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Old 05-28-2013, 09:37 AM   #16
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Alarm System


Okay...information overload.

Either one of you want to pm me so I can pick your brains personally or over the phone?

I will bring punch and pie.


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Old 05-28-2013, 12:37 PM   #17
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Alarm System


What are the general thoughts on a wireless system like this one (so that I can allow my wife to keep the system on when she's home and still have all of the doors/windows monitored)?

http://www.amazon.com/Fortress-Wirel...s=alarm+system
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Old 05-28-2013, 01:42 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Cultcab View Post
Our home is about 15 years old and we're getting ready to replace all of the windows. I wired the house for an alarm system during construction and all of the windows have contacts tied in to our Ademco Vista 20 system.

Since it would be very difficult to try to use the existing wiring/contacts with the new windows, I would like to see if it's possible to use wireless contacts with this system.

Is this possible?
Alarm wire can usually be spliced. So it should be trivial enough to just wire up new contacts to the old wires. You might want to call a local alarm installer to ask for a quote to do the work. They'd have all the beanies to make the splices and the know-how to install the new stuff in ways that'll work properly. You don't need to change out your whole system for something like this.
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Old 06-02-2013, 02:30 PM   #19
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I think you should really consider trying to retrofit your new windows with hardwired contacts. Are the new windows the same style? Are you changing from metal frame to vinyl? Are your magnetic contacts currently concealed in the window channel or frame? Are your contacts on the surface of the window frame? What is it, exactly, that makes it difficult to install new contacts?

If you want to go wireless, you can add a Honeywell 5881 receiver or change out one of your keypads to a 6160RF. Then you can use any style 5800 series wireless sensor. But, this will be more costly and you may not need to do wireless. If you add a 5881 receiver, be mindful of your total current draw on that panel as it only supports 600ma.
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Old 06-02-2013, 02:48 PM   #20
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I can't see why the sensors can't be temporary removed and just readded after. Just tell the window installers to leave the wiring in tact so you can readd the sensors. Depending on how it's installed they may not even have to cut them. Depends if the holes are through the windows or not.

Though going with a choke zone motion sensor works too. Window sensors can be defeated. Smash detectors can be defeated with glass cutting tool /suction cups, and ones that detect a window opening can be defeated by just breaking the window and not opening it.

I have an alarm system and only put sensors on the doors, then I got a motion sensor in garage, living room and basement. If they go through the window it wont trip the sensor but once they're in the motion sensor range then it will trigger. I also have mine set to be silent that way there's better chance of getting caught as it gives more time for police to get there.
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Old 06-02-2013, 03:10 PM   #21
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In most cases, you can fit new contacts on new windows without much trouble. Yes, the window installers can drill a hole for the wire to drop thru. Usually, you have to cut the contact off to get the wire thru. But, first make sure the new window will accommodate a contact before you drill, and that drilling into the window frame will not void a warranty.

Sometimes, you have to move the contact around a bit to apply it to a new window. For example, if a contact was originally installed in a window channel and now the new window will not allow room for that configuration, you might be able to mount the contact on the surface of the window frame. Adding a length of wire as needed is a simple task. I would solder if the wire splice will be buried in the wall or inaccessible.

Contacts on perimeter windows are better than having just the doors and motions. You can vent a window in the summer time and still have it protected. At night, in the stay mode, your motion detectors are usually disarmed. So, if all you have are contacts on doors, you have very little protection.
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:18 PM   #22
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The reason why I was going away from the hardwired contacts was that several of our windows were reconfigured. After the install, 7 of the windows don't have wire in the vicinity (some fixed windows that didn't have an alarm are now single hung windows and vice versa).

I could reconnect the contact on the other windows, but I can't get the alarm wire to these seven windows without some major work going through studs and dry wall.

If cost is the only drawback to going with a wireless system, it's worth it to me right now.

Are there other drawbacks?
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:59 PM   #23
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You can do a hybrid, wireless and hardwire if you like. So, if you can easily fit some of the windows with hardwired contacts and not the others, then do wireless on the ones you can't. Cost is one consideration. But, if it's not a big problem, then wireless will do just fine. Honeywell has a host of wireless sensors, some that are so small they almost disappear.

Power draw of all the devices you have should be a concern too. Are you adding a 5881 receiver? That draws 60 ma. Add up all the devices that draw aux power current, while in the alarm state, not at idle, and see if you exceed the Vista 20's limit of 600ma. If you do, then you might consider adding a power supply or changing out a keypad to the 6160RF. Look at your installation manual to guide you when adding keypads, zone expanders, motions, a receiver, etc.

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