Ademco/Vista 20P Interface

OK - So I am new to the Smartthings Community. I am wanting an interface to my Security system so that I can access the state of all of the various sensors built into it and also report on the state of the Alarm and use it as a trigger. I originally was looking at trying to do something with the AD2USB device - and decided against it for various reasons.

Now I am looking at building a device using a Arduino micro controller with the ZIGBEE interface card. I am looking at two approaches:

  1. Connect each security zone to an input in the arduino and rebuild alarm logic in the controller

  2. Access the data ports on pins 6 and 7 on the control panel and read the serial data.

I am thinking that option 2 will give me more rich data to be able to pass to smart things, as well as possibly enabling Smart things to arm and disarm the system, etc. Does anyone have any experience with this approach? It seems as if decoding/encoding the keys protocol on the alarm. I have found some specs on hacking this, but it may be overly challenging. Has anyone tried the same approach.

Specifically does anyone have any experience with parsing the data from the vista in this way?

I am also looking at a similar project with my Rain Bird irrigation system.

Whats the specs on your alarm system? Make/model?
I dont have any personal experience with this, but if it has a serial bus that should be a good jumping off point, as long as nothing is encrypted or proprietary.

Its an Ademco Vista 20P.

It does not have a serial interface, it just has the keybus interface.

@Robert_Rhea I’ve written on a couple of forums (you can look at my profile). I’ve done this already using a bus card through an ardiuno card. I’m on travel this week and I’m going to do my best to try and create project with better instructions.

Awesome! Looking forward to it! I’ll take a loo thanks.

Long time coming. It’s not near 100% on all the info but here’s a start.

Hey @craig, @Robert_Rhea
I’m working on exactly the same project. Thus far I’ve done the following (incredibly simple):

  1. Hooked up an XBee XB24-ZB module in endpoint mode into the Ademco/VISTA 20p security panel with the RX/TX from the panel to the TX/RX of the XBee, respectively.
  2. Used another XBee XB24-ZB module in coordinator mode to read in the rx/tx data coming from the panel.

Here is where I’m stuck. I have no clue how to decode the data signal coming from the panel. I’ve been scouring the internet for some time looking for a spec, but can’t seem to find one. If you guys can help me find it, I’d be happy to open source whatever code I write to implement it for SmartThings.

Keybus is a proprietary protocol thats a modified RS485 protocol (its basically RS485 with clock signals). My solution was to drop an optocoupler into the circuit before adding my serial interface. Its slow data, 4800 bps (N81). The data is reversed, so be aware of that.

As for actually decoding the data stream - not a lot of luck. The clock signal makes it hard to figure out whats going on.

Got my mind on my money, money on my mind:

Why not just use evl3 and alarmserver? Works great and all sensors show up.

Or if you go with setup the card works great with the STs shield and makes ST basically an additional keypad within your home.

Super simple to setup.

Hello all. This will be my first ST project and I am feeling a bit lost… but it seems like the community here is one of the best, most patient and helpful.
Ok, now that the buttering is done…
I have an ancient but fully functioning alarm - Vista 10SE with a Honeywell /Ademco keypad, door/window sensors and a glass breaking sensor (fortunately never been able to test it that actually works). Now that I am running ST - and getting quickly spoiled by the power and control - having my security system out of the ST loop just seems archaic. I was originally planning to order a bunch of sensors and a few cameras and start from scratch, but after stumbling upon a HomeSeer discussion

I am now determined to find a way to integrate and then expand my existing security system with ST. The hardware and software might not be the same but if they can get it to work with HS we should be able to do something similar with ST, right?
This is all new territory for me so I may be getting in over my head but what the hell. Anyone willing to help a newbie?

There’s a thread already on something similar:

Using this:

EnvisaLink 3 (now v4) IP module

I’m currently using the IP module, but I’m keeping my hardwired security system completely separate from ST until I see a whole lot more stability and reliability with ST. SmartThings works great for me for home automation, but I think there’s a way to go before I’d say I’d use it as my security system.

I’ve been with ST for 2 years now, and there’s been a lot of progress (and frustrations), but not enough to want to integrate my existing security system with it.

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Checkout this thread as well. Stans setup instructions are excellent.

Thanks everyone… the info on the other threads was helpful though perhaps not newbie friendly. Made some progress… but haven’t had enough time to spare on the tinkering required. Hopefully in January after all the holiday chaos and travel, I can make some headway.

If you are struggling with integration of alarm products ICT provide a full web based alarm solution with expansion it is called the Protege WX. There is a published automation and control protocol as well as a a profile for savant.

You can find some information here and if you get a login to the website the protocol can be provided with a basic example. I have done a little bit with the Raspberry Pi on them to control outputs and trigger things on inputs.

Also in the interest of full disclosure i am an employee by ICT.

Anyone try this with v2? I cannot get the oAuth to work.