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Concord 4 Security Panel Plug-in (3P) Discussions related to the third party GE Concord security panel plugin.

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  #1  
Old January 10th, 2017, 07:15 PM
matt1t matt1t is offline
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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
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  #2  
Old January 11th, 2017, 07:31 AM
mattm55 mattm55 is offline
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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

"The SuperBus® 2000 RS-232 Automation Module allows you to connect compatible, third-party automation devices to Concord (v2.5-later), Concord 4, Concord Express (v4) and Advent panels."

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
__________________
HS: 3.x
HW: Insteon PLM 2412U, RFXCom, Concord Ultra w/AM, Brultech GEM, Brultech Dashbox, ELK-930, Venstar tStat T7900
3P-Plugins: GE Concord HS3, MS_Insteon HS3, UltraCID HS3, RFXCOM HS3, Venstar tStat HS3
3P-Plugins Admin: GE Concord HS3, Venstar tStat HS3 (beta)
Scripts: n/a
Server: Win8 (64bit), Intel i5-4670 3.4Ghz, Asus Z87i MB, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD/1TB SATA

Last edited by mattm55; January 11th, 2017 at 08:47 AM. Reason: Smartthings
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  #3  
Old January 11th, 2017, 09:12 AM
Kerat Kerat is offline
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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.



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  #4  
Old January 11th, 2017, 12:17 PM
matt1t matt1t is offline
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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 at 03:16 PM.
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  #5  
Old January 11th, 2017, 10:42 PM
mattm55 mattm55 is offline
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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
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  #6  
Old January 12th, 2017, 09:48 AM
matt1t matt1t is offline
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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.
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  #7  
Old January 12th, 2017, 11:14 AM
mattm55 mattm55 is offline
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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
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Last edited by mattm55; January 12th, 2017 at 11:18 AM. Reason: More Info...
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  #8  
Old January 12th, 2017, 08:56 PM
matt1t matt1t is offline
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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  
Old January 13th, 2017, 08:40 AM
mattm55 mattm55 is offline
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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  
Old January 13th, 2017, 10:48 AM
matt1t matt1t is offline
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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 at 11:20 AM.
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  #11  
Old January 13th, 2017, 12:16 PM
mattm55 mattm55 is offline
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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  
Old January 13th, 2017, 01:35 PM
matt1t matt1t is offline
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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?
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  #13  
Old January 13th, 2017, 09:07 PM
matt1t matt1t is offline
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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 at 09:29 PM.
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  #14  
Old January 14th, 2017, 06:06 PM
mattm55 mattm55 is offline
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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 at 06:17 PM. Reason: update
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  #15  
Old January 14th, 2017, 09:47 PM
matt1t matt1t is offline
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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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  #16  
Old January 14th, 2017, 10:07 PM
mattm55 mattm55 is offline
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Great. Let me know your progress and any questions you may have.

Part of the giveback for everyones hard work getting this far. The Concord plugin works great.

MattM
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  #17  
Old January 18th, 2017, 03:58 PM
matt1t matt1t is offline
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Hey Matt,

I received and installed the Automation Module last night. I did not have a DB9 handy until today so I plan on powering up the panel in hopes to move forward. So what do you suggest I do to test this out? Download the software and use the 30 day trial? I'll start looking at the install instructions and whats needed. I'll be using that windows system for now to determine if my panel is compatible with the AM and Homeseer I suppose. If this all works, I'd like to move to the pi or my CentoOS server.

Thanks,

-Matt
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  #18  
Old January 19th, 2017, 07:45 AM
mattm55 mattm55 is offline
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Great.

So yes I would start by a trial of HS and then loading the concord plugin. The AM should auto learned when you power on panel but beep because it looks for signal ack. Thats where HS and the plugin come in.

Let me know if you have any config issues or install issues.

Matt
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  #19  
Old January 19th, 2017, 10:36 PM
matt1t matt1t is offline
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I believe we have progress. Fumbling my way through this. I guess I need to figure out what the zone setup is.
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Last edited by matt1t; January 19th, 2017 at 10:39 PM. Reason: image was messed up
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  #20  
Old January 19th, 2017, 11:00 PM
matt1t matt1t is offline
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Smile

Ok, well that was non-eventful.... In a good way

I believe this is fully working now?! One last thing to fix is the system phone trouble beeping. The wife will not let me keep the system up longer than an hour as it beeps in our room... Any quick suggestions?
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Last edited by matt1t; January 19th, 2017 at 11:14 PM.
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