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Any knowledge / insight / info on DMP panels?

Discussion in 'Security Alarms' started by Eric B., Oct 17, 2008.

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  1. Jim

    Jim Guest

    Napco does the same thing with zones at the keypad, but I always home
    run the kepads with a multiconductor cable and zone it at the panel.
    Even EZM modules. The only time I'll remote the zones is in a good
    size commercial job.
  2. Jim

    Jim Guest

    Except when there weren't any in the area! And those outside the area
    didn't want to make the trip.
  3. Jim

    Jim Guest

    I'm sure DMP wouldn't talk to you but ....... neither would any of the
    ADT will use a standard brand like Napco or Ademco. Sometimes it's a
    proprietary CP that can only be programed by them. But many times it's
    just a standard panel but they'll lock it out so you can't get into
    The only supply problems I can think of is that a major supplier, ADI
    was dropped by Napco a few years ago. But that shouldn't have stopped
    them from obtaining the equipment somewhere else. Napco never had any
    shipping problems that I know of.

    I doughno, ............ something doesn't sound right about that.
    I don't understand .... are you saying that you can get the DMP >>>>
    Installed for $500.00???????

    Because you certainly can get DSC equipment alone, for a whole lot
    less than $1- 1.5K

    Either I'm not understanding or something sounds wrong about this.
  4. Eric B.

    Eric B. Guest

    I understand and know that DSC is a very popular choice for contractors when
    they are building homes and developments. Which makes me question how great
    they actually are since contractors are notorious for buying the cheapest
    thing they can get their hands on. That being said, would you mind
    educating me on the differences between the two?

    I know that if I were to ask people what the difference was between a Lexus
    and a Civic, someone would inevitably say that they are the same; both are
    cars and both get you from point a to point b. However, ask enough ppl and
    someone will eventually explain the differences between the comfort of the
    rides, the quietness of the cabin, the better manouverability, etc. I know
    that DSC and DMP are both burglar alarms. But why is it that they shouldn't
    be compared? Is one more prone to breakdowns than the other? What makes
    DMP so much higher-end than DSC?

    Thanks for any info / insight!

  5. Eric B.

    Eric B. Guest

    Does the flash upgradeability really make that much of a difference? I know
    my folks are running an old Napco system (from '91), that obviously hasn't
    been touched in 17 years. Once the system is installed and functional, why
    would you both upgrading it? What new things do they come out with in the
    firmware upgrades that make flash upgrades a worthwhile thing to have? Or
    is that more for something when you want to modify your system configuration
    that it can come in handy?
    It's both a question of if the company goes belly up and/or if I don't like
    the service that I am getting from them. Then where to turn / what to do.
    I like having the ability to do things myself; I would hate putting myself
    in a position where I can only call someone in to do it for me. I'm a
    hardware engineer and a very hands-on person. I have no problems
    outsourcing things when it is required, but I like to know that if I want to
    add / modify things myself, that I have the ability, and that I am not
    forced to call in an exclusive dealer to handle things.

    Would you mind educating me as to why you are so opposed to DSC? It sounds
    like you have had serious problems with their technology in the past. Is
    the company not reputable, or do they produce pooring QA'ed equipment? Or
    is their support lackluster?

    Thanks for the advice!

  6. Eric B.

    Eric B. Guest

    FYI - I did call DMP this morning to try to get more information about the
    dealers in my area and to find out if the dealer is truly exclusive in this
    market or not. At first, they transferred me to the wrong rep - that rep
    hasn't handled my territory in over 3 months. When I did finally get
    transferred to the right rep, I got voicemail and am still waiting for a
    call back. I'm hoping they'll call me back Monday without me needing to
    call in a third time. I was hoping to find a list of dealers on their
    website, but they don't have any listed there either.

  7. Eric B.

    Eric B. Guest

    Funny you should say that. I did reprogram my parent's Napco via the
    keypad. Not difficult; more just a pain in the butt. Without the
    installer's manual, though, forget about it. But I didn't find it
    particulalry worse than programming a DSC panel via the keypad...

  8. Eric B.

    Eric B. Guest

    From past experience, I have never had the need for someone to come and
    Agreed. But at least I could get feedback from other users out there;
    either from forums, newsgroups or from a selection of different
    installers/dealers as opposed to a single one.
    Exactly. So whether it is a standard panel that is locked by them, or a
    proprietary CP, end result is pretty much the same; you get stuck needing
    ADT to make any of the changes themselves, and themselves only. Same
    concept as DMP in that case - no?

    I live in Canada. I don't know if that makes any difference or not.

    I felt the same way.....

    No, no. Not installed for $500. Just the cost of the hardware. But once I
    add together DSC CP, cellular transmitter, IP transmitter, zone extender and
    control panel, I came up with a quick cost of about 1K. I figured that if I
    had to buy things locally (as opposed to on the net), it would cost me about
    25% more. So when this dealer is suggesting that similar equipment would
    cost $500 from DMP, it made me take notice. I'm guessing that the cost of
    installing DMP or DSC should be roughly the same, assuming that it is the
    same number of zones, etc.

    Really, it is the cost of DMP and the ability to remotely flash the systems
    that i find very enticing.

  9. Eric B.

    Eric B. Guest

    No idea yet. He was to email me a quote today, but I didn't get anything
    from him yet. I'm expecting to get something monday and will let you know.
    An no - they are not an S&W dealer; purely security alarms / home

  10. Doug

    Doug Guest

    Is this an outright purchase or a lease tied in with monitoring?, if its a
    lease agreement then it really won't matter if its DIY friendly or if parts
    are readily available since the terms of the agreement may prevent you from
    making changes to the system.

  11. Eric B.

    Eric B. Guest

    As far as I know and understand the business model, the purchase and
    installation of the system is completely independent from the monitoring
    contract. Meaning that I would be buying the system, and if interested then
    signing a monitoring contract with them as well.
  12. Crash Gordon

    Crash Gordon Guest

    You won't get DMP that cheap I don't think, and YOU will not be able to
    flash anything only a dealer can.

    Gimme the model numbers of all parts spec'd and I'll tell you if you're
    getting a fair price.

    **Crash Gordon**
  13. Crash Gordon

    Crash Gordon Guest

    No, neither would be good DIYer.

    I could give you a program sheet but you still wouldn't understand what it
    means and what effect each entry has.

    Take a look at say and Ademco/Honeywell Vista 10P control panel...very easy
    to program...if you know the language...maybe.

    **Crash Gordon**
  14. Eric B.

    Eric B. Guest

    Hi Bob,

    Thanks so much for insight and advice. It definitely gives me more to think
    about. Given your feelings towards DMP, what do you recommend as a system
    for the typical homeowner in that case? I'm not looking for massive home
    automation, or anything, but just something that will protect the family. I
    was considering DSC due to the ease of getting parts for it and the ability
    to DIY, but I got the feeling from Crash Gordon that DMP was in a league way
    above and beyond DSC. So now I'm not sure anymore. I was also considering
    Ademco (simply b/c I already have a Vista 15 installed), so was considering
    continuing with their Vista 20P line, but really not sure any more.

    Any suggestions? A big criteria that I have is that I don't want a system
    where I will be tied to a specific installer or forced to call someone in to
    service it if it isn't something major. Adding zones and/or sensors is
    stuff I could do myself, and even reprogramming minor settings (like
    timeouts, delays, etc) to tweak it to my needs.


  15. Jim

    Jim Guest

    Based on this post alone, it seems as if you've already chosen not to
    go with and "exclusive" product line. So ......... Have you called
    Napco or Ademco/Honeywell and asked for a dealer located in your area?
    It seems that you've taken one dealers word that there are no other
    Napco dealers in the area.

    DSC, is a "Canadian" product it that means anything to you but in my
    area, (it seems to me) that it is a product line that is used mostly
    by companies that do the ..... ummmmmm shall I be kind and and say,
    the "less expensive" jobs or by the companys that don't have much
    technical capability. Which does, however, speak in favor of
    simplicity. I haven't tried it in years but even back then, I got the
    impression that it was pretty "flimsily" made.

    Here's my memory of what kind of turned me off on the product. It was
    back in the 90's .... maybe between '90 and '95 or so. It was a
    product meeting set up by the local DSC rep for installers interested
    in using the product. He was describing the product and explaining how
    to program the system. He asked the group of about 30 or 40 people,
    what central station format everybody was using. I was the only one
    there using 4/2 format. Everyone else hadn't "graduated" away from 3/1
    yet. I was shocked! I'd been using 4/2 format for years and aparently
    this was a quantum leap for the people present. I figured that any
    panel that appealed to installers of this type ......... wasn't for
    me. Programing was simple but the versitility compared to Napco, just
    wasn't there. I'm sure they've improved the features since then but it
    was all relative at the time. However, I have to qualify that by
    saying that I AM a staunch Napco user, for about 30 years or so.

    Suggestion: You'd better make damn well sure that you have it in the
    contract that you have all the access codes if you want to get into
    the programing.

    I'll also say that if I were the dealer .... If you wanted the codes,
    I'd install it for you but you'd have to find someone eles to monitor
    it for you. I won't monitor any panel that the end user has access to
    the programing I don't care if you DESIGNED the panel. If I'm going to
    be made responsible, by contract, for the monitoring service, I damn
    well don't want ANY end user, having the ability to muck around in the
    programing, and changing something inadvertently, that would cause me
    a liablity ...... or even though it was no fault of my own ....... to
    have to go to the expenes of defending my self in a case brought
    against me by your insurance company.

    My customers come first.......... I come first .... first.
  16. Bob La Londe

    Bob La Londe Guest

    Depends on your level of sofistication and what you really want to do. I
    personally sell and install Napco preferrentially, but have also isntalled
    DSC, FBII, CADDX, ADEMCO, and a few esoteric panels. They all have
    different ways of doing some things. If you are really justr ying to keep
    things simple not much installs and programms simpler than a Napco Gemini
    P801 with a regular LED keypad, but the FBII XL2 series is close. I always
    looked at the programming for the smaller DSC panels and said it looked
    simple and always got confused and reprogrammed it a second time just to
    make sure I had it right. Might justbe because I have not done that many.
    Most of my Ademco programs have been takeovers, and they were not bad, but
    you have to have the better LCD keypads to program them easily on site. On
    some of the panels you can't even get some sections to program with out it.

    Personally for a small simple panels I like Napco, but then I have
    personally installed and programmed hundreds of them. For bigger more
    complex stuff I still like Napco, but I'm not sure I would reccomend them
    for a DIY tinkerer. Their bigger panels are quite powerful and feaure rich,
    but can be tricky as heck to program. I hear the ELK M1G is the cat's meow
    for automation, but I know a few years ago it seemed liek everybody was
    integrating PC integration packages with the Napco P9600. HAI OMNI LT looks
    good on paper, but after playing with a few I feel its too much comprimise
    in its design. I do not think its quiote a good enough HA controller or
    quite clean enough in its alarm functions.

    The dealer who said he is the only one installing Napco in your area may be
    correct, but any dealer can buy the hardware from regular distribution
    sources. In the event you want to change companies a board swap can be done
    even if you can not get the programmer code. I do that with DSC takeovers,
    and then I just send the board to Jim Rojas for unlocking.
  17. Frank Olson

    Frank Olson Guest

    DSC has had some problems in the past, but their current line of panels
    is top flight. That having been said, there's a lot more to consider
    these days when making a decision on which panel you want. DSC *is*
    good stuff, but is a little "Mickey Mouse" on the home automation end.
    Napco, Ademco, and Elk all offer more flexibility in this respect.

    Some Dealers (myself included) have run into some really bad times with
    DSC. They're considered (by many) to be the "Microsoft" of alarms.
    They release product before fully testing it and leave it to us guys in
    the field to do that for them. That has got to be my biggest beef with
    them. I can recall having to change 184 chipsets on one of their
    "Classic" series 3000 panels because the version of chip they supplied
    would "auto arm" by partition (even though the system was programmed as
    a single partition). Changing the chip meant reprogramming the panel
    from scratch. Then there was SkyRoute (which also involved another
    field chip change). When you have committed to a product and have
    installed hundreds it burns your butt to have to "fix" their mistakes at
    YOUR expense. I know of several Dealers that will NEVER install another
    DSC panel. Personally I like their latest version of the PC-1864 and
    I'm glad they went back to the traditional manual format instead of that
    "kludge" of a fold out monstrosity some idiot dreamed up when they first
    released it...
  18. Crash Gordon

    Crash Gordon Guest

    Bob LaLonde has some kind of personal issue with DMP, not sure what it is,
    but I've never had a problem with them. I am one of 4 DMP dealers in a 10
    mile radius of my office, one dealer is very big, the other is like me a
    little guy who cares. I've known both companies for 20+ years and we each
    help either out when needed. In fact I have a pre-nup with one of them that
    if something happens to me, he has right of first refusal if she want to
    sell out. My other buddy has 2nd I have backups for everything
    even myself :)

    Any reputable dealer would have a plan to take care of his clients if
    something happens...doesn't much matter with the big guys because they're
    not "real" people anyway.

    Personally, I see this as the only shortcoming in using a small
    company...but if they have a backup problem.

    **Crash Gordon**
  19. Bob La Londe

    Bob La Londe Guest

    Well I suppose credit card fraud is personal, but hey. Its atleast partly
    my own fault for trusting that Dave Sharp would honor his word and credit
    the charge on my credit card like he said he would and pick up the materials
    he sent me that I didn't order. I called him. He said he would make it
    right. He didn't. I guess I should have assumed he was dishonest or woud
    blow me off from the start, and just had the charge reversed myself instead
    of waiting until it was too late. My bad. Notice how I have absolutely no
    fear about saying this publicly? That's because I documented it and saved
    it. The statute of limitations on it has expired by now I am sure, but it
    does not change it. I did say I thought their panels were ok.
    Good plan. I have something like that with one of my competitors. I didn't
    think any other small dealers thought about things like that. I got my DMP
    panel clients from a small dealer who didn't when he died.
    Changing providers if you become dissatisfied can be an issue with any size
  20. Crash Gordon

    Crash Gordon Guest

    Are you speaking about the purchase of the DMP bible to become a dealer? I
    wasn't real happy with that either if that's what you're talking about. My
    dealer ship had lapsed for a year due to illness and I had to re-up, kinda
    as a newbie so buying the bible (which I could have written having been a
    dealer for 15 years) was kinda dumb...but hey whaddya gonna do.

    Hows the new house and office doing? I gotta stop by one of these days.

    **Crash Gordon**
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