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View Full Version : House Alarm DIY?


jimmer2880
12-08-2005, 09:37 PM
I'm looking into installing my own alarm system and want to find out what others can recommend.

I'm not looking for something that's connected to police, fire, etc. More - just an audible alarm to warn us (and - hopefully the neighbors if I can get a speaker loud enough).

Mainly looking for door & window opening, nothing real fancy (probably don't want to mess with Motion sensors with a Dog in the house).

I'm real handy with running wires - so I'll probably go with a wired system.

Any thoughts?

Footin
12-08-2005, 09:42 PM
Have you checked Lowes or Home Depot? I would think they would have some basic kits.

Mag_Red
12-08-2005, 09:43 PM
What's the dog for????

jimmer2880
12-08-2005, 09:48 PM
What's the dog for????

The dog's to lick the bad people when they enter the house. She definitely isn't there for protection.

I haven't check depot or lowes yet - I wanted to see if anyone liked one brand, or style over another.

bcampbe7
12-08-2005, 10:41 PM
We have had an ADT system for about 4 years. If I had to do it over I would have done everything myself. I am thinking about cancelling the service and just using the equipment. I think it will still work normally, ADT just will not be monitoring, therefore the police and fire will not be notified.

I am not much help, but there are many systems that you can program to call your cell phone or any other number automatically. Home Depot and/or Lowes may be good places to start.

As for the dog, they make sensors that only detect larger objects so dogs will not set it off. Not sure how well they work though. We have 1 motion sensor and it is way too sensitive. We set the alarm so that it is never used.

The guy from ADT advised against going with glass breakage sensors unless you do most or all of the windows. Those little suckers were expensive at the time and we did not want to spend the money to secure 10+ windows. Also, I would imagine most burglers will try to get through a door first.

We also have 2 wireless sensors on the garage doors. They work great, but do require batteries. Apparently the ststem will notify us when the batteries are low. Hasn't happened yet.

I am not aware of any way to program the ADT system myself. If anyone wants to hook me up with programing instructions for an ADT system I would appreciate it. I would like to have it call my cellphone. :cool:

You need to decide if you want an indoor or outdoor siren, or both. We went with an indoor. It is very loud but our neighbors do not hear it at all (what we wanted). An outdoor siren will get the neighbors attention easily.

BriEOD
12-08-2005, 10:52 PM
I'm pretty familiar with the systems, setups, etc. Let me know if you get in a jam. Although, my perspective is from the other side, i.e. how to defeat the sensors.

H20skeefreek
12-08-2005, 11:00 PM
My wife used to work for ADT. The stuff at Home Depot/Lowes is pretty much the same stuff, just a slightly lower grade (than ADT, higher grade than most other companies). If you aren't concerned with monitoring , you should be able to create a DIY system for a very reasonable price.

bcampbe7
12-08-2005, 11:04 PM
I'm pretty familiar with the systems, setups, etc. Let me know if you get in a jam. Although, my perspective is from the other side, i.e. how to defeat the sensors.

Yeah but then you would have to get by Cujo!
:uglyhamme

Dan K
12-09-2005, 12:02 AM
Jimmer,
I have installed systems for over 20 years as a sideline. don't do it much anymore except for family and friends. i deal with a wholesale house and would be happy to answer any questions or offer advice.
email me. wired is the best way to go.

jimmer2880
12-09-2005, 12:30 AM
Yeah but then you would have to get by Cujo!
:uglyhamme

I'm still laughing at that one. The life jacket does it all!

Looks like your dog is as fierce as mine (a britney/field spaniel mix-stray). We haven't worried in the past, since my Dalmation was very protective (no - we didn't raise him to be like that - it was just natural), but as you all know - he passed on last week. The Brit won't even make a sound if someone came in - regardless of the amounts of treats they were holding :noface:

milkmania
12-09-2005, 11:11 AM
We have had an ADT system for about 4 years. If I had to do it over I would have done everything myself. I am thinking about cancelling the service and just using the equipment. I think it will still work normally, ADT just will not be monitoring, therefore the police and fire will not be notified.

I am not much help, but there are many systems that you can program to call your cell phone or any other number automatically. Home Depot and/or Lowes may be good places to start.

As for the dog, they make sensors that only detect larger objects so dogs will not set it off. Not sure how well they work though. We have 1 motion sensor and it is way too sensitive. We set the alarm so that it is never used.

The guy from ADT advised against going with glass breakage sensors unless you do most or all of the windows. Those little suckers were expensive at the time and we did not want to spend the money to secure 10+ windows. Also, I would imagine most burglers will try to get through a door first.

We also have 2 wireless sensors on the garage doors. They work great, but do require batteries. Apparently the ststem will notify us when the batteries are low. Hasn't happened yet.

I am not aware of any way to program the ADT system myself. If anyone wants to hook me up with programing instructions for an ADT system I would appreciate it. I would like to have it call my cellphone. :cool:

You need to decide if you want an indoor or outdoor siren, or both. We went with an indoor. It is very loud but our neighbors do not hear it at all (what we wanted). An outdoor siren will get the neighbors attention easily.


it will work when cancelled....
Grandma's house (vacant) has ADT & no phone even, but the alarm is still set everytime I enter or leave.

and by golly, you better get that pin number right within the first six tries!!!http://deephousepage.com/smilies/banghead.gif

east tx skier
12-09-2005, 11:26 AM
If you're not going to get the one that calls the cops, just skip the heavy installation and put stickers on all your doors and windows that say you have an alarm. Get a little sign for your bushes, too. Make sure it has a picture on it indicating police, jail time, etc. as not all criminals are literate.

Dan K
12-09-2005, 12:02 PM
ETS, there are more reasons than burglers to have an alarm. The stickers don't tell you when there is smoke, fire, CO2, or water problems. Surely a sticker is chaeper but I believe most criminal types can recognize the fake stickers sold at the Shack and Depot.
Most systems I have installed do not have stickers on the windows at all. A siren outside the house would be a better deterant than a sticker.

M-Funf
12-09-2005, 12:15 PM
it will work when cancelled....
Grandma's house (vacant) has ADT & no phone even, but the alarm is still set everytime I enter or leave.

We have ADT, but we're still hooked up to their system. I talked with the tech when he came out to add a sensor, and asked him if we could program it to call our cell phone. He said it could be done, but ADT would not do it, we'd have to hire somebody else to do it. He also gave me his cell phone number and said he could do it cheap once we're off ADT.

Our system uses all wireless sensors on doors only. The detached garage is not alarmed. The sensors run on batteries, and the system does let you know when they are low. Doors can be programmed to set the alarm off instantly (our basement door) or to delay for X seconds until somebody can punch in the code (front door).

I'm sure a wireless system at HD or Lowes would be easy to install and have all the functions you'll need.

Dan K
12-09-2005, 12:30 PM
We have ADT, but we're still hooked up to their system. I talked with the tech when he came out to add a sensor, and asked him if we could program it to call our cell phone. He said it could be done, but ADT would not do it, we'd have to hire somebody else to do it. He also gave me his cell phone number and said he could do it cheap once we're off ADT.

This isn't a bad option, ADT and other alarm companies program installer codes into the panel that effectively locks out anyone else from reprogramming the system. This guys obviously knows the installer code, ask him to change it to something you will know for later. It is usually impossible to defeat the installer code lockout, I normally change out the panel in this type of situation since a hard reset typically does not work. Even if the panel must be replaced the rest of the system is still there as well as the labor to install it all.

Additionally ADT has panels manufactured specifically for them since they have such a large volume, these panels are different than those installed by others.

east tx skier
12-09-2005, 12:33 PM
ETS, there are more reasons than burglers to have an alarm. The stickers don't tell you when there is smoke, fire, CO2, or water problems. Surely a sticker is chaeper but I believe most criminal types can recognize the fake stickers sold at the Shack and Depot.
Most systems I have installed do not have stickers on the windows at all. A siren outside the house would be a better deterant than a sticker.

I know. We do have smoke and CO alarms in our house. Our stickers are from a prominent local alarm company. I think our house was wired for it when built.

I'm a believer in alarms as I grew up with them. They limited break ins to whatever the dumb crook could grab in about 30 seconds, i.e, just about nothing. I'll put it on my to do list for 06. 'Til then the mini 14 w/ the 40 capacity pre-ban clip will keep doing what it do, i.e., collecting dust.

jimmer2880
12-10-2005, 08:03 PM
I really like being able to call a cell, etc if it goes off. Never thought about that. Thx for the advice on the glass break sensors. I was mainly interested in door/window open sensors.

Swung by the depot today - didn't have much time, but did want to look at what they had. Looked real cheap & only wirless.

Not concerned about fire, etc - I wired up smoke/fire/o2 alarms throughout the house a couple years ago & they're all tied in to each other. Interesting threadjack here on that.... So - since last spring, I have stripped & dry-walled 3 bedrooms, installed new outlets, switches, light boxes & elec baseboard heaters. The night we brought the newborn home from the hospital, my parents took my wife, the baby & our 2 year old to the house while I stopped by the drug store to fill up the prescription. I come home to the wonderful sirens of all the smoke alarms going off. My mom was cooking in the kitchen & thought she set them off. But - since the house was cold for the first time of the season - they turned on all the heat. All 3 heaters were doing their "burn-off" - setting off the alarms. I have no idea how - but the newborn slept right through it.

So - if you ever replace your elec baseboard heaters - make sure to run it wide-open for a couple hours with the window open first.