SmartThings Integration With Home Security

My home was built around 2008 and has a built-in security system. Its wired and has several keypads labeled Honeywell. I found a metal box on the wall in my basement that must be the main part of it. I would like to tie in my smartthings hub to it to I can use the sensors that are already in place. I have no idea about this system so I took pictures of it. Anyone know anything about this or what my options might be?

Search for “Vista 20” on the forum. The search button is your friend. :wink:

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Are you saying that the unit I have is “Vista 20”?

That’s what it says on the label. :slight_smile:

So I scanned thru that post and if I read it correctly, you need to have a few different pieces of middleware running. This includes either a Linux server running some code or possibly a raspberry pi or arduino board running it? Is that right?

I can run a Linux VM but am more interested to find out how difficult or expensive it is to have a very small piece of hardware doing it.

It really all depends on what route you go on what you’ll need. I’m using the thing shield and an Arduino. Unfortunately they aren’t making the shield anymore so that route may not be an option. You really just have to peruse through the different setups people have made and figure out which will work best for you.

That’s what I am trying to figure out. There’s so many threads and I am trying to find out which could apply to me or my setup.

I just want to be able to use my smartthings hub to use the wired alarm sensors/siren. In the future I’d like to add cameras, but I need crawl before I walk. I am using this thread as my main reference.

Is that the best reference to use? Trying to figure out what my options are now. I am looking for the simplest route possible, as long as it works obviously.

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.


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.


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:

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!