UK Security Alarm (Summary of the current state)

security
alarm
smart_alarm

(Andrew Barnes) #1

Hi all,

Point of this post (my first post) is just to summarise what options are available for UK homes. There so many options, and so many threads that (most of which in the end don’t apply in the UK). Hopefully the community can review and spot my mistakes, and maybe If I’ve missed something.

I’ve been specifically looking an alarm to fit:

  • ‘real’ alarm, not in the cloud. Works without internet!
  • Support for both wired and wireless
  • Integration with SmartThings
  • View ‘real-time’ status of alarm
  • View ‘real-time’ status of all sensors (wired and wireless)
  • set ARM-AWAY, ARM-STAY and DISARM from SmartThings, and sync with SmartThings ARM-AWAY, ARM-STAY and DISARM.

Honeywell

Vista + Envisalink + SmartThings DTH

  • Not available in the UK - Don’t bother reading the thousands of posts…

Livewell Wireless Home Alarm kit

  • Integration is cloud to cloud, though someone mentioned that it should be possible to connect to the local web server
  • cloud to cloud SmartThings comms are being blocked by HoneyWell due to “abuse of the service” I.E, too many requests.
  • Great looking keypad
  • no wired support (assumption)

DSC

PowerSeries. + Envisalink + Alarm Server + SmartThings DTH

  • not the ‘PowerSeries NEO’
  • Envisalink provides sensor status in SmartThings, meaning you can use these for other automations
  • SmartThings can arm-away, arm-stay and disarm.
  • Being phased out
  • Wireless kit is 433mhz technology,
  • New powerG wireless technology is not compatible
  • IT-100, IT-120 similar to Envisalink, but different protocol and no known Alarm Server support or SmartThings DTH.

Links:

  • https:// github com / juggie / AlarmServer
  • https:// github com / kholloway / smartthings-dsc-alarm
  • https:// github com / LXXero / DSCAlarm
  • https:// community smartthings com / t / dsc-envisalink-4-smartthings-dsc-alarm-server / 25826/7
  • http:// www eyezon com / ?page_id=176
  • http:// www homesecuritystore com / amfilerating / file / download / file_id / 165 /

PowerSeries NEO

  • prevents integrations via Envisalink, but provides it’s own?
  • no known support in SmartThings
  • good selection of wired/wireless sensors

Visonic

PowerMax Complete (@cjcharles)

  • Complete is the recommended option. Express is harder to support due to finding 12V supply (IIRC), and Pro doesn’t bring anything usefull (apparently).
  • Self contained solution (which IMO, means a large ugly box in hallway, possibly one of the first sights as you step inside.)

Links:

  • https:// community smartthings com / t / release-visonic-powermax-alarm / 84119 / 92
  • https:// github com / cjcharles0 / SmartThings / tree / master / VisonicAlarm
  • http:// www visonic com / Products / Wireless-Property-Protection / PowerMaxComplete

Texecom

Premier Elite

  • have a lot of options, and many UK sellers
  • wired and wireless, including latest mesh tech (z-wave or zigbee)
  • SmartThings integration isn’t going to happen with their current NDA over their API. Unless someone wraps it into a blob, and creates a new public API - not sure legally what is possible.

Yale

anything thats works with mobile app (@tapion1ives)

  • currently relies on polling to get sensor updates (which might effect battery life)
  • Yale keypad is a bit cheap looking.

(Kevin [Yorkshire UK]) #2

Very helpful post… thanks.

If you do find any more info in your quest please do keep us all updated. I have the same needs as you, plus interest in offsite/professional monitoring.

K

P.S. your links need a bit of work !


(cjcharles) #4

I cant speak for the other platforms, but I can give a bit more info about the Powermax product to give you a good summary:

  • Complete is best as it is big enough to fit the ‘smart’ bit inside the case (Pro is basically the same, but seemingly more expensive as it supports X-10 control which is a useless powerline control technology)
  • Plus is also easy to integrate (needs one extra part compared to Complete), but misses a few small benefits such as NFC tags and is probably hard to find now. Also, the ‘smart’ tech cannot sit inside the case as it is too small, so you would need a small box next to the alarm (large matchbox size)
  • Express can be easy, if you have a modern one, and in the UK I bought one 2months ago and it worked well. But if you do get an AC power supply (due to an old model) then you will need to solder two wires.
  • I havent managed to get a Powermaster system working yet, but then I have so far only tested a Norwegian product, which is very hard to test as I dont speak Norwegian! (Powermaster is a slightly more recent version of Powermax, but not significantly different)

And more generally:

  • All Powermax products can use a wireless keypad (e.g. this one - hence you can hide the Powermax panel out of sight and keep things tidy)
  • Virtually all Powermax panels only support two wired zones by default, though you can buy expander modules to add support for more wired zones.
  • Powermax is a Level2 certified system, and supports monitoring (so it knows if it is being jammed etc). Hence it can be a house-insurance-reducing product, but typically only true for reducing insurance premiums if you pay for installation professionally. In that case you pay a fair premium over DIYing (which is totally achievable if you give it a few hours and follow the fairly frustrating instruction manual!)
  • Bearing the above points in mind, the Powermax integration does support all of the points in your first post.

(Daniel McDougall) #5

currently relies on polling to get sensor updates (which might effect battery life)

So this isn’t quite right as it polls the hub for the alarm not the individual sensors. these sensors are completely passive and send their state when their state changes. e.g open a door and the door sensor reports back to yale hub. close it again and sensor reports back again.

the polling just asks the yale hub what the last recorded state was.

in summary, no battery impact.


#6

I agree that’s the issue. It would be nice to know what can be released into the public domain.


(David Jacobs) #7

Comfort by Cytech is an incredible system and is currently being developed further with Smartthings support. Well worth a look.


#8

@umbramalison are you sure that the Texecom won’t get a proper API, or a way to connect to it to read the state of the sensors or the alarm itself ?

I’m looking into getting the Texecom Premier Elite 24 …


#9

You can request their API documentation under NDA and create your own solution…but you can’t release it. They have stated there will be a public API at some point.