Home Forums System Recommendations, System Design Talk me out of SafeMart GE Simon XTi System?

This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  PurdueGuy 1 year, 12 months ago.

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  • #15397

    5hortbus
    Participant

    Ok,
    I've lurked here on and off for years. And have put together "theoretical" systems in my head and on paper.

    Now that it is time to make a purchase, I find myself taking the 'easy way out' with a somewhat packaged  GE Simon XTI kit from SafeMart.

    This is partially due to a bit of anxiety about programming myself, and also because I don't necessarily trust my research in assembling the  components that best address my needs just from reading random forum posts.

    I know and expect that you all will have recommendations that challenge my decisions and give me better perspective. That's why finally signed up, and  I'm posting this here. Comment/Criticize away. Help me do this right.

    My mindset:
    I'm in a cop and have a cynical view of residential alarms as a revenue generator for Alarm companies and for municipalities via False Alarm fines. As is stated in the FAQs an alarm doesn't stop the crime, it possibly prevents the criminal from hanging around after he gets what he wants because it is annoying. (Fire alarms are a different story) An amateur is possibly scared off by sirens, a skilled thief is getting what he/she wants.
    On the other hand: I also tell everyone who asks me how to improve their home security to get an alarm.(conflicted?)
    That said, this system is primarily for the security of my family when I am not home. I have a take home squad car and a K9. That means I send up a huge black and white "Come and Get It!" signal every time I leave for work. No cop/No Dog.

    My Budget: My wife is afraid someone is going to climb in a second story window and take one of our kids. The SafeMart system that I assembled with video comes in at nearly $3000! She said go ahead!

    My House:
    -2 Stories and a basement. 100 years old
    -original one-of-a-kind decorative plaster throughout main floor and plaster on second floor.
    - casement windows on back and sides of basement allow access
    -100 year old double hung wood windows throughout much of the first floor with some vinyl clad replacement windows in kitchen
    -Vinyl replacement windows on second story.
    -Wood doors with sidelights on front and back door
    -Bedrooms for family all upstairs
    -5 120V BRK interconnected smoke detectors throughout. (2 on second floor)
    -In the Midwest with pretty dramatic temperature extremes and it is a windy city.

    My Skills:
    - I have the basic skills to run/fish wires, but I'm hesitant to do so in this house due to its age, construction, architectural features etc.  I can probably run a couple of keypads/panels without much risk/anxiety.

    My Wants:
    -Install anxiety makes me want a fully or mostly wireless system.
    -I want, essentially a perimeter system. All points of access on sensors so that I know the moment someone attempts to enter, or (when my kids reach their teen years) exit the home.
    - It would be nice to incorporate the existing smokes, but I would want smoke and heat detectors for fire.
    -I fall into the "gadget guy" category and like the interactive features of lock control and notification/online access. Possibly light control too. (lights in triggered zone turn on)
    -Panic capability
    -GSM? – Independent of internet/landline/cable for notification.
    -What I can think of now I would want about 16 zones to pinpoint area of access, and also separate heat from smoke, and location of heat/smoke.  However, this number could climb.
    -I want the ability to add features/sensors/zones in the future
    -Future upgradability would be nice.
    -Some video- main stairways and living space. (this has been an interesting benefit in catching bad guys after a crime, and we have used a guy's video system to locate hiding subjects during a burglary in progress.) Should I get an independent video system?

    Thanks in advance. Now fire away!

    Ken

    #66503

    DragonSRV
    Participant

    Ken,

    Great post, sir! Looks like you are putting together a very complete solution for your home.  I work for SafeMart and we monitor the boards all the time, so we are are happy to help if you have any questions at all.  Please shoot me a PM if you need further information on your configuration.  Thanks!

    Dave

    #67077

    BV
    Participant

    I bought a safemart system and have been very happy with it. Large 2 story with finished basement. Wireless cell system with fire/smoke protection and 15 months interactive service, no video. Less than $1500.

    #67090

    DragonSRV
    Participant

    Great to hear, BV!  Glad you found a good solution.  Take care.

    Dave

    #67307

    byomkesh
    Participant

    Did you get it?  What has been your experience so far?

    Does it have GSM based event reporting?  And can it report by calling a private number or does it have to be used with a monitoring service?  I am curious to know if you considered  Visonic Power Max Pro and why you decided in favor of the GE Simon XTi. 

    #68384

    PurdueGuy
    Participant

    I realize this post is a bit old, but I'm going the opposite route, and I'm new…so forgive me!  ;D

    Did you end up going with the SimonXTi?  I have a SimonXT (not XTi), but I am replacing it with a more robust (probably) DSC PowerSeries.  I already had home automation, and have found the SimonXT's implementation of Z-Wave to be lacking.

    It will work, and control lights, but it is slow.  Really slow.  Since all communication goes over the GSM link, it can be many seconds between sending an "on" command and getting it to work.

    Instead, I have a Vera3 running locally, and that is much faster…and integrates with all sorts of smartphone apps, etc.  Then it will integrate directly with the DSC alarm panel.  That allows for door open notifications, etc.  Then 1 touch of a button, and all the house lights go out (except for a path to the door), the alarm arms, and 30 seconds later all the doors lock.

    If the system goes into alarm, I will have it immediately send a push notification (via Prowl) to my phone.  I'm still debating the GSM/IP connection for monitoring.

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