Home Forums System Recommendations, System Design Honeywell / GE / DSC / NAPCO which is best for my installation

This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  DEL Installations 8 years, 3 months ago.

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    I am in need of an alarm system for 2 story single family home and am looking for 1 with the following features:
    1) Remotely Accessible by Phone/Internet to check status and enable/disable
    2) 2 Keypads with status of faults and zones, ability to change the code
    3) 18 Wireless perimeter capability – 3 inside doors, 1 garage side door, 3 sliding doors, 11 windows
    4) 2 Wireless Motion Detectors – Pet tunnel option
    5) Smoke Detector
    6) Heat Detector for Garage
    7) Fault Detection – low battery etc.
    8) Internet or PC downloadable
    9) Internal Zones can be disabled (Motion etc.)
    I am a do it yourselfer but I cannot get good information by searching the net for the best way to go. My old home had a NAPCO hardwired system and it was OK, but not state of the art since it was 15 years old.

    Recommendations would be appreciated.


    DEL Installations

    Pretty much all of the system manufacturers listed will do what you're looking for.

    Personally, I'm an Ademco guy, does everything I need to do, user friendly, and relatlively easy to program.

    The big question is the model of the panel you're looking at.

    Look at a ITI Concord, Napco 1632, Ademco 20P, DSC 832, and the Elk M1G.

    Make a list of the bells and whistles you want and compare the must haves vs. nice things. Look at the user's manuals first, then the installation manuals.

    The big thing that you're going to have a hard time to find is internet access and IP downloading.

    They're all decent products, but a few have some features that make them nicer than the others.

    Also budget concerns also  8)



    For the most part any of the panel brands you listed will suit you fine with one acception.

    You 8th requirment, PC or Internet downloadable throws somewhat of a monkey wrench into the gears. Is this something you MUST have? What are you looking to acheive from this feature?

    By your number 9 requirment I would assume you want the ability to "turn off" motions while your inside the house but keep doors and windows armed? If so that is a simple programming field to do so.

    The majority around here will highly suggest Ademco but DSC would surfice for your requirments also.

    Got a budget for the system? We can work you up a parts list or you can check out of personal favorites here: http://www.diyalarmforum.com/index.php?topic=94.0



    I just installed an HAI Omni Pro II panel for a commercial client.  While this probably is way over your budget for a home installation, it does offer everything you wanted *including a web client*. 

    The web interface lets you arm/disarm, bypass, etc.  This particular panel is designed for complete automation (security, lighting, HVAC, etc.)

    Listen to the posters above.  Stick with Ademco or DSC.  I prefer DSC's Escort Module for a good telephone interface. 

    Dave, how would you compare programing DSC vs. Ademco?  Just curious.  I don't have a lot of experience with Ademcos.


    DEL Installations

    A little OT, but here's my take:

    There's panels out there with IP abilities, but we're talking out of the price range for 99% of the clients out there, not to mention the DIY market.

    I find that a panel geared more for HA functions usually tends to be lacking in the security features and abilities in comparison to their contemporary security counterparts.

    As far as programming goes, my perfect example would be to look at programming a zone or attribute (RF) in comparison between DSC and Ademco. Most other data fields are the same with inputting values.

    DSC tends to have more fields to have to tweak and input multiple values for a single item, mainly zone attributes.

    I, myself, just find Ademco to be more logical in layout, easier to work on physically, and having a lot better documentation.




    DEL Installations

    1. The world of alarms and computers are 100% different. Alarms don't have software loaded by the end installer and the main functions of arm/disarm are predetermined by the manufacturer. The panels I listed are all reasonable to use, some differences, but close enough.

    A look at the user's manual for each (google) will allow you to somewhat see how each works.

    2. Offsite 2 way and professional monitoring is not a function of these units. Generally, with pro monitoring, the alarm would transmit it's signal to a c/s, then a callback to the premises for a pw, and upon no answer or incorrect pw, a dispatch. Keep in mind, a properly designed and installed system should rarely, if ever, false barring a failure.

    Also, say your alarm goes off, it's a fire alarm, what's the course of action?

    There are self-monitoring setups, with voice dialers and the like, but if the alarm goes off, what's the course of action? Pro monitoring can be obtained for as little as $9/month, not to mention the usual savings in insurance as a result.

    The panels I listed generally have the ability to have phone access added or have it built in. Calling into the system is possible and also listening to status. Varies by manufacturer.

    3. Partitioning to avoid false alarms isn't necessarily an answer. Partitioning mainly means having a single control unit control multiple areas independently. If the garage is attached, the use of a partition usually has little benefit.

    4. 2 way voice is commonly offered, in both integrated and standalone add on units. The functionality of the units vary. IMO, 2 way voice doesn't accomplish much more than the telephone on a monitored system.

    The cost of RF devices are exceptionally similar. The variety of RF devices is the largest with Ademco. ITI has significantly less variety. Napco has even less.

    RS232 functionality varies significantly by manufacturer and panel. Personally, I wouldn't pick a panel based on this single factor.

    Look here for links and multiple views:

    The ability to have a remote receiver is generally common irregardless. THe ability of the unit varies by panel however.

    Keep in mind, the cost of a panel from a reseller will easily eat up half your budget, especially with the features you listed.

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