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Thread: Cortex And Alarm Integration

  1. #11
    Automated Home Guru JonS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
    my ideal solution too would be a standalone 'approved' in line junction box for each PIR zone that allowed an isolated relay output but maintained absolutely the end to end zone wiring integrity for the alarm panel to support the tamper protection.
    Have you seen these junction boxes? The bigger ones include a tamper contact that may provide the e2e integrity the alarm supplier requires.
    http://www.alarmworld.co.uk/intruder...es/cat_12.html

    Inside they are 2 strips of choc block - nothing sophisticated. I've decided to use a couple of these but also in a more secluded cupboard just some choc block to provide a "distribution frame" for the DI's on DIN modules within enclosures. This should make it less disruptive to add additional sensors to the network than opening the enclosures and feeding a single cable in! Less congestion too.

    On a related point - does anyone know / could produce instructions for an opto isolator? I've seen the opto isolator chips in various electronics catalogues but got lost in Google looking for clear instructions on how to turn them into something useful. Thinking again my immediate need is something to allow me to connect my smoke/heat alarms - a relay wouldn't need to be powered so may be a better alternative? e.g. http://cpc.farnell.com/multicomp/mch...-9v/dp/SW02534
    JonS

  2. #12
    Automated Home Guru Geps's Avatar
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    There is no real single set of instructions that would work as it depends of the designs of what you're trying to combine.

    Relays are a better option for Idratek as they provide the volt-free signals the modules need.

    If you find an alarm and post up specs and pictures etc I'm sure a few of us on here can help you design a suitable circuit.

  3. #13
    Automated Home Guru Geps's Avatar
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    Actually.....for the intercepting sensor data....you COULD use an accurate hall effect sensor next to the cable.

    It depends on how your PIRs are wired but same as mine they have a current flowing through them dependant on their state.

    That would then provide a read-only method without interfering with the cable.

  4. #14
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    you can get relay-bases for some smoke detector units ... which might help in some situations ...

  5. #15
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    Default Fully integrated alarm

    Hi All,
    Very interesting alarm thread indeed.
    For my installation, I have been quite brave and have decided to go for a fully integrated approach - I am using Idratek as my alarm system. Inside the house, I am using standard Idra PRS modules while outside, I use external alarm PIRs (dual type and infrared curtains). The external PIRs are connected to Idra QDI modules. The interface to the external security company is made via a QRI relay output.
    I had the external PIRs installed and tuned by a professional installer and did the Idratek integration myself. I am using the new Cortex Alarm Pro functionality and it works quite well. External PIRs are used for alarm functionality and external lighting automation.
    Everything's working reasonably well. I had to set the trigger count > 1 for some PIRs to prevent false alarms, but otherwise - no particular problems during the first 6 months of operation. Full integration of the alarm functionality is quite nice. I can arm and disarm remotly, get remote alerts, use it for lighting automation etc.
    On the downside - no external support for the system - but it's not a problem if You know what you're doing ;-)

  6. #16
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    fully integrated approach ...

    well done - 'could be a good way of making the alarm smarter, too - eg: using intercom features to give spoken warnings, or other sounds, bringing lights on & off as intruders move about (spooking them & encouraging them to leave, hopefully), etc !

    did you think of including smoke detectors & fire alarms flashers / sounders, as well ... it could be a way of getting them to smarten-up - eg: using the overall picture to reduce false alarms (burnt toast, say); eg: checking on response (knowing where people are, say, and being able to tell if they respond, additional actions could be initiated if they do not) ... ??? With a radial layout, fire cable could be used for critical items ... plus perhaps triggering some sort of non-destructive gas for Node-0 cupboard fire-control (?)

  7. #17
    Automated Home Jr Member
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    Thanks Chris,
    I have fire/gas/water and other sensors connected to the system, but haven't configured them yet to trigger alarms. In the new Cortex Alarm Pro, there is very nice functionality to configure environmental alarms an I want to use it as soon as I have time to do so.
    Anyway, it is very obvious to me, that in home automation it makes very much sense to integrate systems as much as possible

  8. #18
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    thanks, that's good to hear ... we'll be following in your footsteps (just as soon as the builders wend their way) ...

  9. #19
    Automated Home Guru Geps's Avatar
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    See the idea of complete integration to me just doesn't appeal. There are alot of things that can go wrong and the idea of false alarms I think undermines the system's functionality.

    I think it's far better to have a standalone alarm and then supplement this with a write only connection to Cortex that can then enhance the response.

  10. #20
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    interesting ... different view-points, etc ...

    funny, though, when we here think of stand-alone alarms, we think of false-alarms, and people who've gone on holiday, or just out to work, and causing us misery ... so that anything even a little bit smart has to be better ... so integrated has to be better ! It can be more context sensitive, will have more strings to its bow, and can be adjusted, too ...

    ie: Cortex + UPS doing the alarms seems a great idea, and with the Idratek team behind it, it's more than likely to work-out

    (assuming Windows doesn't let the side down, of course - which it will, even if only now & then, so a strategy to handle that would be v.necessary)
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 10th January 2011 at 07:01 PM.

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