Home Security

Has anyone built a effective Home Security System around Vera with the zwave products that are compatible with it?

BTW, Vera can now interface with your alarm panel directly if it has a RS232/usb/ethernet interface (most have a module to do that). Those sensors are a lot cheaper and you probably already have them in your house, and then Vera runs in parallel with your existing monitored alarm.

Is there a wiki that covers setting up a serial interface?


I too would be very interested in learning more about this feature. Will this require a GC-100 for RS232 input, or would Vera be able to recognize a security system without additional hardware? Let me know if I can help with this development/testing. I have a Caddx/GE Security NX-8 that really “needs” to be integrated into Vera!

Thanks for all the hard work! This truly is the most fun I have had with a gadget in a long time… really looking forward to the stuff you will show @ CEDIA next week! ;D

That’s great news, all we need is a How-To document. I also have a Q-See security camera system with a RS232 interface. Will Vera interface with it through a RS232-> USB adapter? This camera system can be setup to trigger an alarm when it detects motion in an area you determine. If Vera can detect that alarm signal then it can act as an outside motion sensor and turn on lights or any other scene. Many new possibilities is we only knew how to interface/setup Vera to these security devices.

In general, it requires:

a) A Interface to your Alarm Panel (Ethernet, Direct-USB, or RS-232 via USB-Adapter)
b) For USB, or RS-232 via USB Adapter, it requires that Vera “recognize” the interface as Serial
c) For (b), there’s a Sticky thread on that
d) A Custom Luup-based Device interface to the command protocol of your specific Alarm Panel.
e) Someone to write (d) if it doesn’t already exist.

Once you have all the components, it works very well.

My setup is:

a) Paradox DGP-848 Alarm Panel
b) Paradox APR-PRT3 “Printer Module” for the Alarm-HA integration (Powered by Alarm’s Combus wiring)
c) USB Cable to Vera (it recognised it as a FTDI Serial interface without assistance)
d) Custom Luup code (about 1000 lines, 50k, fully commented, probably 1/4 with comments stripped)

With it, all of the Motion, Window & Door Sensors that are hardwired into my Alarm show up as MotionSensors in Vera, and can trigger Scenes, Turn on Lights etc. Each of these child “Devices” can be placed in the relevant Room in Vera’s config (I have 16 in my place)

In addition, I’ve bubbled up the “Alarm Armed”, “Alarm Stay Armed”, “Communications Error”, and 30 “Virtual Inputs” of the APR3 as Motion Sensor devices in Vera.

You can trigger Scenes off these also.

I “test” it mostly by Vera’s Scene notification events, where it sends email and/or SMS. I usually just open the Window in my office to get it to trigger since these devices are “hot” even if the Alarm system isn’t “Armed”.

I’m working on stabilizing the code at the moment, but it’s intended to be published in a future Vera catalog. I want it to be rock solid before it’s published just in case folks clone/customize it for other Alarm panel models. I also need to build out the wiki.micasavera.com page with pictures and stuff, since there’s some setup in the Alarm panel, in addition to Vera, to get it all tied together (Serial port speeds, enablement for HA, configuring the Zone Labels in the Alarm so they “flow” to Vera automatically etc)

Guessed, first off, thank you for investing that kind of time and effort. I know it will pay off!

And I will be among the first to try integrating my own alarm system with Vera using your project as a starting point. So, go nuts on that wiki once you’re done! :slight_smile:

Are the Aeon Labs Door/Window sensors supported by Vera? I didnt see it listed under supported hardware.

Anyone do this for a DSC alarm?

I ordered these:


I plan to pull my alarm sensors off the main alarm and move them to this, and then have Vera watch them and trigger a relay for a siren. I will use my old alarm panel as a power supply for the PIR sensors and siren.

I will probably leave the old alarm keypad in place and always in armed mode so that people will see it when they look in. If I use a pure Vera solution they will just see no keypad or one that is off and that will make them incorrectly think there is no active alarm.

I think Vera makes a good Home Automation controller, but I wouldn’t use it as the Primary Alarm system. Most Alarm panels are built to a totally different standard of reliability, availability, serviceability (etc), and will stand up to more punishment than a typical HA controller.

I haven’t seen a DSC, and dont know if your’s has any form of Provider lockin, but if it doesn’t and you can meet the criteria above, I think you’d be a lot better off interfacing the Alarm to Vera, instead of trying to make Vera take on that role.

I know that I can safely remove Vera from my House, and the Lights and the Alarm system will keep working.

I can call out a tech to replace the Alarm panel, or any of it’s Keypads and Sensors, within a day (I’ve done this recently, in fact). I can also tell others how to operate it, and there are other’s like it in the world so there’s documentation (etc) to boot.

I can’t imagine what I’d go through if I were debugging a Vera-ConnectedOver-X10-to-SomeX10Device-to-Sensors with Software type alarm. Especially when it goes off at crazy times, or never at the right time, and you’re left scratching your head as to what’s broken.

Just a thought…

I know the monitoring of a real alarm is more reliable in several ways. I don’t even have a phone line there. Just fiber-optic internet.

The Vera should be more reliable than a friend living there who calls me when he sees trouble.

But I will be careful not to rush to rip wires out of the DSC. Or if I do I will label them well before doing so.

And I will look into if I can add a serial port to the DSC.

@guessed, I’m curious if the monitoring service the panel hooked to could have objections to user installed interfaces. Potentially user errors could cause false positives with all the consequences…