SmartThings Community

[RELEASE] Visonic Powermax Alarm


(cjcharles) #264

Hi @phc606 Powermax can only deal with one serial connected device at a time, hence you would have to remove the Powerlink in order to do any kind of integration with another platform. That said, the replacement can easily support all of the same features (along with tons more - and you can always switch back if you dont like it). I thought that Domoticz already had a Visonic integration, though I think it might need a serial connection to the alarm directly (hence the NAS would need to have serial on board). This integration actually supports MQTT, which I am positive that Domoticz supports, hence you wouldnt even need to go via a SmartThings Hub, or IFTTT. You would just need to configure Domoticz to set up a MQTT server, and then the Wemos will post messages to relevant topics in Domoticz which can be interpreted to give all kinds of other triggers. Unfortunately I dont think I can help you much with that side of things as I dont have Domoticz, but I am pretty confident it would be trivial once you understand MQTT on Domoticz, and the Domoticz forums are also bound to help you. If you wanted to give it a go I can provide some support, but only in so far as getting the MQTT messages to be received by the NAS which should actually be super easy anyway! What model of Powermax do you have? Just make sure if you have the Powermax+ you also get an Arduino.

@passy I remember now that I had an action to go through the PMAX library and tidy up the changes I have made in order to be able to publish to Github. What is it you are trying to do for now? The firmware a few posts up on this thread has a number of improvements including MQTT integration, better serial initialisation (which helps on some Powermax models), and some WiFi fixes which add a bit of security to the Wemos (due to a more recent build of the ESP8266WiFi library). If you dont need those, then get started with what you have, and you can always comment out the Pmax_ALARM line, I dont think any other changes will stop the compilation.


Thanks CJCharles, that give me plenty to be working on for the mo. I have a Powermax Pro. i think the NAS has a serial connection, but that might take me down the Terminal route etc. not an issue, just a time thing really. I’m not familiar with MQTT but will look into that, sounds like it might help with a bunch of other things i’m also working on. interestingly the powerlink monitoring services costs on an annual basis anyway, so this might give me everything i currently have for less. do you have a video showing what can be done via your setup by chance just so i can do a quick compare. many thanks.

(cjcharles) #266

I sold my powerlink on eBay for about £60 more than the Wemos cost, to add to the saving. The integration basically let’s a smarty home platform know every time the Powermax changes arm state, or every zone is triggered. You can do anything you want based on those inputs that domoticz supports - from lights, to emails (I’d be 99% sure) and other triggers like location.


Thanks. This is fine, I can compile by commenting out the couple of new variables not defined in the PMax library, I was looking at increasing the wifi security, so the updated library may help with that.

(cjcharles) #268

The new firmware will definitely help, it has all the WiFi patches applied to it. Or did you mean the security of the actual webpage itself?


I just want to hide the SSID of the access point, so I will try the new firmware.

(Andrew Milne) #270

Hey. Amazing work on this. I have been using an esp8266 and a bunch of relays stuffed inside my old galaxy panel before seeing this feature, not a very efficient setup. I have had a powermaster 30 covering my garage for a while but have now swapped everything to visonic. I am currently using home assistant instead of smart things and I obviously don’t expect this to work directly with home assistant but i was wondering if you have any information on setting this up just using mqtt? At the moment i have an esp8266 nodemcu inside my pm30 and i can arm and disarm by making a web request.

(cjcharles) #271

So it has been working OK for you on a Powermaster system? Or is that another thing you have been using so far?

Either way, you can use this setup, and the firmware you currently have with Home Assistant by using MQTT. You just need to configure the Home Assistant MQTT server, and then tell the ESP to start using MQTT rather than web/json which is the default.

(Andrew Milne) #272

It’s been working ok on the powermaster just using the webpage to arm and disarm. However I’m not able to view any zone info, maybe because I’m using an esp8266 nodemcu instead of a wemos? I have my mqtt broker configured but not sure how I would change the settings in the firmware you have created to use mqtt rather than web/json. I did manage to add my mqtt settings to the esp using the webpage settings.

(Andrew Milne) #273

And thank you for your quick response. Would love to get this working.

(cjcharles) #274

I think the Powermaster uses Powerlink3 rather than Powerlink2, hence you will never get zone names as the protocol hasnt been reverse-engineered yet. However you should be able to see zone event changes, do you get those? You might need to check in live logging to see if ST receives any zone messages (Im not sure if they will reach tiles if the tiles done have names… Its something for me to test!)

Once you have the mqtt details loaded into the device it should start sending on the next reboot by default. Assuming it connects of course. That raises another point, I am keen to add some debugging/status info on the MQTT code since it is currently a bit of a black box!

Damn Visonic, it is such a mythical beast with so many variations and quirks my development list keeps growing! Haha

(Andrew Milne) #275

Ah that makes sense. I haven’t had a chance to check zone events. Will it show up on the zone status webpage when working correctly? At the moment the esp connects to my broker then disconnects due to socket exception. I checked the original sketch for mqtt topic and subscription but couldn’t see any info. Is there a way I can check the mqtt settings on the recent firmware update?

(Rajan) #276

Does your visonic powermax add on work with the powermax complete and if so which version do I need?
Also is it easy to install?


(cjcharles) #277

Should probably let somebody else comment, but I believe its super easy. The github instructions at the top of the page cover every step and you basically just need to plug in power, plus two comms wires.

The Powermax Complete and Powermax+ have worked for 100% of users, so version doesnt matter (maybe an 8-10year old panel might give slightly reduced functionality). It seems the Pro and Express have given a few people some problems, though Ive almost finished a change which should allow those to work too (it just wont give the zone names).

(Rajan) #278

Great, ordered thanks!

(Rajan) #279

Haven’t had a chance to install this yet and so not sure if this is a silly question but couldn’t you just pair all of the sensors and siren with the smartthings hub and then also use them for home automation of lights etc?
Could even then easily see battery status, use the presence sensor for setting the alarm, set your own alarm settings easily etc?

(cjcharles) #280

Im afraid it doesnt work like that, Visonic uses a different frequency and totally different encoding so there are only very specific devices which can work with SmartThings directly (i.e. without the alarm panel), and even then you can only pair with a single device hence if you added it to ST then you couldnt use it as an alarm.

Despite this difficulty, the whole point of the alarm integration is that you can use the presence sensor of ST to set the alarm as you wish (unsetting the alarm probably not recommended incase somebody steals your phone), and can see the zone/sensor status in ST in order to drive other actions/automations such as lights. Seeing the battery status is possible in the Wemos webpage, but it doesnt get sent to ST as it just adds quite a lot of complexity with minimal benefit in my opinion…

(Rajan) #281

great thanks, thought it might be something like that!

Also just before I try and install this - if I disconnect the power and battery will the Siren go off and/or the alarm reset?

Appreciate all of your help! :slight_smile:

(cjcharles) #282

If it’s disarmed then you can disconnect power and it won’t go off, but it will bleep loudly every 30s or so until restored. Once the battery is gone then the beeping will stop. If you want to play it safe then put it in installer mode first, that way it will send a ‘safe’ signal to any external sirens, but not crucial.

(Jaz Dail) #283

Hi, I have Visonic setup in ST and all was working until recently. Now I can disarm from ST but not ARM HOME or ARM AWAY.
Any guidance on where I can check to fix this?