Wireless Alarm Systems

I would like to replace my ageing wired alarm system with a new wireless system and I was wondering what you guys are using and would recommend?

Hopefully the system can tie into home assistant as well?

My alarm supports wireless zones. However the wireless PIRs are very expensive and I don’t like replacing batteries that I stayed with the cabled PIRs. Much less hassles

I quite like Paradox to be honest. You have the option of using both wired and wireless in the same system. There’s an integration call PAI that allows it to be integrated into HA. I’ve got a little Pi Zero connected to the panel and it sends data to HA using MQTT through WiFi. It’s been rock solid since I set it up two months ago.

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My feeling is stay away, I buy my security hardware from the same company since 2000, they are one of the biggest Paradox suppliers in SA, when I asked them about the Wireless components a few months back, they informed me that they stopped selling those, just too many problems and comebacks, let alone the constant replacement of the batteries ext…

I decided to just pull some extra wires and use the remote “expansion boards” in the different areas, so you run one 4 core alarm cable to the area and the board allows 8 zones in that area.

Weird. I use Paradox here. Been rock solid for 10 years. Replaced batteries once on wireless units in that time.

I guess 10 years back they still made good products, might have changed in the constant attempt to offer cheaper more competitive products.

My first Willard battery lasted 12 years, replaced iit and never ever got past the 18 months mark with Willard again? Had the privilege to meet one of their engineers and asked him “Why” , simple answer was, “We dont want to sell you a battery every 12 years”

The wireless door contact I added in 2018 is also still going fine, and on its original battery (a button cell, at that). So if quality has gone down, it is fairly recent.

I will ask her what went wrong, I made some changes at home and did not want to run cables, asked her about the wireless range and she told me to stay away. She still sells the rest of the Paradox components, just not the wireless. Im not sure, but I will send her a mail to try and understand why, i did not bother to ask her then, just took her word and bought something else.

Bought my Paradox wireless sensors years ago.
Their batteries last about ±6 to 8 months, then I have to replace them, using rechargeable batteries.

But what Jaco says makes a LOT of sense. As time goes by a lot of product’s manufacturing standards have lowered for 1) the price wars and 2) that one buys again sooner rather than later.

Our ±30-year-old oven still works, first repair a new glass.
Our 24 year old Bosch Dishwasher also, uses a max of 5l per wash, has been repaired 5 times, even the circuit board was fixed.
And I will not sell my 280TD Isuzu either, even though the blerrie alternator went after 18 years after I was told I needed a new master and slave cylinder kit, never knew they could become faulty after 17 years. :laughing:

Some stuff just works, so I’ll keep the older ones, as well as my 280TD Isuzu, thank you.

I too have always liked Paradox systems. But I have also heard that the wireless stuff isn’t always all that reliable. And expensive too.

In my valley most security companies use either Paradox, or IDS. The Paradox stuff seems to have a cleaner “finish” in my experience, but I have no idea if that means it is better quality.

My alarm is a Risco LightSYS which the popular security company in my area installs.
I must say it is a very nice system. It has all sorts of extra modules you can add which include an IP module and a security camera module. These then can all be viewed and managed in the cloud or on your phone app. HA has a module that then interface with the cloud.

I cannot comment on all these cloud extras as I have always resisted the sales pitches from them, but it does work well from what I have seen.

Do you know if there’s a similar way of doing this with an IDS system? I’m currently planning some changes to my system by adding IP cameras and a few sensors and beams, might as well see whether it is worth upgrading the control box. Currently have a DSC the only HA interface I could was by purchasing quite an expensive add-on card.

Most DVR systems have an alarm relay which you can connect to your alarm panel as an input. The DVR’s detection is much better than those on a camera itself and you can use much cheaper cameras.
The Risco Lightsys has a DVR module which is actually a Dahua XVR that you can connect this way. Might be a cheaper option.

I don’t just want the cameras on HA, but also the rest of the alarm system, “eyes” etc. It would give me interesting options like turn on lights in a room when the motion sensor picks someone up, automatically set the alarm when a few conditions have been met, etc. It sounds like @gbyleveldt has the ability to do that, or has done it, with his Paradox system and a Pi Zero. I’m not opposed to getting a Paradox box either…

I’m partial to the Paradox setup, simply because I spent so much time getting it working nicely (and cheaply). However, I’m the first to pick an easy/lazy way out so if such integrations existed on other platforms I would’ve picked that way rather. That being said, now that I’ve got HA working beautifully with the Paradox system I wouldn’t easily change any of it. If the house didn’t already come with an installed Paradox system I might have taken another route because of the cost.

Ah okay, it looks like there might be a solution to use an ESP module (or arduino, which I happen to have lying around) to interface with a DSC alarm system.

Let me try that out this holiday. Hopefully it isn’t too technical, because I’m am a complete beginner. I just don’t want to install things in my house that limit me in the future…

Titbits, / stompies / urban legends I’ve picked up on WiFi risks:

  1. A Wi-Fi kbd, depending on the make and design, can be hacked to record the keystrokes.
  2. A developer sat in my lounge one day and asked me: Want your neighbor’s WiFi username and password? Took him 20min … took so long because he had to write the software and read the packets.
  1. Loud neighbors, hack their Wi-Fi devices and take over their laptops, tablets, and all that …
  2. Those guys, for fun, who hacked the car their friend was driving, as an experiment to see if it is possible … it was …

Lots of websites to teach one how to do that are out there. The problem I see is not us, the tech strained ones, but the younger ones who are learning to code …

That is why I have wired connections with only cellphones on WiFi, ducking and diving on WiFi control like Sonof and all that unless it can be hard-wired.

Yes yes yes … I know, WHO wants to hack my house … until it is done. :laughing:
Criminals are also getting high tech …

Security requires a master’s degree in what the hell is possible today … with us not having the vaguest clue of what is actually possible already.