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Old 01-02-2011, 07:01 PM   #1
murphy55d
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Default Home security system - alternative to ADT/Brinks

Ok so I've pretty much had it with ADT and their ridiculous "monitoring" prices. As I type this I had to unplug my alarm completely because it won't stop beeping(that was their idea of tech support), and they can't get a tech here for 11 days. Great!

So that being said, I know Lowes and such sell those GE Choice wireless door/window alarm systems, does anyone have any experience with those, or anything else that I can do myself?

All I really care about is having door and window alarms with a loud siren. Not concerned with webcams and live streaming and all that crap. If someone opens our door at night all i want is for a loud siren to go off, which it looks like these GE ones do.

This is the "control unit", which supposedly can be expanded to add more sensors. I'd need 3 window ones and 2 door ones, which it claims to support.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/GE-Choice-...enter/10258340

Anyone have a better suggestion? All this is mostly for my wife's peace of mind, to be honest. So if it makes her feel better, I don't mind setting this up. Just don't want to buy junk.

Thanks
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:07 PM   #2
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:09 PM   #3
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Just go steal an ADT sign from someone's yard and put it in yours.
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocool84 View Post
Just go steal an ADT sign from someone's yard and put it in yours.
guyver, thanks for the unhelpful post.

zero, we actually have one out front. and stickers on our storm doors. they give them to you when you sign up.
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:13 PM   #5
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guyver, thanks for the unhelpful post.

had to get it out of the way
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:17 PM   #6
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If the sensors and door switches are already in place you're in for an easy job if you're a handy guy.

http://www.homesecuritystore.com/p-5...urity-kit.aspx

These people will walk you through the setup after the install. I have my monitoring done through a company in CA that charges me $10.50 a month. The discount I get on my homeowners insurance covers the cost.

DSC, Elk and Honeywell (in no particular order) are recognized as the leaders in the industry.

If you buy junk, you'll get to buy it over and over again. Go with one of these big players.

If you're interested in the monitoring company, PM me.

Most importantly, don't listen to the dickheads here.

Edit: That link more than likely has more than you need encompassed in it. But if you need a keypad and backup battery too, (you do) the kit usually prices out cheaper than the individual components.

Here's another major online seller.

http://www.alarmsystemstore.com/DSC-...wer5cp01nt.htm

Last edited by boomerang; 01-02-2011 at 07:24 PM.
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:24 PM   #7
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boomerang everything is already in place. door sensors, wall keypad, motion detector. ADT leaves it all in place even if you cancel service. i honestly don't want monitoring, i just want a local siren. i wish the equipment they left here would just work as-is without monitoring but once you cancel they disable the equipment completely.
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murphy55d View Post
boomerang everything is already in place. door sensors, wall keypad, motion detector. ADT leaves it all in place even if you cancel service. i honestly don't want monitoring, i just want a local siren. i wish the equipment they left here would just work as-is without monitoring but once you cancel they disable the equipment completely.
The keypad will not be compatible so you should just get the kit. The sensors and motion detectors are basically standard components that will work with any system so you are golden. The wiring is pretty simple.

Be aware that you will need to mount the box for the main board in place of the existing box. There is no standardization on how the circuit board that goes in the box mounts. You'll have to use the supplied box.

I'm not going to push monitoring on you as it's a personal decision, but I'm not joking that it's essentially free at the price I'm paying with the discount my insurer gives me. If my home was broken into when I was out of town, I'd really appreciate the call from the monitoring company. It would be nice to know that the house may be unsecured in the dead of winter as an example.

You don't have to have the system monitored. You can install is with just the siren and no dialer.

Edit: You may want to take the existing keypad off the wall and see how many wires are going to it. IIRC, the standard in the industry is four wires. Hopefully ADT doesn't use a proprietary harness with fewer wires.

Last edited by boomerang; 01-02-2011 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:38 PM   #9
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So, and I'm sure I'm simplifying this, but if I bought this kit, I basically could just swap out the parts(keypad and panel), and use the existing motion and door sensors?

Basically, buy new kit, take old keypad off wall, put new keypad on wall, take old box down, put up new box, and it'll work?
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:38 PM   #10
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We started with ADT...had them for about 3 years. Prices after contract kept climbing...so we switched to Monitronics when the roving sales team offered us a great deal...more hardware, lower monthly price...kept them for almost 4 years. Monitronics customer service sucks.
We finally dumped them a few months ago, and are "monitored service-free."

We'd like to get back to monitoring, but not with Monitronics...or ADT.

You'll have to program the new box if you switch. Each sensor has to be programmed into the receiver and assigned a "name."
Shouldn't take more than an hour if you have only a few sensors. (can probably be done in a few minutes...depending on the receiver box)

Last edited by BoomerD; 01-02-2011 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:44 PM   #11
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Right i understand that part, I just mean as far as hardware installation.
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murphy55d View Post
So, and I'm sure I'm simplifying this, but if I bought this kit, I basically could just swap out the parts(keypad and panel), and use the existing motion and door sensors?

Basically, buy new kit, take old keypad off wall, put new keypad on wall, take old box down, put up new box, and it'll work?
Yes...but there is some programming that needs to be done. It is done through the keypad. With one (or maybe both) of these companies, programming help is included in the cost. Research it at their websites. They walk you through it over the telephone. Now, if you're into reading manuals, you can do it all on your own. It can be daunting for a first timer though.

I don't know if you saw my edit on the keypad wiring in my earlier post.
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoomerD View Post
We started with ADT...had them for about 3 years. Prices after contract kept climbing...so we switched to Monitronics when the roving sales team offered us a great deal...more hardware, lower monthly price...kept them for almost 4 years. Monitronics customer service sucks.
We finally dumped them a few months ago, and are "monitored service-free."

We'd like to get back to monitoring, but not with Monitronics...or ADT.

You'll have to program the new box if you switch. Each sensor has to be programmed into the receiver and assigned a "name."
Shouldn't take more than an hour if you have only a few sensors. (can probably be done in a few minutes...depending on the receiver box)
I'm very happy with the company doing our monitoring now. I don't want to be called when we have a power failure (they are very frequent here) and they are OK with that (some are absolutely not OK with it) and handle it well.

I'll come right out and say it, I can get both myself and a new client to them some free monitoring if I do a referral. They programmed the panel to dial out on an appointment basis and called right on the dot the day and time they said they would.

I am absolutely not affiliated with them in any way, shape or form.
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:51 PM   #14
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Yes...but there is some programming that needs to be done. It is done through the keypad. With one (or maybe both) of these companies, programming help is included in the cost. Research it at their websites. They walk you through it over the telephone. Now, if you're into reading manuals, you can do it all on your own. It can be daunting for a first timer though.

I don't know if you saw my edit on the keypad wiring in my earlier post.
I did, yes. I imagine if I called this home security store tomorrow someone would be able to tell me the exact compatibility as far as wiring and such between what I have now, and that kit you recommended, right? If it really is that simple down to using the same wiring, this definitely makes the most sense. Mounting a keypad and a box, and hooking up wires that are already ran to it is simple.
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Old 01-02-2011, 08:03 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by murphy55d View Post
I did, yes. I imagine if I called this home security store tomorrow someone would be able to tell me the exact compatibility as far as wiring and such between what I have now, and that kit you recommended, right? If it really is that simple down to using the same wiring, this definitely makes the most sense. Mounting a keypad and a box, and hooking up wires that are already ran to it is simple.
I would think they'd know what ADT is using. Your only issue would be the wiring run from the panel to the keypad. Like I said, as long as there are at least 4 wires, you're fine.
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Old 01-02-2011, 08:09 PM   #16
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Why did you state you want an alternative to ADT/Brinks (which are monitored services) if you don't want any monitoring??

Many places (Watchlight for example) will monitor your existing alarm system for $10/ month...
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Old 01-02-2011, 08:11 PM   #17
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Awesome. thanks so much for the help and recommendations.
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Old 01-02-2011, 08:15 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spacejamz View Post
Why did you state you want an alternative to ADT/Brinks (which are monitored services) if you don't want any monitoring??

Many places (Watchlight for example) will monitor your existing alarm system for $10/ month...
Because I want an alternative to monitored services. If someone now were to trip our alarm, they call first to make sure it's not false. I've set it off accidentally(and so has our dog) and they don't even call right away, it's a few minutes later, and no police have ever automatically showed up. In that time we could have already called the cops.
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Old 01-02-2011, 08:17 PM   #19
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/facepalm

I wish I had the idea of benefiting financially on Americans' paranoia.
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Old 01-02-2011, 08:33 PM   #20
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/facepalm

I wish I had the idea of benefiting financially on Americans' paranoia.
I live in a semi-rural area with a median income approaching 100K. The overwhelming majority of us live on 2.5 acres or more. My home has been broken into twice.

Am I paranoid?
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Old 01-02-2011, 09:32 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boomerang View Post
If the sensors and door switches are already in place you're in for an easy job if you're a handy guy.

http://www.homesecuritystore.com/p-5...urity-kit.aspx

These people will walk you through the setup after the install. I have my monitoring done through a company in CA that charges me $10.50 a month. The discount I get on my homeowners insurance covers the cost.

DSC, Elk and Honeywell (in no particular order) are recognized as the leaders in the industry.

If you buy junk, you'll get to buy it over and over again. Go with one of these big players.

If you're interested in the monitoring company, PM me.

Most importantly, don't listen to the dickheads here.

Edit: That link more than likely has more than you need encompassed in it. But if you need a keypad and backup battery too, (you do) the kit usually prices out cheaper than the individual components.

Here's another major online seller.

http://www.alarmsystemstore.com/DSC-...wer5cp01nt.htm
Thanks!!!

Is there such a system where...it'll email you pictures of your home when the alarm is tripped?
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Old 01-02-2011, 09:37 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murphy55d View Post
boomerang everything is already in place. door sensors, wall keypad, motion detector. ADT leaves it all in place even if you cancel service. i honestly don't want monitoring, i just want a local siren. i wish the equipment they left here would just work as-is without monitoring but once you cancel they disable the equipment completely.
I took the ADT keypad and alarm out and installed a GE NX-6 unit and keypad (NX-148E LCD programmable keypad) using the existing door/window switches, smoke alarm, hallway motion detector and siren. Took a little while to get it programmed right but it works great. Set it to call my cell phone in the event of break in. Won't tell me anything other than a screech but I'll know it was tripped.

Click me

Cost around $140 including a new smoke alarm (the old one malfunctioned about about 3 months).

There are several low cost monitoring services that will work with the unit for as low as $9.99 month but I decline and just let it scream.
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Last edited by Engineer; 01-02-2011 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:02 PM   #23
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I can rent you out my aunt for $5 a month. She knows when I have company coming over before they arrive, how many people walked by my house for any given day and how many vehicles have pulled in the driveway.
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Old 01-03-2011, 07:28 AM   #24
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Engineer, were you able to use the existing wiring for the keypad as well, or did you have to run new wires? I actually have a Brinks keypad as we got them before ADT bought them out.
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Old 01-03-2011, 07:48 AM   #25
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Good question! My house had an existing alarm system installed when we moved in. We don't know the code unfortunately or how many sensors are installed (I do see the motion sensor in the living room and the sensors on the garage/front door). I'd love to figure out how to program the system to reset the code and to just scream out when a sensor is tripped (don't really care for monitoring at this time). I did find the manual for my system online but holy crap it looked intimidating
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