Small security system, non-cloud, non-app

Discussion in 'Alarm & Security Systems' started by SecuritySeeker, Oct 5, 2018.

Share This Page

  1. SecuritySeeker

    SecuritySeeker n3wb

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2018
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Hi,

    I'm looking for a small security system to use in my new temporary office that I will be renting. The building it's in has no security system (other than a few cameras at the entrance). I will be renting this office for about 18 months after which our new home will be ready to live in and I'll start working at home. At that point I'd like to be able to use the security system in our new home.

    I've been looking at security systems a bit but there are so many choices it's hard to see the forest through the trees. I think I'm looking for something like this:
    • Must not connect to the manufacturer's website/cloud
    • Must not require a smartphone to setup, just from a control panel or perhaps through a web browser connected through Ethernet
    • Ideally connectable through both Ethernet and WiFi (I know WiFi is far from ideal for security applications but I might want to connect some sensors through WiFi in hard to reach places cable wise)
    • Must send alerts through SMS including when mains power or Internet connection goes down (so must have or accept a SIM card)
    I might also want to have this connectable to a security service provider but I also want to be able to self-monitor. In addition I'm thinking of adding some IP cameras to verify after an alert although I wonder how that would work if the mains or Internet goes down. I suppose the only thing that would really work is if the IP cameras constantly stream to some offsite server so that you can watch the last x seconds minutes or so before the connection went down.

    Thing is, I don't want to spend very much on this (say 200-300 Euro for now) so realistically I'm probably not going to get all of the features I'm looking for. I looked at the Honeywell Evohome but from the description I somehow get the feeling it's cloud based in some sense at least. I don't want the setup interface exposed like that. If I want to access the Setup through the Internet or whatever I'll open up a port on my router/firewall. I want the system self-contained an only accessible on the Intranet.

    Any suggestions, pointers to resources?

    In addition to a security/camera system I'm also thinking of adding security foil to the windows of the new home once it's built (having it added by the builder is not an option unfortunately) but I'm on the fence about that because it might also be a security hazard in case of fire.

    Thanks
     
  2. catcamstar

    catcamstar Getting the hang of it

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2018
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    81
    Hi,

    not sure whether (or not) you are looking for an alarm-only system, or a camera system. If I google the "honeywell evohome", it gives to me home-automation gear (with thermostats for the radiators) - maybe in the Netherlands it is different ;-)

    For me personally: alarm should be fully independent as possible from external components (eg internet, cloud, but also power (ups!)). But to me, a good alarm system should have external IO capabilities, so you can "augment" your "situations" with external systems (eg cams). In my case: if my alarm is "charged", it gives signal to my domotica (which makes sure that curtains go open and close, turn on occasional lightning) but also creates IPC/NVR schemes: if my NVR sends an alarm event to the alarm system, when it is "charged", that system does give me a push message on my cell phone, together with the NVR link to the footage. The latter (push messages) do however require internet access.

    My advice to you:
    - write down EXACTLY what you want (alarm / IPC-cams-nvr): how many doors, windows, IR/radarsensors, how many viewpoints, footage retention etc etc etc
    - extrapolate the required specs (alarm systems exist in "basic" (read: limited) towards "advanced" versions (with the aforementioned IO capabilities), for the cams you look at fps, bandwidth, storage capabilities etc
    - make your Bill Of Material
    - increase the budget
    - rework on your Bill Of Material
    - increate the budget

    You'll get the picture ;-)

    PS. on the security foils: where I live (which is not that far away from you btw), fire insurance companies do not intervene when you have such a foil on glass, not because it's difficult to enter, but glass windows with foils, especially the onces having lots of sun (eg. in the summer) suffer from thermal breakage (because the foil stores heat, and the difference between space with and without foil like the frame make the glass break) - these windows are very unpredictable and can "explode". To be investigated!

    Good luck,
    CC
     
  3. SecuritySeeker

    SecuritySeeker n3wb

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2018
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Hi,

    Thank you for your response. I suddenly realized that do this properly in the new home I should have the builder install some electrical conduits for the motion detectors and cameras as they can poor them into the concrete so they'll be out of sight. I was thinking of installing a motion detector in the living room in the 'topleft' corner and perhaps a door contact or motion detector in the hallway, both on the ground floor, like this:

    [​IMG]
    Any ideas or suggestions?

    I principle someone could also try to enter the house from the 1st or 2nd floor but I'm not sure I want to install sensors there, but perhaps a ceiling mounted one in the stair well at Level 1? If someone then enters through one of the 4 rooms they would be detected as soon as they try to go into one of the other rooms. I'm wondering if I could re-use the electrical conduit for the lighting that's there already to also power and connect a motion detector.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Any ideas where it might be most advantageous to add additional detectors?

    Then there's the outside situation. There's a narrow path next to and behind our house to reach the gardens from the back. The ground is ours but some of the neighbors have right of passage:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I'm thinking that putting up a motion-activated light in those areas might be a good idea and perhaps a camera as well. Any thoughts?

    There's going to be a hedge (not shown on the model) between the path and the parking spaces to the right. In principle we could also put a fence gate at the point where the path splits as long as we give keys to the neigbors ( house numbers 113, 114, 115).

    Again, any thoughts or ideas what might be the best way to achieve some level of security without spending too much or the measures becoming too intrusive?
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
  4. catcamstar

    catcamstar Getting the hang of it

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2018
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    81
    Tip of the day:
    If you have not yet started the construction works, please plan beforehand! Not only for alarm, cams, but also for home automation & other connectivity you want. For example, we have put 220V outlets next to the curtain rails, for the event when we would like to install electric curtain systems. There is an empty conduit with pulling wire for "controlling" it. All my alarm sensors are pre-cabled (you can't have enough - if you have too much coverage, you can always plaster it in the wall). Also for outside: when the garden is not finished (yet), you still have the room to dug in some cabling for lightning, IR phares or power outlets for the electrical bunny I mean grassmowder.

    And I would kindly suggest you also put window sensors on +1 - also windows which you can put on "kiepstand", you can easily work with magnets to detect "closed / kiep / open-broken" positions. You won't be the first where burglars dive in through the window from the garden house.

    Good luck!
    CC
     
  5. SecuritySeeker

    SecuritySeeker n3wb

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2018
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Netherlands
    No doubt, but I'm on a tight budget and those extra conduits are pretty expensive and add up quickly. I'll need to make the most out of just a few.

    Well, the garden shed is too far away for that (6m/20ft) I think but I get your point. They might be able to get to the window on the 1st floor (2nd floor for any Americans reading this I think, I mean groundlevel +1) by first climbing on the 2m/6ft brick wall that borders our garden on the right. The presence of some cameras mounted there might actually help them get closer to the window, giving them a hold. Should probably add some spikes to that. They could also climb on some of the garden furniture to get up there so yes those backside Windows facing the garden are a risk. These are HR+++ (triple +) panes though so it would make quite a bit of noise to smash them I suppose as they consist of 3 sheets of glass. Not sure what tricks they have to combat that (the noise bit).

    Actually, I just realized we will have an extended living room!!! Not sure what the correct English term is for that but it means that you can climp up on and then walk on the roof of the ground level extension to gain full access the windows on the ground+1 level!!! Damn! Any idea how to detect someone stepping on that roof? The neighbours have it as well so it's definitely an easy port of entry. Nobody has any business being up there so I think it would be good to detect that happening, except it shouldn't trigger on birds and such.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
  6. catcamstar

    catcamstar Getting the hang of it

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2018
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    81
    If you happen to have a veranda, it is prone for lots of false alarms, not only from birds, but also stray cats and other rodents. I even had birds dropping nuts on the roof to crack them open. This being said: is it intrusion prevention or intrusion detection you want to achieve? I personally am more than "happy" with hidden magnets in the window frames which detects breakage and/or "lifting out" of the window. If Sinterklaas is running on my roof, I don't honestly care (and my alarm system should not detect it). My camera system on the other hand, which is my second line of defence, will for sure have grabbed a clip of his majesty on the white horse.

    I saw you opened a second topic in the camera installation topic, I advice you to read the Cliff Notes in detail, especially the ipvm.com google-maps tool to VIEW the DORI distances of each different camera type in detail. This will guide you which lens you'd need, then you should think about "capabilities", like IVS, tripwire, missing-object etc etc. Follwing the Cliff Notes will definitely guide you towards the correct and appropriate IPC.

    Edit: regarding burglars and triple HR+++ glass: it is simple, our neighbours (newly built house) had these too, police "certified" burglars couldn't enter with bricks and mortars. However, burglars came by, used two of these gems (http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/ODAwWDgwMA==/z/ewEAAOSw4fZbZCMq/$_84.JPG) and took out the WHOLE window (including frame) from the wall. They put it nicely against the outer wall, no scratches on the glass.

    Good luck!
    CC
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
  7. SecuritySeeker

    SecuritySeeker n3wb

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2018
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Netherlands
    I definitely want to do something in the intrusion prevention department, hence my interest in security foils, but I realize this can only be a deterrent. Turning it into a fortress is not really an option, still need to live there with wife and kids. There wil always be a weak spot and with sufficient brute force (or clever tricks) it will always be possible to gain entry (or defeat security or camera systems). So I think a bit of both is best.

    Thanks for the pointer. I remember seeing that before (I've been lurking on this forum for some time) but I'd forgotten all about it. I'll be sure to read it through and through.

    Yeah, I've heard about that trick before (and again had forgotten about it so thanks for the reminder). However it only works if the window pane is installed from the outside, in which case they can use an exacto knife to cut through the silicon/caulk and remove the wood slats. That doesn't work if the window pane is installed from the inside and the wood slats and silicon/caulks and maybe nails are all on the inside, as is the case in our current home. Definitely something to check in the new home, I know the window posts will be made of hardwood, not aluminum. Except for the aluminum/glass sliding door to the garden which might be another easy way to gain access I suppose.

    At the moment we do also have two dogs, one of which will definitely start barking very loudly if someone were to enter the garden, let alone the house. He'd probably also attack someone unknown entering but he's not a guard dog by any stretch of the imagination either by breed or by size in terms of being a fighting dog (he is in terms of being a watch dog). He's getting old but he definitely still has a few years left in him if he doesn't get I'll. I'm not too sure we'll take another dog if he dies though. Plus if we're from home and have taken the dogs with us...

    Another small potential deterrent: we still have an old tube television instead of a flat panel. Any potential burglar looking through our window will have second thoughts about how much there's to be had here :). I'll think we'll take it with us to the new home, I think there's a proven tendency for increased burglary in newly built neighbourhoods. After a year or two we can perhaps finally swap it for a big flat screen.
     
  8. catcamstar

    catcamstar Getting the hang of it

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2018
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    81
    Not to give away all my tricks from my sleeve: I also have an oldskool tube TV, but I tuck away a small (but powerful) beamer! When it's movie time, it rises & shines! Nothing beats good quality tube TV ;-)
     
  9. SecuritySeeker

    SecuritySeeker n3wb

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2018
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Netherlands
    That's funny, I have an ancient big ass (60kg or so) Barco CRT beamer ceiling mounted in the living room in our current home. Awesome analog CRT quality with a 3m wide projection screen :) It's superior to most digital projectors in many ways, very easy on the eyes and pleasant to watch. I'm not going to put that up in our new home though, I'll have to switch to a small digital projector to keep my wife happy plus I don't really want that thing up there anymore myself either.
     
  10. SecuritySeeker

    SecuritySeeker n3wb

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2018
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Netherlands
    I'm still looking for suitable security systems and components. Is there any place where I can find a good overview of available solutions? Ideally I'd like to connect all my sensors (motion sensors, window break sensors etc) and the control panel through an ethernet network. Does something like that exist?

    A lot of the stuff that I find online is either (proprietary) wireless (which I don't really want) or seems to use simple connect/disconnect wiring to connect the sensors to the the security system. If I can connect the sensors through the network (all CAT6 cable) with PoE I could use small network switches to branch out from a single CAT6 cable coming through the conduit to connect multiple sensors and cameras.

    Following your advice I have increased the number of conduits a bit to bring at least wired network connections to each section of the home both inside and outside but I would still like to be able to split those connections, especially indoors. Worst case I suppose I could use an Arduino to locally connect the motion sensors and have the Arduino send the signal through the network but I'm sure motion sensors that can connect directly to Ethernet already exist.

    Coming back to your question about what it is that I want to achieve: I envision receiving an alert from the alarm system and then logging in to check live or recorded video to see if there's really something going on and, if so, calling 112 (911) to alert the police. But I'll admit I've also been fantasizing about then turning on a dense fog generator along with a pain inducing siren and a stroboscope to chase the bad guys away :). Definitely not something I'd want the system to engage autonomously though.

    Of course having cameras indoors is a potential privacy concern. I know too much about computer security to be naive enough to think that it will never be possible for someone to hack into the system and spy on us while we're home so I'm not too sure about that. But I could still perhaps use footage from the outdoor cameras to check if anyone has gone into the house.

    I do realize relying on self-monitoring exclusively is far from ideal so maybe I will also get a contract with a security provider but on the other hand I'll be working from home and it will be very rare for everybody to be away from home.