Help on replacing windows with alarm contacts...


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Old 12-21-06, 06:46 PM
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Help on replacing windows with alarm contacts...

Hello. I have an 8 zone alarm system where one of the zones covers 4 windows and a sliding glass door, all of which are being replaced. The alarm contacts are all magnetic with the wired part of the magnet in the window/door jam and the other hald of the magnet in the sliding part of the door/window. I will be replacing the windows basically as soon as I can get the guys out here to do it (the new windows/door are sitting in my garage) but before I have them out, I want to make sure I know what to do about the Alarm contacts. I know the window installers don't know what to do (don't even realized I have an alarm I imagine).

So, should I try to dig out the current magnetic contacts from the old windows/door, or should I purchase new contacts? If new, should I stay with the magnetic, or move to a spring loaded button type? Also, if I get new, are they all basically the same (i.e would they all work with all systems. For reference, I have an OLD DSC PC2500).

Thanks,
Rob
 
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Old 12-21-06, 07:30 PM
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I know the window installers don't know what to do (don't even realized I have an alarm I imagine).


why would you assume that ?

I would assume if they are professional window installers most of the windows they install are alarmed and I wouldn't be surprised if they don't carry some contacts with them

you'll probably have trouble getting contacts unless you have a account at a alarm supply I recently needed a couple and found radio shack no longer sells them .

I do have a account with a alarm supply house so I ordered them
 
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Old 12-21-06, 07:41 PM
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I just assumed that alarm people install alarms and window poeple, windows. But you raise a good question. I will call the window folks tomorrow and see what they say.

As far as ordering contacts, it looks like I can get what I need from smarthome.com easily. I have not ordered from them yet, but from what I can tell from the site, I don't think I need any sort of a contract with them to order parts.

Thanks,
Rob
 
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Old 12-21-06, 08:26 PM
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In my experience, typically, door/window installers understand the details of integrating security hardware. Not because they are dumb or ignorant, but because the security alarm industry typically doesn't work hand in hand with the trim people (and they _should_).

It sounds like you have the standard 3/8" press fit cylindrical flush contacts. Don't bother trying to resuse them. The process of removing them usually breaks the tiny switch inside of them.

You do need to look at your new windows. Some of the newer window designs don't have enough room in either the frame or the edge of the moving part of the window to accomodate even the new compact versions of these switches and their matching magnets. You might have to go with surface mount contacts.

There are numerous online vendors for these devices, and they are universal. All work with any standard security system; they are just a magnet activated switch. I recommend magnetic contacts, unless your window style will not accomodate the matching magnet.

If you windows can accomodate the same type as what you have, what you need to do is drill a 3/8" hole through the frame where the wires need to pass. If you need to extend the wires, do so before the windows are in place (use crimp connectors-- do not "twist and tape" --because finding a bad connection later is _very_ difficult.
 
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Old 12-23-06, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by MrRonFL View Post
If you windows can accomodate the same type as what you have, what you need to do is drill a 3/8" hole through the frame where the wires need to pass. If you need to extend the wires, do so before the windows are in place (use crimp connectors-- do not "twist and tape" --because finding a bad connection later is _very_ difficult.
Upon further inspection, my windows have the magnetic switches that are mounted not in the frame, but on the frame (the rectangular standard magnetic switches). SO I will go with those for the windows. The sliding glass door has the cylindrical contacts that are inserted into the frame. It looks like I wil have enough frame tro drill into, so I will go with that same one as well, and as you suggest, will buy all new switches. They are cheap, and it is better to buy now than have to replace in a few years (esp with an 18 year old alarm system).

As for crimp connectors, are there special ones for alarm systems, or any crimp connector (that matches the guage wire I use) that can be purchased at a store like home depot or hardware store.

One more question - what guage wire should I use to extend the wire through the jam so I have enough to connect my switches after the windows are installed and stained?

Thanks,
Rob
 
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Old 12-23-06, 10:13 AM
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Alarm wiring is generally 22 gauge (old style telecom wire), so you can generally find it pretty cheap. In a pinch, though, pretty much any small gauge wire will work.

The _best_ crimps are called "b" connectors, most places that sell telephone wiring supplys stock them. If you can't get those, the smallest (usually red) inline crimps sold at places like auto supply places will work. Instead of inserting the wires into each end, insert both conductors into one end of the crimp and crimp just that end.

For a DIY those surface mount contacts are much easier to work with. You can get them in several colors, so they will blend in (I've used automotive touchup paint to paint them to match specific colored window frames before, also.)
 
 

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