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'[EE] Self-monitored alarm system?'
For a small office-warehouse space, rather than pay ~$40/month for alarm monitoring with the fear of extra excessive charges for false alarms (past experience), I'm considering a DIY self-monitoring system.
I'd rather pay $40 for cable internet service, and have a system that notifies me by email, text, etc that there's some intrusion. With a camera system (that I plan to get anyway), I can then log in to see inside and contact the police if there's some issue.
Anyone know of any system that does this? Preferably DIY as I can use a change of project for a bit. Or I could build one, but I'm not too familiar with any type of ethernet/internet/IP communications (from a microcontroller standpoint). Perhaps I can do this easily with an arduino, ethernet shield, LCD, and keypad.
Or perhaps someone knows a better forum to discuss this?
Check out MCM Electronics security equipment area. I thought I saw some wireless/cell phone stuff. They have a full complement of security stuff, cameras, monitors, alarms, and everything to connect it together. Might call their tech support. They are located Dayton, Ohio, USA, a division of Farnell.
On 3/1/2012 5:11 PM, PICdude wrote:
|A good friend of mine who owns an electronics contract manufacturing
company put a half dozen of these in his building a couple months ago:
He monitors the rear loading dock area, front entry way and has the rest
spread out in the manufacturing area.
The software works surprisingly well at recognizing humans (and not other
moving things). He can access any of the cameras in real time on his office
PC, smart phone or over his VPN in his home office. The software acn also
be setup to ftp images to another server or send email notifications if
human motion is detected based on a scheduled period of operation.
Video quality is surprisingly good. The night vision pictures from his
front entry way are not bad either.
Some of the units are hardwired and some are using Wifi (which also works
better than expected). We were concerned about mounting the rear loading
dock camera outside but we mounted it in a camera "hutch" that protects it
against the worst of the elements. So far it's withstood several days of
sub-freezing temperatures, a snow storm and a couple healthy rain storms
without missing a beat.
I'm going to get a couple of them for monitoring my house. Overall, I've
been impressed with them -- especially for the money.
Maximum Performance Systems
On Thu, 01 Mar 2012 14:11:21 -0800, PICdude wrote:
What happens when your internet connectivity is taken down
>Anyone know of any system that does this? Preferably DIY as I can use
a change of project for a bit. Or I could build one, but I'm not too
familiar with any type of ethernet/internet/IP communications (from a
microcontroller standpoint). Perhaps I can do this easily with an
arduino, ethernet shield, LCD, and keypad.
I have considered just that. I modified the code of a pic-maxi approx
AU$250 that now sends a coded message to my server when any status has
changed. My server then decode the message and sends an email, sms,
facebook update (working on that one) depending on the type of event.
I also implemented 8 crons jobs several count up/dn counters and
controls the garden reticulation. I can turn the water off and on
remotely and open the garage door (yet to be wired).
In my setup the server and controller are at the same premises but if
they were remotely located then the server could periodically poll the
device or the device could periodically send heatbeat updates and the
server could email, sms etc in the event that comms have failed for
Recently I obtained a different Ethernet embedded controller that has
5 relays outs, several opto in and several general io for AU$150. I
have modified that code to send udp messages for inter device comms.
There is some sample code out there that enables them to send emails
Also the cheap foscam type cameras for approx AU$90 can send emails
and ftp when it detects motion or state change on a single input pin.
They also has a single relay out with PAN and Tilt. They also can be
used to monitor audio and able to accept audio
> For a small office-warehouse space, rather than pay ~$40/month for alarm monitoring
> with the fear of extra excessive charges for false alarms (past experience), I'm
> considering a DIY self-monitoring system.
> I'd rather pay $40 for cable internet service, and have a system that notifies me by
> email, text, etc that there's some intrusion. With a camera system (that I plan to
> get anyway), I can then log in to see inside and contact the police if there's some
> Anyone know of any system that does this? Preferably DIY as I can use a change of
> project for a bit. Or I could build one, but I'm not too familiar with any type of
> ethernet/internet/IP communications (from a microcontroller standpoint). Perhaps I
> can do this easily with an arduino, ethernet shield, LCD, and keypad.
I have been thinking that this would be a good application for a Raspberry Pi ...
I have an old cell phone with USB interface that can be used for sending texts using a pay-as-you-go card.
Some cheap USB cameras and an ADSL modem (if necessary) could be added for web streaming.
-- Scanned by iCritical.
That was my concern too, and the best we've come up with so far is...
(a) Use a POTS line, perhaps as a backup if it detects it can't communicate to the outside via internet.
(b) Use ham radio, as there are apparently lots of repeaters everywhere that can reach me, and I don't have to pay for a POTS line. But I know nothing about this, so need to research.
(c) [KIDDING]Spray the whole place down with tear gas or some type of sleeping gas until I can get there to see if anything is really going on.[/KIDDING]
Quoting David VanHorn <gmail.com>:microbrix
> What happens when your internet connectivity is taken down?
Maybe (c) should be (a) ?
Get a rep for shooting first, asking questions later, & you
won't need any of it..
I did alarms professionally for a number of years. Most reported by
phone line, with an RJ-31X connection that would allow them to take
over the line even if someone was in the middle of a call. They also
had a sensor that would detect a line cut, though they could be fooled
by a 48V battery. If the line cut sensor tripped, then we'd set off
the local alarm. For our higher security systems, we did all that,
plus an RF link to some other client, so that an alarm on client X
also tripped a silent alarm on client Y, and vice versa. You'd have
to have very tightly held inside information to get past that. No
external antennas showing of course.
I did a lot of things with the systems to steer the bad guy into
making dumb mistakes, like leaving wires exposed where they would be
easy to cut, having very cheap and cheesy key switches, etc. Those
apparent weak points are just invitations to trip the alarm sooner,
before entry is made.
In the end, only physical security can protect you from a "smash and
Use cellular technology as a backup......
there are lots of modules available.
I can can supply more information if you care to see it.
On Fri, Mar 2, 2012 at 10:33 AM, YES NOPE9 <nope9.com> wrote: yes
> Use cellular technology as a backup......
> there are lots of modules available.
> I can can supply more information if you care to see it.
How is the cell network handled? I'd like to drop our landline, and
the alarm system is one of the things holding me back.
Could I use a cheap prepaid SIM or do I need to go through the
B would not be legal.
C could get you into a lot of legal issues (such as someone having a reaction to whatever agent you use and dying or becoming injured or sick).
I would recommend a combination of internet, POTS, CDPD (Cellular), and commercial radio frequencies (they actually have frequencies for alarms). The likelihood of all being taken down at the same time drops the more avenues you have. If you're close enough you could even use WIFI.
On 02-Mar-12 16:08, MCH wrote:
> I would recommend a combination of internet, POTS, CDPD (Cellular), and
> commercial radio frequencies (they actually have frequencies for
> alarms). The likelihood of all being taken down at the same time drops
> the more avenues you have. If you're close enough you could even use WIFI..
> Joe M.
He can even use a low speed AFSK signal on a GSM module.
> B would not be legal.
ENTIRELY dependent on where you are.
>From part 97 of the FCC rules:
"No provision of these rules prevents the use by an amateur station
of any means of radio communication at its disposal to provide
essential communication needs in connection with the immediate safety
of human life and immediate protection of property when normal
communication systems are not available. "
If your phone lines have been cut, and there is reason to suspect a
burglary is in progress, that would seem to fall under the definition
I'm not advocating unlicensed use of the ham bands, I'm also an Extra
That said, I know many repeater sites use ham radio to indicate breakins
You might want to review the rules on broadcasting, then.
Do many stations do it? Yes. That does not make it legal.
You are correct about it being dependent on
where you are. My comments only apply to the USA.
The section you quoted specifically states "when normal means are not available". Normal means for an alarm system would be an alarm RF frequency. You cannot simply replace any other service with ham radio and claim the other services are not available. They ARE available. You simply chose to ignore them.
Again, there are alarm frequencies. There is no reason to NOT use them. In fact, they would be much less prone to interference from other stations who may not care for your "alarm" going on in the middle of their conversation.
David VanHorn wrote:
> That said, I know many repeater sites use ham radio to indicate breakins
The fact that many stations do it does not make it legal. The fact that it is compliant with FCC regs does.
MCH <nb.net> wrote: mch
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