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  1. #1
    Automated Home Jr Member
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    Default Security lighting install with a Powermax+

    Hi Guys,

    Very new to this forum so excuse the complete lack of knowledge!

    I've bought a Visonic Powermax+ system and installed it relatively easily (well, the basic functions without the phone line as yet...). I now need to get some kind of security lighting system installed in our fairly large back garden. There is no lighting there just now and is just a perfect place for some burglar to lurk.

    What I would like is for 3 floodlights to be strategically placed around the garden which I can wire in manually myself but what I don't want is for the silly PIR's they come with to constantly activate due to the smallest of birds on the ground hence I was only going to buy the non PIR floodlights and have some other way of triggering them.

    There are 3 access points to the garden, round the side, in from the back and in from a further side.

    What I would dearly like is for 3 (not too sensitive) PIR's to be strategically placed around the access points so when either are activated this in turn activates the floodlights and perhaps gives a small chime on the Powermax module to let us know somewhere has been breached.

    I don't know if this is simple for you guys to help me with so any help you can give me would be really appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,

    Gavin

    PS - I'd also later like to install a camera('s) that activates when one of the PIR's is triggered... possible through the powermax?

  2. #2
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    everything is possible but it may not be cheap. For the lights use an X10 interface the XM10 I think is the one you need for the powermax. and then use x10 appliance modules to switch the lights on and off. You may want to get the pc software and interface as its much easier to set the X10 stuff from the pc rather than the LCD screen.
    The cameras can either be IP ones or Visonic's expensive wired ones. But you will need the powerlink interface and a network connection.
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
    www.casatech.eu Renovation Spain Blog

  3. #3
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    Toscal,

    Thanks for taking the time to reply, you seem to be in the know about these things.

    Where is the best place to buy an XM10? I gather this just plugs into the powermax main unit somehow and from there I can activate the appliances?

    What can I use for outdoor PIRs? Will the normal ones supplied with the indoor be sufficient?

    Do you think this is the best way to do this setup? I am not bothered about the cameras linking to the powermax really as the lights will come on I can then switch on an screen to view things. What is an IP camera?

    We are trying to keep wiring to an absolute minimum (wireless if possible) as it's thick stone walls we have and anything with wires is a huge nightmare!

    Let me know if you can help and if you can advise using a different system to do this, please tell me!

    Thanks in advance once again!

    Gavin

  4. #4
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    Anyone able to help me in my last message?

  5. #5
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    The way we do the outdoor PIRs here in Spain, is to use a wired outdoor rated PIR and a Visonic door sensor. Inside the door sensor are 2 terminals you link the PIR relay to these terminals, set the dip switch inside the door sensor to use these terminals. Wire up a 12v supply for the PIR and that's it.
    A client of mine had a break in recently. And we beefed up his security system. We installed an outdoor beam barrier system. The barrier is about 1.5m high and has 4 beams and you need to break 2 of them to trigger the alarm. The barrier uses a lithium battery for each post and will last up to 4 years. The relay output was connected to a door sensor. We also fitted an extra siren, this was a totally wireless bell box. It has a solar panel to charge the internal battery. If there was no solar panel the battery will last 28 days. There is a small wireless transmitter that is connected to the bell output of the Powermax+ panel. This also takes its power from the panel. So if you have a big property you may want to fit another bell box.
    On the x10 interface, depending on the modules you use you will need to set the wire link to either 2way(modules capable of reporting their status) or 1way.
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
    www.casatech.eu Renovation Spain Blog

  6. #6
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    Toscal,

    Thanks once again for your reply and it makes good sense however, which sytem did you supply for your client with the beam bars? This is what I need as I am sure I could also link this in with X10 to turn on a light somewhere.

    Do you have a cost for these barrier systems?

    Thanks in advance,

    Gavin

  7. #7
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    Toscal,

    Thanks once again for your reply and it makes good sense however, which sytem did you supply for your client with the beam bars? This is what I need as I am sure I could also link this in with X10 to turn on a light somewhere.

    Do you have a cost for these barrier systems?

    Thanks in advance,

    Gavin

  8. #8
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    Hey just read this thread and I have a very similar setup.

    I have powermax+ with X10 interface although I mainly use PLCBus with an X10/PLCBUS repeater.
    An iqeye camera
    An outside infrared sensor which gives a chime.
    The software also monitors the solar heating system sending details of all the inputs to my website.
    The camera uses pysoft Active Webcam software to monitor movement.

    The powermax+ is linked to an old fashion indoor (yes indoor) PIR silicon sealed to be used outside (cost about £3). I fitted some card inside to narrow the view and then mounted next to the gate. The powermax+ allows two hardwired sensors and Iíve linked the sensor to this. If any one climbs over the gate it goes off but no fox or cat sets it off so it never (well once in three years) false alarms. No beams required.

    Using out door alarms linked to chimes is so much better than indoor alarms that most people never set when you are in the house. In the day the chime goes off when we walk past it but as it's just a chime we ignore it. The powermax+ offers remote controllers that produce the chime so we have one next to our bed.

    For two years we had no alarms, then it went off at 3.00am and we sat up in bed petrified. I opened the window and could here something outside. Three lads had climbed over the gate. When I shouted out the window (I couldn;t see them) they climbed back over the gate giving me abuse as they ran away. I also had them on camera when the came onto my drive as the security light goes off so the camera can pick them up. It also caught them running away.

    The lesson is I would much rather the chime warns me of intruders that are outside than setting the alarm off when they're inside. Nothing could be worse than the alarm going off when you think some ones in the house. The noise of the sirens means you canít hear anything so what do you do. Ok so the siren has hopefully scared them off but can you be sure?

    Anyway you can use a normal security camera linked to software that has movement detection. When the security light goes on the camera will come on automatically so no direct connection is needed.

    You can do a lot really cheaply. The camera I used was expensive, really expensive, but there are many cheaper network cameras, the only problem being how it works in low light. The iqeye is programmable so I can set the exposure time programmatically to make sure all picture are rock solid (including moving cars) when there is enough light (i.e. daylight) . I also have a special setting so that when the floodlight comes on the exposure is set correctly immediately to give me a decent picture without too much blurring.

  9. #9
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    Raven/Toscal,

    Thank you both for very good feedback on this. I have a few questions if you'd both like to Help.

    Raven, your's is identical to what I'd like to set up however wiring is going to be a definite no no in our house as the walls are extremely thick and any wiring is not going to work. Toscal, could I use what Raven has described with the PIR but wire it to the door sensor, or alternatively, take a visonic wireless indoor sensor and make it outdoor proof as raven said with silicon or some waterproofed sealing? This would make it very easy to communicate with the powermax+ on a wireless basis.

    The next thing is.. X10. I am a complete novice on this side.

    How do I get the chime to operate? I know that I can get the chime that comes with the visonic to work with a door contact sensor but will this work with the PIR?

    If not, what do I need to get with regards X10 to make this function?
    XM10?
    Then what?

    Also, if I wanted to pop on an outside light that was wired to an X10 switch, could this be activated along with the chime?

    Sorry guys for all the questions but
    A: I'm a novice
    B: I don't know where the hell to buy this stuff without getting ripped off.

    Any help is much appreciated!

    Gavin

  10. #10
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    Ok, I have used a Visonic PIR sensor (just a normal indoor wireless one) placed in a water proof tube with a small whole in it nailed to a tree. A waterproof bird box would be a good choice. The point is you have to reduce the field of vision to a tunnel. You then need to make sure an object prevents it from seeing too far. I have an Iron gate with a line of conifers opposite. Any one climbing the gate will go straight through the field of view of the PIR. Cats wonít climb the gate as they can go through it as do foxes. The trees face is away from the sun so no false alarms. Anyway chimes in the day don't bother me; it's late at night to the early hours that are important. The zone is chime only so it never sets the alarm off. Just use trial and error to get the setup right. The main problem with the visonic PIR is that they seem to switch themselves off after a number of alarms presumably to save power. A real pain when testing the system. The PIR was outside all through the winter without issue. A check inside shows no sign of damp damage. Obviously there is a chance indoor PIRs could get wrecked but like I say my wired PIR has been outside for 4 years and is as good as new. At £3 I'll replace it if it goes. I brought the Visonic one it after about 9 months because I didn't really need it. One was enough.

    No X10 is required for chiming unless you need a remote chime. Chime will work on any zone regardless of how it is triggered so PIR is fine. The problem with chime is will you hear it at night. In my case I bought the visonic two way remote keypad because it allows me to control the alarm from my bed and receives the chime from the base unit. This cost £88 pounds but it does offer full remote control.

    Why do you want a chime to go off if you put the light on?


    You can use X10 but you need the X10 controller. You will then need three X10 appliance switches (one for each flood light. Won't one be enough?) and if you can't use the built-in chime you could use the X10 dog bark. You can then program the unit to send an X10 command to switch on the lights. Personally I wouldn't bother with X10 controlling the flood lights because it sometimes fails so it might not turn the lights off. 1500W left on all night might cost a bit. I use normal PIR that comes with the lights. Ok this goes off a bit more but does that matter. The PIR for intruders is separate and the two systems are independent. X10 could be used but it would be better with a bespoke application to do clever things. I use my Java app so I can say things like. If the lights have been on for 10 minutes between 10pm and 7.00am say then turn them off. You can by clever apps but I donít use them so canít comment.

    Best of luck.

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