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Thread: Starting alarm system from scratch

  1. #1
    Automated Home Lurker
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    Default Starting alarm system from scratch

    Hello, i am a total novice at this but am very keen to learn.

    I would like to install an xp/ pc based home alarm system with motion sensitive cameras that record to a web based server and telephone a set number when activated. i would like this system to be expandable to control lighting, curtains etc at a later stage, and also be able to remotely view the cameras over the web
    I have looked at homeseer, x10.com, and various camera capture card manufacturers and am to be honest totally lost as to what i need to buy to get me started, and the compatibility of different components.
    can anyone give me an idea as to where to start?

    hope you can help

    many thanks

    Andy

  2. #2
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Starting alarm system from scratch

    I will start with potential problems first. While XP Pro is fairly stable it is still prone to the odd crash. And you wouldn't want your security system to crash just when you get broken into.
    Personally I would use a stand alone camera system. This would be 4 to 8 cameras hooked up to an HD DVR (hard disc digital video recorder). That way the system can record what is happening, locally. This serves as a back up. If the burglar cuts the phone line and or your cable TV connection how do you get emails etc. Most HD DVR also have an ethernet port on the back so connecting it to the internet is fairly staright forward if you already have a home network.
    I still believe that security is best handled by a purpose built security system. I fit and install the Visonic Powermax plus alarm panels in Spain. This also has simple home automation possibilities. The Powermax plus is a wireless system. You can also have normal phone and or GSM connection. It can have a web server module. The server module has the ability to have cameras connectd to it as well. Though I would still go with a stand alone solution for the cameras. Having several systems working together makes the burglars life harder as he now has to defeat several systems instead of one to gain access and will most likely go elsewhere.
    For home automation I use the HomeVision controller. This is an excellent piece of kit. Fairly straight forward to use. Comes with a comprehensive manual, and a very active users forum. Other options in the stand alone controller might be the Ocelot, again once set up will run and run. But it isn't so easy to program as it uses something called ladder logic programming, its based soley on IF statements.
    For a PC based homeautomation solution you either have just a PC pased system or a hybrid system. PC based would be Homeseer, which I have used and do like though there are a few bug issues with the new V2.0.
    There is Harmony from lets automate. Home Control assistant, and many others.
    A Hybrid system is one like Home vision linked to a pc to provide web access, audio messaging, emailing facilities etc.
    As stated before if the pc crashes your automation system goes down. In a hybrid system you just lose some of the functionality and the automation still carries on.
    Something esle to think about, if the power is out how is your security system going to work. The Powermax plus will work for about 12 hours after power failure.

    Web sites
    Cameras and HD DVR www.kgbcameras.co.uk
    HD DVR, cameras and automation www.simplyautomate.co.uk
    Homevision www.csi3.com
    Harmony and automation www.letsautomate.com
    Powermax Plus www.visonic.com
    powermax dealer in uk www.personalalarms.co.uk

  3. #3
    Automated Home Guru FrankMcAlinden's Avatar
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    Default Re: Starting alarm system from scratch

    Hi Andy

    Would have to agree with Toscal , a dedicated alarm system is IMO the best approach....

    In my own setup i have 4 pulnix cameras a Samsung security vcr ......

    I use Homevision for HomeAutomation and Genesis for my alarm system...

    Websites

    http://www.genesiselectronics.com.au/

    http://www.pulnix.co.uk/

    http://www.csi3.com/homevis2.htm

    HTH
    Frank
    Home of FirM - the Multi Zone IR Transport System
    http://www.armaghelectrical.com.au/index.html

  4. #4
    Automated Home Lurker
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    Default Re: Starting alarm system from scratch

    Blimey, thanks very much guys, at least i know where to start looking, i have been going round and round in circles, i started looking at X10/x ray vision software etc and thought this would be easy but soon found out it wasnt.

    i am sure i will be picking your brains again.

    Thanks again

    Andy

  5. #5
    Automated Home Lurker
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    Default Re: Starting alarm system from scratch

    Or www.flyonthewall.uk.com do a large range of wireless cameras and DVRs too ...

  6. #6
    Automated Home Lurker
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    Default Re: Starting alarm system from scratch

    Thanks very much, i will take a look.

    Andy

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