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Looking for Home Security Hardwired Sensor Solution

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    Looking for Home Security Hardwired Sensor Solution

    I’m seeking a modern solution for a self-monitoring (with a possible option to go with something like, hardwired (no wireless sensors) security system that has an active HS4 interface (no plugins that are retired or written for HS3 that ‘work’ with HS4) for my nephew’s new home that is currently under construction.

    If this quest occurred ten years ago the decision would have been a no-brainer as I would have went with an Elk M1 Gold/Ethernet Interface using a currently developed/supported HomeSeer plugin. I did two installations with this combination in the past with great success. The nice thing about the M1 is it is a decent fit for some home automation applications as well.

    I have not kept up with the latest hardware options for security systems, but the options look a bit bleak for my requirements.
    • Honeywell/DSC/Ademco Security Systems – Dated and HS plugins not developed for HS4. Yes, you could get an EnvisaLink board and adapt that to these older systems, but the plugin for that board is natively written for HS3 and this doesn’t seem to be a good solution for a new home build (maybe for a current/older security system retrofit)
    • Concord 4 – A possible solution as a beta plugin for HS4 is available, but I believe the hardware itself is still very dated.
    • Elk M1 Gold – Dated and worried about the M1 being supported in the future as Elk is ‘trying’ to go with a new “E27 Engine” design (though this was supposed to be released over a year ago). Also, the HomeSeer plugin (natively written for HS3) is no longer supported.
    • Ring/SimpliSafe/Abode – Modern hardware but not compatible with wired sensors. I currently have an Abode system in my home and my son’s apartment and really like them (especially the feature of using a PC instead of a phone interface for configuring the system) but again, I’m using wireless sensors for both of these applications.
    • DIY solution using Arduino/Raspberry PI with possible interface with Blade’s Security Plugin for HS4 – I used an Arduino using this security plugin at a former home with marginal success (using HS3 at that time). I also had to use a shield for the hardwired ethernet interface and screw terminal interfaces. This made for a messy hardwired solution as I also needed to use expander (lengthen) pins as well.
    • I also wanted to explore using the GPIO pins on a new HomeTroller PI, but after procuring one found out that the Raspberry PI plugin will not work as the newer HomeTroller’s are a ‘Banana-PI’. Raspberry PI’s are currently out of stock and very hard to find. I would also have the same messy hardwired interface as the Arduino solution. (Note that I did use the GPIO pins on a Raspberry PI for another application for a driveway monitor in the recent past)
    • DIY solution using smartDEN Maxi I/O or other hardware using AK WebIO HomeSeer plugin – I did try using the smartDEN Maxi with a new HomeTroller PI, but the plugin would time out after a day or so. Plugin’s author is seeking a solution (note that the Window’s version did not have this issue). Plus, there aren’t enough I/O channels (for my application) for the hardware supported.
    I’ve been searching and monitoring various forums for other solutions but haven’t found any. I even explored using Home Assistant as they do have a supported Elk M1 interface, but I would rather not have to learn another software system (YAML).

    Reading articles like this one is also disheartening as it states, “Fully wired security systems are relatively rare”.

    So, it seems I continue to ‘seek the Grail’ and if I had to be pushed into a decision today, I would strongly consider a Konnected Alarm Panel Pro 12-Zone with one or two six a zone expander cards. This isn’t a perfect solution, and I would most likely use mcsMQTT to interface with HS4. I also might use Blade’s security plugin but would make a game time decision on that. Plus, there seems to be a native smart-phone interface for these boards as well. It seems I can make this work with other home automation tasks using HomeSeer.

    Konnected offers a “professional” monitoring solution using Noonlight, but I haven’t investigated that option.

    So, I’m curious what others here would use given this is a brand-new home where all the sensors would be hardwired. I would also like a native keypad interface but can make do with a smart phone or possibly a tablet if required.

    I can’t justify going with the costs associated with a ‘true’ certified solution like the Elk M1 offers due to the big question of longevity and support for the future as this is a new home.

    Thanks for the read and any further advice! I know others here have asked for similar information and I’m hoping this leads to discussions that will lead to discovering other options or considerations.

    **** Do You "Cocoon"? ****

    The biggest question you have to ask yourself is how critical is homeseer in this solution, does the alarm system have to work if homeseer is down or unavailable? Sure you can DIY but then you are dependent upon homeseer and that may or may not be an issue in your situation. For a DIY solution with dry contact inputs the dingitan relayboards that work with MCSMQTT are also an inexpensive option. You may also want to pursue any options with Node Red. I did quickly see Node Red has a flow for the Elk M1.


      That's probably not what you are interested in but personally I would go again with a relatively dumb DSC PC1864. If you use the IT-100 interface board then you get the DSC plugin from HS, i.e. not a 3rd party. I use the Envisalink4 interface and hence use a 3rd party PI. Everything I have is hardwired. All windows, all doors, many of the indoor doors for automation and motion sensors (I wish I would have added more). The nice thing is that this works completely independent of HS. You can also have services that monitor this system. This system has SOOO many installations that you can count on support for a long time. Anyways, that's just me...


        I know you said you wanted active HS4 support, but I would still go with DSC and Spud’s Envisalink plug-in as I did 8 years ago. I started with it under HS3 and continue to use it under HS4. The panel and the plug-in have been flawless. Since Spud is involved in HS4 development, I would think the plug-in would eventually get HS4 UI elements and will certainly function properly under HS4.

        I used wired connections for all my motion sensors, glass break detectors and some doors and windows. The remaining doors and windows use the dedicated 433 mhz sensors. Wireless windows and and doors are so much easier than wired. I even put a non monitored sensor in the mailbox on the street to let us know when the postal worker delivered. They each use a CR2032 battery that lasts for years. I didn’t have to replace any battery for 5+ years and some are at 8 years and still good. The system sends an alert with the low battery or tamper. The panel/plug-in are fast, all of my motion controlled lighting uses DSC sensors and the response is nearly instant, with only the delay of the responding Z-Wave Device. I used a DSC PC1864 with 3 16 port expanders for a total of 32 wired and 32 wireless zones.

        I use Eyezon for monitoring at $8.50 per month. Monitoring is only available with the Envisalink module. They know when the Internet connection is down. They are always fast and responsive. Thankfully we’ve never had any criminal activity, but they dutifully remind me to call them before I change a battery
        HS4 Pro, Windows 10 pro, Supermicro LP Xeon


          Thanks for the replies. I do want the security system's basic functionality to be independent of HomeSeer.
          I see DSC was recommended. Isn't this system older than the Elk M1Gold (I believe it competed with the GE Caddx NX8E (of which I owned before obtaining an M1 Gold system). The keypads are so dated! How do you guys program the panel itself (for instance zone configuration types)? The Caddx NX8E had a software that could do this after you configured the serial port parameters with a keypad.

          So Randy and mulu, you are using the older power series of the DSC and not the newer Neo version? Did you have your systems before the Neo was available?
          I don't know if I can bring myself having to program a security system manually with a keypad again (visions of doing this with my Caddx system is coming back)!

          Do you use HomeSeer as the smart-phone interface (I don't believe the Envisalink has a native app)? Wonder how the pricing of a DSC system compares to the Elk M1 Gold? I see from Dweber85rc's post that there is a possible Node Red interface (in lieu of a supported HomeSeer plugin) but I'd rather not have to learn yet another piece of software.

          Again, I really appreciate all the advice. Just trying to absorb all of this information and options.

          **** Do You "Cocoon"? ****


            When we built our home Elk and Neo were available. I don't quite recall specifically why I didn't want either of them but it was usually things like no plugin available or only from 3rd parties or requiring a monthly fee, etc. I REALLY didn't want anything that was dependent on a 3rd party plugin. I purchase some plugins and suddenly they were not supported anymore. Then you are out of luck for HS integration. Or if you ever switch from HS to something else then there is a higher chance those widely used old DSC panels are supported.

            Yes, the keypads look outdated. I banned the keypad to the mud room where it's less visible. I also have cabling going to a location close by the entrance. If we ever move to a different home I can just put the original keypad there (or have a second one there). But now I have a tablet at that place. The tablet runs HSTouch and allows me to arm/disarm the system (it was quite a bit of work to do this), lets me control the thermostat, check weather forecast, etc. So that looks pretty modern.


              I’m not sure if the Neo was out in 2014. Early on I wanted to avoid any serial connections. I wanted to be able to run on a VM or a physical machine without moving wires. The Power Series and the Envisalink drove me to consider the system and the competitive price sold me. It is an older design but is perfectly functional. I can browse to the IP of the Envisalink and see some of the status of the system, but I don’t know of or use a smartphone app, so I use HS to interface. I generate pushover messages and Eyezon sends text messages with system status changes.
              HS4 Pro, Windows 10 pro, Supermicro LP Xeon