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Texecom Premier Elite - Home Assistant Integration

Discussion in 'Alarms, CCTV & Telephones' started by daern, 7 Mar 2021.

  1. daern

    daern

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    Probably one for the more tech-savvy audience, but thought it worth sharing.

    In recent months, there has been a fair amount of development of an interface between Texecom Premier Elite alarms (with ComIP / SmartCom) and Home Assistant, a popular home automation platform. Home Assistant natively supports generic alarms (either via third-party integration with traditional, physical alarms) or via its own manual alarm, which allows you to create your own alarm using Home Assistant's numerous sensors, and whatever outputs you choose to drive.

    I won't detail every part of the setup here, but suffice to say the instructions that can be found here are more than clear enough to get it all setup and there's also an excellent support thread, to be found here. Probably took me about 30 minutes to get it up and running on my system, with a good chunk being to work out how to get the SmartCom up and running in the first place, but once it was up and working, it sprang to life with no further messing about.

    So, what does it look like when done? Well a sample integration displays zones a bit like this:

    [​IMG]

    (and the zones states change real time, so it's quite cool to stand with the Home Assistant app and open and close a door and watch them update!)

    You can also view the current state of the overall system, or by area. e.g.

    [​IMG]

    ...which you can then arm (or part set) through the app...

    [​IMG]

    ...so you can see in real time what the current state of the system is.

    Obviously, there are numerous triggers which you can use to fire off other actions based on events from the alarm, e.g. intruder, or a given zone changing state. One of my favourites is to turn on *all* of the lights in the house when the alarm goes off at night, which would certainly make an intruder think twice about hanging around! Or how about alerting if the alarm is not set when there's nobody at home? Dead easy!

    You can also do other, non-related tasks like alerting if someone has left the back door open for more than a couple of minutes (those with kids will probably well appreciate this!). For bonus marks, combine this with an external temperature sensor so it won't bother alerting if it's nice and warm outside.

    Anyway, bit of a rambling post, but thought there might be some home automation fans who have a Texecom alarm that supports an IP connection and didn't realise just what awesome things they could do with it! It's worth noting that this is all pretty new, so I'd expect some bumps with more complicated configurations, but the developer seems quite responsive.

    If anyone has any questions, I'll be happy to try to answer them if I can.
     
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  3. GalaxyGuy

    GalaxyGuy

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    SelfMon offers a module for this on the Galaxy. It avoids the COM module as it's not as fast when there are several simultaneous SIA triggers processed serially.

    What's the propagation delay like for the COM-IP, as previous dev reports that it was slow for sensor trigger to light activation?
     
  4. daern

    daern

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    Well under one second here for updating from door open to updating in HA. To all intents and purposes, it seems pretty much instantaneous. Not tried an alarm trigger through it, but would expect similar performance.

    (FWIW, I currently use a bespoke Arduino interface on the digicom outputs that I brought over from the old Accenta, so not really done a whole lot more testing so far, but the aim would be to use this if I can as it's more flexible)
     
  5. sparkymarka

    sparkymarka

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    Can’t see anything that you can’t allready do with the smart com ...to be honest
     
  6. GalaxyGuy

    GalaxyGuy

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    Does it support an MQTT keypad ? I know the old java program that ran internal to the COM-IP had that capability, but it was terrible and would crash after a couple of days.
     
  7. GalaxyGuy

    GalaxyGuy

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    Yes, although MQTT just makes it easier to talk reliably and securely with other 'things'. The trouble with alarm panels trying to cover automation is that 'recipes' can only cater for so much. With a full-blown automation system it really needs scripting support.
     
    Last edited: 7 Mar 2021
  8. daern

    daern

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    Indeed, this is why I prefer to do all of my clever stuff in HA where possible. The other big one is sensor mash-up - e.g. "Do something if the CCTV is triggered when the alarm is set and it's after dusk" - which is made much easier if you have a central hub for your various forms of automation. This is stuff that is much harder to do unless you are willing to go single-vendor on all of your automation, and even then you are subject to the whims of the vendor as to what they will allow you to do!

    I appreciate it's not for everyone and that many would prefer the obvious simplicity of the manufacturer's integrated solution, but it's always nice to have options :)
     
  9. daern

    daern

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    Not that I know. Well, not one that can directly interact with the Texecom anyway.
     
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  11. daern

    daern

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    To be fair, I'm leaving my old, homebrew module hanging on the digicom outputs for now until I've got a decent amount of confidence in the IP interface. In fact, there's probably no need to ever remove it as it does the job and is good as a backup notification source anyway.
     
  12. GalaxyGuy

    GalaxyGuy

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    It would be better if we didn't need these bridges and the manufacturers implemented MQTT for the system variables and programming options. All the software could then be abstracted and built on top. That would be an almost perfect system.

    If only we had a decent open source alarm PCB and RTOS based firmware.
     
  13. daern

    daern

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    You'll get no argument from me!

    The HA "manual alarm" module is a decent stab at this, but you probably have to be willing to sacrifice some of the nicer integration elements (e.g. keypads) and lose some of the robust simplicity of a traditional alarm's physical wiring. That said, I'm sure many people (and probably most who would go to the effort of setting this up!) would probably be more than happy to only use their phones to set/unset an alarm.

    What we need is a Tasmota-style firmware replacement, as has been done for Sonoff/Tuya smart home kit :)
     
  14. Stuart Frost

    Stuart Frost

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    I was excited to see this and maybe try it and then I saw that you have to disable encryption so that was the end of that.
     
  15. daern

    daern

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    That's fair enough and if I were also using the Texecom app, I would say this is mandatory indeed as it seems this is the primary mechanism for protecting traffic between app and alarm. In my case, as I'm dedicating this SmartCom to the interface with HA (which is entirely internal on my network), the risk is probably pretty low so I'm not losing too much sleep. My SmartCom only seems able to do one thing at a time anyway (I need to shut down this integration in order to use Wintex, for example), so I'd probably get a ComIP for the third com port if I wanted to use the official app long-term, and could then enable encryption on the appropriate ports only.

    Would be a good feature addition on the add-on though!
     
  16. Stuart Frost

    Stuart Frost

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    I use the texecom app when out and about so can’t turn encryption off.
     
  17. JonnyMercUK

    JonnyMercUK

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    Hi @daern ,

    I’m a complete newbie to HA but wondered if you could help. I’ve followed the instructions as best I can but stuck now. The logs in texecom2mqtt are fetching all the areas and zones but what do I do from here?

    The least I need to do is get arm and disarm on the dashboard.
     
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