Self installed security system for home

Discussion in 'Community' started by bbarnhart, Apr 18, 2005.

  1. bbarnhart macrumors 6502a


    Jan 16, 2002
    Has anyone ever self installed a security system in your house? We have a Honeywell security system in our current house, but we are beginning the process of building a new house. I don't want to have to pay for monitoring service. That is why we don't want to use ADT or Honeywell etc.

    I've looked at a few websites that sell the door sensors, glass break sensors and control pads and it looks like similar stuff you would get with a "brand name" security system. I'm sure there are lots of other third party security system installers and this is probably what they use. I'm just not very familiar. I'm wanting to do the install myself to save money.

    I figure monitoring isn't really that necessary. When an intruder sets off the alarm, most of the time that is enough to get them to leave.
  2. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Los Angeles
    My brother built a homemade system from scratch, so that each door and window had an open/closed sensor, with a central control box with a loud bell and a master on/off switch. Pretty simple, and it worked.

    People who have a professional service wire the house, install motion detectors, and have a 24-hour on-call remote monitoring may feel more secure, but it's often overkill. If the cat walks by the motion detector, or the wind blows the drapes in that room, and the system calls the police automatically when the alarm is triggered, they may end up paying the city after too many repeated false alarms.
  3. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    As far as the sensors go they are all simple trip switches so you can use the with any security panel you purchase. I would say install the sensors and wiring yourself, but you may need a tech to install your panel. Unless you purchase a high end panel like a JDS Stargate (designed for home automation and security) you will have a lot of problems activating your panel.

    The one I purchased (a Napco Gemini) required a master code for activation that only security professionals can obtain though the installers manual said the one that came with the panel is what you use it neglected to mention that you needed a computer to initially speak with the panel. The companies that make the panel will not speak to you. :confused: Installers will not install a panel unless they provide the panel.

    So my advise for the panel would be either spend at least $400 for one that is designed for Home Automation, ie X11 for lighting, camera intigration, home A/V automation. Or have a company install a cheap panel for you. It will save you from some headaches. A good system should have two zones per room so that you can arm the windows and doors while at home thus you don't set off the motion detectors when at home. Make sure the panel can handle all of these zones. Most panels come with eight zones and can be expanded to 32.

    If you go with home automation for your security a very good panel is the HAI Omni or the JDS Stargte, sorry no link. Stay away from the Napco Gemini :mad: . For the home automation program the HAL2000 is supposed to be great ( stay away from Homeseer it is a tiny company with poor quality products. Let me put it this way at homeseer the tech support staff of 4-5 people also make the program, plug-ins and monitor their forums.

    I should mention all panels come with a wiring diagram so you or a friend must be able to read one.

    Apple really needs to make an easy to use home automation system. Come on Cupertino think Star Trek. :D
  4. XNine macrumors 68040


    Apr 7, 2005
    Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?
    I would recommend having someone install it for you. Different devices require different gauged wire, and running the wire improperly could result in electrical feedback to the panel, loud hums, or a conflict with monitoring (if you DO choose to get monitoring later).

    If you want glass breaks, 360 motion detectors, smoke detectors, etc, I'd really have some pro do it. It'll be worth your money and should be less than or right around 1k, depending on how many doors/windows and devices you have. For the life of me I can't remember the types of panels I had installed, other than Ademco.

    That's just my 2 cents having been an installation tech for 4 years.

    If you need any more advice or help, I'd be happy to help you out. Just PM me.

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