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Any wireless home security experts among us?

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  • Any wireless home security experts among us?

    Hey all, I hope everyone is doing well. It's been a while since I was a regular on here and I do miss the interesting/intelligent discussions that are so lacking on the internet today. I know everyone here is a DIY'er beyond just the topics typically found here and that's where I would like some help.

    Wireless home security hardware and compatibility...

    We just switched our separate DirecTV/Vivint service to a single package with Cox (Homelife is their security package/brand). I was away when this was installed so I didn't get to ask any questions but my wife did call me in the middle of the install to see if we wanted to pay $250 to have two smoke detectors added to the system. That sounded steep to me so I said wait and I'll see what I can find out.

    We still have the wireless Vivint alarms. I don't know what standard they work on but Vivint does not want them back. The Cox system supposedly runs on a Zigbee/Z-wave standard whatever that is. Does anyone know the most cost effective way to add the two detectors? I fumbled through the control menu and didn't see any way to add sensors so if I had the right detectors I'm not sure how I would add it. Even if I need to pay an installer to come out and give the secret handshake to get everything communicating as needed I'd still like to think we would be money ahead if we sourced the hardware somewhere else. Any thoughts?

    Thanks,
    Aaron
    Thanks,
    Aaron

  • #2
    I'm just dipping my toes into this area so I don't have any specific advice. There seems to be many paths to Rome and you really need to just look over the various systems then decide what capability you need and pick the one that best does that. I for sure wouldn't go with anything by my internet/cable provider, they are usually overpriced, under featured, limited customization and and it isn't "yours".

    Zigbee and Z-wave are just two communication/control protocols for smart devices.

    The systems you look at should list supported devices, maybe some support your Vivint devices. I went with Abode security since it appears to have a pretty decent list of supported devices. I didn't get any smart smoke detectors for it, but for pretty cheap - <$50 - they have a device which listens to the frequencies used by smoke detectors to alert if you if it hears one. Anyway, that's just an example, I'm sure there are many options in this space, probably too many for someone just getting into it.
    ~Brandon

    Soma Sonus
    DriverVault

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    • #3
      Originally posted by augerpro View Post
      I for sure wouldn't go with anything by my internet/cable provider, they are usually overpriced, under featured, limited customization and and it isn't "yours".

      Zigbee and Z-wave are just two communication/control protocols for smart devices.

      The systems you look at should list supported devices, maybe some support your Vivint devices. I went with Abode security since it appears to have a pretty decent list of supported devices. I didn't get any smart smoke detectors for it, but for pretty cheap - <$50 - they have a device which listens to the frequencies used by smoke detectors to alert if you if it hears one. Anyway, that's just an example, I'm sure there are many options in this space, probably too many for someone just getting into it.
      ​Thanks for the reply. Regarding price, the we switched to one provider was because it was about $50/month cheaper to get everything from Cox than it was from DirecTV and Vivnt separately. We had to buy out our not so old DirectTV contract for almost $400 but that money will be recouped in 8 months. Regarding features, we didn't lose anything compared to the 6 year old Vivint system and we gained an internet accessible camera with limited recording for our front porch. My wife is takes a fair amount of pride in keeping the bill as low as practical for these utilities. I'd guess we were already on the lower end of the average compared to other households with similar packages before the switch. Vivnit didn't want their old equipment back and it looks like I can sell the hardware package on eBay for $150-200.

      ​The old Vivint smoke detectors work currently as standard detectors but I'd still prefer to find a networked option that offers notification for less than $125. The old Vivnt detectors did the same thing and extras were $50 or so I initially think..
      Thanks,
      Aaron

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