DSCAlarmServer + Smart Home Monitor

Question: How does this integration work? I have a Vista board and I am about to connect an EnvisaLink4. How does this integrate with Smart Home Monitor? Does it arm the system when I arm Smart Home Monitor? Does it have that ability? Also, does each door/window come up as a normal object, or is it just a smartapp tile? I am extremely confused as to how DSCAlarmServer + EVL4 + ST integration works. If someone could please help me out, that would be greatly appreciated.

PS: Send screenshots
NOTE: I am okay having 2 systems monitoring my home with ST Home Monitoring AND My Alarm Company. I would go with scout, but the lack of fire protection and all of the insurance involved just makes me not wanna deal with it. Anyways, I like ST Home because it gives me more integration, but I like my trusty old box purely because it’s a pro monitored service with fire handling.

I just got my DSC panel integrated this weekend. I used the information from this thread: DSC -> EVL-3(4) -> Alarmserver -> Smartthings

Honestly, it’s a bit of a bear to get working. The major problem is that SmartThings is very limited in the types of IP communications that can be sent/received from a SmartThings app, and unfortunately there’s no way a SmartThings app to talk directly to the API provided by the Envisilink4 board. So you end up needing an additional piece of software (AlarmServer) running on a PC of some sort that acts as a translator between SmartThings and the Envisilink. So you end up with the following major components:

  • Alarm Panel
  • Envisilink 4 - Small board that is installed into the alarm panel. Gives a connection to Envisilinks web site for remotely controlling your panel. Also has a local IP API which is what you’ll be using to integrate to SmartThings.
  • AlarmServer - This is a small piece of software that runs on almost any kind of computer. It acts as a sort of translator connecting to the Evisilink and providing an https API that can be used by a SmartThings app.
  • SmartThings app and devices - SmartThings devices and a SmartThings to control your panel. The one you can download from the thread I linked to above also includes integration to the SmartThings “Smart Home Monitor” (basically the “Dashboard” page in the SmartThings mobile app).

AlarmServer is the hard part to get running. It’s a pretty primitive script that requires some amount of experience setting up Python script on whatever OS you decide to run it on. Everything is configured via a text file and there’s a ridiculously complicated process you need to go through to get the authentication keys needed to allow it to connect to SmartThings.

Another unnecessary complication is that there’s a ton of different versions of AlarmServer and the associated SmartThings apps. It seems like periodically someone comes up with a newer enhanced version of one or the other and for some reason nobody ever seems to put any effort into pulling all the changes into one authoritative, long lived version. :frowning:

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Thanks for the tips! I just wanted to ask one more question. What’s the UI like? What about the Smart Home Monitor?

The top of the forum thread I linked to has screenshot pictures of the UI. The app in that thread also works with Smart Home Monitor. It seems to work pretty well, certainly better than the trainwreck UI of the EnvisiLink web page. I’ll admit I haven’t had time to do anything fancy in terms of home automation routines with my alarm panel yet. At the moment all I’m doing is having it automatically enable the alarm system at night so that I don’t have to worry about forgetting to do it any more. :slight_smile:

I am still using the text message alerts for Envisilink to alert me to changes in my panel state. I think you can do the same thing through SmartThings alerts, but I haven’t had a chance to experiment with that yet.