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Discussion in 'Security Alarms' started by eas, May 4, 2005.

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  1. eas

    eas Guest

    I'm helping a friend plan the security and automation system for his

    My background is in software program/project management and IT
    management, so I'm fairly technical, but not a developer and I have
    basically no experience with home security or automation.

    The installation is a compound of 3 houses. The main house is large,
    4000+ square feet, I'd guess. There are also two smaller houses of
    about 1000-1500 square feet. All are interconnected with multiple
    bundles of structured cable. All are stuffed with wire (the main house
    has cat5 to every lightswitch location, and just about any where you
    might want to put a sensor. Lighting and switches are actually
    backhauled to a few wiring closets to ease later installation of
    automation systems.

    The immediate need is to get security & safety into all the houses,
    ideally with access control (1 door per house + a driveway gate) and
    video surveilance (outdoor approaches and entry areas) soon. At this
    point, the installed infrastructure is limited to all the wiring, some
    stress sensors (sure action?) installed in some floor and roof
    locations, and some driveway sensors.

    I'm hoping to go with a system that delivers a good user experience and
    is relatively open to integration with home control and automation
    systems down the line (able to make sensor data available to automation
    system). Paying a bit of a premium for something cutting edge would be
    acceptable, but only if it gets us onboard emerging standards now. The
    owner is a PC guy, has made his money in the PC universe, likes open
    ecosystems and has dismissed Crestron as too mainframe like.

    So, where is the market going, who are the interesting vendors in this
    space? Is the next big thing here already for those willing to pay a
    bit of a premium, or am I better off going with something more in line
    with the status quo that might have an upgrade path? If so who seems
    best about supporting thing like ethernet and IP connectivity and

    I've spent a fair amount of time over the past month on this, and I'm
    starting to get my head around some of it, but at this point, its more
    obvious to me what's happening with automation and video surveilance
    than with alarms.

    Thanks for any opinions!
  2. petem

    petem Guest

    get a real integrator to do the job...

    if your friend has the cash for such houses he can pay a pro for his

    and by the way the integrator will not try to manage the computer or network
    for the house...
  3. Jim

    Jim Guest

    Sounds like a nice project, however, it sounds like it could be a
    handful even for an experienced intergrator. If your client is a PC
    person, he's going to want to be dealing with someone who can educate
    and advise him. Since you seem to just be learning about this now, I
    don't think you'll be able to convey the confidence, much less the
    knowledge that is going to be needed to take on such a project. In my
    opinion .....Ya should learn to, at least walk, with a number of
    smaller jobs, before you run, with such a potentially complicated

    Uhhh ....... why would there be cat5 wires going to each switch
    location? Low voltage/high voltage to the same box? Are these standard
    electrical boxes? If so, that's a no-no.

    I've been doing alarms for over 35 years and home automation for about
    10 years, starting with very simple X10 systems years ago. I've
    integrated some systems, but by your description of what the potential
    of your job might turn into, I think I would have to consider whether
    I'd call someone in or not, depending on how much the client wanted to

    Lighting control, CCTV, Security with some interoperability I could
    handle. With the average homeowner, I could hold my own. Start getting
    involved with computer control and programing systems, along with
    educating someone who's already computer smart, wouldn't seem like the
    prudent thing for "me" to do. Likewise, you may have the computer
    knowledge, but don't have the experience on the other end. I'd call
    someone in to either do it ( for a finders fee) or ...... you can
    attempt to be the co-ordinator, if you can find someone who has the
    knowlege and experience that compliments yours.
  4. Uhhh ....... why would there be cat5 wires going
    It's a handy medium for sending control signals to dimmers, switches and
    appliance circuits.
    CAT5 goes outside the gang-box. High voltage goes inside.
    After 10 years you don't know about things like ALC??? Something sounds
    wrong here.
    Plenty of DIYers have done jobs like this and more. It takes patience
    learning a few new things.
    No problem.


    Robert L Bass

    Bass Home Electronics
    2291 Pine View Circle
    Sarasota · Florida · 34231
    877-722-8900 Sales & Tech Support
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