Author Topic: Question about existing security components and LinuxMCE  (Read 1562 times)

massahwahl

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Question about existing security components and LinuxMCE
« on: October 19, 2011, 05:07:11 am »
Hi all!

Im interested in slowly starting to incorporate LinuxMCE into my home and it is all very overwhelming to but I have been absorbing as much info as I can on the subject. Anyway, Im most interested in the home security features of MCE and how it works with my existing system. We bought our house 2 years ago and the previous owners had a Brinks BHS-3000c system installed but since I have no desire to pay brinks to monitor our house, I want to set it up myself. As it is now, the system has been unplugged for two years and I have no way to overide the master code to use the system in its current state. From what I have read I need an orbiter to make my existing door and window alarms, etc to work with MCE but how do I do that with a hardwired security system? How do I plug my existing board into MCE?

davegravy

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Re: Question about existing security components and LinuxMCE
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2011, 06:22:04 am »
I have the same situation, except it's a different company from Brinks. I don't know anything about the wiring/signaling that they use for all the window,door, and motion sensors etc, but I assume that it's something simple that a GC-100 could interface with.

Regards,

Dave

totallymaxed

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Re: Question about existing security components and LinuxMCE
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2011, 10:36:00 am »
Hi all!

Im interested in slowly starting to incorporate LinuxMCE into my home and it is all very overwhelming to but I have been absorbing as much info as I can on the subject. Anyway, Im most interested in the home security features of MCE and how it works with my existing system. We bought our house 2 years ago and the previous owners had a Brinks BHS-3000c system installed but since I have no desire to pay brinks to monitor our house, I want to set it up myself. As it is now, the system has been unplugged for two years and I have no way to overide the master code to use the system in its current state. From what I have read I need an orbiter to make my existing door and window alarms, etc to work with MCE but how do I do that with a hardwired security system? How do I plug my existing board into MCE?

The alarm panel would need and rs232/422 or IP based interface and you would need some firmware support in the alarm panel that would support external control/comms to a 3rd party system. Next you would need some technical documentation from the Alarm panel supplier so that a device template could be created for your brand of Alarm Panel.

As you can see the critical component is the alarm panel must have an external control interface of some kind otherwise its a no go. Then you need good docs on the control features it supports and how to use them. Lastly you need the programming skill to create the device template.

Apart from that its a piece of cake ;-) ...joking aside the device template is the easy part to be honest. Finding an alarm panel supplier who will provide the interface & docs is the hard part lol!!!

All the best


Andrew
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massahwahl

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Re: Question about existing security components and LinuxMCE
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2011, 12:55:40 pm »
How do I know what will work with the GC-100? I looked at a few on ebay and it appears that they all use IR inputs but how do i know that the components that I have will be compatible?

massahwahl

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Re: Question about existing security components and LinuxMCE
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2011, 01:51:47 pm »
Heres some pictures of our board:

 http: //i11.photobucket.com/albums/a187/fighting_the_world/SAM_0485.jpg
 http: //i11.photobucket.com/albums/a187/fighting_the_world/SAM_0486.jpg
 http: //i11.photobucket.com/albums/a187/fighting_the_world/SAM_0487.jpg
 http: //i11.photobucket.com/albums/a187/fighting_the_world/SAM_0488.jpg
 http: //i11.photobucket.com/albums/a187/fighting_the_world/SAM_0490.jpg

(why the hell cannot i post links??)

As far as I understand everything is hard wired including our smoke detectors which dont work at the moment because the system is offline!

massahwahl

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Re: Question about existing security components and LinuxMCE
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2011, 02:10:12 pm »
Im also thinking about going the x-10 route for lights, it appears to be the easiest to implement.

davegravy

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Re: Question about existing security components and LinuxMCE
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2011, 03:51:31 pm »
The alarm panel would need and rs232/422 or IP based interface and you would need some firmware support in the alarm panel that would support external control/comms to a 3rd party system. Next you would need some technical documentation from the Alarm panel supplier so that a device template could be created for your brand of Alarm Panel.

As you can see the critical component is the alarm panel must have an external control interface of some kind otherwise its a no go. Then you need good docs on the control features it supports and how to use them. Lastly you need the programming skill to create the device template.

Apart from that its a piece of cake ;-) ...joking aside the device template is the easy part to be honest. Finding an alarm panel supplier who will provide the interface & docs is the hard part lol!!!

All the best


Andrew

I was thinking something along the lines of disconnecting the sensors from the alarm panel at the alarm panel, throwing away the panel, and running those cables into a GC-100 or somesuch. I imagine the sensors are providing a binary signal of some sort. That way you don't have to rewire the house for all your window/door sensors. Just need to figure out what signalling system the sensors are using and how to capture it.

massahwahl

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Re: Question about existing security components and LinuxMCE
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2011, 04:06:53 pm »
I was thinking something along the lines of disconnecting the sensors from the alarm panel at the alarm panel, throwing away the panel, and running those cables into a GC-100 or somesuch. I imagine the sensors are providing a binary signal of some sort. That way you don't have to rewire the house for all your window/door sensors. Just need to figure out what signalling system the sensors are using and how to capture it.

Sounds logical but how do i know whats going to work with the system? Is there a certain style of cable connection to look for or what?

davegravy

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Re: Question about existing security components and LinuxMCE
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2011, 04:26:30 pm »
Sounds logical but how do i know whats going to work with the system? Is there a certain style of cable connection to look for or what?

That's what we need to figure out. When I have time I'm going to open the panel and with a multimeter try to determine how the sensors are wired and operate. It may be 3 conductor [ground, DC power, signal (ON/OFF)] or simpler.

After that we can figure out what interface is needed.

brake16

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Re: Question about existing security components and LinuxMCE
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2011, 01:51:43 am »
davegravy & massahwahl

Your alarm panels most likely send a voltage down the wire to the sensor and then back to the panel.  Somewhere in that line (ideally at the sensor) is a resistor that alters the signal in a way that is recognizable to your panel.  If there is a line break, or the resistor gets damaged, or the sensor is tripped (technically also a line break), the alarm is tripped.  So if you want to use the GC-100, you'll need to program it to do that.

There are other forums around that are dedicated to DIY security alarm systems, filled with folks in your situation (old alarm system, trying to convert to diy).  They may be able to give you a leg up on voltages, resistors, manuals, potential interfaces, documentation, etc.  Good luck.

Bryce
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massahwahl

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Re: Question about existing security components and LinuxMCE
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2011, 03:30:08 am »
davegravy & massahwahl

Your alarm panels most likely send a voltage down the wire to the sensor and then back to the panel.  Somewhere in that line (ideally at the sensor) is a resistor that alters the signal in a way that is recognizable to your panel.  If there is a line break, or the resistor gets damaged, or the sensor is tripped (technically also a line break), the alarm is tripped.  So if you want to use the GC-100, you'll need to program it to do that.

There are other forums around that are dedicated to DIY security alarm systems, filled with folks in your situation (old alarm system, trying to convert to diy).  They may be able to give you a leg up on voltages, resistors, manuals, potential interfaces, documentation, etc.  Good luck.

Bryce

Thanks Brake!

i will probably have to go that route, I want to be positive that i can make it work with the system before i start buying equipment. I have read on other forums that the sensors are compatible with other systems which makes me think that linuxmce integration is at least feasible. How I dont know yet lol.

davegravy

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Re: Question about existing security components and LinuxMCE
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2011, 04:32:41 am »
I assume the GC-100 only needs to communicate the sensor status to Linuxmce, while the security logic takes place in Linuxmce (and shouldn't be too hard to configure).

As I understand it the GC-100 is fully compatible with linuxmce. The question is the link between the GC-100 and the security sensors  ???. I'm sure it can be made to work, it's a question of what conditioning needs to be done to the signal before hitting the GC-100 inputs.

I measured .79V for a closed door, 6.9V for an open door across one of my zone terminals, for example. I'm don't believe this is within the TTL spec, so if I understand correctly I'd either need run through a GC-SP1, or build my own circuit to condition the signal to satisfy TTL.

tschak909

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Re: Question about existing security components and LinuxMCE
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2011, 06:22:39 am »
correct. The GC-100 is intended to interface with standard contact closure sensors.

-Thom

davegravy

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Re: Question about existing security components and LinuxMCE
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2011, 04:39:22 pm »
Ok I think I understand now: The alarm panel itself effectively acts as a contact closure sensor - so you should have the choice of connecting the GC-100 inputs directly to the alarm panel terminals (to save some money), or you can bypass the alarm panel entirely and use a GC-SC1 to provide the contact closure detection.

The GC-SC1 claims to deal with contact bounce (http://www.globalcache.com/files/docs/QuickStart_GC-SC1_distrib.pdf) which hopefully the alarm panel does too, but I can't confirm this.

massahwahl

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Re: Question about existing security components and LinuxMCE
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2011, 01:37:36 pm »
So do I need to order the GC100 and the GC-sc1? If not how does the GC100 connect directly to the existing board and is there any way to make sure its going to work? lol