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  1. #1
    Automated Home Jr Member
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    Default Experts Advice request: Home Security with Automation

    Hi All,

    Neewby here and would like to ask your expert advice please?

    I live in the UK and after a recent lapse in home security, I need to replace my home alarm system, but do not want to invest 'closed feature' system. What I am looking for is a system that would take home security (PIR, telephone alerting) and combine it with home automation (Lights, curtains, etc). I have had a look at "Marmitek TotalGuard 7 Piece Wireless Security System" but it only takes two wired PIR and somehow I dont trust wireless.

    My question is: What home security system, with home automation, would be best suited, providing plenty of expandability etc? Has anyone done this, and if so, does it exist?

    Thanks,

    Creagan

  2. #2

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    Welcome Creagan.

    Have you looked at the Comfort system? http://www.cytech.biz/

    Also don't rule out wireless completely - and have a look at http://www.alertme.com

    M.

  3. #3
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    From experience and what a few other people have said, and the old saying of jack of all trades and master of none. Most Security systems with HA features either tend to do the security part very well and the HA is kind of an afterthought. Or they do the HA part well and the security bit is kind of OK.
    Some security systems do have serial interfaces that can be connected to an HA controller, and the alarm panel then sends out various commands on this serial link, which can then be acted on by the HA controller, and likewise the controller can send commands to the alarm.

    Something I have been toying with is to use my Homevision unit with an INF-RX8 unit which connects to the 8 inputs of the HV unit. The RX8 then uses the Infinte range of wireless sensors. Then program the HV unit to react to the sensor triggers. Its still on the back burner for now.
    HV info here www.csi3.com
    infinte info here http://www.espuk.com/pdfs/RX8.pdf

    Visonic also do a similar unit to the RX8

    As Otto has said don't rule out wireless. Wireless security systems are a lot more reliable than they used to be. And tend to be trouble free, the only problem is having to change the batteries. But many of the newer sensors from will last 2 to 3 years. I have known some sensors to last 4 years before they needed their batteries changing.
    Last edited by toscal; 27th July 2009 at 11:37 PM.
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
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  4. #4
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    Thank you for the input - much appreciated.

    Otto-Mate: I can not seem to find ao online retailer where I can buy the Comford system from. Also, it seems that there are no PIR for this system, but I could be wrong. The system looks like what I need!

    Toscal: The ESP Prime range looks even better - no prices on the website, but waiting for an email responce.

    It seems like home automation (HA) runs mostly on x10 - is this correct? I dont want to go down the x10 route and find my hands tied in a few years time.

    I still have a few PIR detectors on the walls (hard wired) and possibly I could reuse these (burglars only busted the control panel and external siren). I still feel wireless can be *scramble* or 'disbled' by a wireless 'nuke' device, or am I being paranoid?

  5. #5
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    Being paranoid. Most wireless systems now know if they are being jammed and will set the alarm off automatically.
    There are other home automation systems such as Cbus, Idratek, KNX/EIB, PLCBUS, ZWave. And a few others.
    X10 is cheap but can be problematic to install. But a well designed system can be made to be as reliable as any other. We have installed many X10 systems and they are very reliable, but then they where profesionally installed. One system has over 80 X10 modules.
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
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  6. #6
    Automated Home Jr Member nickgale's Avatar
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    Comfort can be bought from www.smartalarmshop.co.uk, they don't do PIR's as you can use any wired PIR's, just about any bell boxes, etc. It does do both security and home automation very well and can interface with X10, CBus, Dynalite, KNX, etc. for lighting control. It also handles door entry very well.

    It is not the easiest to program but it is very powerful if you know how to get the most out of it. It can also be added to over the years.

    We have installed a number of systems.

    Hope this helps

    Nick

  7. #7
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    Toscal - Maybe I am just a little paranoid, but having burglars in my house while we were asleep is very frightening.

    OK, so I have been reading allot, and it seems like I might go for the ESP Infinite Prime system from here. I would love to go down the Comfort route, but the price is a dead stopper, *sigh*... the panel alone is over 300!

    I am thinking of adding the HA module to the ESP Infinite Prime system that will control x10, but I am not 100% sure. Elsewhere on the forums I have read that there are limitations to x10 and allot of people seem to switch the CBUS after a while. I am not planning to do major complicated stuff in the immediate future, but you never know.

    Question: Has anyone worked with/installed the ESP Infinite Prime system, and if so, what issues have you encountered? Also, I cannot seem to find any info on programming the system, even though it has a serial/USB computer interface.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Creagan View Post
    Otto-Mate: I can not seem to find ao online retailer where I can buy the Comford system from.
    Look here...

    http://www.cbus-shop.com/index.php?cPath=139

    M.

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