Author Topic: What to buy to have a mixed Vera/professionally monitored home security setup  (Read 366 times)

Offline a1certified

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I have just purchased a vacation home near Denver in the mountains.  It currently has an Aspire RF lighting automation system with a whole host of switches throughout the house that control interior and exterior lighting, most on dimmers.  It looks like the previous owner has pretty much just set All On and All Off functionality, but it looks like there is also a 5 button scene selector that looks to be currently unconfigured.

I'm assuming that a Vera controller would be able to take over the control of these z-wave based switches and also give me the same functionality as the Aspire RF desktop controller, even to the level of programming the 5 button scene selector in the wall?

But the real question I have regards what sort of alarm systems have been proven to work most seamlessly within the Vera ecosystem and what sort of interface(s) should be purchased to make the integration as seamless as possible?

I have some experience with a DSC 5010 hybrid wired/wireless system in my primary home which works through a VOIP interface to connect to a professionally monitored company.  My primary home has no smart home/home automation system/capability currently.

The vacation home currently has no alarm system installed.  I need to get some sort of system installed that can be professionally monitored to satisfy my homeowner insurance company's requirements.

Ideally, I'd like to install something like the DSC system I have in my primary home with a mixture of wired and wireless sensors (door, window, glass breakage, motion, and fire/CO detectors) that would interface with a professionally monitored service via broadband internet service (which also needs to be set up!).  It seems that DSC has 2 series of control panels now - PC**** which is similar to my 5010 system and their newer generation HS**** system.  And browsing their website, there is a new "iotega" system which looks to be a combination security and home automation system?  It seems that any of these options would work fine as a standalone security system for my basic security needs.  Does Vera interface with all of these systems equally?

But to move myself into the 21st century, I'd like to also have a complete home automation system that can do all the cool things like control my lighting, thermostats (probably 10 of them in the house controlling a zoned, in-floor radiant heating system), give remote control over door locks and garage doors, and allow remote video monitoring. 

Speaking of video monitoring, the previous owner has a 4 camera system from Q-See.  Is there any integration with Vera?

So, what I'd like to know, is whether I can parallel connect a home security system like the DSC systems (and the Q-See cameras) to have it professionally monitored as well as integrate into a Vera system to use its sensors to trigger events like turn on all the lights in the event of an intrusion trigger and start the video recording functions as well as cool stuff like maybe turn on all the driveway lights when we arm the system and get ready to leave the house, etc.?

From my basic research tonight, it seems like it should all work together.  I also seem to think that the pieces I'll need include:

Vera Edge or Vera Plus
DSC PC1832 or PC1864 (or similar)
All the various DSC sensors for door/window, motion, fire/CO, etc.
Envisalink EVL-4
Whatever z-wave door locksets, cameras, etc.

Anything else required/recommended to get this working together?  Your guidance and experience are appreciated.

Offline Jamr

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In my opinion the DSC with a EVL is the way to go here it is trouble free and will do a,most anything you want it to do.
The DSC 5010 will integrate with a EVL and your Vera system with the DSC alarm add on. Why buy new when your existing system will work.
You will need an EVL to bring your alarm system on line.
Learn more about the EVL here.
https://www.007systems.com/envisalink.html

You will need some installation and programming instructions. I have most everything you need documented here.
https://www.007systems.com/blog--how-tos/installtion-set-up-and-use-of-envisalink-evl3-evl4-dsc-power-series-alarm-systems-and-vera-ui7-home-controllers
I still use a DSC 5010 with a EVL3 and they work great together and with my Vera. Especially with Geofencing auto arming. You can also acquire 24/7 monitoring through the company that makes
the EVL for less than 10$ a month.

The Vera system will only see IP cameras. Not sure if the system you have is IP but my gut says no.
If not, I recommend IP cameras and a NSVR (Network Security Video Recorder) commonly called a NVR to record the cameras 24/7 so you do not have to pay a monthly fee.

Seems like you will be adding on so I recommend the Vera Plus over the Edge for the extra memory and processing power.
Keep your existing alarm. If you need to upgrade later you can easily exchange it and use the same EVL4.

Take is one step at a time and be Patient. You are on the bleeding edge of technology. You will bleed......lol

Offline a1certified

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Thanks for the affirmation that I'm barking up the right tree.

The system I'm needing to install is a brand new system in my vacation house.  There is no current system installed there. 

I do have a 5010 in my primary home in Maryland, though.  Perhaps I'll get the EVL4 and start playing with it here.

Does the EVL4 expose all the sensors/zones from the DSC system to the Vera?  Door/Window contacts?  Motion?  Smoke/CO?  Glass breakage? 


Offline Jamr

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Does the EVL4 expose all the sensors/zones from the DSC system to the Vera?  Door/Window contacts?  Motion?  Smoke/CO?  Glass breakage?

Yes. Once it is installed correctly, you will see all of your existing zones as separate modules in your Vera UI. I cant remember how a glass break sensor shows up. I think like a motion. You will then be able to create automation and other actions based on the status and status changes of these sensors.

Offline a1certified

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Perfect.  Thanks for the information.  Vera Plus and EVL received.  I will hook it up in my primary house and start playing with it before going to the vacation house and installing the new DSC system.  Now on to the other fun stuff like door locks, cameras, and lighting control!

Offline Jamr

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Perfect.  Thanks for the information.  Vera Plus and EVL received.  I will hook it up in my primary house and start playing with it before going to the vacation house and installing the new DSC system.  Now on to the other fun stuff like door locks, cameras, and lighting control!

If you are going to install more than 3 cameras, I suggest you keep them separate from your Vera and your network. All of the data from these new IP cameras can slow down your network and systems. Just my 2 cents.