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.

16 thoughts on “Self Monitoring A Home Alarm System

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

  1. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. I have a an-tone security system 4 cameras I have forgotten the password so when i get home i want to see what has happened while i am at work, if you can help I appreciate it, if not thank you anyway, the people I bought it from in china refused to help me, serves me right for buying from china

    2. 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!!!

    3. you work for the alarm companys as there cheif tiolet polisher… i can tell by the way you have faith in it, or just trying to throw off anyway… cell phone alarms are not selling to well according to my locksmith freind who i use to break safes with, its an extra expense small biz can do with out, besides you can just jam the freq with stuff on in my experience with technical breaks is to just ram a fire axe through the main panel and have your scanner handy !!

      1. Central station monitoring has checkin fail for cell primary alarm panels. If it doesn’t check in it causes a server side alarm. If you just “smash” or “jam” it will fail to checkin. Cell and network panels are very big right now for that and many other reasons.

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