Newbie needs alarm advice

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  #1  
Old 09-27-04, 02:37 PM
sixdoubleo
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Newbie needs alarm advice

I need to install a security system in my house and would like to get a recommendation on a package or kit based on my needs. I see the Concord Express get recommended a lot. I have also been looking at the DSC 832. I would appreciate any comments on the differences/strengths/weaknesses of these?

Running hardwired is NOT a problem for me, as I have easy attic access. Although I would like some wireless capability. I have already installed WIRED sensors on all my windows and most doors. (I did this when I replaced them).

Needs:
I need it to call me/neighbor/friend/fire dept.
I need a siren.
I need battery backup.
At some point I would like the capability to set it up to be monitored.
I need smoke detector capability.
I need some type of custom output trigger. (So basically if the alarm goes off, there would be a contact that closes or opens which I can wire off of to run my own custom device)

Is there a specific kit or starter system that would best suit my needs?

Thanks for the help!
 
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  #2  
Old 09-28-04, 06:11 PM
M
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Originally Posted by sixdoubleo
Needs:
I need it to call me/neighbor/friend/fire dept.
I need a siren.
I need battery backup.
At some point I would like the capability to set it up to be monitored.
I need smoke detector capability.
I need some type of custom output trigger. (So basically if the alarm goes off, there would be a contact that closes or opens which I can wire off of to run my own custom device)


Is there a specific kit or starter system that would best suit my needs?

Either will work with monitoring. Both also support a native pager output. To have it call anything else takes an add on for either system.

Both have programmable output terminals that can be used for a variety of options, as well as add on relay boards

Basically, either system will fill your needs. The concord express has the advantage of built in wireless, and is probably easier for a DIY to set up.
 
  #3  
Old 09-28-04, 06:35 PM
sixdoubleo
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Originally Posted by MrRonFL
Either will work with monitoring. Both also support a native pager output. To have it call anything else takes an add on for either system.

Both have programmable output terminals that can be used for a variety of options, as well as add on relay boards

Basically, either system will fill your needs. The concord express has the advantage of built in wireless, and is probably easier for a DIY to set up.
Thank you very much for the response, MrRon. Your advive is pretty much right on with what I had been finding in my research. I must say that there is not a lot of "useful" information out there....seems to be quite a bit of bickering on the usenet forums. It's good to see a helpful forum like this one.

Anyway, I went ahead and went with the DSC 832. Wireless is not very important to me...I prefer the flexibility and control that wired seems to give (as well as cheaper sensors!) and I can always add wireless to the DSC. The Concord Express did look very tempting, but in the end I felt (and maybe you can verify this) that from a "tweaking" and modification/expandability standpoint, the DSC seems more hobbyist-friendly. I am into X10, home automation, HTPC's and the like...and it seemed the DSC had a wider range of expandability. I am a programmer and computer nerd so I certainly don't mind learning how to program it and usually prefer something that is cryptic, yet configurable to something that is easy, but NOT configurable.

Anyway, thanks again for the advice!
 
  #4  
Old 09-29-04, 03:20 PM
M
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The DSC does have a steeper learning curve for programming and setup, but is a more flexible panel. It can do a lot of handy little tricks, especially with regard to home automation interface. Just read the manual carefully, twice, before you try anything offbeat. DSC uses odd terminology, and less than intuitive programming structure.
 
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