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Z-Wave Alarm System Integration (a cautionary note)

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  • Z-Wave Alarm System Integration (a cautionary note)

    We get calls daily from folks looking to integrate their Z-Wave enabled alarm systems with HomeSeer. Usually, these calls are prompted by users who've outgrown the basic automation capabilities of those systems and they're looking features they don't currently have. These calls are not fun to field as we usually end up being the bearer of bad news. The problem, in a nutshell, is that these systems are not built with integration in mind.

    In a typical HomeSeer system, HomeSeer functions as the primary controller for the home and the alarm system is a sub-system. HomeSeer controls the lighting, thermostats (and other sub-systems) and also can monitor and control the alarm panel. The alarm system can be monitored professionally to provide the highest level of security and HomeSeer provides redundant monitoring as well as whole-house (multi-protocol) event triggering. This is ideal.

    With typical Z-Wave enabled alarm systems, the panel itself is the primary controller for the home and integration with other controllers is not possible. HomeSeer is unable to monitor or control these panels and the attached Z-Wave devices are also inaccessible to HomeSeer. Systems that work this way include ADT Pulse, Honeywell Tuxedo, GE Simon, 2GIG and others.

    So, if you're considering the purchase of a Z-Wave enabled alarm system, use a little caution. Take some time to evaluate the automation functions of the system and be sure it meets your present and future needs. If you're not sure about that, we recommend looking at HomeSeer compatible alarm systems instead (DSC PowerSeries, Ademco Vista, Elk M1).

    For those who've already invested in a Z-Wave alarm system but now wish to integrate with HomeSeer, all is not lost. In many cases, it's possible to replace the main alarm panel with a HomeSeer compatible system and use a "translator" module (like those by Resolution Products) to allow the new panel to work with existing sensors.
    website | products | support | youtube

  • #2
    This is great example where "dumb" security system is better. I have old Vista20p that only does home security. It is monitored and I use AD2USB to hook it up to HS. Now it is just another set of devices (sensors, alarm system states) that HS can see and control on top of all of my Zwave devices. They work very nicely together and alarm system is still fully functional/robust with all the backup batteries and monitored.

    I can see why it is tempting to get security system with built in z-wave but this is not extensible/flexible for long term.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Person View Post
      This is great example where "dumb" security system is better. I have old Vista20p that only does home security. It is monitored and I use AD2USB to hook it up to HS. Now it is just another set of devices (sensors, alarm system states) that HS can see and control on top of all of my Zwave devices. They work very nicely together and alarm system is still fully functional/robust with all the backup batteries and monitored.

      I can see why it is tempting to get security system with built in z-wave but this is not extensible/flexible for long term.
      Perfectly stated and many of the "dumb" systems are inexpensive and can be left behind and working if you ever sell your home.
      -Rupp
      sigpic

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Person View Post
        I can see why it is tempting to get security system with built in z-wave but this is not extensible/flexible for long term.
        The problem is... people see "Z-Wave" and think everything is interchangeable or at least compatible. This is not the case when it comes to control systems.
        website | products | support | youtube

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        • #5
          too bad the z-wave alarms were not developed with the use of other controllers in mind.

          There are a couple z-wave controllers out there and they are making in roads with normal people.... ugh!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by macromark View Post
            The problem is... people see "Z-Wave" and think everything is interchangeable or at least compatible. This is not the case when it comes to control systems.
            Well the whole "Speaks Z-Wave" campaign tried to suggest that all the products would talk. as we know they might talk on some level but its far from a guarantee of interoperability

            consumers are used to things working together.

            Raptor
            HS3 Pro on Windows 8 64bit
            53 Z-wave nodes(46 devices, 7 remotes), 15 DS10a's, 10 ms16a's, 9 Oregon Sensors, W800, RFXCOMtrx433, Way2Call, 3 HSTouch Clients, 2xRussound CAS44, Global Cache GC100-12,10 Rollertrol blinds(+ zwave) ,3 Squeezebox Radios and 1 Squeezebox Boom,DMX Arduino via ethernet,Rain8Net,3x Echo Dot's


            Check out my electronics blog here:
            https://www.facebook.com/RaptorsIrrationalInventions

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            • #7
              It's been a while since this was posted, what's the status quo today?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by wkearney99 View Post
                It's been a while since this was posted, what's the status quo today?
                +1 a year later. Pulse just installed with what looks like a Netgear router that has Z-Wave capabilities...this is apparently what allows me to control the alarm via the Internet.

                I don't need the Z-Wave controller piece, but it sure would be handy if this integrated to HS via a plug-in vs using my old AD2USB.

                Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

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