Integrating DSC power series alarm with smartthings

I’m new here so please bare with me. Currently I am running openhab on a raspberry pi 3 and are looking to purchase smart things hub for my home automation system. I just don’t have the time I used to to customize openhab. Does DSC alarm systems integrate with smart things? Everything else I have smart things seems to be compatible i.e. Schlage, ecobee, etc…

See this

TLDR;

Yes - it ‘can’ integrate but not natively. You’ll need to add an envisalink board to the panel and use alarmserver.

I will say that I’m running that and it is solid - particularly if you want to maintain your DSC as a traditional alarm panel and keypad with professional monitoring.

I do have an envisalink board as that how I use my cell phone link to my DSC. There any links in here for instructions on the alarm server portion?

There are several threads on here about this.

Here is a start: DSC Alarmserver Search

I am planning to get a DSC PowerSeries even though it is ‘old’ technology and no longer approved by insurers here in the UK because in combination with the Envisalink it can be made in to a ‘smarter’ system than all the other UK alarm systems I have seen.

Whilst I have a Smartthings hub and don’t currently use the open source Home Assistant software I have noticed an interesting point on this page - https://www.home-assistant.io/components/envisalink/

The above page says -

As of 0.29, the alarm_trigger service is supported. It is possible to fire off an envisalink-based alarm directly from Home Assistant. For example, a newer zwave/zigbee sensor can now be integrated into a legacy alarm system using a Home Assistant automation.

This is a feature I have been looking for and not finding with traditional alarm systems since they are adverse to allowing alien unsupported devices to connect and potentially degrade the security of their alarm systems.

In my case I find proprietary smoke, CO, water etc. sensors to be expensive, ugly and far dumber than e.g. a Nest Protect. I therefore wanted a way to link a smart sensor back to the alarm system. Ideally a similar process for linking smart cameras instead of your typical dumb CCTV camera would also be possible.

As far as I have seen none of the Smartthings to DSC Alarm Server integrations have a similar option to link a sensor from Smartthings back to the DSC panel in the same way that Home Assistant can.

If any of the relevant developers are reading this - any chance of you adding this capability?

You can also look into the Konnected system. I picked up the interface line so I could use my existing alarm system. You don’t need a raspberry pi to connect the two systems either.

The instruction don’t say if I need to run alarm server in a raspberry pi so I’m confused.

You can run alarmserver on any system that supports python. I personally am using it in a Windows machine that runs 24/7 since I already had that in place. Many do chose to use a raspberry pi since that is a cheaper solution.

Dmorell The instruction don’t say if I need to run alarm server in a raspberry pi so I’m confused.

If you have the Konnected board for your DSC panel you don’t need to run the Alarm Server software, this software is only if you are using the Envisalink module.

The advantage of the Konnected approach is that it is simpler to setup in that you don’t as mentioned need to setup Alarm Server however Konnected only supports wired sensors, the advantage of the Envisalink approach is that it supports both wired and wireless sensors, allows using the various DSC apps and the DSC panel can still be configured for traditional alarm monitoring services.

I have raspbian stretch(already has python installed) running on a raspberry pi 3b and installed docker and alarm server using phizz118 instruction from github. I run alarmserver and get the following.

python alarmserver.py
Using configuration file alarmserver.cfg
2019-07-12 21:53:55 Alarm Server Starting
2019-07-12 21:53:55 Currently Supporting Envisalink 2DS/3 only
2019-07-12 21:53:55 Tested on a DSC-1616 + EVL-3
2019-07-12 21:53:55 and on a DSC-1832 + EVL-2DS
2019-07-12 21:53:55 and on a DSC-1864 v4.6 + EVL-3
Traceback (most recent call last):
File “alarmserver.py”, line 637, in
server = AlarmServer(config)
File “alarmserver.py”, line 437, in init
self._envisalinkclient = EnvisalinkClient(config)
File “alarmserver.py”, line 219, in init
self.do_connect()
File “alarmserver.py”, line 230, in do_connect
self.connect((self._config.ENVISALINKHOST, self._config.ENVISALINKPORT))
File “/usr/lib/python2.7/asyncore.py”, line 347, in connect
err = self.socket.connect_ex(address)
File “/usr/lib/python2.7/socket.py”, line 228, in meth
return getattr(self._sock,name)(*args)
socket.gaierror: [Errno -2] Name or service not known

It looks like I get an error. I type in my IP of my pi 192.xxx.x.x:8111 and nothing happens.

ThomasTrain,

Do you have Alarmserver working for you? If so what platform?

I do have alarmserver running. Mine is running on a Windows machine with Python that runs 24/7 - mostly because I already had that machine in place and running.

which tutorial did you use and did you have any issues running the server?I keep getting an error. socket.gaierror: [Errno -2] Name or service not known

I honestly don’t remember at this point but I read through a couple of threads. There was a tutorial but I had to combine that with forum posts because nothing I found was a complete walkthrough.

I got a DSC PowerSeries panel for the same reason as you, but it’s a right pain to setup and program - and the keypads can be really dated
You might want to look at something more up to date like a Texecom panel, they look pretty good.

Hey guys!

I created a SmartThings device handler that integrates nicely with EnvisaLink/Eyez-On and allows you to automate the arming/disarming of your alarm system via SmartThings routines, Alexa, etc. It’s super easy/quick to setup and doesn’t require any additional hardware beyond your EnvisaLink and SmartThings hub. I’ve been test driving it myself for several months now and it’s been working wonderfully.

You can find the project here: https://github.com/vadim-bach/EyezOn-SmartThings-Switch. I’m hoping you guys will benefit from it as much as I have. Enjoy and let me know what you think!

1 Like

@Meirion_Williams
Sorry for the belated reply.

I have looked at Texecom before and actually consider their keypad to be one of the ugliest out there. They also seem to have far less integration options than a DSC PowerSeries like sadly almost all panels although I believe they are or are supposed to be offering an API for their system.

I agree that DSC keypads can be dated but really no more than 99.9999% of other alarm systems in that it is ‘ye olde’ numeric keypad - like Texecom. There is an LCD touch screen keypad available for the DSC unlike 99.9999% of other alarm systems but in reality it adds very little more and still has an on screen numeric keypad.

So ugly and primitive are most alarm systems (numeric) keypads that one would almost prefer to be robbed than have one right where visitors would see your poor aesthetic taste.

It is amazing in this era of touch screen displays ala iPhone and iPad that no alarm system has a touch screen display that would display a plan of your house highlighting where a sensor is that has been triggered. This is something that I believe has been in TV/Movies for years but sadly not in the real world.

Even the so called new, modern, Internet orientated smart alarm system makers have failed to progress beyond offering a basic ‘app’. That is Abode, Verisure, Boundary, Ring, etc. etc.