Smarthings with Visonic Powermax


(Seima) #1

I am currently using Visonic Powermax and connected to Veralite via RS232. Can someone confirm if I could connect my Visonic Powermax with smartthings? I am looking to replace my Veralite with Smartthings and I don’t want to buy a new alarm system since my powermax i working just fine with $10 prepaid for 90 days. Sorry If it’s been asked before.


(Geko) #2

First, you cannot connect serial devices to SmartThings hub directly. It can only communicate with Zigbee HA, Z-Wave or HTTP devices. So you’d need some kind of a bridge (Zigbee or HTTP). Second, you’d need to develop a custom device handler for your device. There’s a community developed solutions for integrating DSC and Honeywell alarms, but I don’t think there’s one for PowerMax.


(James) #3

Did you ever get any joy with this.

I would love to get output from my powermax pro to interact with smart things, ie when I arm home it turns off and on relevant lights and sockets / kicks off a ST routine.

I have an rs232 and powerlink2 in my powermax pro but have no idea how to get it to send info to smartthings, maybe a raspberry pi could do this?


(Seima) #4

My powermax pro is working fine with Veralite. i am thinking to move it to Smartthing but till now still no one making a plug in for it. so I better stick with my veralite or upgrade it to vera plus. This alarm panel is similar to DSC alarm panel and just hoping someone could make it happen.


(Paul Askew) #5

Has anybody got any further with this? I have just started withSmartthings and have a Visonic Powermax whch I have been using for over 10 years. At the moment I am thinking about using a Fibaro Universal Binary Sensor module and a couple of solid state relays to give the alarm panel a Z-Wave channel which could trigger some smartthings automations.


(cjcharles) #6

Ditto everybody else, would love to see this too, so thinking I might try to code something… but it will take me a while as it’s all new to me!

I’ve already got the Fibaro universal sensor onto smart things and it tells me when the alarm has been triggered (which I will eventually use to take pictures from my cctv) but now want to try something a bit more useful…
Anybody have any ideas to start this off?
I guess a ESP8266 with lots of web links for each sensor which can be polled by SmartThings?


(James) #7

Hi CJ, are you saying you have managed to connect the fibaro universal binary sensor to the powermax alarm and are getting alarms status from it?

i hope so? if so can you tell me how you did this?


(cjcharles) #8

Yes, I currently have SmartThings notify me when the alarm goes off using the Fibaro binary sensor. It doesnt give me any information other than ‘Alarm Sounding’ or ‘Alarm Silent’ (i.e. whether somebody has broken in!). I did this using an Optoisolator and a resistor connected to the internal alarm sounder connection (where you can connect a wired alarm bell to the Powermax control panel). If you want more information I can give you some more details, or if you are in the UK, I could post you a pre-wired device to go between Powermax and Fibaro.

I am now investigating the modifications required to the 8266 firmware in order to replace my Powerlink module (which Visonic have disabled) and have both a web interface, plus SmartThings integration. This will take some time, but I am determined to get something working! (it would be amazing to use my Powermax PIRs inside SmartThings!!)


(James) #9

I’m in the uk. Some info would be good to start. I was originally trying to just get some kind of integration into power max pro via UBS, was hoping to get status i.e. Alarmed, home, away etc. The power max pro has a number of outputs

But to have it properly integrated into smart things would be awesome then you could piggy back the pirs and sensors which are better than the cheap smart things ones.


(cjcharles) #10

Ive finally got there! Lots of work and learning but Im pretty pleased with it so far:
I can now set/unset the alarm via SmartThings, can see the alarm status and even see when the contact sensors/door sensors change state. Its certainly not perfect yet, but wondered if anybody else would be interested in it - if so I will tidy up the code for release. It is based around a WeMos D1 R2 and serves as a direct replacement for the Powerlink inside - plugs into the serial port inside the panel and connects to WiFi 2.4GHz


(Seima) #11

Interesting. I am currently using USR-TCP232 adapter to connect between Powermax alarm with my VeraPlus. I wish you could utilize the same adapter to connect to Smartthing so I could try it out.


(cjcharles) #12

There is still a bit more development to do on it to get the last bits working, but it would be useful to have somebody else looking at it and testing it (plus there are still some things I havent worked out a plan for yet). After that I will work on making the process easier for others, but up until now you need to program the chip (Wemos D1 R2) through Arduino Studio (as you need to change things like WiFi keys), after changing the main settings you just connect the cable to your Powermax.

Do you have a usable chip to hand? Can do it via PM or keep the chat on-thread in case others want it.


Fibaro - Universal Binary Sensor - Does it work with Smart Things
(James) #13

Great work cjcharles. Could you share some instructions/guide. I haven’t got a chip but at present.


(cjcharles) #14

Ok, so if you start by getting a Wemos D1 R2 off ebay (or wherever) - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/172563472000 (this is one example or https://www.amazon.co.uk/XCSOURCE-Advanced-Development-Compatible-TE482/dp/B01FVKTL9O or many others Im sure). Its a bit more expensive than I remember but not too bad. You could go for a more standard board like the NodeMCU ones, but you then need to faff with voltage conversion and getting the serial link transferred over.

The reason for this chip is that it contains a nice 12V power regulation circuit, and there is 12V inside the Powermax. You just need to connect to power and connect the two serial lines after flashing. Once flashed through Arduino Studio, you can seal up the Powermax and it can be updated over WiFi in future.

Where I have got to is as follows:

I will work on preparing the documentation and instructions to make it easier, but its still a bit involved for now in terms of plugging in the wires to Powermax


#15

This is great news. I’m definitely interested in this. I see a lot of listings on ebay that says new version v2.1.0. Does that make a difference?


(cjcharles) #16

Im afraid I dont know the answer to that. I would expect (99%) it will work fine as the PCB looks largely the same, but might be some differences in configuring Arduino Studio.


(James) #18

cjcharles.

Attaching a link for you which may be of use regarding the powermax pro pinouts which may help with your write up.


cudos to the guys over there at Domoticz btw

The Powermax Pro has a port (2x5) labeled PC, see pictures below. This is the port to use, since it’s voltage is 3,3v and that is the voltage that usb-serial port can handle. Don’t use the dual serial port which is an optional component of the Powermax pro series. The serial port has a voltage of 12v, connecting the serial usb module to this port will fry the module immediatly :slight_smile:
See below the nummering of the 2x5 port of the panel. 3 is ground, 5 TxD for the panel, 7 is RxD fort the panel. Connect ground (3) to ground on the ch340 module, TxD (5) to RxD of the ch340, RxD (7) to TxD of the ch340 module.

1 3 5 7 9
2 4 6 8 10

I started off down the domoticz rpi path before you managed to get this to work. Still working through it presently as there are a couple of deviations from the guide and being a newbie i’ve needed some help (some very helpful people over there).

To add i had some help over here from dudz40 who helped me and others link smartthings to domoticz. So my plan was pmax pro to domoticz to smartthings.

If you put up a guide or a bit of a tutorial i am happy to give your way a try as im pretty used to opening up my pmax pro by now anyway lol and it’s possibly more direct (my rpi is housed inside my pmax pro panel).

Questions for you;
1.Can you still use the panel as normal (arming/disarming etc) and get readings/status in your smartthingsapp.
2.Can you arm/disarm from smartthings app
3.Can you get individual sensor/pirs to trigger events, for example, use a specific door open/close to turn on the garden lights. or a living room senor pir to turn on the lamp?

Thanks for all your work cjcharles.


(James) #19

Forgot to mention. I have Domoticz installed with rfxcom device which operates a 433mhz so i can also talk to a number of non zwave devices. I don’t actually use the domoticz platform, its just a bridge for smartthings.

cheap sockets like this:

just thought it may be of interest.


(cjcharles) #20

Yes, this integration does not affect any part of the manual Powermax operation. I had a private chat with @smoov where I sent him a summary of current status, will paste that below:

So in terms of my current status (Ive just spend the whole weekend on it as my coding skills have had to be pulled out of the darkest of memories!), Ive now got a single custom device handler that does virtually everything I need to (reports status, takes logs, allows arming/disarming/…, pulls zone events and names, shows zone events). The last parts I see as key are:

  1. Getting the Motion sensors to return to deactivated status after ~5s - at the moment I only get a ‘motion-activated’ style command from Visonic but I need a motion stopped event. Im trying to do this with a delay, rather than messing with Visonic events (where adding delays risks missing commands from the alarm). - This will just need some tweaks to the Device Handler I hope.
  2. Exporting zone events into separate Simulated sensors, since that then allows them to be easily linked into other events (such as when motion is detected then turn on the lights). - This will need multiple custom Device Handlers and a custom Smart App as I understand it.
  3. Auto configuration of the Wemos - to send settings from Smartthings to Wemos so that the IP addresses can change without reflashing the firmware. I see this as important, but less important as all this will do is ease setup, once setup it shouldnt have any impact.

As it is, it is quite clean since I now have one Arduino Sketch (which needs 1 custom library) for the Wemos and one Device Handler for SmartThings.

You might need to bear with me as Im far from experienced with software (my degree was in hardware), but Im keen to get feedback and share some of the effort I have put in over the last few weeks - so would be great if youre willing to have a go too.

Integration with other devices is possible by monitoring for events through something like CoRE, but it will be a whole lot easier when I complete task 2, since then they will appear just like any other sensor in SmartThings.

EDIT: And to answer your questions about linking with the alarm itself, it connects to the RX and TX pins on the Powermax control panel, and then takes 12V and ground from anywhere you want (either the PSU cable or from header pins). Other than that the software does everything (pulling zone names…etc as I mentioned above)


(Martin Verbeek) #21

My smartthing - domoticz bridge now support motion sensors, contact sensors, smoke detectors that are defined in Domoticz and will add these, when selected, to Smartthings, it will propagate the events that are taking place in Domoticz. At the end of the week it will also support basic (virtual) sensors that report temp + baro + hum.

Don’t know if you can use it, but might be worth looking into.