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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thinking about a diy home security system. There's a lot to chose from. I'm wondering if anyone can give me their experiences with these. I have a 2400 sq foot home and cats. I feel that motion detectors could be problematic. I don't have the house prewired at doors and window locations so wireless would be easier, but I don't want to mess with it if its not going to work very well.


Any thoughts?
 

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I've used 2 different wireless security systems over the last 8 years. Both have worked well for me. One was in house a little smaller than yours (2300 square feet) on two floors. I had a motion sensor for the main floor and door sensors on all entry doors. It worked fine. I replace batteries in sensors once every couple of years and that's it. I don't have pets, but the motion sensor I had was supposed to be pet friendly. The other house is substantially bigger and has 2 floors and a basement. I have motion detectors on two of the floors and entry sensors again. I have my systems professionally monitored by a service and transmit alarm signals via the Internet, but I could use them without monitoring.


The first system I had was an old GE Simon .

The current system I use is a Visonic PowerMax Complete


There are others to choose from and newer stuff out there. They have worked well for me. I've had 2 false alarms over those 8 years. One was due to a malfunctioning sensor that I replaced and the other due to a low battery on a sensor. Visonic had sufficient sensors types and remote communication devices that met my needs.


Good luck!
 

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If you have cats I wouldn't recommend even pet immune motion detectors. They work ok for dogs but because cats tend to move vertical, as in jumping on things, even a 15lb cat can trigger a 70lb pet immune motion. You're better off with glass break detectors.


I like DMP for wireless but if you're installing it yourself DMP is a dealer only product and a little harder to come by. DSC makes a good product as well. With current wireless technology I wouldn't be hesitant, you can get recessed door contacts and very small window sensors.
 

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Also, for most systems you will still need to run a wire for the keypad and siren. This usually isn't too bad in most houses. DSC makes a wireless keypad but you need to go with their Alexor panel, DMP makes one as well but it needs local power and they're a little slow. Nit sure on GE or Ademco as it's been years since I've installed those.
 

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The visonic powermax i used has wireless sirens and keypads. I just use the siren in the main controller unit however...
 

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I really can't speak to it myself, and was inclined to dismiss it out of hand, but the Lowe's Iris system got a decent review in Electronic House today:


Although for a 2,400 sq ft. house you may want to go a little more pro / prosumer. This one feels like it's more for the apartment dwellers like me
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Im kinda leaning toward a mostly wired system now, wired keypads, sirens, motion sensors and glass break sensors. My real problem is doors and windows. Fishing wires through walls thru outside walls would be a big job. That part of the attic is only a few inches high and then getting through headers does not sound fun.


I worry about false alarms with wireless but many say the door sensors work pretty good.
 

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Do a mix of wired and wireless with Elk M1 or HAI OPII. Both have always offered wired and wireless, but Elk released a new wireless platform a couple years ago that's (reportedly) an improvement; haven't used either.


If you're set on doing this yourself, spend a couple months reading on the cocoontech.com Home Security subforum ( http://cocoontech.com/forums/ ) before spending a dime.


Both Elk and HAI offer dedicated subforums at cocoontech, somewhat hidden in the Marketplace subforum.


You'll need to read the install manual in detail before you buy - so you'll design the system correctly before buying.
 
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