Dual purpose motion sensor

Posted on
Sat Aug 10, 2019 3:11 pm
mprusse offline
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Joined: Jul 24, 2012

Dual purpose motion sensor

I just pulled down my 23 year-old security system's motion sensors. They were hard wired to the central panel. My question is, does anyone make a hard wire motion sensor that will continue to interface with a security system but also serve as a trigger into Indigo? It makes complete sense to have them serving as both but I don't know what to look for. Thank you!

Posted on
Sat Aug 10, 2019 3:28 pm
berkinet offline
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Re: Dual purpose motion sensor

A slightly different approach would be to leave the motion detectors in place and then interface Indigo to your alarm panel. Or, the inverse, Interface Indigo to the panel to create virtual zones based on Indigo devices. Both of these approaches can be done with most Honeywell/Ademco /Vista panels, and probably others.

Posted on
Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:56 pm
mprusse offline
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Re: Dual purpose motion sensor

berkinet wrote:
A slightly different approach would be to leave the motion detectors in place and then interface Indigo to your alarm panel. Or, the inverse, Interface Indigo to the panel to create virtual zones based on Indigo devices. Both of these approaches can be done with most Honeywell/Ademco /Vista panels, and probably others.


Nice. Where might I read about what is required to do this? I'm pretty green on some of the more technical set-ups. Thank you!

Posted on
Sun Aug 11, 2019 2:45 am
berkinet offline
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Re: Dual purpose motion sensor

mprusse wrote:
...Where might I read about what is required to do this? I'm pretty green on some of the more technical set-ups. Thank you!

Well, I'd start with some pictures of your panel. Outside and in. In particular, there should be at least one large integrated circuit on the panel circuit board, get a close up of that. Then, post the photos back here. Hopefully someone (maybe me) will recognize what you have.

Posted on
Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:13 pm
mprusse offline
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Re: Dual purpose motion sensor

It's been a while since I've played around with the system. I was doing it all myself several years ago. I think it's a Vista 20-P system I have in place. Thank you.
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Posted on
Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:33 am
berkinet offline
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Re: Dual purpose motion sensor

mprusse wrote:
... I think it's a Vista 20-P system I have in place.

Yup. That is what it is. To connect that panel to Indigo you need an interface available from nutech.com. I would recommend the AD2PI since it is an ethernet device and easy to deploy - Wi-Fi is optionally available. However, if your Indigo server is near your panel, of some device with full access to the 4-wire alarm bus, the AD2USB (connects to the Mac with USB) would work as well.

Both of these devices are supported by the AD2USB plugin. This plugin will allow you to use any alarm zones as Indigo inputs or, use Indigo to create virtual alarm zones which can be tripped by Indigo actions. For your purposes either method would work. As far as dual-purpose motion detectors, connected to both Indigo and your panel, that is likely to be difficult or impossible. This is because alarm motion detectors are specifically designed to connect to the panel by presenting a simple set of contacts (typically normally-closed). You might have some success connecting a separate digital sensor across the alarm inputs. But, you are probably more likely to have all kinds of problems .

As far as the two options noted above. Here is a bit more information:
Having Indigo use the alarm zones (via the AD2* device) as virtual devices.
    Positives:
      Minimal programming
      No limit on the number of zones that can be followed.
    Negatives:
      More latency than a direct input to Indigo via Z-Wave, Insteon, I/O device, etc. This tends to be more pronounced for motion detectors because of the way panels avoid false detections. The delay can be up to 1 second.

Having the panel see Indigo devices as virtual zones.
    Positives:
      Any Indigo device can be used to fault the zone (switches, thermometers, etc.)
      No limit on the number of zones that can be created.
      No latency issues.
    Negatives:
      Alarm panel programming required.

Note, you can use a mix of both methods.

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