New home: security system advice

Old 09-12-16, 04:50 PM
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Question New home: security system advice

Greetings. First time poster here. I have recently moved into a new construction home. All of the doors and windows are pre-wired for an alarm system, and all of the wires run down to a central location in the basement. The wires are tucked into the holes in the window sills and door frames and are basically just hanging down in a room under the stairs with cable ties. There are a TON of options out there, but most of the kits I see are 4 or 8 camera systems or basic/starter kits with maybe one or two wireless cameras and a hub. I don't see any kits that will take advantage of my current hard wiring. I do not have wiring for cameras. Ideally I would find a kit with all of the necessary door/window sensors and any keypad hardware and other central management equipment. I wouldn't mind having a camera or two, but those are 'nice to haves' if they fit into the rest of the system and aren't part of a separate network/alarm. I do have access to an unfinished basement (for now) and can run camera wires to some parts of the home, but I'm open to wireless for those if they fit into the system with the doors and window sensors. Any ideas on if a 'kit' exists for this type of situation, or should I just pick a manufacturer and by a la carte? Thanks.
Old 09-12-16, 09:44 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

You've mixed cameras in with the security system. Those should be handled separately as the security wiring doesn't support them.
We'll just focus on the security end in this thread.

There are wireless kits available but not really hardwired ones.

Start by making a list of zones ......
How many doors
How many windows
How many keypads. At least one. See how many four wire cables were installed.

Make a list of equipment needed. A Vista 20p alarm panel is perfect for a DIY install. It is 8 zones and there are expansion modules available for adding multiples of 8 more zones. Since all the points have been individually wired I'd highly recommend that each one be on its own zone. Makes troubleshooting much easier.

Will the system be monitored by a central station or just operate locally ?

I'll add to this and others will give you their thoughts.
Old 09-13-16, 04:50 AM
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Pete covered the main questions you need to answer. The brand or type of system you buy will depend on what level of security you need or want. There are experts here in the business who will direct you to get the best. And that's fine if that's what you need. If your new home is upscale in an exclusive type neighborhood (and being prewired, indicated this might be the case) and the incident of home invasion is significant then go with a high end system (ADT comes to mind). But if your area is a "typical" suburban neighborhood then maybe just a wireless "cheap" system will do. You will also need to balance the monthly service cost with the do it yourself system. Will the system be able to work with or without power? Do you want to be tied in to the local authorities in the event of a break in?

Define your parameters, then we can offer better advice.
Old 09-13-16, 05:02 AM
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Thanks for the info PJMax. I knew that the camera and window/door sensors had different wiring types, but I guess I just assumed that there were devices/hubs that could monitor all of the activity (or lack thereof) for everything in the 'network'. For example, an app that shows the status of all of the sensors as well as access to the cameras, all within the same app. That's totally fine if that doesn't exist, but that was just my assumption.

So, from the security/alarm system perspective, I'm only concerned with the first floor for now. I would like two keypads, one at the door coming in from the garage and one in the master bedroom. I have a total of 16 windows and 5 doors that are wired for sensors on the first floor. I'm thinking that I need 4 motion sensors as well. That's a total of 25 sensors, so how would that work with one sensor per zone? I think I would only need three zones: 1. Environmental 2. Doors/Windows 3. Motion Sensors, but I've never done this before so perhaps my logic is flawed.

As far as monitoring is concerned, this would not be centrally monitored. I need a system that has a mobile app that alerts me as well as allows me to monitor the status on demand.
Old 09-13-16, 07:47 PM
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The combined CCTV and security "app" doesn't really exist. Some of the mass marketers sell combo packages that they market as such, but what you are actually doing is switching from one interface to another, and their "app" is just a dashboard for switching between the sub systems.

The smarter way to do your zoning is to tie them into logical groups: Bedroom windows; Master Suite windows; Living room windows; etc. Motions should always be on individual zones (trying to sort out a false trip from a zone with multiple motions is an exercise in futility); Each _type_ of environmental device should be a separate zone. Entry/exit doors are best as individual zones, but can be combined into a single zone.

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