Equipment Advice For Old System Conversion

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Old 03-09-13, 05:03 PM
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Equipment Advice For Old System Conversion

Hi, I have an old FBII XL4600DL in my house that's been unhooked ever since I owned the home. Our home was burgled on Monday so I'm now re-actively trying to get an alarm setup. I called the company who originally installed the first system & they said it would not be cost effective to use anything from it. Rather, they wanted to put in an entirely new Honeywell Lynx 5100 system for $850 with a $38/mo 3yr contract (basic monitoring over GSM). Long story short, I feel that if I'm going to use just full blown wireless equipment that takes someone an hour to install which only requires a single power drop, I can just do it myself so I decided to not go with them.

Fast forward a few days of looking at my options & I think I want to setup a hybrid system since I have a lot of wired contacts already. I'm very leery of a full blown wireless system where the siren, system & keypad are all together & can be defeated by someone breaking the panel. I know there are ways to mitigate this but since I already have the wired infrastructure in place, why not use it? I'm not afraid to run wires & spend time figuring things out & I'm trying to spend < $1200 for the install, so long as it's not completely wireless. I think I know what to get, but wanted to run it by you guys first & have several questions:

[LIST][*]I do not have POTS but instead a totally free VoIP solution. Because of this, I wanted to skip the phone connection & think I should go with a Vista 21IP. I want to use basic monitoring service (something around < $15/month with nothing over a 1yr contract) but am reading that the 21IP requires honeywell's proprietary alarmnet service to function. Is this true? Are there any monitoring companies in the VoIP>GSM & the ability to arm/disarm & monitor the system via a smartphone without totalconnect where the siren & panel are independent of the system itself. Any other suggestions? Is there a better way to do what I want to accomplish?[/FONT][/COLOR]

Thanks for taking the time to help,
 
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Old 03-09-13, 05:51 PM
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Welcome to the forum !

Ahhh....an old FBI system...... that's about my era.
You sound like you've done your homework and know exactly what you want.

As we are nearing the end of the copper phone lines as we know them.....it's good to go towards I.P. monitoring. I service and install commercial fire and burg systems so I don't follow the newer consumer alarm equipment that much.
Mr. Ron will stop by and help you out there.

But....I'm not totally thrilled with IP monitoring. Especially if your network is at the mercy of a cable company. Our installs are primarily IP monitored with an Intellinet back up wireless radio link. It would be similar to GSM but is on a private network.

I highly recommend you use the IP monitoring with the GSM monitoring. I don't know the exact cost but I'm sure it's over 15.00
 
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Old 03-09-13, 06:41 PM
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Actually, I'm primarily a commercial fire and security guy myself, but I make a habit of keeping up with the tech, in general.

In any case: Go with a 6160RF keypad. It takes care of the (bidirectional) wireless component, _and_ the programming keypad you have to have.

IP monitoring does work well, but expect periodic troubles from the cable internet provider taking their system down for maintainence. (Don't get me started on cable derived "phone lines"...). These are usually transitory, but do happen at odd hours of the very early AM.
 
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Old 03-09-13, 07:22 PM
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Thanks guys. My internet is surprisingly solid. It's Uverse & I have never actually noticed it not working in the 3+ years I've had it, which is much better than any previous services I've ever had, so I would feel comfortable using it as the only connection for monitoring. When there is an outage though (planned or otherwise), what exactly happens? Will the system just be unable to send anything to the monitoring service in the event of an alarm trip or will I get a phone call because they lost some sort of constant connection/heartbeat with my system? I think I can live with the small risk as long as I don't get monthly phone calls at 2AM from the monitoring company when my internet is out. Any places to point me to towards for monitoring? I'm not certain, but I think safemart uses alarmnet so they'll probably be the first place I check.

Mr. Ron, can you educate me on how the 6160RF works? I read a little about it yesterday & I think it gets hardwired right to the system & then becomes the wireless transmitter/receiver. Is that accurate? After looking at costs, it seems like the 6160RF is $200 vs the 6160 ($89) + the 5881ENH transmitter ($98) so it's pretty close but I would lose the voice functions of the 6160V. Any specific advantages to going with the transmitter in the keypad vs having it attached to the system itself other than the fact that the keypad is bi-directional & the 5881ENH can only receive? Do I even need bi-directional wireless if all I'm using wirelessly are glass break & contact sensors, maybe a smoke detector & keyfobs? I priced everything out & am at about $1400 so I'm trying to compromise on a few components to get the costs a little lower but don't want do it at the expense of security or the ability to use the keyfobs.

Also, any idea on whether or not I'll be able to use my existing wired contact+motion sensors, provided they are still functional? That might save me some money too if I can.

Thanks again,
 
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Old 03-09-13, 07:30 PM
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The monitoring company will not notify you if your internet hiccups. However..... based on how long you are not connected your alarm panel will start displaying a communications trouble. That could happen at 2AM complete with the associated trouble tones.
 
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Old 03-09-13, 10:49 PM
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You've thought this out quite well, many just want something to make them 'feel' safer [and allow them to get the insurance discount] only understanding the minimum to work the system.

Firstly, thanks for the tip on the EnvisaLink 3 module -- I had not heard of it and it sounds like a good alternative to TotalConnect which, I too, refuse to pay monthly.

Couple of items in no particular order:

The VOIP will most likely go down with a power outage unless you have backup power.

The 5881 is a receiver, not a transmitter. Doesn't sound like you will even need a bi-directional so the 6160 and 5881 should suffice.

I would like to recommend putting the 6160V in the bedroom (rather than in the other part of the house) just for the fact that if the alarm does go off at 2AM [when you are groggy] you have a voice telling you where the break is -- rather than having to get up and look at a keypad -- Seconds count. If the two of you go to bed and rise at different times, you can minimize the keypad beeping through programming.

Don't take the look-down mask off of the motion. My 15lb dog set off my 100lb pet-immune motion when I did so.

Not only is it possible to reuse the wired contacts, it is mostly recommended [as long as they are in satisfactory shape and the wires are good [i.e. make sure that they are not chewed on by mice/rats, not pinched, frayed, rotted, etc.] If the plastic contacts are brittle, replace them.

Bugs inside/on motions can set them off. So, in a garage you will want to keep them clean.

If you don't set up the timer test, your panel will only call in to monitoring when it needs to [for troubles on the system].

You might want to consider an exterior siren/light to direct any neighbors to pay attention.

Good luck with the install.
 

Last edited by tpring; 03-09-13 at 11:17 PM.
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Old 03-10-13, 09:51 AM
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Thanks, I never thought to put the voice keypad in the bedroom but it makes a lot of sense. Would it be stupid to not have a keypad at the front door & instead just have a single 6160V in the bedroom since we'll be using keyfobs on nearly all occasions to arm/disarm the system? It would save me about $100 and get me closer to that $1200 goal. I could put it in the hallway right outside of the bedroom but I think it would be safer keeping it in the bedroom itself?

What does the look-down mask do on the motion sensor? I also never thought about a spider walking over the detector in the garage. There are a lot of bugs out there so it might be wise to not use the motion sensor out there now that you mentioned that. It currently has a large contact sensor on the overhead garage door but I can't imagine how to use this. It's a detached garage so we would either arm the system when we walk out the door or use the keyfob after driving away & never really know if the system was armed. We would almost need a keypad in the garage to arm it as we got in the car with a longer delay. Is there something I'm missing with how overhead garage doors are usually setup?

I like the idea of a siren for the outside too. I think I might try to wire one in the attic vent pointing outwards so the elements don't wear it down but still be able o get sound outside.
 
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Old 03-10-13, 10:24 AM
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Most people don't protect their garage especially if they have an automatic garage door opener.
The protected zone starts at the door between the garage and the house.
If you want to protect your garage door they offer heavy duty type magnetic switches. One type of several available shown below.

The look down mask on a motion sensor keeps it from sensing directly below the unit where the sensitivity is pretty strong. (for lack of a better word)
This would keep animals that walkled directly under the motion sensor from setting it off.

The Envisa Link 3 module looks pretty interesting.
 
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Old 03-10-13, 11:02 AM
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A lot of times people have contacts put on overhead doors so that they have an indication of the door being open or closed without having to hike over to look (most useful with garages that are turned so that the door(s) can't be seen from a window, or multi-story homes). Depending on the alarm system, you can set such contacts to either be non-alarm contacts, "force arm" that will allow arming with the door open, or similar variations.
 
 

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