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"Security Levels" us HS ?

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    "Security Levels" us HS ?


    As you may have seen from some of my other posts, as we are building out our home now I'm (finally!) we are looking to use a DSC alarm system with our HS3 setup.
    I have a question on if something is possible and, if so, if anyone has examples of their setup.

    What I'm typically exposed to are simple yes/no alarms. You arm the alarm and if any zone trips (someone opens a door or window) then the alarm goes off.

    What I am hoping with HS integration is to be able to use HS as my alarm brain, with the DSC feeding the state information, and have different levels of alerts. I would like to clarify up front that we are not using an external security company for monitoring. I am familiar with the advantages & disadvantages of a service but for a number of factors it's not currently a choice for us. We are in a tight HOA community in a quiet part of the mountains.

    So what I am wondering is it possible to put HS into different "Security Levels" ( I wanted to use the term ThreatCon from my AF days ) and have it react accordingly. For example:

    Level 1: People are home and moving around. If driveway monitor alerts give an audio announcement and send a text to me and my wife. No alerts for door/window/motion activity
    Level 2: Most of the family is at work/school but I'm working from home. My office is pretty isolated in the home. Audio/text for driveway, exterior motion, glass-break sensor
    Level 3: Sleep mode. Audio/Text alert and exterior lights on for driveway/exterior motion.
    Level 4: Away. No one is home. Text driveway alerts. Audio/Text/Siren (and probably text neighbor) if any door/window/glass-break/interior-motion alerts occur. All lights on

    Something like that. I may have different levels and rules and obviously different responses depending on how we set things up. But my hope is that when we are going to bed, leaving out, etc. I can just use my HS panel or phone to put the system into one of these levels.

    Any additional feedback is greatly appreciated

    Short answer, Yes. But there is no built-in structure designed for this purpose. I do it by assigning a value to a virtual device that reflects what I call the occupancy status of the house. In my case, up inside, up outside, away, and in bed. You can define yours any way that makes sense for you. Then I use the value of that device as a condition on various alert events to determine which ones are executed when a trigger condition is detected by HS.
    Mike____________________________________________________________ __________________
    HS3 Pro Edition, NUC i3

    HW: Stargate | NX8e | CAV6.6 | Squeezebox | PCS | WGL 800RF | RFXCOM | Vantage Pro | Green-Eye | Edgeport/8 | Way2Call | Ecobee3 | EtherRain | Ubiquiti



      I have been grazing here for about 4 years and have been devouring threads on what people have been able to do with the product but completely understand (and actually look forward to) the effort required to make some things work. I just wanted to boil it down to a more simplistic state to be sure I was not mis-communicating to my wife as we're finalizing some of these points before purchases.

      I'd be interested in what you (and anyone else) thinks are creative or cool ideas you came up with in such a setup that may not be obvious to a new user.


        OK, you are starting to touch on a powerful design method. The concept is virtual devices.

        I use virtual devices for the basic things
        • Reflect overall house status
        • Scene creation
        • Device grouping
        The first, Overall House Status is a virtual device that is tested throughout events and causes the system to react differently to inputs. I use 4 different status modes.
        • Away
        • Security Off
        • Sleeping
        • Arriving
        Away - Nobody is home. Everything on alert. I use Blue Iris with cameras inside and out. BI motion on cameras, door/window sensors, and/or PIR motion sensors all create alerts when triggered. Temperature is adjusted. Lights go off. Security is armed.... The main intent is to alert me if I am away and to try to convince the intruder that they should move along. I too do not have a monitoring service. Being rural, it might take an hour for anyone to show up.

        Security Off - the house is occupied and people are probably outside. No security is triggered. Events are able to test this and react accordingly. Some events only run when security is OFF and others run only when it is OFF.

        Sleeping - First, I have indoor cameras and motion sensors. Sleeping is much like Away however inside cameras are inactive and inside motion sensors will not alert. The alerting is different since someone is home. The main intent here is to alert the sleeping occupants to a possible intruder.

        Arriving - This is a transition from Away to Security Off. Temps are adjusted, outside flood lights are all on, cameras are off, inside lights are adjusted to a welcoming level. Security is still active in terms of door/window and inside motion. We enter thru one primary door when returning home. When in Arriving, opening that primary door will change to Security Off. Any other door/window will cause an alert.

        Now scenes. Very powerful. I have maybe 20 virtual devices each corresponding to a scene. Examples are Watching TV, Cooking, Great room leisure time, Off to bed, Reading in bed, and several more. Each scene has an associated event that triggers when the scene is turned on. Scenes can be stacked.

        Device grouping. This isn't the best use of virtual devices and sometimes there are other alternatives for grouping. But, this can be a simple way to group. In my example. I have 5 outdoor flood lights that are each individually controllable. I have a virtual device called Outside Flood Lights. There is an event corresponding to the going virtual device going ON and another for OFF. In the event, it controls all five of the devices. I can just turn the single virtual device on or off and the events take care of the details. This is useful when you control that group from several different events.

        All of these things are tied together and surfaced via a HSTouch app that I created. It is not flashy but does everything I need. It is constantly being adjusted as new use cases are identified and defined. There are 2 tablets in the house and 2 remotes as well as our cell phones. The app runs on android or IOS.

        Using these terms - overall status and scenes - it seems to be easy for non technical folks to grasp and visualize what you are talking about.

        Hope this helps.

        P.S. The glue between Blue Iris and HS3 is a plugin that works well. HS3 controls all of BI. Generally, the Overall House Status controls the BI profile. That way BI can also react differently depending on the overall status.


          Most excellent. :-) Thanks.

          I have seen a lot of use-cases for the virtual devices and have a fair grasp of them considering I haven't used the tooling yet. Every concrete example like yours makes it that much easier.

          I also like the idea of HS/BI integration to decide when and which cameras are active. One of the concerns regarding the cameras is that feeling of being watched. We're building a Ubiquiti network from scratch and I'm a big proponent of not letting anything call in or out that I don't explicitly want. We're not using any Google/Alexa stuff and I plan to have very few holes in the wall. So I'm not too concerned about someone accessing any cameras that are active but also have no need to be recording inside or outside the house unless there's a level of concern. Nice tip.


            I failed to mention that HS3 is also able to trigger cameras via the plugin. I have it set so that any perimeter breach detected by door/window sensors will trigger all cameras in hopes of catching a pic or video of the perp. If course HS3 is aware of camera triggering on motion in BI4 and can do whatever is appropriate. The integration is pretty nice. I've been using the PI for a few years and it is stable. Actually, HS3, BI4, and associated PIs are all stable on Win10 Home. I have to locations with these systems installed. They can run for months without problems however I do tend to need to boot every once in a while to activate changes I have made. I'm always tinkering and tuning.

            All my cameras are powered from a common power supply so I can turn power ON or OFF via a device. So when we are home, all cameras are powered off unless it is sleeping mode. But truthfully, in my rural environment (over 7 miles to the closest street light. over 30 miles to a stop light), at night the cameras are useless. I hope to replace my cameras this summer with POE cams. My current cams are wifi with 12v power cable. Carry over from really older analog cameras. I haven't looked yet but am hoping I can find a smart IP switch so that I can control individual ports/cameras.


              Thanks. Our home is pretty rural too...night sky quality was actually a major factor in our purchase of the land. It's nice and exactly what we want but you have to accept the "negative" factors of the location as well.