Please advise on setup - Vista 20p or Simon XT?

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  #1  
Old 12-05-09, 03:30 PM
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Please advise on setup - Vista 20p or Simon XT?

Hi there, happy holidays and THANKS!!! ahead of time!,

Its been a real pleasure reading all the advice on the website. I was about to go with ADT "free" upfront GE Simon XT system, but after reading here and around the Internet, i'm pretty sure i can do it myself for the same all-in cost in the first 2-3 years and have a lot more flexibility going forward if I want to make changes/additions.

I'm trying to make a final decision between going with Ademco Vista 20P or GE Simon XT. (I ruled out Concorde 4 because I need wireless keypads, I didn't look in depth that much at other systems). I'll lay out my situation below and would love some commentary from any and all.

I have Cablevision broadband TV / internet / telephone service but I will probably switch to Verizon FIOS TV / Internet / phone in the next year. So I don't have a POTs line and I'm not very happy with cell coverage, so i've decided to go with NextAlarm broadband adapter (maybe AlarmRelay instead) unless anyone else has good suggestion for broadband internet alarm monitoring. I may in future add cell phone backup when i have some more budget.

I recently moved into a 50-year old 2,600 sq. ft. 1.5 floors house with a mostly unfinished basement with attached garage entrance. Cable modem is on top floor small home office. Telephone and power come in at the garage from underground wires (whole neighborhood is underground wiring phone/power/cable) I'm guessing its not a good idea to have main alarm panel in garage so i'm deciding between upstairs in my small home office (probably better wireless reception) in a closet or near mechanicals in back of basement. Wiring would be very difficult and time consuming from either of these locations so i'm pretty much going all wireless at this point.

My basic game plan is to have contacts on all the windows in and near the 3 bedrooms (all on the same side of house on main floor) and cover the basement and rest of main floor with motion detectors and glass breaks.
So I will have 25 all wireless zones: 10 windows, 4 doors, 2 garage doors, 2 glass breaks, 4 motion detectors, and 3 smoke detectors. I will have 2 wireless keypads (1 on main floor between front door and back door, and 1 at basement garage entrance, 4th door is rarely used so doesn't need 1). I will also have 2 key fobs: for my wife and for me although i'm not sure I need 1 for me, so i could drop that for budget if necessary or if # of zones becomes a problem. My upfront budget was $1,500-$2,000.

Overtime I think I will probably be adding another 10 or so zones but I think its unlikely I will go over 40 available on Simon XT, but its nice to have the future optionality for more on the 20-p. (do the key fobs each take up 4 zones???)

So my 2 possible setups:

Ademco system (about $1,850)
1 Vista 20-p
1 Wireless siren 5800WAVE
1 6160RF wireless keypad
1 5827 wireless keypad
1 5881ENH wireless receiver
2 5804 key fobs
25 wireless sensors/zones listed above

GE system (about $1,625)
1 Simon XT AIO panel
1 13-950 Hardwire exterior siren (I didn't see a wireless siren)
2 60-924-3XT Wireless bidirectional keypads
2 NX-470 key fobs
25 wireless sensors/zones listed above

And for both systems I have to buy the NextAlarm Broadband adapter with wireless bridge - $175 (includes 3 free months of monitoring worth $45)

I'm pretty sure either one will do the job for now. Vista 20-p seems more flexible if I want to add some more cost effective hardwired zones or expander panel in the future if we decide every window in the house must have sensor. Simon XT is a little bit cheaper upfront and probably will be easier to setup (time is money so that does matter - i have lots of other projects to finish on the house) and i could get the XT adapter in the future and do some of those cool automated lights, etc stuff. I'm decently technically savvy, but this is my first time setting up alarm and I'm guessing that's going to take me longer than I want to correctly program/setup the Vista 20-p, but in the end i'm sure i can figure it out.

So what am i missing, where am I going wrong and any recommendations which would be better for me and why? Particularly, is it worth the extra bit of money and set-up time to go with the Vista 20-p? Did I totally miss some other system that is better for my set-up than these 2?

Thanks again!
-lex
 
  #2  
Old 12-05-09, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by lexh7 View Post
Hi there, happy holidays and THANKS!!! ahead of time!,

do the key fobs each take up 4 zones???

So my 2 possible setups:

Ademco system (about $1,850)
1 Vista 20-p
1 Wireless siren 5800WAVE
1 6160RF wireless keypad
1 5827 wireless keypad
1 5881ENH wireless receiver
2 5804 key fobs
25 wireless sensors/zones listed above
do the key fobs each take up 4 zones??? yes

this setup:

Ademco system (about $1,850)
1 Vista 20-p
1 Wireless siren 5800WAVE
1 6160RF wireless keypad this is not a wireless key pad it is a 2 way rf receiver and transceiver you need to run a 4 wire for it and cant use it with the 5881ENH wireless receiver

1 5827 wireless keypad
1 5881ENH wireless receiver
2 5804 key fobs
25 wireless sensors/zones listed above

think about using a gsm 7845 gsm unit will help at about $16 a month look at this web site not bad prices http://www.watchdogsuperstore.com/ and if you live on li ny pm me for any help good luck
 
  #3  
Old 12-05-09, 10:33 PM
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use 5839 instead of 6160RF as my alpha?

Pro1 Tech, thanks for the correction!

so then if i replace the 6160RF with a 5839 Wireless Bi-Directional Alpha Keypad and get the 5883H Wireless Transceiver, can I use that as my main keypad to program the system?

the 5881ENH wireless receiver is to connect directly to Vista 20-p panel right so it can receive commands/reports wirelessly?

which reminds me of another question, do I need to buy a seperate auto-dialer for the remote monitoring hookup for either system or is that feature embedded in the Vista 20-p and Simon XT?

thanks again

ps. I'm in Westchester County, not LI


"
1 6160RF wireless keypad this is not a wireless key pad it is a 2 way rf receiver and transceiver you need to run a 4 wire for it and cant use it with the 5881ENH wireless receiver

1 5827 wireless keypad
1 5881ENH wireless receiver
2 5804 key fobs
25 wireless sensors/zones listed above

think about using a gsm 7845 gsm unit will help at about $16 a month look at this web site not bad prices http://www.watchdogsuperstore.com/ and if you live on li ny pm me for any help good luck[/QUOTE]
"
 
  #4  
Old 12-06-09, 11:30 AM
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Personally, I don't much care for all-in-one units like the XT. They are ok for a condo or a rental, but are not the best choice for a permanent residential install.

No, you cannot program using a 5800 series wireless keypad.

Wireless keypads are only good for secondary keypads.

You must have a 6160 (2-line alpha) keypad to do the programming for your system. I would advise going to the work to get that wired keypad located as close to center mass of the house as possible. I know it's a hassle, but you will get better results. Then you can put your wireless auxillary keypads where you want them.

If you want wireless capability, go with the 6160RF. While individually more expensive, it's still cheaper than the cost of the alpha keypad and a seperate receiver.
 
  #5  
Old 12-06-09, 12:22 PM
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6160rf

Now I'm confused.

A 6160RF is an alpha keypad that can program the Vista 20-p, but it can't do it wirelessly? It has to be wired into the Vista 20-p in order to be the keyboard used to program the system?

Is there a different receiver than the 5881ENH that connects to the 20-p that enables the 6160RF to be used wirelessly as the alpha?

If the answer is no, and the 6160RF has to be wired to Vista 20-p then what's the point of the RF? does it remove the need for the 5881ENH connected to the Vista 20-p for other wireless devices or what?

Is there any truly wireless alpha keybad that can program the system without a wired connection?

thanks and sorry being slow
-alex
 
  #6  
Old 12-06-09, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by lexh7 View Post
Pro1 Tech, thanks for the correction!

so then if i replace the 6160RF with a 5839 Wireless Bi-Directional Alpha Keypad and get the 5883H Wireless Transceiver, can I use that as my main keypad to program the system?

the 5881ENH wireless receiver is to connect directly to Vista 20-p panel right so it can receive commands/reports wirelessly?

which reminds me of another question, do I need to buy a seperate auto-dialer for the remote monitoring hookup for either system or is that feature embedded in the Vista 20-p and Simon XT?

thanks again

ps. I'm in Westchester County, not LI


"
1 6160RF wireless keypad this is not a wireless key pad it is a 2 way rf receiver and transceiver you need to run a 4 wire for it and cant use it with the 5881ENH wireless receiver

1 5827 wireless keypad
1 5881ENH wireless receiver
2 5804 key fobs
25 wireless sensors/zones listed above

think about using a gsm 7845 gsm unit will help at about $16 a month look at this web site not bad prices http://www.watchdogsuperstore.com/ and if you live on li ny pm me for any help good luck
"[/QUOTE]

pm me i can help you if you want
 
  #7  
Old 12-07-09, 05:38 AM
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The 6160RF is a 6160 keypad with a built in 5881H wireless receiver, and a 5800TM Transmitter Module.

It must be connected via the keypad bus, and in any case, you have to have at least 1 hardwired keypad no matter what.
 
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Old 12-07-09, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by MrRonFL View Post
The 6160RF is a 6160 keypad with a built in 5881H wireless receiver, and a 5800TM Transmitter Module.

It must be connected via the keypad bus, and in any case, you have to have at least 1 hardwired keypad no matter what.
Thanks MrRonFl!!!
Now I think I get it. So I have to wire some version of the 6160 to the control panel. Further, if I do the 6160RF then I don't need to buy the 5881ENH for the control panel as the Control Panel effectively uses the 6160 to send/get wireless commands/reports.

So then question in terms of placement. I can either
1) stick the 6160RF right next to the control panel and buy 2 wireless keybads for my entrances, or
2) place my 6160RF where I wanted one of the keypads and wire it all the way back to the control panel (not impossible just new for me) and then only have to buy 1 other wireless keypad.

So it looks like an extra 5828 costs around $100 with battery pack. And 50ft of wire and miscelanious supplies about $20. Other than cost and effort, any important considerations of doing 1 vs 2? Any reason to not have 6160RF conveniently located in the middle of the house (near entrances), away from the control panel? For someone who hasn't run wire in a house before, how daunting is doing it the first time (to save $80).

thanks again
 
  #9  
Old 12-07-09, 04:37 PM
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XT lacks what?

Originally Posted by MrRonFL View Post
Personally, I don't much care for all-in-one units like the XT. They are ok for a condo or a rental, but are not the best choice for a permanent residential install.
So I definitely get the feeling here that the "professional" DIYers prefer the non AIO units virtually all the time, but other than
1) being able to place the brains in a remote safe location, and
2) expandability for future zones

what capabilities do Simon XT (or Ademco LYNX) system lack?
And Is Simon XT the best of the wireless AIO units for 2,000-3,000 sq ft residences or should I be looking at LYNX o some other brand/series?

thanks
-alex
 
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Old 12-07-09, 04:55 PM
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Vista 20-p vs Concord 4

I guess the other thing I was thinking about was GE Concord 4 system. I had kind of ruled that out because it has no wireless keypad functionality but since i'm going to have to wire at least 1 keypad anyway for the Vista 20-p, then I want to reconsider.

Other than initial zones available and the wireless keypad issue, are there any capabilities one lacks vs the other? It sounds from other posts, they are both generally very capable units. Just curious if any of you think one lacks a certain feature(s) that is particularly important.

I guess I was thinking I could go now with a Simon XT system, get up and running quick and a bit cheaper, and then anytime in the future If I need to expand past 40 or don't feel safe enough with placement of AIO unit, then I can buy the Concord 4 brain and keypads. I understand that I could reuse all the Simon XT sensors (doors, windows, motion, glass breaks and smoke detectors) for Concord 4.

I think this is pretty much my last question unless I'm wrong on my last 2 posts.

thanks again
-alex
 

Last edited by lexh7; 12-07-09 at 05:02 PM. Reason: correct mispelling
  #11  
Old 12-07-09, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by lexh7 View Post
I guess the other thing I was thinking about was GE Concord 4 system. I had kind of ruled that out because it has no wireless keypad functionality but since i'm going to have to wire at least 1 keypad anyway for the Vista 20-p, then I want to reconsider.

Other than initial zones available and the wireless keypad issue, are there any capabilities one lacks vs the other? It sounds from other posts, they are both generally very capable units. Just curious if any of you think one lacks a certain feature(s) that is particularly important.

I guess I was thinking I could go now with a Simon XT system, get up and running quick and a bit cheaper, and then anytime in the future If I need to expand past 40 or don't feel safe enough with placement of AIO unit, then I can buy the Concord 4 brain and keypads. I understand that I could reuse all the Simon XT sensors (doors, windows, motion, glass breaks and smoke detectors) for Concord 4.

I think this is pretty much my last question unless I'm wrong on my last 2 posts.

thanks again
-alex
FYI..there is a wireless touchpad available for Concord 4...Hi-Tech Handheld. There's also a phone module available that turns your telephone into a keypad (think cordless phone).
 
  #12  
Old 12-08-09, 12:16 PM
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All in one units generally lack the capacity for strong external sounders without using wireless or something like X10.

Most models that do support some form of wireless keypad: such keypads typically have limited function, and generally have a lag time in their operation.

The wireless reception range on most AIO units will be less than that of a comparable hardwire system with a wireless receiver.

And then there's the issue of the control being a single box that can be damaged.

There are workarounds for many of these issues, but most of them are either more expensive than the equivalent hardwire solution, and/or about as labor intensive as installing a traditional system in the first place.
 
 

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