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Hybrid wired/wireless (sigh!) alarms

Discussion in 'Alarms, CCTV & Telephones' started by electronicsuk, 26 Aug 2007.

  1. electronicsuk

    electronicsuk

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    Hi all. A friend of mine is in the process of having an extension added to their house, and has asked me to add an additional PIR and possibly a set of magnetic contacts into their alarm system.

    The existing system is a fairly old wired Paragon Plus (no remote keypad) that was installed at the same time the house was built. Sadly all the rooms have been decorated to the owner's taste and they are unwilling to lift any floorboards, making installation of a new wired sensor impossible without running the cable in mini trunking or along the outside of the house, neither of which are appealing options.

    As unclean as it makes me feel to even mention the word, it seems like the best option here would be to install wireless sensors in the extension. Have looked at some of the options available and considered an ESP zone receiver that could be wired into the existing system, but at £40 for the receiver and another £30 for the PIR it hardly seems worth the money.

    I'm now leaning towards recommending a new hybrid control panel, as the existing main panel is aging and the PSU transformer has also started to develop quite a nasty 50Hz hum.

    Does anyone have recommendations for a good (but inexpensive, of course :p) hybrid system? Doesn't need to have a remote keypad, but this might be advantageous given the current location of the main panel.
     
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  3. breezer

    breezer

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    you wont find one.

    be honest and tell them all wireless systems a bunch of turds
     
  4. electronicsuk

    electronicsuk

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    Been there, done that, they won't budge. I'd rather provide them with some form of working system than just turn around and say I won't install a wireless system full stop.
     
  5. breezer

    breezer

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    goodluck then.

    I would rather walk away than install what i know will be hassle and grief
     
  6. lvsystems

    lvsystems

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    The old pyronix systems were notorious for that it's the way the transformer is glued into the back box. Convince them on a upgrade and install a new wired sensor Surely there's a way of getting one cable out to a sensor ? Don't usually condone this but if needs be you could always go s u r f a c e with the cable (shudder) that will make them consider the need to lift boards. Wouldn't touch wireless though see previous posts by breezer and I on the subject
     
  7. scott1980

    scott1980

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    Why the concern over lifting floorboards? Is it not physically possible (laminate flooring?). If it's possible, you'll probably only need to lift 2 or 3 boards to get a cable in. There's the possibility of dropping the cable down the cavity from the loft if the main panel is in a cupboard upstairs. The last hardwired option I would consider is stapling the cable under the edges of the carpet around to where you need to get to. Not ideal, but lots of alarms are fitted this way.

    I wouldn't call £70 for a wireless set up expensive, but it's probably not a very good one. If you're going to completely upgrade the panel look at the Gardtec CPX with the wireless add on. The technology is fine.
     
  8. electronicsuk

    electronicsuk

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    The area directly above the control panel is an upstairs bathroom, and it's understandable why they wouldn't want to lift the floor here. The necessary cables could almost certainly be accessed elsewhere by lifting carpets and boards, but being a new house they will almost certainly be large T+G panels, which they are not willing to cut into.

    The control panel is located in a downstairs sitting room to the right of the front door. I'm not interested in putting the new sensor(s) on independant zones, so running a new cable to the main panel shouldn't be necessary. I had hoped to simply wire into the existing downstairs zone for the new PIR sensor in the extension, but this is looking increasingly unlikely to be possible.

    Out of interest, how many of those criticising wireless alarm systems have actually installed a modern wirefree system? I'm not saying the criticism is unfounded, but having never installed such a system myself I find it hard to believe they can really be as bad as most users of this forum make them out to be.
     
  9. breezer

    breezer

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    I have seen them all do pretty much the same thing.

    You dont need to install them to find out what is wrong, installing them is the easy part, you get the manual read it install them simple.

    Its when you service them and get called out to faults you find the real problems.


    The galaxy detectors have a habbit of going into tamper becuse of the feeble construction method of the tamper switch.

    detectors dont always work when tested, i had to install 3 last week (existing system) 2 worked 1 didnt (all brand new out of the box)

    All will and do suffer from "jamming" but jamming from what?

    One bloke we took it out because a radio ham moved in to his block of flats and soon after it came up with jamming

    Batteries that are supposed to last for 5 years (acording to manufacturer) last 8 months

    more jamming

    detectors falling permanently asleep

    detectors that the panel loses (and complains about it)

    I brought home a radio receiver and stuck it on a panel i have here, it kept going into tamper on the receiver

    In short every manufacturer says this is the bees knees for radio, they all soon go wrong, thats why i hate them.
     
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  11. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    I was asked to install one for a friend some years ago. My experience ( 12 years in design of radio paging equipment ) meant I could identify several "excessive" claims in the manufacturer's literature.

    Any wireless system enables an "outsider" access to the link between control panel and the sensors. While it is not a simple task to clone sensors it is possible to clone them by listening to their transmissions and then via the radio link fool the control panel into believing all sensors are showing no alarm.
     
  12. electronicsuk

    electronicsuk

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    Thanks for the advice guys - will speak to the owners and see where they would like to go from here.

    Scott, Re the Gardtec CPX panel, I can't find much information on the wireless expander. I assume I'd be looking at the RP128EW08GTA wireless receiver to go with this panel? If so, can you tell me whether it's a seperate physical unit or a PCB mounted design that fits inside the CPX panel?
     
  13. scott1980

    scott1980

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    That's the one. It's a standalone unit, but as you have since mentioned that the main panel is downstairs by the front door, you might be a bit stuck. The CPX (and most new panels) come with a separate keypad and endstation, meaning that the cabling will need relocating to a central cupboard somewhere...
     
  14. electronicsuk

    electronicsuk

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    Luckily enough it will be possible to wire in a remote keypad. Imagine you walk in through the front door, you then take a U turn into the sitting room on the right hand side where the panel is currently located. The house doubles back on itself in that you have to walk the sitting room from the outside before you actually get to the front door.

    It will be possible to drill straight through the wall behind the panel and place the keypad on the opposite side right next to the front door, not an ideal solution but if they don't change their mind about removing floorboards then it's about all I can do.
     
  15. Had mine at least 6 months - not had any problems with it. I'm not an expect though - just my personal experiences. I'm in a very low crime area so I only installed it for a bit of extra peace of mind.
     
  16. plugwash

    plugwash

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    It should be possible to get arround that by designing the sensors to use a protocol based on strong public/private key cryptography.
     
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