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  • Am I too late?

    Hello all,

    For about 6 months I've been chasing my tail and looking for option as how to best integrate what appears to be an older Concord 4 system. We bought the house in July. I really just want to be able to remotely monitor ( arm/disarm ) the system remotely. I've looked at other options of ripping out the system and replacing it with an Ademco or DSC system, then then again I will be replacing keypads and possibly sensors which are already wired in. That also seems like a lot of heavy lifting. I like the setup I have and think it would work for what I want. Ideally, if I could link this to my v2 Smartthings hub, that would be great, but first I'm starting small and just trying to get access from my home network.

    In my research I thought the ThingShield was my only option, but Smartthings has discontinued that device. From the posts here, it seems like a working solution. I do not have the Automation module, is that needed for this?

    I also see some are using Raspberry Pi solutions which I'm fine with me. I guess I need to know what I need to get going.

    Can someone boil this down or point me to a link for the hardware needed as well as the setup and software needs?

    Thanks,

    -Matt

  • #2
    Hi,

    Yes, I can help you with this I hope.

    Update: I completely missed that you want to integrate with Smartthings. I do not have experience with that but maybe someone else does. This plugin is for Homeseer only. I don't know if ST's has a Concord plugin. Does ST's have an API, allows user configurations, etc... You would then have to use the GE/ITI alarm protocol & GE AM to get it to work or get a compatible ST's security system like you said.

    1. A server with either Windows or Linux. The server could be a Pi although I'm not sure anyone here has Homeseer and Concord running? You would be the guinea pig.

    2. A copy of Homeseer3 regular or Pro installed (I think you can run it for 30 days free)

    3. A compatible GE Concord alarm system. It has to be software version > X to run. See below

    ""

    4. The GE Automation Module (AM) and cable to connect AM to the server. Usually its a serial cable to a Serial/USB adapter as most newer servers don't have a serial connector. I have a 4 port Edgeport but there are other options.

    5. Concord plugin.

    Done.

    It sounds like a lot but we have a document to go by which helps. The doc is for the HS2 version plugin (I haven't updated it yet) but should mostly apply. Also, we are here to answer questions.

    So, don't buy anything yet until you know exactly what Concord version of software you have. Post it here and I can tell you if it'll work.

    Thanks, MattM
    Attached Files
    Last edited by mattm55; January 11th, 2017, 07:47 AM. Reason: Smartthings

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    • #3
      Am I too late?

      MattM's shopping list is near perfect. The only thing I would note is:
      1. you need a PC to host the HS3 service.
      2. There are a few flavors of HS3 product keys and installers.

      the HS3 pro/standard key that you can purchase can be used on either the Linux or windows HS3 program installer.

      There is a 3rd HS3 solution that is designed to run on RPI3, it is a bit cheaper, and has the limitation of only supporting 5 plugins while the pro/standard version do not have this limitation.

      Personally I run HS3 standard for Linux on an RPI3. There were a few files that can be copied from a zee image as those are compiled specifically for and ARM processor while the HS3 for Linux ones were compiled for a conventional PC x86/X64 processor. They are used for Linux administration from the HS3 interface, and are not absolutely required for the HS3 application to run. The advantage using the HS3 for Linux and a HS3 standard license is that I can run as many plugins as I want on my RPI3 (hardware permitting), and if I ever overgrow the RPI3 hardware I can just buy a better PC.

      The RPI3 is a great little piece of hardware, but it does come with some limitations. in order to get HS3 running on it you need to install Linux on it. There is a learning curve with Linux if you have never used it. The curve is easily surmountable with work. Also, the RPI3 is limited to 1GB of RAM. Every the main program and any installed plugins will consume some CPU cycle time and processing bandwidth, as well as space in available RAM. I addressed the RPI3 RAM limitation by using the Raspbian LITE distribution. Currently I am running 6 plugins and using 2/3 of my available RAM. @Pete has done a great job noting that he has HS3 for Linux running on a competitor device (named Pine64) that has a similar ARM based CPU and 2x the RAM. Those devices are only slightly more expensive than an RPI3 (I believe that their main system is $30 but the NIC is an expansion and must be purchased). There is that option.



      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

      Comment


      • #4
        Well, its good to see there may still be hope for me. Thank you both for the replies. I currently host a linux server at my house to run my video cameras with ZoneMinder so I may piggy back on that, although running a serial cable from a closet to where my panel is may be an issue. I will deal with that later as I could also use a all-in-one windows system I have.. I guess the real question of whether or not this will work depends on the version of software my concord panel is at. I do have this information, does it tell you what I have?

        System Level = 0408
        System Number = 0021269
        Factory Code = 414*1838

        Hope this helps.

        -Matt
        Last edited by matt1t; January 11th, 2017, 02:16 PM.

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        • #5
          Yes, we need the software version.

          Its on the main IC chip or in the User pgm menu. That should tell you th version.

          Matt

          Comment


          • #6
            Finding the main IC chip appears to be harder than I thought. I've attached two pictures and hope someone can point me in the right direction. I also peeled a sticker off what looks like a main chip of sorts to reveal the numbers underneath. Right now my unit is unplugged and the wife and kids were sleeping so I couldn't fire it up last night. Does anyone know where in the menu this information lives? If I go to System Version I get the above information which I guess does not show software version. I should be able to fire the panel up this evening and poke around to try and find the software version level.
            Attached Files

            Comment


            • #7
              Try this...

              Yes, I meant a sticker on the Main I/C usually. If you need more info on getting to the System Version Menu just let me know. The ss gives you an idea of where it is. I'm assuming you have the "codes" to access programming (which are necessary) going forward.

              Matt
              Attached Files
              Last edited by mattm55; January 12th, 2017, 10:18 AM. Reason: More Info...

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              • #8
                So getting the software version off of this thing appears to be harder than I thought. I've followed all of the instructions. I've entered user programming mode by pressing 9 and my mater code. I get to the system menu and can list the Factory code, system number and system level, but no SW version is listed. I've even tried the short cut of 013, but when I enter it in it show 01?. 012 gives me the System level, its like the option is not there for me. I have two codes. The installer code and the master code. Can anyone see what I am missing?

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                • #9
                  OK, this option is in the User Programming mode and your getting to the other options. My instincts tell me that this might be caused by an older version of software. I'm guessing here as I don't have any references to models/serial numbers to see the build dates.

                  Do you have an idea of how old this system is? Any dates on the boards. My system is an older Concord Ultra which I thought was the older version of the Concord.

                  Hmm, just thinking of something else. Do you have any wireless sensors and if yes, do you know what they are? There are 2 types which might date the system? The older are SAW and the newer are Crystal.
                  Matt

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                  • #10
                    Matt,

                    Yes I do have some wireless components. I believe they are on my windows. I know CPI installed the equipment so I called them and asked them about the equipment. The person I spoke with could not tell me any specifics on what the device is, other than a GE device. I did asked when it was installed and the system was installed in 2005 with an upgrade done in 2014. I was also told they are still installing this equipment today and I wouldn't need to upgrade to start service with them. I knew I had a smoke detector connected to it, but I was unaware the carbon monoxide device was also monitored. I will take a look tonight on what the wireless components are. I may just go ahead and order the automation module.

                    I guess I feel a bit better, all though I have no facts to tell me what version is running. I still have hope for this.
                    Last edited by matt1t; January 13th, 2017, 10:20 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes, that is a good sign then that they told you 2005 to 2014. I think when I looked for the AM manual a day or two ago I saw the AM for $59. That would be worth it IMO but buying something that won't work isn't great either.

                      I'm still unsure why you can't see the S/W version. I will have to check mine when I get home. Like I said, mines an Ultra which might predate Concord 4???

                      A couple of notes. Is this still monitored? I also had a GE Carbon Mon sensor and hated it. Too many false alarms and it was only good for 3 years from manuf. I don't have any smokes connected either to HS.

                      Matt

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                      • #12
                        No, its not monitored and I have no active land line to the property. CPI would come in and install a cell module, at least that's what they told me. I have no interest in signing up for a contract. So does your board look like mine?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hey Matt,

                          I'm updating my post. I just found a piece of information on the back of the door... doh! I have a sticker which says the Control panel is a Concord Hybrid 60-734-01 or a Concord integrated 60-792-01-95R..... So where does that leave me?

                          -Matt
                          Last edited by matt1t; January 13th, 2017, 08:29 PM.

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                          • #14
                            That model takes superbus addons. The am is not for concord express. For $50, I would take a chance if it were me. I dont have a way to verify your compatibility.


                            So I just checked mine. My docs don't have the sw version option and my panel doesn't have that option. So that might mean your ok.

                            My panel build date is 2004 and my version is ok. So we need to figure build date to be sure. Im swaying more to sw ver +2.5

                            Matt
                            Last edited by mattm55; January 14th, 2017, 05:17 PM. Reason: update

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                            • #15
                              Hey Matt,

                              I snagged a AM for $44, so I'm going to give it a try. From everything I can find, I'm leaning towards SW version 2.6. Just waiting for the AM module to show up.

                              Thanks for sticking with me on this....

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