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brummydave

I'm after recommendations for modern domestic burglar alarms please. Either to replace the hardware on the ends of an existing wired system, or to install from scratch one that links in with smart home tech. This is not my forte as I haven't fitted an alarm for decades, and the last ones I did were the Texecom Veritas R8.

 

Whilst at an electrical job I was asked to cast my eye on the ancient burglar alarm system. It's a wired 4-zone Optima XM system, disconnected from main supply and the internal battery (that was fitted in 1996). The main panel with keypad is nicely accessible in the hallway, there's panic buttons in one bedroom and by the front door, a wired bell box on the front, a sound bomb in the hall, three downstairs PIRs (why not the kitchen?!) and one PIR on the landing. No magnetic sensors anywhere or any protection for the garage.

 

The client want some sort of new system as a deterrent to the increased criminal activity in the area. They also want a load of smarthome gear for heating, lighting, sound etc but that's for next year. I'm pulling up boards around most of the house for new sockets and network cabling so chucking alarm cable in as well isn't an issue - if that's what's needed.

 

I was gobsmacked in Denmans today to see that old Texecom is still sold! I also find that Honeywell still do the Optima, albeit in G4 guise. Both look very very simple.

 

Has alarm technology not moved in in 20 years?

 

I'd have thought there'd be lots of systems that link to other home tech. Whether for app control, remote monitoring, or to link the intruder alarm CCTV recorrding or with other detection systems like fire, CO, gas and flood?

 

I look forward to the forum wisdom on this!

 

Thanks.
 

PS This section of the forums doesn't look highly active so mods please put my post elsewhere if you think that better!

Edited by brummydave

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Richard-the-ninth

Its quiet because not many people ask.

Its the old horses for courses debate, ask 10 folk which panel they prefer and you will get 10 answers, no two the same.

I would opt for a wired system as they give less trouble and give less grief and dont require batteries changing every couple of years.

Yes technology has moved on, but not as much as you think. You can get all singing all dancing control it from your phone alarms (i don't like the ones I have seen) as they all rely on the  internet working (same with remote viewing CCTV)

Get a slightly better than basic panel put that in, along with all new devices and cables and Robert will be your mother's brother.

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Doc Hudson

If you are supplying and maintaining a "wireless" all singing and dancing package you will probably want to have access to some top notch test gear for monitoring the actual signal strength of your new kit and what other wireless signals are already in your proposed location that could cause interference to the system you are installing. If you are looking for a system with reliability, that works when you need it to, the basic rule is minimise the number of potential areas that can introduce failure. So you have to ask yourself, do you know anyone whose home wi-fi has dead-patches, rooms/areas where it is either weak or frequently dropping out? Do you know any places where standard mobile phone signal is week or calls fail at certain parts of the house. Very few properties have 100% good coverage throughout as limitations due to physical building structure either blocking or reduce signal strength significantly or other signals interfering with your equipment. So you then have to know, will your proposed wire-less alarm system be able to overcome these same problem areas that mobile phones and wi-fi routers struggle with. The old saying if it isn't broken, don't fix it, is very relevant with reliability issues for alarm systems in my opinion. Hence why you do still find the old established wired systems are out their doing the donkey work over hard wired connections between sensors and the main panel.

 

App control and home tech is an area that can offer some added features and benefits, but again it can introduce another potential area for failure that is a third party system. If the app fails, your phone/tablet fails, or the app is no-longer supported/updated by the app supplier due to platform upgrade in 18months+ time, it could potentially leave you high and dry without a working system. The base line you need is a system that can work stand-alone, wired, with traditional manual keypad, even if it is linkable to some smart device app. As in a worst-case scenario the fundamentals of the alarm will still be usable even if you have to upgrade your phone or tablet and then find that the alarm linking app no longer works correctly.  The nuts and bolts of the core alarm system will no doubt outlast a few mobile devices and platform upgrades over many years to come. 

 

Some customers want the latest tech, because it is the latest tech! Others just want a reliable system. If you are doing the tech-for-tech-sake option it could give you big headaches later unless you yourself have confidence in the system you have chosen. However, if you have a customer who likes to go out and source and supply their own kit, let them get the latest all singing and dancing gadgets and use it as an interesting learning project to find out if and how it works in a real home environment, then if it goes belly up and fails to operate when it should its their problem not yours!

 

Doc H.

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Barx

Texecom Premier Elite with a Smart Com is a step in the right direction and looks promising. I have one in my house and although it looks promising, it is new (the smart com bit). The app for smart phones works well and looks a whole lot better than their older apps. They currently have smart plugs and are working on more hardware and integration with other smart system. I think control 4 and z-wave.

 

If you have the boards up anyway I wouldn't go wireless, end of.

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