Self monitoring a home alarm system

[Lior] wanted to cancel the monitoring system for his home’s alarm, but he didn’t want to stop using the alarm all together. The trick is to rig up some way to monitor it himself. It would have been simple to have it just call him instead of the alarm company since the system just uses a telephone connection. But this would require that he have a land line for it to connect to, and when it calls him he would have no idea what part of the system had been set off. He developed a way to have the system text message him with all of the available details.

An Arduino controls the system, with a SIM900 GSM shield to hand the cell side of things. The board to the left emulates the standard telephone line, with an M8870 DTMF touch tone decoder to figure out what the alarm system is telling him. He also needed to implement touch tone generation to talk back to the system. His write-up includes links to other articles he posted about hardware, software, and protocol specifics.

Comments

  1. JD says:

    Or you could just get a simple $100 module that connects your alarm to your network. They have dev APIs if you don’t want to use their free website. There are free apps for Android that work with it too.

    http://www.eyez-on.com/EZMAIN/envisalink3.php

    http://www.homesecuritystore.com/p-2164-evl-3-envisalink-internet-alert-module-for-dsc-security.aspx

    • Velli says:

      Because then he could only get featured on the Buy Crap A Day website.

      I’m split on this. Did he happen to have this junk in his closet, and hacked it together? Brilliant!

      Did he go out and buy a bunch of commercial semi-solutions to stick together that cost more than a single commercial solution? Stupid!

      But either way, he did a nice writeup with quite a bit of detail, so there’s some knowledge to smear around. Bad economics may be redeemed by adding to knowledge and social value.

    • Blue Footed Booby says:

      There are two schools of hacking: There are those who see it as a practical skill revolving around finding creative ways to elegantly or minimally solve problems, and there are those who see it as an art and a craft that is valuable for its own sake. I can understand only really being interested in one or the other. I *can’t* understand people who think their school is all there is, and post like there’s no reason for anyone ever to do anything that’s been done before. Did you think the guy didn’t realize off the shelf solutions exist? This is a non-sarcastic question. Your perspective is alien to me.

  2. Hack Man says:

    Awesome!

  3. Nivoset says:

    Our security system has died on us, so i was designing a full work around for it w/ battery backup. right now im tracing out what was inbound and outbound and writing the basic software, pondering how i will set it up to lock/unlock right now (not sure if i wanna trace it out to the old panels or do android app through wifi or what not)

    last option will just be a rfid key and reader at or near the door. this may be the “best” option to run with battery backup.

  4. DB says:

    Nice build.
    I have read about burglars cutting phone lines before entering a house. Might be worthwhile to use a cheap cell phone on a cheap plan with his system.

  5. Kris Lee says:

    The problem with text messages is that they may be delayed.

  6. Clever stuff guys, but yum really should leave it to the pros and manufacturers of alarm systems, you dont want to find out youve been burgled and your alarm failed to react do you now?

    • cybergibbons says:

      Yeah, because professional alarms don’t have any security vulnerabilities at all.

    • JakeV says:

      Dude, I own an alarm company, and if someone has the technical know how to get around paying for monthly monitoring, more power to them. I’ve done it, and I do it for my customers every day. The days of ridiculous recurring profits are numbered, and I am coming after your clients.

    • JakeV says:

      Green Intruder Alarms, LOLOLOLOL!!! Because “real” alarm systems simply cut into too much of our profits… This guy is cracking me up. I know this post is old, so I apologize, but it’s hilarious. This guy calls himself a professional and installs that crap…LOLOLOL!!!

  7. sdmshah says:

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