software is made by GE/Networx. It's available to dealer/installers. It's great for setting up the systems, especially when you do a lot of them, it's not really designed for day to day operation of the system (and they will not warranty or support for that use). You would likely find it needlessly complicated for what you want to do.

Your best bet is a flexible home automation software suite.
 
  #5  
Old 09-19-04, 09:10 PM
mnixon
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Is daisy chaining the panel wiring common?

Ron, thanks for the feedback. I am making some progress. I found a second set of wiring for a panel in the wall by the front door paneland I suspect the other end is somewhere in the master bedroom. Am I correct in assuming that I can simply attach the second set to the crimped connections at this front panel to run to the next? Also, I appreciate the insight on the SW. I was wondering why there was so little information available on the DL-900.
 
  #6  
Old 09-20-04, 03:09 PM
M
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I'm not clear on what you are describing. The house may have once had a different system that required more than 4 conductors for the keypads. While you _can_ pick up the keypad wires at the back of a keypad if the wiring run is fairly short, there are a number of technical reasons not to (22 gauge wire has a substantial voltage drop on long runs, and that kind of daisy chaining tends to create erratic keypad faults). It's much less tempting fate to find the wires at the control panel (box) location and work from there.

The zone and keypad wiring should go to the box containing the control circuit board and backup battery. The master bedroom closet is one of the most common locations for the control home-run. The keypads are just peripherials.
 
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