Advice on vacation home system

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Old 09-08-15, 03:43 PM
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Advice on vacation home system

Hi, Thanks for looking at my question

I currently have a vacation home out in the boonies. I am looking to install a DIY security system to monitor the doors, windows, etc for when we are there but I am not interested in watching the place when I am not there. This is because there is not really anything of value and I like to shut off the power when I leave. This is mostly to allow the wife to feel more comfortable that no one will climb through the windows or get into the basement when we are there at night. Two 80lb dogs doesn't convince her that all is well either.

So because there will be no power when I am not there I do not think I want an alarm panel which requires a battery as it will be cycling up and down as we are there and then leave. Does that make sense?

I looked at the install manuals for the Vista series of panels, 20se and 20p, and the 20se calls that battery a backup but the 20p does not make that distinction. However a brief google search leads me to believe that the 20se is a discontinued product for which you can no longer buy new.

I'd rather stay with the Vista series because I have a friend who DIY installed one several years ago and would help me if I required it but I could go with a DSC brand if I had to.

So like I said I shut off the power to the house when I leave and would prefer to not have the system drawing battery power while I'm gone.

Another question which just came to mind is if there is no power to the system, either electric or battery, will the control board remember all of the programming when I restore power or am I going to have issues with that. We are there for 1 week each month so I'd hate to have to reprogram 12 times a year.

I know that if I'm only gone a month and the unit is in Off mode its not really using that much juice so the battery wouldn't go down all that much but I also don't heat it in the winter, with lows just below 0 for weeks at a time, so I have learned from the various remote controls that batteries don't hold up very well over the winter and a AA is a lot cheaper to replace then the alarm panel battery looks to be.

Thoughts.

Thanks Nike

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Old 09-08-15, 05:47 PM
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Your alarm remember all settings even when completely powered down. The clock is pretty much the only thing which would need resetting on power up.

The battery will be fine in the cold. It may need some recharge time when powered up again.
 
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Old 09-09-15, 04:41 AM
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Bob, Thanks for the reply.

However this doesn't really answer my question on the battery but maybe I didn't make the question clear among all of my comments

In a Vista 20p system is the battery optional and the system will run just fine without a battery installed? Or is there another system I should look at that does not require a battery to function?

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Old 09-09-15, 06:41 AM
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The VISTA-20P will need a battery connected or else you'll have a contact low battery trouble on the keypad.

Of course, you can always disconnect the battery and the transformer before you leave so that the system is fully powered down. It will remember the programming for next time you get on site to power it back up.
 
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Old 09-09-15, 10:11 AM
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Sterling, Thanks. Just the info about the V20p that I was looking for.

Any recommendations on a system which doesn't require a battery to operate.

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Old 09-09-15, 11:29 AM
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No, unfortunately I haven't seen any like that. All professional systems will require a backup battery to ensure they are UL compliant.
 
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Old 09-09-15, 01:16 PM
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Let me see if I understand. As I read the initial post you want a system that will alarm if any of the windows or outside doors are opened when you are home. You do not want any monitoring or notification of alarm when you are not actually INSIDE the home. Is this correct?

If that IS correct then you do NOT need a true alarm panel, only the door and window switches, a relay, a source of power, a sounder and an on/off switch. VERY simple system. You would need to install wiring from the door and window switches to the relay, source of power and the noisemaker. The on/off switch could be either an ordinary switch or a keypad combination switch.
 
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Old 09-10-15, 05:01 AM
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Furd,

Thanks for the reply. You are correct with my desires on the alarm for our vacation home. We want to arm the alarm in the evenings when we are sleeping but turn it off when we leave to go back to our home at the end of the week. Strange I know but the wife wants a little more protection then the dogs provide at night because we do not have a/c so from spring through fall the windows are open and its too easy to just slit the screen and just climb into the house. Every little noise makes her jumpy. Which then impacts the dogs and finally impacts my sleeping. I've offered to increase the number of dogs we bring with us from the 2 we normally bring with us as we have 6 in total which we use on the farm but thats a battle I didn't win.

I had actually thought of what you proposed. A siren, a timer module to control the length of time the siren sounds, and some type of sensor like a breakbeam running in areas inside of the house. Then power everything with those 12vdc 1a wallwarts which are so cheap on ebay.

But in 3 years I'm going to be turning over the farm to my son and retiring to the vacation house and at which time I would want a real alarm system for what is its normal use. Thus I was hoping to find an alarm control panel where the battery was truly just for backup purposes. Thus I could set up the system now without it and then add the battery when we're there full time. I'm against the battery at this point because I have had 2 of them crack and leak from freezing over winter. Remotes are cheap to replace you I forget to pull them when I leave but cleaning up the battery case on my tractor wasn't fun. Thus I'm trying to not add another winter shut down task and skip using/needing a battery in the alarm for a couple of years. I didn't think it was going to be so hard. Not after I read the manual on the V20se where the battery is called a backup battery in the install manual thus making it appear to be optional.

Nike
 
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Old 09-10-15, 05:41 AM
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You can 'fake' a battery. The alarm panel is looking for and active 12vdc supply on the battery input. It does not however recognize exactly what that 12vdc is coming from. In other words any clean, smooth 12vdc plug in power pack should be just fine. There is no reason why a 12vdc power supply from a laptop wouldn't work.

On the other hand a battery is only like $25 or so and they are easy to connect/disconnect.

I live in Manitoba. We get to -40 quite regularly in the Winter. I can't say I have ever seen a battery freeze up and crack
 
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