View Full Version : Looking for help on home security / home alarms systems (not redneck home security)

05-05-2012, 21:05

I searched first and only came up with two of the same joke about a dog bowl and a note to Bubba about going out to get more ammo.

I am looking to buy and install a home security system and pay a third party to monitor it. At this time, I am not interesting in entering into a three-year contact with one of the larger alarm companies which sells monitoring at a higher price and who actually own the equipment they would put in my home.

I am looking for a system to thwart common break-ins, not something you would see in Mission Impossible 4. Has anyone here installed his or her own alarm system or have other recommendations? I am leaning towards a Honeywell Vista system but there are so many options, components, configurations, etc.


05-06-2012, 07:06
How big a factor is cost?

05-06-2012, 07:51
I hope to get something in the $600-700 range, at least as a start.:)

05-06-2012, 21:55
I hope to get something in the $600-700 range, at least as a start.:)


Check Sears. It's not that their systems are that much better than those offered by high-priced security companies, but they are at least equal, and the installation instructions are for real people. You can get in under $400. I don't know what the arrangement would be with the ADT's of the world, or other such companies, but the systems will generally dial whatever multiple numbers you want (PD, of course) when activated, or just make a lot of noise if you are at home. My old Sears system hooked to a siren I mounted inside a roof vent. That alerted neighbors, and bad guys seem to not like the sound of a siren while they are poking around.

I favor a different approach to the window/door sensors. I'm running a standard DVR type video card (GV-600) on a desktop PC, with some wired cameras (x10). I don't recommend those particular companies since the GF-600 doesn't like systems that run anything newer than XP, and the x10 cameras are a b*tch when it comes to setting up the drivers. Got it cheap. However, the approach gives me the following,

Up to 8 cameras that are sensitive to a change in pixels, i.e., when a blue shirt "appears" where a brick wall was, the system triggers (any other change, of course). When triggered, pictures are sent to my Android phone (standard email). I can see who came and went in short order and alert whomever I wish. I can also, through a free motorola program (Motorola RAZR) view the actual recording of all movement and delete, copy, upload, whatever. It will also send land line phone alerts if I wish. If I am out of the area, I can set it to send to my son also, since he is about three minutes away. A trusted neighbor would be nearly as good.

Such a system is also good for seeing if someone got home at 3 a.m. and was a bit unsteady, so my lovely lady doesn't have the program password. ;)

And the "what if the computer is stolen" question I've been asked is answered by 4 holes in the desktop, cables and concrete anchors in the basement wall.

One addition I'm looking at is an IP cam that can be controlled and viewed in real time from an Android phone. That's in my "round tu it" file, but if you go the camera route, you're going be doing some crawling and cabling anyway.

I did a lot of advice after the fact on home burglaries (former LEO), so I'm fairly conversant with the options.

And, despite what my 3 sons may say, I never had a guard tyrannosaurus. :D

05-07-2012, 10:47
I hope to get something in the $600-700 range, at least as a start.:)

I installed my own system, a GE/ITI Concord 4. It's a hybrid wired/wireless system, so you have the option to go wireless in spots where you don't want to/can't drill and fish. Total cost was around $700 and change. Aside from the usual door(open/close) and glass break sensors, I have two dual tech(PIR/Radar) motion sensors covering the basement, as well as a water sensor on top of the sump pit. Monitoring is via Watchlight/Alarm Relay, and runs me about $10 a month. I ordered most of the components from SafeMart and overall it was relatively easy to install and configure.

As a side note, I have CCTV coverage as well, but that is a self-built system which is separate from my alarm system.

My .002

05-07-2012, 20:41
thanks guys!