Add on to Vista 20P or a whole new system?


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Old 02-08-21, 03:07 PM
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Add on to Vista 20P or a whole new system?

Over 10 years ago, I installed a Vista 20P panel in my house and connected 3 wired and 1 wireless sensor to the exterior doors just to get the system up and running. I have an interior and exterior siren and an Eyezon module to monitor it. Here we are 10 years later and I have not done anything to it I think I even inquired about this a few years ago but still put it off. I have a friend that recently gotten broken into (he has a monitored system and motion and glass break sensors everywhere) and someone still broke in and quickly took a few things but it got me thinking that I should make my system more thorough. Obviously, I should get some motion sensors. Do you get false alarms with them at all? We don't have a dog at the moment but plan to get one in the next year or so. Should sensors be put on all of the windows as well, or do people usually just break them? I don't really want to tear up any walls or anything but since I have one wireless door sensor, I guess wireless would be the way to go. Anything else? I should probably get this monitored as well. If adding on to the Vista 20P is the best solution then great, but if you see a better way that involves a new system, I may be open to that as well. I have included a diagram of my floor plan in case someone wants to suggest where to put sensors or anything.

On the main floor, I have a senor on the front door and those two sliders which go out to a deck. The windows in the two bedrooms and living room at the top of the diagram are at a second story level so they don't need anything but they other 9 windows are at grade level, as are the 4 in the basement. The basement has a wireless door sensor on that door that goes out to the patio. I appreciate any suggestions.



 
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Old 02-15-21, 10:52 AM
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Anyone have any recommendations?
 
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Old 02-15-21, 01:09 PM
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Difficult to give specific recommendation without actually being there and seeing what you are dealing with. However, the Vista 20P should be fine with some add-ons. Wireless is definitely the way to go and there are several hidden/recessed sensors available for windows and doors. All doors should have a sensor as that is where 90+% of all break-ins occur. Windows can be handled with individual sensors or grouped with a motion sensor. I'm not a fan of motion sensors except as a last resort, but that's just me!

What wireless receiver do you have?
 
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Old 02-15-21, 04:02 PM
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I have the 6150 RF keypad as the wireless receiver.

All 4 doors have sensors on them but that is it. Would you suggest putting a wireless sensor on each window that opens? They are all vinyl sliders so I can't do recessed. In addition, would a glass break sensor be better than a motion sensor then, and would that also work when we get a dog where a motion may not?
 
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Old 02-16-21, 09:45 AM
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I haven't looked into glass break detectors for over 10 years but when I did, I wasn't impressed (they were next to impossible to test). You are a little limited on the number of wireless sensors with the 6150RF (I believe 16). A 6160RF will let you go up to the maximum of the Vista 20P (I believe 40). Honeywell has some pretty small recessed wireless sensors in the 5800 series (the micra), but if the issue is the window warranty then you may need surface sensors (the micro). They also make "dog proof" motion sensors (they limit sensing below about 3-4 feet) but I don't know how effective they are.
 
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Old 02-17-21, 02:16 PM
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I don't know anything about glass break sensors either, just trying to figure out the best way to protect everything. I was wondering about testing them and if they would get false alarms from other sounds. The window sensors sound good, but what protects you if someone just breaks a window and doesn't open anything? Just curious why you don't recommend motion sensors. As far as the capacity of the wireless receiver, is it 16 total or 16 zones where some can share zones? I actually only have 14 additional wireless window sensors I would need for the windows including the door I have so that might work. I guess I would worry about drilling into vinyl (at least the window part) but the frame would probably ok. I imagine you have to recess a magnet into the window though and I don't know how that would work.
 
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Old 02-17-21, 02:59 PM
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I would put contacts on any ground floor windows that are both large enough to be access points and easy to access from ground level. For situations where there are multiple windows mullioned together, the standard 5816 transmitter can be used to support wired contacts.

Modern glass beaks are very resistant to false trips from ambient noise. and wouldn't be a bad solution for the large glass doors.

Motions tend to be the source for a lot of false trips. They have their place, but takes a little consideration as to placement, and how you normally use the space.
 
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Old 02-17-21, 04:35 PM
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Thanks Ron,

I can't really use the 5816 unless I have some curtains or valences to hide it but that is a good idea. So for my windows, would I want something like the 5800 mini, or 5820 or 5815? In some places I only have about 1/2" of vinyl frame to attach it to plus my blinds are very close to some of the windows so may hit the sensors so the slimmest would be the best. The other thing I just noticed is the 5800 micra. Reading the description, it says it is ok for vinyl windows as it looks like you just drill a hole in the frame for the receiver and stick the magnet on the slider so you are not drilling into it. Am I looking at the correctly and would that work for vinyl?

I think that is definitely a good start to get all of the doors and windows protected. Are motion sensors mostly used if someone doesn't have all of their windows protected, or just as a last resort if someone gets by the other sensors? I should probably skip those then if you don't see too much use for them and if they are hard to adjust or are susceptible to false alarms.

As far as glass break sensors, do those typically go on each window or like one per room?
 
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Old 02-17-21, 05:24 PM
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Glassbreaks are acoustic devices. One can cover about 20 feet of glass.
 
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Old 02-17-21, 07:26 PM
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That would be perfect then because the one room with all the glass doors and floor to ceiling windows is about 25' x 16' so one should cover all that. Do you recommend one? And do you know anything about that recessed sensor I mentioned for the vinyl windows? Thanks again.
 
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Old 02-18-21, 02:26 AM
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Looking at the specs for the 5853, it should cover that area: https://www.security.honeywell.com/p...epository/5853

The 5800micra work quite well. My general caution is that some vinyl window stipulate that putting holes in the frame voids any warranty. Check the specs for your windows, especially if they are newish.

https://www.security.honeywellhome.c...tory/5800micra
 
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Old 02-18-21, 12:08 PM
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Great, thank you. I don't see anything in the warranty about this voiding it but I just emailed the company to make sure. Regarding that glass break sensor, do I need to buy a tester to set it up, or can it just be installed it as is? If you look at that family room diagram I posted, would it be best to place it on the left wall so it would cover all 5 of those windows and the slider?

The rest of the windows in the house are vinyl sliders so do you think it would even be necessary to install other break sensors, or would an intruder be more likely to break a window and then try to open it?
 
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Old 02-18-21, 03:22 PM
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The typical behavior is to break the window just enough to get at the lock, then open it for access, so it's a fair chance that it wouldn't even trigger an acoustic device.

It's a lot _easier_ to test an acoustic glass break with the tester made for the job, but in a pinch, I've used a soft drink can with a few dimes tossed in as a metallic rattle to trip them. It take a little practice, and it's only going to work at fairly close range (< 3 feet, or so) but it's enough for a quick test.
 
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Old 02-18-21, 04:06 PM
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Is that required to set them up though, or just to test if they are working? Or do they need to be adjusted so they don't set off false alarms or anything?
 
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Old 02-18-21, 04:53 PM
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Nope, the built in software is pretty smart. The test is mostly to verify your alarm configuration.
 
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Old 02-19-21, 09:27 AM
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Ok sounds great. I think I will start with the window sensors and get one glass break for that family room.

Before I do this though, I wanted to check one more thing. This is going to cost over $500 to get all of these sensors so before I pull the trigger, I want to make sure this is the best way to go. I know the Vista 20P has been around a long time so before I invest more into it, is this still a pretty good system or is it becoming obsolete? Would I be better served looking into a newer system since just about everything is going to be wireless that I have, or do you think this will this be good and supported for many years to come? I do have one internal and one exterior siren along with 3 wired door contacts, but everything will be wireless that I add on. I also think I should get this monitored and will probably add some cameras in the future. I do have the Eyezon so at least I can control it with my phone. But anyways, I just thought I'd check to see if there may be a better way to go for what I plan in the future before I invest more into this, or if you think this system will be fine. I do like to do things myself and would never pay $30 or $40 a month for something like what ADT charges, but I wouldn't be opposed to something like Xfinity since I have all of their other stuff, they tend to give pretty big discounts for bundles (since I want to get it monitored anyways) if it ends up being more economical than something I can do myself. Thank you again for all of your help.
 
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Old 02-19-21, 03:33 PM
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The Vista 20P has been around this long because it is such a good system You can find different systems but I don't think you're going to find a significantly better one. The only thing you might want to update is the system PROM - to v10.23 - (about $30) to get the latest internet and cellular connectivity.
 
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Old 02-19-21, 03:45 PM
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Ok, that is good to hear. It sounds like a simple upgrade to just add these wireless sensors anyways. I don't know anything about the PROM and I currently have no cellular connectivity. The only way I can access it remotely is by the eyezon. What can updating the PROM do, and what is a good way to get this system monitored?
 
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Old 02-20-21, 06:28 AM
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The PROM pretty much only adds Total Connect 2 compatibility. If you don't need that then your existing 10 year old PROM will be fine. A professional, paid monitoring service requires either a landline or cellular connectivity, VOIP is iffy. Self monitoring can be done with a cellular connection or an internet setup but I'm not all that knowledgeable on monitoring so I'll defer to the experts on here
 
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Old 02-23-21, 11:59 AM
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Good news. I checked with the window manufacturer and they said they are fine as long as they don't do anything to the glass which they don't. I was measuring my windows to see the clearance when closed and it looks like the window does not butt up tight to the frame when closed and there is about 1/2 inch or so gap in there. Do you know how close the magnet will have to be to the receiver when closed?
 
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Old 02-23-21, 02:45 PM
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Within about 3/8" +/-
If you go with the hardwired contact route, several models are good for up to 1" gap.
 
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Old 02-23-21, 03:17 PM
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That may not work then. However, after looking at the sensors more, the 5800 MINI says it is only 1/4" so that actually may work on all of my windows. That appears to be the smallest sensor, unless you know of a smaller one. Are all of those 5800 sensors going to be the same with the difference just being the size, or what? Let me know if this is a good choice for vinyl windows with not much space or if you have a better idea. I really appreciate all your help.
 
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Old 02-23-21, 04:15 PM
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That's as small as they get. You can only get the battery plus electronics down to so small, and still be a functional transmitter. They all use the same frequency and communication protocol, and there are a few varying features. You should be able to look at the specs from the same page with the link for the 5800 micra.
 
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Old 02-23-21, 06:59 PM
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I think those will work and are the smallest. I will get a few to start with and try them out. What are your suggestions to monitor this? I do have a phone jack nearby when I first installed the panel, but I just have Xfinity voice which is not a true landline. I also have the eyzeon. Are either of those good options?
 
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Old 02-24-21, 08:27 AM
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And one more thing on the 5800 MINI: Is it ok to mount the contact on the frame and the sensor on the sliding window instead of the other way around? I only have about 1/2" of frame exposed all the way around but the window slider is over an inch wide so things would fit better that way, but if that doesn't work I suppose it could overhang.
 
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Old 02-24-21, 08:36 AM
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They usually recommend putting the transmitter on the stationary part of the window/door frame (I guess for shock/vibration reasons) but if you don't go slamming the windows back and forth continuously, you should be OK!
 
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Old 02-24-21, 09:19 AM
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I don't even open the windows. I should have just got non opening ones when I replaced them! lol
 
 

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