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2420 posts

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  #1237006 13-Feb-2015 09:12
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coffeebaron: Any alarm systems out there that are built on IP? I.E. sensors, keypads etc. are all PoE capable Ethernet devices?

I've wondered the same thing. You can get IP security cameras with a PIR built in (e.g. dlink DCS series), but I haven't seen keypads etc. to go with them. Would make cabling much easier.

Have just googled "open source alarm system" and came across PrivateEyePi. But well off topic and don't want to hijack the thread.

2332 posts

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  #1237660 13-Feb-2015 22:33
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DarthKermit: Thread author: what type of conduit were you planning to use for your project?

Whatever I can get at the building recyclers, hopefully 25 or 32mm PVC communications conduit


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  #1237661 13-Feb-2015 22:37
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nickb800: Thanks for the generous offer @dynamic, but I'm in Christchurch. Where did you get such a cable from? I wouldn't mind buying a whole roll as it would be handy for other things like LED garden lights and irrigation solenoids

We use the Dynamix brand of cable - if you search dynamix gel you should see some results.  Anticipate $1.50 - $2.00 per meter for a 305m or 500m roll.  Some places might let you buy this or similar cable by the meter.  Dick Smith or Jaycar or PBTech are likely candidates.

I've tried the dynamix website as a starting point, only seeing Cat5e or Cat6 gel-filled cable, not security cable.

Thinking i'll just go with my outdoor cat5 and double up on the conductors just to be on the safe side with current, as it seems like consensus is mixed on Cat5 as security cable

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  #1237720 14-Feb-2015 03:34
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Alarm systems have a bunch of standardised protocols (think zigbee-like things) and the transition to IP has been a difficult one.

If you think of an older pabx where they were "ip capable" but all that allowed you to do was go to a website and change the day/night mode redirections and basic config - no voip stuff.

*most* major brands of alarm system (paradox, dcs etc) are still at a similar stage to that.
Some have a ip capable interface where you can run an app on your ipad, or website, and login to view things like zones etc. Its all still very basic.

The biggest thing though is you have IP Diallers now.
These interface using the protocol that connects the panel to the modem/dialer.
The IP dialler just converts the commands and sends it over the internet - used mostly for monitoring companies.

I would love a proper home automation system - with a master controller which was IP capable for remote access, and then other devices around the house that run on it.
I dont think the devices/sensors/switches/locks etc should speak IP because that is not reliable enough. But if they used a standardised protocol and were compatible with cat5 cable, and you could get expander units that had maybe 30 ports, and a single cat5 backhaul to the master controller then that would be good.
So the theory would be that everything works on rules. In the programming interface, you could create a home alarm system by following a wizard that creates a set of rules.
At home we do this with our current alarm system though its very restricted - when the gate is opened, the light outside automatically switches on, as well as the light in our lounge.

I would love to do more things - so adding a "button" which when pushed, a rule was triggered, and relay 5 on expander board 2 was closed which happened to be wired up to the hallway light - effectively creating a light switch by using a relay module and a wall button module.

Or when a remote button is pressed in the car outside, a set of rules will open the gate, disarm the alarm subset of rules, open the garage door and switch on the lights in the yard and lounge (if it was after 6pm)

I just checked with chris on his comments about the cat5.
We rambled a bit but this is how I understand it:
Its not the fact that a cat5 cable is capable of carrying milliamps.
Some panels have say 10 zones - or 10 ports for sensors.
However you can "double up" on some models and have 20 zones from those 10 ports.

Two PIR sensors can be wired up in parallel and a resistor put inline/series into one of the sensors.
If one PIR sensor is triggered, it can close the loop and tell the alarm panel zone 1 is going off because there are almost 0 ohms of resistance.
If the second PIR sensor is triggered, it will close the loop, but the inline resistor creates a measurable amount of resistance across the contacts and so the system knows this is zone 11 going off.
By using a cable with a high resistance or lower AWG, enough length may create the same amount of resistance required to imitate an inline resistor with the zone 1 sensor, making the panel think zone 11 is being triggered.
This isnt so much a problem with home or basic alarm systems, but commercial ones with different codes that disarm different zones (staff access rights) etc can have some very complex designs, which involve such trickery.

Ray Taylor
Taylor Broadband (rural hawkes bay)

There is no place like localhost
For my general guide to extending your wireless network Click Here

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