Alarm System Tips and Tricks

Pet Immune Detectors

PET Immune alarm detector issues explainedA major issue I come across time and time again is PET immunity. Pet immune detectors work by not detecting the pet at a certain height above the ground. For Pet Immunity to work, it is imperative that they are installed and configured at the correct height as per the installation instructions. PET immune detectors usually have some advanced circuitry that can improve PET immunity as well, but I would strictly adhere to the installation instructions.

Another main point I wanted to emphasise is to think hard about the location of furniture and your Pets daily movement before installing the PET detectors. If you have a sensor looking at a lounge, where that little dog or cat loves to get up on and run along the top, it's going to bring the animal into the detectors detecting height and cause false alarms. I suppose your thinking now this is too hard, but I have always found it possible to set up PET immune systems that do work with a lot of thought, but if you’re a person that likes to move furniture around all the time forget it. 

Another option is to setup reed switches on the doors and windows to arm the perimeter while the animal is at home and when the pet is not there you can arm the whole system. 




How Many Alarm Zones do I need

When considering which alarm system to buy it’s important to work out how many movement detectors, reed switches, tamper inputs and different alarm devices you want to install first. You then add up the entire devices. This total equals the minimum number of zone inputs that your alarm panel needs to supply. As a general rule, you should leave 25% redundancy in zones when selecting which alarm panel to purchase. In other terms if you have nine devices you should choose a 12 zone panel this gives you three additional inputs. I have seen a lot of homes where all the windows have had separate reed switches installed on them, but they have been looped on the same cable and connected to the panel in one zone to save money by not having to buy a panel that matches the correct amount of inputs required. I don’t recommend this type of installation due to a few factors.

It's not in line with Australian standards for alarm installation.

If you do have an alarm on the combined input, the zoning history will show an alarm for that zone, and you can’t tell which particular window opened. It’s especially difficult if you are having intermittent false alarms on a input because you won’t be able to tell which window or door reed switch is breaking contact intermittently.

If you get a fault in the cabling or reed switch, it's nearly impossible to work out where it is without pulling the home apart as all devices are on the same circuit. At the very least I would recommend running each cable back to the panel so each reed switch can be isolated and tested at a central location.

How many areas do I need?

At the very least all the panels for sale on this site have an away or burglar area and a home area for home invasion protection. Zone inputs are assigned to areas and act as configured when the zone contact opens it will work depending on the state of the area. If the areas armed in an away mode the sirens will go off if any zone inputs opened. If the areas armed in stay mode, individual zones, i.e. perimeter reed switches will set off sirens when opened. While movement detectors inside the house, where you are walking around will do nothing. When the areas disarmed, any zone input can open, and the alarm system will do nothing.

The only time you need to look at multiple areas is if you want one part of the property to be armed, and another part disarmed.

With this configuration, you need to assign the alarm zones that pertain to the area where they reside. The classic example of this is a home with a separate area with a business and employees. I would set up two areas one called home, and another named business then have a keypad at the enterprise entry and a keypad at the house entry. Zone inputs located in the home area would be programmed and configured to the home area. The same for the area business zones. You can have the one keypad setup for multiple areas, but you would need to make sure that all users would have the right to access the location of that keypad.

What Monitoring options are available to your property

If you do want to apply some form of supervision to your alarm system, it’s crucial to look at how your house communicates to the outside world before purchasing any alarm equipment. Different system models on this site suit different communication methods. Ask yourself these questions

Do I have a Telstra copper phone line connection?

Do I have a broadband router connected to a copper phone line connection?

Do I have a cable broadband router supply to my house?

Do I have a cable broadband router supply to my house where I connect my home phone to the router?

Do I have an NBN router?

Do I have a wireless broadband router?

Do I have a satellite broadband router?

If you have no available connections to the house, ask yourself these questions

Do I need to use a gsm dialer?

Do I need GPRS monitoring?

Now ask yourself these questions

Do I want to monitor the alarm myself or do I want a control centre to monitor it?

If self-monitoring Do, I want to receive text messages of alarms or is it ok that when the alarm goes off the system phones, my mobile and I can hear a siren in the earpiece as confirmation that the system is in alarm? A quick note on this option text messaging will tell you which zone has gone into alarm. i.e. When a thief brakes in you may get a message saying kitchen alarm detector then when they walk further into the house, you may get a message saying lounge room detector has gone off, so it gives confirmation that it’s a genuine alarm, and someone has walked from one zone to the next. If you have the domestic dialling option enabled, you will just get another call with the siren in the earpiece without knowing if it is just the same zone or another that has gone off.

Do I want to monitor and control my alarm system with a smartphone app?

Do I want to receive an email of alarms?

Do I want to receive text messages of alarms" goes through the third party text messaging service that converts signals to text more expensive"?




Table Outlining what alarm system is best suited to your home or business communication connections

Type of Comms             Bosch Security                                                        Hills Security                                                                 NESS Security

Domestic Dialling has to be through a copper phone line
all Bosh alarm panels
all Hills  alarm panels
all Ness alarm panels but NESS has an additional speciality here their domestic dial system tells which zone has gone into an alarm that replaces the need for text messaging
TXT Messaging through copper phone line Panel models supported 16i, 6000All panels but you need to add the Hills ComNav "to get full functionality from the ComNav you need both a broadband connection and a copper phone line. If there is only a broadband connection available, I usually use email reporting instead of TXT messaging. The app only works with a broadband connection. The text messaging
works with a copper phone line connection"
No NESS panels support text messaging through a copper line only the NESS Security Guard III can, but it's through the GSM 2G network
Email reporting through a copper phone line or over NBN, ADSL, Wireless, Satellite, Cable broadband connection
Panel models supported 16i, 2000, 3000,  but only through a copper phone line. The 6000 through other formats but you need to pay for it
All panels but you need to add the Hills ComNav" to get full functionality from the ComNav you need both a broadband connection and a copper phone line. If there is only a broadband connection available, I usually use email reporting instead of TXT messaging. The app only works with a broadband connection. The text messaging
works with a copper phone line connection

Not available
CID Monitoring through a control room copper line
all Bosh alarm panels
all Hills alarm panels
all NESS  alarm panels
Monitoring Control Room over NBN, ADSL, Wireless, Satellite, Cable Broadband Connection
All Panel models sold supported requires extra broadband module
all Hills  alarm panels through a third party IP reporting module
D8x, D16x and R1 NESS Panels through a separate NESS IP reporting module
GPRS wireless connection to a monitoring centreall Bosch Panels through the third party GPRS deviceall Hills Panels through the third party GPRS device
D8x, D16x and R1 NESS Panels through the third party GPRS device
GSM wireless connection to a monitoring centre
all Bosch Panels through the third party GSM device except the 2000,3000,6000 where a GSM module is available to add to the panel
all Hills Panels through the third party GSM device
all NESS Panels through the third party GSM device Except the Security Guard III which has its inbuilt GSM dialler that can be set up for control room monitoring
NBN Control Room MonitoringPanel models supported 16i, 2000, 3000, 6000 requires extra broadband module
all Hills  alarm panels through a third party IP reporting module
D8x, D16x and R1 NESS Panels through a separate NESS IP reporting module
Smartphone app monitoring through wireless communicationsBosch 2000,3000,6000 only models but doesn't work through wired connection. It has a particular GSM board that needs installing for it to work over the 3G network Note: Extremely difficult for the average person to set up 
Hills Doesn't Support
NESS Doesn't Support
Smart Phone app monitoring and control over NBN, ADSL, Satellite, Cable broadband internetOnly 6000-panel costs for it though

All panels, but you need to add the Hills ComNav "to get full functionality from the ComNav you need both a broadband connection and a copper phone line. If there is only a broadband connection available, I usually use email reporting instead of TXT messaging. The app only works with a broadband connection. The text messaging works with a copper phone line connection."


NESS D8X and D16X panels supported needs Ethernet to serial bridge installed and configured to work 

Note: This information is to help select the correct equipment for alarm installation. Only qualified persons should be installing the equipment on this site.