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154 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 702647 17-Oct-2012 19:34 Send private message

I installed a wireless Exodus alarm system a few years ago. Pretty easy to install, good value and seems pretty good and there are all sort of options including GSM. If someone cuts the power a text message can be sent to your phone.

I also have the outside areas of my property alarmed so the alarm gets activated as soon as someone starts snooping around the outside. This is a great idea, as it is more likely to scare off intruders if they haven't even broken in yet. Plus saves the repair costs of busted window/door frames.

When the alarm calls you up, there is very sensitive microphone that you can use to listen in to help determine if someone is inside or whether the cat has someone set it off. I had to upgrade the PIR in my lounge to a dual technology sensor that adds microwave detection as my cat would manage to set of even the pet safe PIR when jumping down of the top of the couch.

You can also add several numbers for the alarm to call just in case you have your cell phone off and don't respond.

Th only little annoyance with the system I got is the audio chrip used to indicate that you've armed or disarmed the system (using the keycahain remote) goes through the external siren which is quite loud and unpleasant, so is a little embarassing. There is a mute button you can press first which I use a night. You can tell by a flashing LED in the siren whether you've sucessfully armed/disarmed the unit. This LED is hard to see in daylight so you need the audio to acknowlege that you've push arm (and not disarm by mistake) and that the button had transmitted properly. Alternatively you can use RFID or keypad, though I use the remote so I can arm/disarm without getting of my car.

http://www.exodussecurityalarms.co.nz




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  Reply # 702662 17-Oct-2012 20:07 Send private message

Thanks for the great info Amigo. The Exodus systems seem to have a lot of features and are pretty reasonably priced as well. They're definitely a decent option.

One thing that makes me hesitate is the battery life - a thief with a brain can just turn the power off at the outside mains box then come back the next day to rob the place. If you want to be really paranoid some could jam the wireless system, but if someone really wants to get in they will no matter what alarm you have. With the wired systems that sit in the roof I can connect a large battery and get two weeks out of it. Of course that's a mildly paranoid view of things, the main idea is it's a deterrent, and you'd get notification of it going onto battery I guess.

I also prefer wired alarms, I just figure they'll be more reliable and that sounds easier than occasionally changing batteries.

That external alarm chirping sounds like a killer to me though, I don't want that going off all the time or neighbors will learn to ignore it, as well as it's just not being a good neighbour.




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  Reply # 702975 18-Oct-2012 14:27 Send private message

The cheapo unbranded batteries that were supplied with the system started to go flat after about a year. But the replacement batteries have lasted at least two and half years now and still going strong and don't take long at all to change.

The churping noise is a bit like a car alarm when you arm or disarm. Are is a single short churp. Disarm is two churps. So its not like the alarm is actually going off conitously, it is short, but loud (110+dB). I see they stock other external sirens now including one with a volume control, so you might be able to set a the volume for a lower notification sound. Also see that it has 15 days battery backup and solar charging too.

If you are worried about a high tech burgular with some wireless jamming technology, then you probably are being a bit too paranoid. You could install one wired sensor as a backup. But then you'll be paranoid that they'll also have a GSM jammer! Unless you are known to have loads of valueable, easy to sell product then your unlikely to get targeted by some high tech crim, or they'll just ram a truck through your wall, load the up truck and take off.

Also, if you're going to install the control unit in your roofspace, you probably want to install a sensor up there too otherwise the burgular reading this thread will probably show up with a ladder and lift some roofing to get up there pretty easily disconnect the battery backup etc.

So you might want to invest in a GSM camera that will send you pics of the crim before he's had a chance to sus your place out.

Remember that it is just a deterrent. You are better off investing in some off-site backup of any unreplacable data, make sure you have a good old-for-new replacment insurance cover and relax. Think about all the great brand new, latest tech you'll get to replace your old stuff if you are unfortunate enough to get hit by some geek burgular. The excess will be cheaper than upgrading.



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  Reply # 702997 18-Oct-2012 14:52 Send private message

I see what you're saying, thanks for the thoughts. I do tend to go for the best solution, even if it's more than I need, and yes my attention to detail may be more than is required. I don't have anything that would particularly make me a target, if I did I'd put it into a big heavy safe. I may get an IP camera though... partly to keep track of tradesmen!

Since I go in the back door 100% of the time, and the alarm will be out the front, having it chirp would be a bit weird and annoying. I'll email them to ask about it.

I have good insurance and good offsite backups, so no worries there.




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  Reply # 703012 18-Oct-2012 15:26 Send private message

From Exodus - "All our sirens can be disabled from sounding off when arming and disarming"




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  Reply # 703090 18-Oct-2012 17:06 Send private message

Yeah, you'll wanna make sure you have an IP camera pointing at your underwear drawer or laundry basket. :) Going by the Target hidden camera results, that's what tradesmen seem mostly into, rather than pinching stuff!

Probably a good idea to also get a big mean dog, trained to only take food from an electronic pet feeder. :)

Yes I can mute the siren using the remote, but it is an extra key press  each time and because you have no sound you don't know if it has actually deactivated unless you can see the siren and it is dark enough to see the LED. With the RF transmission, occasionally I find that the signal does not transmit fully, especially if I'm inside my car as I'm driving up the driveway pushing the button blindly as it dangles of my keys in the ignition. Having some kind of feedback is useful. I have the same problem with my garage door opener - when I push it, it sometimes does not work first time and needed a slightly longer push.

The most ideal remote would be one that received a status signal from the alarm and showed a green or red light. But I guess that would make them too expensive.

If you are entering from your back door most of the time, you could probably  go for an RFID tag or keypad option rather than remote, unless of course you have your back yard alarmed. The keypad and I assume RFID does not trigger the siren as it has its own beep acknowledgement and status lights.

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  Reply # 703154 18-Oct-2012 19:40 Send private message

amigo:
The most ideal remote would be one that received a status signal from the alarm and showed a green or red light. But I guess that would make them too expensive.


It would be trivial to impliment that as the 2 way RF chips cost peanuts, and I would think it would be a great selling point. Add a little more to put a LCD on there that can show you what has triggered before you even go inside would be better.




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  Reply # 703619 19-Oct-2012 16:37 Send private message

richms:
amigo:
The most ideal remote would be one that received a status signal from the alarm and showed a green or red light. But I guess that would make them too expensive.


It would be trivial to impliment that as the 2 way RF chips cost peanuts, and I would think it would be a great selling point. Add a little more to put a LCD on there that can show you what has triggered before you even go inside would be better.


Electronics is very cheap, it is all the packaging, shipping, manuals, etc. that cost.  And distribution channels.  Actually the traditional one way circuits were not developed further so they are bulky and expensive to manufacture, where as digital transceivers are much smaller and cheaper.

There are some nice 2-way car alarms that are not so expensive, and you do not really need different alarm channels so you can wire motion sensors in series.




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Master Geek


  Reply # 706385 25-Oct-2012 17:01 Send private message

I see that Exodus have just added an Android app for sending arm/disarm and other programming codes to their GSM alarms. Another option instead of using the remote if you have an android phone and some free txt to burn, and don't end up with a flat battery before you get home.

I guess if it includes a widget for arm/disarm, it would be quite convinient, less so if you have to launch the app first.

iOS app is being developed too.

http://www.exodussecurityalarms.co.nz/index.php?route=product/category&path=64_90.

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  Reply # 706541 25-Oct-2012 21:46 Send private message

I've read an article yesterday on how easy it is to hack into a pace maker (which has wireless programming). There is a real potential of a mass murder. Fortunately someone discovered the issue and working with the developers to fix it.

With that in mind, imagine most people have switched to wireless light bulbs (and other standardised appliance devices/protocols). Terrorists would not have to bomb a power plant any more, just develop a software virus and most of the country/world can't turn on their lights any more.




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  Reply # 706633 26-Oct-2012 07:40 Send private message

A quick update: I decided to go for an 8 zone Bosch wired alarm, about $1800 installed with five sensors, smoke detector, a GSM module (that could be reprogrammed to alert me), and a years free monitoring.

I've not decided yet whether I want the remote unlock function. On one hand it's be really handy. On the other hand if anyone steals my keys (or my car with my house keys in it) they get into my house. The security guy said in 20 years in the industry he'd never heard of anyone breaking into a house by stealing the house alarm remote though. The remote unlock module costs $300 or so with two remotes, and I'd spend another $150 to get extra remotes, which while not a trivial sum isn't particularly important to me. Thoughts?




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  Reply # 706754 26-Oct-2012 10:54 Send private message

Niel: I've read an article yesterday on how easy it is to hack into a pace maker (which has wireless programming). There is a real potential of a mass murder. Fortunately someone discovered the issue and working with the developers to fix it.

With that in mind, imagine most people have switched to wireless light bulbs (and other standardised appliance devices/protocols). Terrorists would not have to bomb a power plant any more, just develop a software virus and most of the country/world can't turn on their lights any more.


haha... sounds like you've been watching the new Revolution TV series.

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  Reply # 706767 26-Oct-2012 11:15 Send private message

timmmay: A quick update: I decided to go for an 8 zone Bosch wired alarm, about $1800 installed with five sensors, smoke detector, a GSM module (that could be reprogrammed to alert me), and a years free monitoring.

I've not decided yet whether I want the remote unlock function. On one hand it's be really handy. On the other hand if anyone steals my keys (or my car with my house keys in it) they get into my house. The security guy said in 20 years in the industry he'd never heard of anyone breaking into a house by stealing the house alarm remote though. The remote unlock module costs $300 or so with two remotes, and I'd spend another $150 to get extra remotes, which while not a trivial sum isn't particularly important to me. Thoughts?


Best not to keep your address on you. I'm always surprised at how many people have their garage door remotes attatched to the car window visor in plain view along with some mail or some bills that they've left in their car with their address. I wonder how many people get robbed that way.

I recall when I first got my alarm, I saw Boosch selling a similar wireless system in Harvey Norman. May of the the components (or at least the casings) were identical, except for a boosch logo added, or a blue siren plastic in place of red. I recall the price of extra remotes were something ridiculous like $150, when an identical looking one at Exodus was a very reasonable $25. I wouldn't be surprised if they could be paired with the Boosch system too. Obvioulsy Boosh like to sting you for any extras.

Also check out their monitoring policy and what this includes. Often they'll simply try to call you, or a list of people to advise you that your alarm is going of and to go check it out, and if they can't get hold of anyone, or you ask them to check it out, it is then a $50 call out, or something. Even then, when they finally get to your place and discover a very slow casual burgular actively robbing your place, they can't go in and try and apprehend them etc, but just call the police.

I much rather the alarm ring me or a list of others to allow you to respond directly and listen in, so you can call the cops immediately if you hear your place being trashed.



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  Reply # 706788 26-Oct-2012 11:37 Send private message

Good call on not keeping address on you, I don't think I do anyway. My garage isn't attached to my house so the worst they could do is get some tools if they got into the shed.

I'm not getting Bosch wireless, I'm getting Bosch wired. Bosch don't do remotes AFAIK, if you get remotes they're third party.

The place installing the rate has a flat rate fee for monitoring, no call out fees, but a reasonable use policy.




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  Reply # 707106 26-Oct-2012 18:33 Send private message

amigo:
Niel: I've read an article yesterday on how easy it is to hack into a pace maker (which has wireless programming). There is a real potential of a mass murder. Fortunately someone discovered the issue and working with the developers to fix it.

With that in mind, imagine most people have switched to wireless light bulbs (and other standardised appliance devices/protocols). Terrorists would not have to bomb a power plant any more, just develop a software virus and most of the country/world can't turn on their lights any more.


haha... sounds like you've been watching the new Revolution TV series.


No, it was an engineering magazine.  EE Times or something.  I'm subscribed to a number of them to remind me there is more to electronics than just the project I'm working on.




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