SmartThings Integration With Home Security

Yea that’s a pretty popular option. You’ll need to get an Envisalink 3.0, 4.0 module -OR- AlarmDecoder AD2USB device to act as the interface between the panel and your server which can be a raspberry pi or just a lan computer. That thread is a great place to start.

Hey @djtech2k… as you figure out what works best for you, the thing to keep in mind is that you’ve got an alarm panel and the SmartThings Hub and you want to connect the two. While the implementation I built does have external dependencies, they all do as there is currently no native way to connect your panel with SmartThings.

This graphic is available in the original thread to show how the pieces work together:

Good luck!

Ok, so if I have to run a Linux box, it will need to be a Virtual Machine. So if that’s the case, I will not be able to have any kind of hardware attached to a VM. Some things I might be able to plug-in thru something like USB and hopefully pass it thru to the VM, but it is very doubtful that would work.

So if I run a Linux machine, do I have to have another piece of hardware to plugin to the Linux machine?

What about the other option of a standalone device, like rasberry pi or arduino? Would there be any other hardware to buy or needed if you use one of those?

Check this thread too if you’re interested to just convert the panel. It doesn’t need a middleware proxy or envisalink. If you’re up for this solution, he’s doing a preorder flashed with firmware for you to use right away too.

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This definitely sounds much simpler. Does this solution provide less functionality or something? It just seems like a a more simple solution so I am trying to figure out why this would not be a good idea?

If you want to have both systems (current alarm panel/keypads + SmartThings) active at once, going with a solution like presented earlier in this thread may be the best solution.

If you don’t want to keep using your existing alarm panel and keypads, then going with @heythisisnate’s solution above is a very good, popular, low cost solution.

If you’re more comfortable in the Arduino IDE you could use my ST_Anything solution. I have an example sketch for the NodeMCU ESP8266 which is designed for use as an alarm panel replacement. This solution is very similar to Nate’s, but uses the Arduino IDE instead of LUA. My solution also does not require the use of an OAUTH SmartApp. There are pros and cons to all of these solutions. The nice thing about Nate’s solution and mine ST_Anything is they both run on identical NodeMCU ESP8266 hardware and can be wired exactly the same as well. Just the software on the ESP8266 and the ST Cloud are different. For < $25 bucks, you don’t have much to lose.

Thanks.

I am an IT guys but know almost nothing about most of these things. I am still new/beginner with smartthings.

I want to keep the implementation and the number of required parts as low as I can. I also would prefer to be able to use the keypads and smartthings if I can, but I would consider not using them if it made the install/configuration a lot harder.

I have no preference between Arduino or anything else because I have no experience with it. So there are 3 different solutions now?

  1. Using the one with the Linux server and the USB device.

  2. Using the one with the NodeMCU.

  3. Using the one with Arduino.

Am I correct? Is there any significant advantage of one over another? eg cost, hardware, implementation, functionality?

Here are the three options I mentioned in clearer form…

  1. Using the one with the Linux server and the USB device.

  2. Using the one with the NodeMCU and LUA (@heythisisnate solution)

  3. Using the one with the NodeMCU and Arduino IDE/C++ (@ogiewon solution)
    (this solution also supports various Arduino boards as well as the NodeMCU)

Your old keypads won’t work with options 2 and 3.

Your requirements will help you decide which path to choose. Please note that using SmartThings as a home security system (i.e. Smart Home Monitor app) has some limitations as compared to your old alarm panel.

  1. No entry and exit delays
  2. No keypad support
  3. Uses the cloud for all processing = less reliable than dedicated alarm panel hardware
  4. Uses “Presence Detection” to arm/disarm the alarm. Presence detection is not 100% reliable and can therefore lead to false alarms or failure to alarm scenarios.

Most people feel that if you really need a reliable home alarm system, use a dedicated home alarm system.

If you like to tinker and do not expect 100% uptime, SmartThings as an alarm system is better than nothing. I have friends who had no home alarm system at all before ST. They are happy because they now have a solution that provides +95% more coverage than what they had previously (i.e. 0%) with no monthly fee and no expensive hardware.

There are a lot of forum discussions regarding using ST as a home alarm system. I recommend you spend some time reading to come up with a game plan.

Thanks.

As I said, I am more of a beginner, but want to expand what I have and make it better over time. Here are the things I am thinking of using the alarm stuff for:

  • Detection of things like doors being opened.
  • Ability to use a siren or some type of notification when something happens.
  • Ability to add things like video cameras and motion sensors in the future.

I am not looking for this to be necessarily a replacement of a full alarm system. I am looking for some convenience stuff and the ability to basic security-like stuff.

I prefer the simplest install/maintenance process as possible. I would prefer to not eliminate the existing keypads, but if I have no choice then I guess I will. I suppose I could always hook them back up if I need to. Buying a piece of hardware that runs the code and attaches to the network is a much more attractive option for me than having to have a physical computer and add devices onto it. I can use a virtual machine with no problem, but physical will be a pain for me, especially if it has to be Linux. I have lot of hardware in use and don;t really have room for more.

So with all that in mind, whats the best option? If I could buy something, plug it in, and just start using it, that would be a great option.

**Note: I was just doing some more reading and on paper it looks like the install for Envisalink is very simple and the interface seems to have a lot of capability. So the option to use this one requires the Linux machine to run something? Is that part absolutely necessary? Same question for the AD2PI appliance.

@redloro I am looking at your solution also. I understand the need to buy Envisalink or AD2 for your solution and that it will allow me to keep my keypads. I am trying to compare the solutions to find the best for me.

My question is about this code that needs to be running, I believe its the proxy. Does it have to run on Linux or can it run on Windows also? Can it be a VM?

I want something like I described in my last post, but am learning as I go now. I do not want to have to do a bunch of work to install or maintain whatever I use. I want to set it up and use it. Don’t want to have to fix it every week for some reason.

Sorry for all the questions. I am reading a ton and trying to grasp it all. Having some basic door sensors to alarm or trigger workflows will be nice and adding cameras and motion sensors will be even better.

There is also the Alarm Decoder network appliance too:
http://www.alarmdecoder.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/39/osCsid/sh3mfnvp93bj5pd6j1erqddo75

That’s right… the SmartThings Node Proxy allows local LAN devices to communicate with the SmartThings Hub locally, keeping all traffic on your LAN. And yes… it can run on Windows, Mac, Linux, a VM… whatever you want… but it’s got to run 24x7 and be able to access the EVL and your SmartThings Hub.

Good luck!

If anyone in the UK is considering the Envisalink I have an unused EVL-4 for sale here: For sale: Envisalink EVL-4 (Honeywell / DSC) UK brand new

Ok.
@redloro

Is the Envisalink model EVL-4EZR the same as the EVL-4?

So If I buy the Envisalink, what else do I need to purchase? The cabinet for my alarm has a LOT of wires in it since all windows, doors, motion sensors, etc are all wired in there. I want to keep this as simple of an install as possible. Do I need to buy anything else? eg wires or anything like that?

With this solution, I do not have to disconnect the existing alarm system and can use it as normal if I needed to? With this solution allow me to use Smartthings to access any of the sensors and do “alarm” kinds of functions? And also allow me to just use the sensors if I want to use them for workflow stuff?

I may order this today and give it a try if I do not find any roadblocks.

Get the Alarm decoder unit I have linked below. This will handle everything you need to get your system integrated with Smartthings. I have personally used this with a Honeywell Vista20p and it works great. I also have it setup to automatically arm/disarm the system when everyone leaves the house.

With this system you do not need to touch the wiring for your sensors, you just need to connect the AD2Pi system to the same terminals as your keypads connect to. The alarm will also still work with a monitoring company.

Alarm Decoder AD2Pi

I used an existing raspberry Pi so that is why it looks slightly different than the network appliance, but this is my setup. But the bottom board is the entire system, very small and easily fits in the alarm box.

Note: They also have a wiring harness that will connect to your existing alarm battery so you will not need to power the Pi through USB, I still have to pickup one myself.

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@djtech2k

Here’s a different approach to integration. Just a different option dependent on your use preferences

Appears so… check http://forum.eyez-on.com/FORUM/viewtopic.php?t=4761

If you go this route, you’ll need the EVL, some 4-wire to connect it to the panel and some CAT-5 to connect it to your network.[quote=“djtech2k, post:22, topic:91365”]
With this solution, I do not have to disconnect the existing alarm system and can use it as normal if I needed to? With this solution allow me to use Smartthings to access any of the sensors and do “alarm” kinds of functions? And also allow me to just use the sensors if I want to use them for workflow stuff?
[/quote]

Correct.

Ok. Thanks all for replying. This can definitely be a confusing topic :).

I just want to make sure I understand everything here.

I think I need to narrow my choices to the ones that more closely match what I want and then compare and decide from those options. Here are the options I think more closely meet my needs. Please correct me if I am wrong.

I want to be able to use the existing alarm components, including keypads, just in case I need to in the future. I also do not want to replace or remove the existing alarm panel. I think this eliminates the Node and/or the ESP8266 and the Arduino methods. So I need to figure out the methods that allow me to do that. I know @redloro solution does that but it does require the software to be running/communicating 24/7. I see now there is a mention from @ritchierich, @raidflex, and @cozdabuch about using the AD2Pi device. Do these require the proxy software to run? What they do or not do that redloro’s solution does not?

Trying to figure out if these things are equal in functionality, install complexity, and requirements.

The AD2Pi is a device you hook up as a keypad to your alarm panel. It’s even addressed as one too and it receives all the keypad messages from your alarm and passes it via serial to another device such as a RPi, Etc. The Alarm Decoder network appliance has one of these already configured with a RPi so you hook it up to your alarm and install the smartapp and device handler and you are good.

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