Looking for Alarm System Recommendations

I’m hoping that someone can recommendation an alarm system to be used with a Vera 2 (UI4) in terms of integration with Vera and overall functionality vs cost. In other words what is the best bang for the buck?

We are moving into a new house that is not wired for a security system, so the sensors will most likely be wireless.

Anyone have a suggestion? Thanks in advance.


There have been several threads that have asked this same question. Depending on where you live, the DSC powerseries 1616, 1832, or 1864 panels are cost effective and integrate with Vera.

  • Garrett

I also recommend the DSC power series, widely available, lots of support forums, relativity low cost, reliable and great integration with Vera. I made the mistake of getting the 1832 and quickly exceeded the built in zones and have since installed two extra expansion zone boards. Plan your system out and leave lots of room for expansion. If you are not sure, for the small extra cost get the DSC 1864. Also make sure you choose your keypads carefully. For example the 1832/64 can only support one model RFK5500 keypad (has the circuits required for wireless devices support and built in temperature monitoring) otherwise I suggest the model PK5500.

DSC FTW :slight_smile:

DSC kit looks pretty good but unfortunately it costs silly prices in the UK. It’s cheaper to get panel, keypad and comms board shipped from the US - even with 80 dollar shipping costs! >:(

What is available in the UK? And how does that intersect with what plugins are available? We can recommend $system till the cows come home, but if you are limited to one, or zero, choices…

There are lots of systems readily and cheaply available in UK/Europe, but very few have comms as far as I can tell - and none have Vera plug-ins. A Z-Wave vendor over here sells DSC but he charges 125 dollars for the panel and 125 dollars each for keypad and RS232 board. All plus shipping! :frowning:

And futzle, I wasn’t asking for a recommendation; just letting off steam…

Sorry, I was confusing you with the OP. Gotta check who’s posting what!


DSC Systems. You may also consider the total price and offset cost between the alarm systems integration and purchasing z-wave sensors. In addition, the wired (and wireless) alarm sensors offer a few key factors over zwave, cheaper, reliability, redundancy (cross zones etc), battery backup and normally known reliability.

Just FYI, there is a difference between the DSC USA and EU wireless modules (Australia uses the EU freq expect for Z-wave off course). So if you decide to include a wireless option, you must not mix and match as the as they are not interoperable.
There are also slight difference in the the main boards configuration.

For keypad look at
http://stores.ebay.com.au/surveillent-international?_trksid=p4340.l2563 or individual see this one from the same seller

You also have a choice between the DSC IT100 (RS232) or the 2DS (IP) See EyezOn - Smart Home Security No Monthly Fees
DSC forum

http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,9437.0.html and http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,8781.60.html

I came to the conclusion that a DSC 1832 with a (UK) DSC keypad and the IT-100 would give me a good proven concept with full VERA integration.
Based in Netherlands. Ordered it in the US.
Wired and Wireless sensors can be included.
DSC is only sold to installers here in the Netherlands. Hard to get an offer for parts from them.
Their prices are here also higher than the cost of importing parts from the US directly.

I had a wired existing alarm system so need to make some adjustments regarding terminal resistors but that will not be your problem as you aim to use wireless sensors.

In such case I would however consider using VERA as the alarm system.
May not qualify for insurance purposes though but VERA can read sensors/detect presence, trigger sound & light and send messages by email, SMS.
Pretty much what one wants from an alarm system.

To the OP, if you do go DSC, although its not fully supported yet, I would get a 2DS instead of the IT100, as not only is it cleaner to interface with Vera (via Ethernet), but has some other unique functionality that can be used in tandem for alerts etc, so that you don’t just have to depend on Vera!

Thanks brientim - some good links. And your eBay links are to the supplier I’m planning to use!

I forgot to say, like @strangely I would (and have) gone with the 2DS. I have both but my preferred is the 2DS. In addition, the great people on this forum have implemented the new functionality similiar to the IT100. Because it is native IP, once intergrate, the 2DS provides redundant comms, being via your Vera and via its own embedded functionality.

Thanks to all who have posted. I ordered an 1832 recently and 10 wireless sensors but did not order the IT-100. I really wanted to see what I was getting before selecting any interface components. Also, do I need the RF5132-433 - DSC Wireless Receiver Module to use the wireless sensors? And what about the PC Link, worth have or not necessary?

Would anyone care to comment about wireless sensors, what is good, whats not so good. I expect my system to arrive on Monday and would rather return the sensors unopened if I have made a bad choice.

Lastly, any hints on installation and setup, like pitfalls to avoid? I did D/L the users manual and installation guide and see that there is a lot to read and understand. I’m trying not to let the Macho Man (put it together first, THEN read to directions) take control of this project. :<)


You’ll need a keypad that supports rf wireless sensors. It should be listed as RFK. I use the RFK5500 keypad and the non wireless PK5500 keypad.

What sensors did you order?

The setup can be confusing, but once you understand how it is done, it is easier to understand.

  • Garrett


I ordered 4 of the ‘PLUNGER-D - ION Security DSC Compatible Wireless Door Sensor’ and 6 of the ‘MICRA-D - ION Security DSC Compatible Wireless Window Sensor’. I was really tossed up with the window sensors between this one and the ‘EV-DW4975 - Vanishing Wireless Door Window Sensor’.

The kit comes with the RFK5500 keypad and I was considering the ‘RFK5501 - DSC Hybrid 64 Zone Wireless Fixed LCD Keypad’ as a secondary for the Garage. The primary will be centrally located in the house and my thought was a basic panel in the Garage would be very easy for the wife to operate. She is not a techie by any means. Is there an advantage to a wired keypad other than batteries? I would really hate to put the better wireless keypad in a remote location and then use a less functional wired one inside the house. Are the RFK5500 and PK5500 identical except for wired/wireless?

Thanks for all the insight.


To the folks who suggested the 2DS,

After looking at the Home Security Store website ([url=http://www.homesecuritystore.com/p-1835-evl-2ds-envisalink-2ds-internet-alert-module-for-dsc-security.aspx]http://www.homesecuritystore.com/p-1835-evl-2ds-envisalink-2ds-internet-alert-module-for-dsc-security.aspx[/url]), I noticed this at the bottom of the page:

PLEASE NOTE: This module is only compatible with hardwired DSC POWERSERIES alarm systems.

Since I will be using an all wireless system it seems this may not work for me. Can anyone confirm or refute this?


This statement refers to the non Power series panels like the Alexor series which are completely wireless with no Keybus interface to connect it to!

You have a power series so you are OK to fit the 2DS or IT100. The wireless functions of the power series (or whats built into the RFK5500) are only to do with sensors, and all the keypads are hardwired!

The wireless in your keypad, is just to be able to bridge to wireless devices like sensors! Because you have the RFK5500 keypad, it actually enrolls as 2 devices with the panel (keypad and RF5132-433)

I find programming from the PC much easier using the cale and the DLS software, although there certainly is a little bit of a learning curve for this also. If you don’t get on with programming the alarm from the keypad, then maybe consider buying …or even building the PC link cable, If you want to build one, you just need some cable (cat 5 will do), a DB9 connector and a power connector for an old floppy drive:


You’ll be fine with the Ion plunger sensors. I have them around my house and work well and are hidden.

  • Garrett