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2594 posts

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#193877 28-Mar-2016 14:31
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I'm looking for recommendations on a home security system with (ideally) cameras, a pinpad/control unit, and a siren.


I've been looking through the Cleverloop give-away thread (cough, share pictures of your pet and a description of how ferocious he/she is thread), and have parsed a few options:


Plus some software-only options:




Plus a whole lot of traditional PIRs plus pinpads (Micron, Paradox and Bosch seemed to feature highly).


All the newer smart systems seem to have some really cool features. However most (possibly other than Morepork and maybe Vivint) seem to be largely a camera plus smartphone system. There might be a box with the brains somewhere, but largely the system seems to be IF detect_motion THEN notify_smartphone.


Ideally I was after something that had a siren/some kind of obvious "alarm" too. We had a spate of burglaries in our old street a while back, though never us. The local constables basically said it was entirely because our hold house had a visible alarm box with siren (and blue strobe) on the outside. The little hoodlums always go for the low hanging fruit and are deterred by even vague hints of security. So looking to repeat these benefits.




If the unit had a siren, then it follows there should be a way of turning off that siren too, and ideally not entirely smartphone dependent. Flat phone battery + screaming siren = unhappy Mrs MDF = very unhappy MDF. This might be a traditional pinpad or (potentially) a dedicated repurposed phone/tablet at the door.


Other features I'd find super helpful:


  • Smoke alarm sensor/integration
  • Power over ethernet (not really a fan of WiFi only for the cameras)
  • Anti-pet detection
  • Not monitored / not subject to ongoing monthly payments for questionable value

Once upon a time, it would have been a bonus project to cobble something together and I would have the added benefit of a "learning experience". But age and wisdom (and Mrs MDF) have given me a new appreciation of things that "just work" without having to sacrifice a chicken while reciting Keats backwards in the third quarter of each lunar cycle to ensure continued smooth operation.



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2594 posts

Uber Geek


  #1520892 28-Mar-2016 19:56
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EDIT: Duh, Vivint is available in NZ. Just had to use the rather than .com...

9386 posts

Uber Geek

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  #1521878 28-Mar-2016 21:33
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EDIT: Duh, Vivint is available in NZ. Just had to use the rather than .com...



Wouldn't recommend Vivint - they're overpriced and since they work on a wireless platform any geek with a SDR can jam it (I've proven this theory also so did Defcon this year).


For a security system I would recommend going the wired route with cameras physically wired into the network (not using WiFi) alongside sensors that are wired in too. A Paradox system with a separate Camera system would do fine. It is a little expensive but you're wanting security ;) - With an alarm system it is also important to place the alarm controller in a place where it is quite hidden from view since the first thing burglars do is look for it, and unplug its mains / battery during the grace period.


Most alarms come with a tamper switch for the control box and when you're getting your alarm installed ensure one is used because I've seen on many many occasions alarms are installed without using a simple tamper switch in the outdoor siren / control box. I've got a quote once for an old house of mine from the guys at Safeguard Alarms ( for a full smart system that really didn't break the bank (was around $1.5k IIRC with IP + GSM monitoring / no contract for a Paradox system).


The Ubiquiti UniFi Video kit is also very good and easy to install and works with either Blueiris or Ubiquiti's own software. Ubiquiti also have their own NVR which is essentially a small Linux (Debian) based network appliance with a web interface.


Cleverloop looks quite good however if I was ever to get one it'll be wired into my network - Morepork seems to be quite good since it has 3G backup however the sensors themselves are wireless meaning you could jam them.


I've installed a few security systems over the years (using UniFi Video + Paradox gear) however it has been quite a while since I've done anything like that. The install at the Rodney Wayne Manners Street store was done by me and looks rather professional.


I had to wait for the Geekzone server backup to take place before posting this so it has been sitting in a tab for the last hour or so...



2594 posts

Uber Geek


  #1521904 28-Mar-2016 21:48
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Very helpful, thanks.


While the geekzone server was updating I was forced to do my own research and found a couple more options. Will need to investigate further:








I was definitely aiming for a wired (ideally POE) option. Don't want any potential issues with the signal quality, but perhaps more to the point, who has powerpoints in the top corners of rooms/in the ceiling anyway. Surely it's easier to run ethernet than power?

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