Any Concord 4 alarm panel users out there?

Okay, this is epic. Not sure how I didn’t come across this sooner.

I’m a developer (primarily Ruby and JavaScript but worked many dynamic languages in the past). I’ve never really played much at the hardware level which a lot of this seems to be.

Does anyone have a suggested summary of the simplest approach to get started in getting data from a Concord Pro 4 (Interlogix) security panel? (I presume this is the main board that all the wires feed into in my house and not the keypad by the door).

Also, @caesarsghost: Thanks for all you’ve done and the github repo!

Main board and need the superbus rs232 automation option, only way is to get the serial commands to something and then parse those and incoming requests back into serial…

Too bad we don’t have any LAN based rs232 device supported inside ST. Have to use a rPI or other middleware to accomplish this.

What I’d give for a working zigbee to rs232 2 way device under 100 bucks…

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This doesn’t happen to meet that requirement does it? https://www.kanda.com/products/Sena/ZS10-01.html

In theory, yes. Who knows how to program it up? Does it come with a solid command / cluster reference?

Hey everyone! This is officially my first post on the community.

I have been viewing this post many times and I also am interested in integrating my Concord 4 panel with ST.
But I am stuck on an issue and I know exactly where the breakdown is happening but I need help fixing it, especially from @caesarsghost if at all possible.

Here are the facts:

  • Using an Arduino Uno
  • Installed the Automation Module and ensured that I am getting communication from the C4 panel (checked using a tester program)
  • Have a null modem crossover for DCE to DCE communication (in this case the arduino)
  • I know the connection between the arduino and the ST hub are working
  • I installed the ConcordShield Device Handler
  • I installed the SmartApp
  • I uploaded the ConcordController.ino to the Arduino

Instead of using a RS232 shield like mentioned in the earlier posts, I bought a small RS232 to TTL conversion module. It has the RS232 port for the panel side, and it has 4 pins for the TTL side (VCC,GND,RX,TX). I bought a cheap module previously but I think I burned it up because when I applied the arduino 5v pin to the module, I smelled burning and got no Rx/Tx lights.

I thought for sure that I needed to stay in the 3.3v range and so I bought another conversion module from Amazon that had good ratings. Same 4 pins (VCC,GND,RX,TX), and wired it up.

However, like my fact section above, I have never gotten zone trip or status log messages indicating any traffic actually coming from the AM module. I see the RS232 light blink on the AM module, and I see the logs between the arduino and the ST hub, but not the actual traffic that crosses the RS232 to TTL bridge.

What the heck am I doing wrong? Is it because I am using the wrong conversion module? Should I be getting something more, like the RS232 shield? Any help here would be much appreciated. Thanks!

Still researching this on my end. I think my problem is the TX coming from the arduino to the conversion module is too high and needs a resistor added.

The Rx into the arduino can handle the voltage but the module cannot say the same.

Am I correct on this? I am not an engineer by any means.

BUMP…

Seriously guys, nothing? Are you even reading me? Something, anything would be appreciated.

Community involves communication…

I was having issues as well with the Arduino so I gave up and am now trying to get to to work with a Raspberry PI and USB-Serial cable… I’ve been hacking up this code https://github.com/douglasdecouto/py-concord as I get time.

hope that helps…

Hi,

Has anyone got this working? I have a ADP Pulse system which is the GE Concord Alarm. I see this thread is very old and i wonder if there is a cookbook style write up on how to get it working with ST.

Thanks!

I’d like to know that as well. I bought a house about 6 months ago with one of these systems and trying to figure out what I can do with it. I’d love to just pull the data out of it. It seemed the only option was to use the SmartThings Shield and interface it with the Arduino mega 2560, but those are non-existent. I would love to integrate this as is with out ripping it out.

Hey @Chatan_Patel and @matt1t,

Yes I have gotten this working and sorry but I don’t have a “cookbook” per se to help you, but I can offer assistance as needed. It took a while with trial/error, and I agree with you, this thread did not give me much assistance.

Here is what I can tell you that you need:
Concord 4 Panel - duh!
The GE Automation module - installed via the manual
Aurduino - UNO works great
SmartThings Shield
Arduino RS232 (Serial) Shield
RS232 Cable - Standard
Optional: Arduino case with mounting bracket

That’s it! I can tell you from experience that I tried using the Arduino USB port crossed to a RS 232 but the code will not work correctly. I also tried to use a TTL to RS232 converter to have the serial connect directly to the pins, but I kept burning out the TTL>RS232 module due to voltage issues.

In short and simple terms, your best bet is to have the Arduino with 2 shields - the ST shield and the RS232 shield, and the rest is a synch. The Device Handler and the SmartApp have worked flawlessly in my setup. The only issues was when ST platform itself was misbehaving.

Please let me know if you have any issues!

Pictures of my project:




Update about the last photo, this is also optional if you want to add it. I don’t actually power my arduino from a battery or by the AC adapter, I actually power it from the Concord panel!! AIl you have to do is get a barrel DC-DC cable, snip off the end (to expose red/black wires, and screw them into the 12V and the GND terminals on the concord panel.

The picture shows a step-down voltage regulator. The recommended voltage on an arduino is between 7V and 12V. I was skeptical about the concord’s actual voltage, so I checked and it was around 13.3v. It MIGHT be safe for the arduino, but in the long run, I decided too apply the step down regulator. Input voltage 13.3V but output voltage is a consistent 12V. Beautiful!

Cheers!

@chuckv08, that’s a great write up and thanks for the list of whats needed and pictures! You made it look easy. So looking at the parts, I’m able to find everything but the SmartThings Shield. I’ve even seen posts from early 2016 where SmartThings is no longer supporting the Shield and supplies were hard to find. I’m not seeing anything on Ebay or Amazon.

This is it, right?

is this the UNO?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA5W02EF6926&ignorebbr=1&nm_mc=KNC-GoogleMKP-PC&cm_mmc=KNC-GoogleMKP-PC--pla--Gadgets-_-9SIA5W02EF6926&gclid=CL3do-3srtECFVI6gQodM7kD2Q&gclsrc=aw.ds

Oh man, that sucks!! I am not surprised but totally bummed that they discontinued the ThingShield. Someone said there was not high demand and that they made the shields by hand. It was a perfect storm, plus Samsung now has their way with things…

Here is a link to some hope for the future, no promises!

We could theoretically be able to do without the shield, but it’s an uphill battle. We can do a wifi, LAN, zigbee or zwave module with the arduino or raspberry pi. The basic concept is that the arduino reads the serial communication from the Concord, send the appropriate message to the ST cloud, and then ST will set statuses, and send back commands. The concepts here can be reproduced but again, it is an uphill battle.

I’ll see what I can find over the next few days.

@chuckv08 Thanks! I’ve been trying to figure out which way to go on this for some time. I’ve even thought about ripping out the Concord system and going with a more supported DCS system, but wasn’t sure if all my contacts or sensors would work. Like you, I feel I have what I need with the Concord system, its just the integration piece I’m missing. I thought about the Raspberry pi solution, but know I have a long row to hoe. Since I do not have the GE Automation piece currently, I guess I’ll need to pick one of those up to interface with the serial outputs? Is that correct or is their another?

The automation module is the only logical solution to your concord system. People have tried reverse engineering the serial communication but it is mostly gibberish without the automation module.

But I suggest figure out if you will proceed with this concord system or do the other DCS system. No sense in wasting your money unless you know you’ll keep it.

I haven’t researched the DCS system but most sensors are either wired or wireless, and Normally Open and Normally closed. But sensors are pretty universal and should fit a wide variety of panels. The main benefit you and I have are that they’re prewired with the house, it’s just about utilizing them in our smarthome.

I have followed this thread for years. About 10 months ago, I finally just purged the Concord 4 system, disconnected it, and ran each of the sensor wires to an Arduino with SmartThings Shield. Works much better. I would encourage not doing any of the things in this thread and instead replacing your older alarm with SmartThings. Sure it will take time, but in the end why put a band-aid on ancient tech rather than just moving forward.

Well I’m glad you spoke up now and not when I needed help back when I was using this thread to try to implement my integration, Mr Expert.

And your contact wires going into the SmartThings shield, remember that piece is no longer available so we’re back where we started. And if someone kills your power and internet, you won’t receive any notification unless you have your arduino on a battery backup and can trip the siren yourself in code. So there are still some things that this ancient tech can do for you.

My house can installed with Concord 4. I didn’t feel like gutting it and starting from scratch.

And when I started, I pretty much knew what an Arduino was and that was it. I don’t know how much @matt1t wants to try to completely build a ST security system from scratch. I had a hell of a time and I consider myself tech savvy. So I didn’t appreciate your tone or the way you came out of the woodwork to be a pigeon on this whole thread.

I don’t want to be so insulting, I want to be constructive to @matt1t in his endeavor.

Feel free to spend all your time making the Concord4 work. In the meantime, SmartThings is now a credible alarm system and the ideal path forward is to replace the old with the new not patch it. Putting a battery backup on your node0 rack is not exactly rocket science or uncommon. It’s standard practice. The problem of the ThingShield unit being in limbo is very legitimate however, but appears temporary as you posted above.

I did waste many a month trying to make the things in this thread work. Maybe another few months and I would have gotten past it. The serial interface for the Concord 4 is horrible. Not worth going back to the 1990s to fix it, and it would have been FAR more expensive to get alarm techs out to try to figure out what was wrong with the serial I/O than everything I did put together.

I appreciate both sides here. Since the Concord unit was installed and operational I wasn’t willing to just throw it out and start from scratch. With the help and insight @chuckv08 gave me I was able to get my unit up and accessible. I wasn’t able to integrate into ST yet, but my main goal was to be able to monitor and arm/disarm/configure the unit remotely which I can do now.

Below is my working setup. I found a AM module for $45 on eBay. From there, I’ve connected the Concord 4 to a server running home automation software to interface with the unit. Since I don’t have a land line, I added my ooma device for the call out feature. This works for my needs and I hope to link what I have to ST one day. It’s still a work in progress, but the key for now is, it works for me. In the next few months, I’ll swap out the server I have with an RPi3 and go from there. Thanks to this thread, as it got me on my way.