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Mentor to help picking DSC components?

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  • Mentor to help picking DSC components?

    Greetings.

    With our new home build in progress I'm trying to finalize the components to order for our security system. We are going with DSC and looking at the 1864. The 1832 would probably be enough but the price difference is pretty low to step up to the 64 and I'd rather not find myself wishing for more at a later date.

    I have done as much preliminary reading, youtubes, etc. as I can and feel I've got a decent list of components for what we want protected. But I'm still having trouble with the options to group things into zones. We're likely purchasing thru the AlarmStore because they will do some pre-config work for a small charge that will really help me get going quick, but that pre-config is still going to be based on what we ask of them. I have tried a couple times to reach out to them for some guidance prior to that but with no response.

    Is there anyone here that uses the DSC/Envisalink w/ HS that would be willing to give your opinion and guidance? I can share rough floor plans and where I am at currently in the decision process. We're doing our own setup and wiring of the security, HA, entertainment and networking when the framing is done so I'm trying to nail down the planning pretty tight in advance.

    advTHANKSance!

  • #2
    Do you have any specific questions? Your comment about grouping devices into zones confuses me a bit. Usually for wired devices each takes its own zone and for wireless devices each always takes its own zone. I suggest you really wrap your head around DSC programming. Here's a good video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Q_xYl9m7xk I personally got my system from this company. They were very helpful in selecting components when I called them to place my order.
    Originally posted by rprade
    There is no rhyme or reason to the anarchy a defective Z-Wave device can cause

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    • #3
      Typically each window/door has it's own zone, and for intrusion 1 or 2 PIR's per floor (depends on if there is access from outdoors). From an automation standpoint, it's much cheaper (and more reliable) to run PIR's everywhere you want to automate lights, etc; it's up to you how many you want to run and what you're wanting your HA system to do (easy to get carried away, though you can always just leave a prewire in place and forego the PIR if you change your mind later). I'd place just a few keypads as a backup (in case power goes out, the DSC has a battery). Run alarm wire to a few extra places for sensors (sump pump, water leak sensors (laundry room, basement, etc), garage (overhead doors, etc), and even run a few spare alarm + CAT5 to an outdoor junction box to run to future accessories (pool, shed, gates, outdoor sensors, etc). Structured wire panels are nice, but if you're doing HA you'll never have enough room for everything - I always run a panel box and then run all data into a wall-mount rack (which always runs out of room by the time it's all said and done).

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      • #4
        Thank you both for the information. I had picked up an impression that if I had two monitored windows in a room, for example, those two would be wired together as a single "zone" on the DSC. TBH, sensor = zone is much easier for my brain. :-) That rules out the 32 but the 64 should be enough.

        I appreciate the link and will watch that video multiple items over the next week I'm sure.

        We have about a dozen windows on the house we'll monitor. Plus two garage doors and three exterior doors. The DSC smoke/heat and carbon detectors and probably two of their glass-break sensors. I was considering just a couple of their PIR as well, partly for security and partly for future automation value.

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        • #5
          Note that with wired motion detectors multiple can be wired to the same zone but it isn't recommended for troubleshooting purposes. I have three on one zone in one large room in my house.
          Originally posted by rprade
          There is no rhyme or reason to the anarchy a defective Z-Wave device can cause

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Beowulf View Post
            Thank you both for the information. I had picked up an impression that if I had two monitored windows in a room, for example, those two would be wired together as a single "zone" on the DSC. TBH, sensor = zone is much easier for my brain. :-) That rules out the 32 but the 64 should be enough.
            You can series-wire windows in the same room together to reduce the total number of zones and possibly a zone expander (depending on total zones). Home-run a wire for each window, then couple them together at the panel (if you loop it through to each window, you're lining yourself up for problems down the road). Personally, I prefer having each window on it's own zone, so you can tell at a glance and know exactly which window is open.

            I should also mention that it's best to avoid aiming PIR's at windows (at least for intrusion purpose) to avoid chances of false detection and better accuracy (IR reflects off glass, so imagine your windows are mirrors - motion in another room could trip the PIR if it's in sight of the window, and the PIR in sight of that window). Exterior wall corners are often the best locations, though sometimes you don't have a choice for placement due to structure and/or trim/cabinets/moldings.

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