Wired security system integration

I'm a new user and first time poster (probably first of many). I am looking for information about integrating Hubitat with a wired security system. There's a concurrent thread that is very similar but I didn't want to hijack the other thread with my question even though it is similar.

In the existing thread, OP has an alarm panel that he wants to integrate with Hubitat. I don't have an alarm panel yet. I have a very thorough alarm system that is prewired, but no panel. What is the best way to proceed if I want to use the alarm sensors as triggers for automations, want to remotely see sensor status, etc.? And so there is no confusion, I want to use it as an actual alarm, not just use the sensors for automation purposes. Is there a best panel to use right off the bat? If you were in my shoes how would you proceed?

Without knowing much about all the options, it sounds like the Konnected Alarm Panel wired alarm system conversion kit is just right. Or at least their website makes it sound. Is there something else that would be better? Does Konnected have any limitations that another panel wouldn't have?

Thanks!

The konnected system is not an alarm panel. The connected board can REPLACE your alarm panel or interface to it (to read the sensors) but it will not provide the same functions of an alarm panel as far as having keypads and an interface to interact with it.

Just to clarify...you are looking for an alarm panel that has some type of TCP-IP or serial interface to allow you to have an independent alarm system but also use those sensors with Hubitat, correct? You are not trying to use Hubitat Safety Monitor as your alarm system.

What are your other requirements? Does the panel have to have professional monitoring? Cell backup? Are you planning on interfacing the armed state of the alarm to HSM to get remote notifications? Are you looking for a DIY or professionally installed panel?

To add to the above, Konnected actually has a new product, the Konnected Interface Module, that enables a Konnected board to work in parallel with an existing alarm board rather than replacing it, as the Konnected product has traditionally done. But as stated above, you'll still need to decide what your requirements are for the actual alarm portion. Hubitat can be used with just the traditional Konnected board (no Interface) and be your alarm system if you're OK with Hubitat Safety Monitor (or really whatever automations you choose) handling that, but the reality is that Hubitat is not primarily a security system, so it may not meet every need you have there. If you're like me and don't use it much, you may be fine. :slight_smile:

If you want to use an "industry standard" system and just put Hubitat on top of it (e.g., you'd be able to also use those sensors for Hubitat automations), the Interface Module sounds like it might be a good fit. They claim it works with any brand of standard panel, so I would look at your needs from the panel perspective first (as above) and not factor Konnected or Hubitat into your decision at that point.

Konnected's website is very confusing if you aren't familiar with alarm terminology so excuse the stupid statements I make. I'm quite technical but have zero knowledge about alarms.

Thanks for the info about the differences between Konnected and an actual alarm panel. On their website they advocate using tablets in place of keypads. And they recommend Fire tablets (What?! My experience with Fire tablets is they get very laggy unless you reboot them regularly.). My traditional idea of an alarm system is that it has keypads to arm and disarm. What is the alternative with a Konnected panel? If it is using your cellphone to arm/disarm I hate that idea.

Yes, I am looking for a panel that has an interface that will allow me to have an independent alarm system and also use the alarm sensors with Hubitat. I'd also like the ability to trip the alarm with Hubitat -- for instance, if a light switch is turned on while the alarm is on. I don't know much about the Hubitat Safety Monitor, sounds like it just sends you notifications when sensors are tripped. If that is all it does, yes I'd also like to get HSM notifications.

Professional monitoring, cell backup and battery backup are all desired. I will probably have the people that did my prewire set up the panel so DIY or professional panel doesn't matter much, whatever best suits my needs.

I'm aware the Konnected interface module can be the middleman between the panel and Hubitat. And it sounds like this might be the way to go for me. But will it really work the same with any panel? It doesn't integrate better with some panels than others? And will one interface module handle anything the panel throws at it? In the other thread, there was some mention of needing several interface boards depending on the number of zones, and it could get messy.

The other thread also mentioned zwave sensors that could simultaneously be wired? That seems like a good option too, although I'd rather do more work up front to eliminate battery powered sensors (Or will wire supply sufficient power for z-wave?). Someone there said "Some have interfaces that permit monitoring and control by home automation systems (for example, ELK M1)." And another comment said "However, if a security panel does offer a native, or third-party, device that connects directly to its bus, it allows for a neater and simpler installation. Like a keypad, [Envisalink] gains full access and visibility to the security panel's operations (with a lot less wiring connections and adjustments)." These comments sound like some panels come ready for integration with something like Hubitat, so no Konnect would be needed? Is that right?

The other thread mentions AlarmDecoder and Evisalink, from my quick evaluation these sound like they serve the same function as Hubitat Safety Monitor?

I'm clearly just getting my feet wet here. But for those of you who are knowledgeable about the different security panels, what is going to offer me the best path forward?

No true alarm panel will allow this. The alarm panel alone decides when an alarm condition occurs... The only external control is ARM/DISARM and zone bypass (when disarmed). You could achieve a similar effect with a Zwave or Zigbee siren... but that as external to the alarm panel. You could, if you can get the programming right, allow the HE to press a "panic" key to initiate an action.

The AlarmDecoder line of devices (The AD2USB/AD2PI/AD2SRIAL) are not directly compatible with HE. They require a middleman computer (IE: Raspberry Pi). On their own, they do not have any ability to do either DIY or professional monitoring... The Alarm Decoder can not be used for central station (professional) monitoring. The Alarm decoder devices work with DSC Power Series alarm panels and Honeywell Vista Plus series panels.

The Envisalink device is a stand alone network connected device. As such, it can interface directly with the HE for zone monitoring and control of alarm functions (Entirely local control). There is also a cloud based DIY monitoring service with arm/disarm control and basic SMS alerts at no additional cost. There is also a reasonably priced and totally optional addons for advanced alerts (~ CDN$60/yr) and professional central station monitoring service available (at ~ CDN$110/yr). The Alarm decoder devices work with DSC Power Series alarm panels and Honeywell Vista Plus series panels.

There are other alarm panels that are available... The newer "all-in-one" systems are definitely ones to stay away from... The tend to be (a lot) less automation friendly... (IE: Honeywell Lynx/Lyric, Qolsys, etc)... Also, the less popular alarm panels have far fewer options for connectivity and automation (GE Simon, Interlogix, Paradox, etc) and the options that are available are many times locked to a proprietary cloud system.

Also, beware the connectivity add-ons... The Vista Automation Module provides WiFi connectivity to the Honeywell Vista Plus series, but does not provide a usable API for automation... The various Honeywell Tuxedo Touch touchscreen control panels offer home automation capabilities (It has a built-in Z-Wave controller) but does not integrate with external automation systems (and provides VERY limited Z-Wave device compatibility). The GE Simon connectivity devices only integrate with the proprietary website...

Some alarm panels are designed with automation in mind or with an automation system built-in (ie: Elk M1, Elk M1Gold), but they tend to be no the more expensive side. They also tend to have a Serial or USB interface to automation systems, which would require an additional computer or a serial-to-network adapter and a custom driver for HE.

Generally, for inexpensive (or at least reasonably inexpensive) and easily expandible alarm panels, The DSC Power series and Honeywell Vista plus series are the most common and readily available. For Automation, the DSC has a slight advantage over the Honeywell (The DSC reports zone activity at all times, the Honeywell only reports zone activity on zones in a partition when it is disarmed). Both can be easily connected to the HE with an Envisalink module.

My personal opinion: With a DSC alarm panel and an Envisalink module, you will be able to have a solid, reliable and expandable alarm system with DIY monitoring and HE integration for automation control (and the envisalink driver will interface with HSM)... and if you need to have professional monitoring in the future, it is readily available.

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I'm going to second this. Get an 1832 or 1864 DSC power series a couple zone expanders depending on how many zones you want to set up and an envisalink. If you add an rfk5500 keypad you can also add DSC wireless sensors down the track of you feel the need, I find them much more reliable then zigbee/zwave sensors and better battery life. This is pretty much exactly what im using and have it integrated with hubitat and working flawlessly for about a year.

Forgot to mention, this set up is all local so even when your internet is down your automations etc still work.

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The difference in price probably isn't enough to be be the deciding factor for me. This is important so I just want the best option for integration. From the last two posts in the thread I get the sense that DSC + Envisalink is the best option regardless of price. Correct?

Sounds like the more expensive options like Elk panels are also more complicated to integrate, but do they offer any advantages over DSC to make them worth the added cost and complexity?

Are any touchscreen keypads compatible with DSC? Is there any way to control a DSC panel from the Hubitat dashboard?

I assume DSC has a battery backup but what about cellular backup? And what about audible alerts in the home when a door is opened, like ADT offers. Can I get those through Alexa/Google devices in the house?

Can I set up push notifications from Hubitat any time there is a specific event on the DSC?

Thanks again. Sorry to bump this old thread but this got pushed out with everything going on in the world.

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I have the same question as Roy's follow up. Signed up for a Hubitat account just so I could bump this! Looking forward to the answer.

Bumping this thread and hoping to get these answers as well as I do my own research

I recently got my Hubitat and connected it to my 10 year old wired DSC (which I had added the envisalink to years before). I can confirm it works well. I can see the state of any individual sensor, and act on it, whether the system is armed or not. When learning and playing, at one point I had Hubitat speaking through the Sonos speaker that 'Someone has come through the front door'!

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