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ATW Bus Terminal Expander (BT-600)

The BT 600 is a nice little terminal expander used to keep the amount of wires limited in a terminal.

After several questions from customers asking, “how do I fit all these wires in one terminal”, we would like to introduce to you the Terminal Expander by ATW.

Lets say for example you have six wires in your “Aux -” and six wires in you “Aux +” terminals on you main control panel.  The BT-600 will allow you to eliminate that clutter.  You would run one wire from you “Aux -” to one side of the BT-600.  All the wires in your “Aux -” will go on the same side as the wire you ran.  The same goes for “Aux +”.  Each wire will have it’s own terminal and will allow for better connectivity and less clutter. (more…)

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Wireless Alarm Systems Comparisons (DSC, Honeywell, and GE)

As more and more homeowners are wanting to install their own system, they start to ask questions on what type of system to get. Most Do-It-Yourself people are wanting a wireless alarm system.

Lets get one thing straight, no professional grade alarm system is completely wireless. What I mean by that is, you will have at least one wire (18/2) needed to power your system. This goes for any wireless system. you will also need a phone line to your system, if you plan on the system calling out. If you don’t have a land-line then you could always go with GSM or IP communication.

I have worked extensively with four (4) wireless home security alarm systems. They are the Honeywell Lynx (R, R2, Plus, and Touch), the DSC Alexor and DSC Impassa, as well as the GE Simon XT. Below is a quick review and my personal opinion of each one.

Honeywell Lynx Series

This is a great system for self-monitoring. You can program a number for the system to call. When the system calls you, it has a voice recording saying, “Alarm, Front Door, Alarm, Back Door, etc…” It tells you exactly what zones had been tripped. The new Touch Series (Touch Screen) has a real nice look. The touch screen makes it easier to program the system. It is really difficult to hook any hardwired sirens to this system because the outputs are such low voltage, but it can be achieved with a relay and a power supply setup. Honeywell does make a wireless indoor siren for this system, but not out-door.   The Lynx Plus would be the easiest to hook a hardwired siren up.  There is a hardwired low-draw, low current siren, GE 13-950 or Wave2-Ex, you could use (for Lynx Plus only).  The Ademco / Honeywell Lynx panels are all self-contained. This means the main brain of the unit, indoor siren, and keypad are all in one unit. The body of the panel is strong and sturdy and is high in quality.  On a scale of 1 to 10, I rate the Lynx Plus an 7.5, and the Lynx Touches an 8.5.

DSC Alexor (PC9155)

The Alexor is a great system. Unlike the Lynx, the Alexor has a main brain and panel that can be completely hidden. You can place the panel in a utility closet, hall closet, etc.. If a burglar were to break in, they could not disable the system by hitting the keypad, unlike the Lynx panels. The system is great if you plan on having monitoring. I have been able to find a good monitoring service for $8.95 a month.  The DSC Alexor can be used for self-monitoring, but when it calls you, it does not inform you of what zone has been triggered; it only gives you DTMF tones.  This DSC system along with the Impassa are the only two wireless systems that have a compatible outdoor siren.  The Wt4911 comes with a built-in Blue or Red strobe light and a temperature sensor, which will allow the keypad to display the outside temp.  The Alexor is made great and is one of my most favorite systems.  On a scale of 1 to 10, I rate the Alexor an 8.5.

DSC Impassa

The DSC Impassa is great and just like the Alexor, however, the Impassa is a self-contained unit (just like the Lynx).  The main brain, siren, and keypad are all in one unit.  This system will also work with the bi-directional key fobs, outdoor wireless siren, as well as all other DSC wireless devices.  On a scale of 1 to 10, I rate the Impassa a 7.

GE Simon XT

The GE Simon is a self-contained unit, just like the Honeywell Lynx and DSC Impassa.  The GE Simon has the ability self-monitor as well.  If you want an outdoor siren, there is not a wireless one, but there is a hardwired low-draw, low current siren, GE 13-950, you could use.  The GE Simon has had a higher failure rate for me.  The body and plastics appear to be flimsy and more easily broken.  I have had many customers return the GE Simon XT due to poor quality and failure.  On a scale of 1 to 10, I rate the GE Simon a 4.5.

Overall, if you want monitoring, I’d suggest the DSC Alexor and if you plan on self-monitoring, I would suggest the Honeywell Touch (L5000 or L5100).  Both Systems are great and I would put either system in my home at anytime.

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The GE Simon XT Starter Kit Version 1.X

We have acquired a lot of the original Simon XT version 1 panels at a great price!! The Version 1 panels are what GE first came out with when they introduced the Simon XT as an upgrade from the Simon 3.

The Simon XT version 1 is a 40 zone, totally wireless system that makes installing a breeze. The panel voice announces all alarm conditions that occur. This panel also has the ability, if a land-line phone line is wired into it, to call four numbers for self-monitoring purposes. This means that if you want the panel to call out to your cell phone instead of a central station monitoring service; then you can do it. When the panel calls out to your cell phone; it will voice announce just like it does at the panel itself. (more…)

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WiFi IP BAT Broadband Alarm Transmitter Communicator

WiFi IP BAT Broadband Alarm Transmitter Communicator

The WiFi IP BAT Broadband Alarm Transmitter Communicator is the latest release from IPDatatel. This works just like their regular IPBAT but instead of connecting the panel to a router via ethernet cable; this version is a two piece unit. One piece wires into your control panel and then you take the wireless gateway and attach it to your router. This will give the module the ability to communicate back and forth without a long run of ethernet cable.

It gives you all of the functionality of the original IP BAT and none of the hassle of running ethernet cable through the house.

You still get the ability to go online and sign in, through any web browser, and set up your contact list, review your systems event log, and access the system through the virtual keypad. (more…)

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GE Simon XT

The GE Simon XT is a completely wireless alarm system that works well for people who choose not to use an alarm monitoring service. The only thing you need is a landline or a cellular module such as the Doc N Talk.

The GE Simon XT will call four phone numbers upon alarm and is able to give a description of the zone that has been tampered, for example “Front Door” or “Back Door”. Not only does it have that capability but you can also call into it and arm or disarm the system via telephone. (more…)

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