Directing an alarm system straight to the Internet

[Scott] has a pretty nice alarm system at his house – it will give the operator at his alarm company enough information to determine if it’s a fire alarm, burglary, or just a cat walking in front of a sensor. [Scott] wanted to cut out the middle man and receive notifications from his alarm system on his phone. He did just that, with the help of a trusty Arduino and the very cool Electric Imp.

[Scott]’s build began with an Arduino attach to a Raspi¬†to monitor state changes in the alarm system. Because the designers of the alarm system included a very helpful four-wire bus between the alarm panels and the part connected to the phone line, [Scott] found it fairly easy to tap into these lines and read the current alarm status.

Dedicating a Raspberry Pi to the simple task of polling a few pins and sending data out over WiFi is a bit overkill, so [Scott] picked up an Electric Imp¬†Arduino shield to transmit data over WiFi. We’ve played around with the Imp before, and [Scott] would be hard pressed to come up with a cleaner solution to putting his alarm monitor on the Internet.

Now [Scott] has a very tidy alarm monitor that sends updates straight to his cell phone, no middle man required. A very neat build, and an excellent use of a very cool WiFi device.

23 thoughts on “Directing an alarm system straight to the Internet

      1. For over twice the price. The Imp is only $30 + a socket and ID chip.

        For what these things cost, someone, somewhere has got to be working on cracking it open and replacing the bootloader.

  1. At ~$40 (incl. shipping) for a RasPi, isn’t that cheaper than the Electric Imp? And like the other comments, that would really allow you to cut out the middle man. You could then leverage a PBX system to dial out and let you listen in on a mic, maybe even yell out over a speaker, etc.

    1. and serve upa web page, and allow you to do ethernet arm and disarm… etc….

      Yeah the imp was a very wrong route to go. RasPi’s are dirt cheap and he could have skipped the duino completely… thereis a UART on the pins, and at 9600 bps your raspi will NOT miss the last communication

  2. There are a variety of WiFi SDHC cards that would work in place of this system. I think Toshiba has a few, and there is always Eye-Fi. I don’t think it can tell what the files you are ‘pushing’ are so it could theoretically be anything.

    1. Not really. This is not a wifi SDHC card it is more like a wifi shield/module in a SD housing. Actually it’s just the WICED reference design in an SD housing. Plus the cloud features.

      1. Actually it was designed before we knew about WICED – the first protos used a CSR wifi chip – but we use the WICED wifi drivers (though not the OS, TCP stack, TLS implementation or anything else!)

        We also have a nicer STM32 than the WICED modules do, optical config, etc :)

  3. Why wifi? you have a wired device, hook up ethernet. Second the RasPi is a better device for this. Making it vastly more expensive by adding an arduino and a special board is not making it better.

  4. So, if he’s got a DSC panel (which uses a very tidy 4 wire bus) he could just us an IT-100 with something to talk over serial (it has a well documented protocol from DSC, albeit odd) or IT-120 which connects via ethernet (which would be a really nice hack if someone figures out how). I can poll devices, arm/disarm, trigger alarms, trigger F/A/P, change date/time, etc using an IT-100 connected to a broken netbook (no screen) acting as a home controller.

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