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Author Topic: Why I Sometimes Find It Hard To Recommend The Protector Plus  (Read 43047 times)

tom j

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Why I Sometimes Find It Hard To Recommend The Protector Plus
« on: September 16, 2007, 03:47:46 AM »

Although you can't beat the price and some of the features at any price I still find it somewhat difficult to recommend Protector Plus to friends and family. One of the reasons is the fact that you often get zone sticking for someone not familiar with the Protector Plus system it can support a maximum of 16 zones. These zones are identified by a series of vertical lights on the front panel of the unit.

 What I've found is that often times and I mean often that if you trigger a motion detector by walking past it the zone assigned to that motion detector will stick, if this just happen occasionally well it would probably be just an minor annoyance, but at least in my case this can occur at least a few times a month well you say that's not to bad well it is when you're in a hurry trying to get out the house going to work and you have to identify the offending unit and unstick it by pressing the test button.

 With me at least this seems to always happen when I'm in a hurry the last time a friend came by and we were going somewhere and he started blowing the horn thinking I was just screwing around and I had to explain no I was trying to turn on my security system. This sometimes occurs because you might walk by a sensor and attempt to turn the alarm on before the unit has a chance to complete the communication with the console but I've noticed that sometimes it just sticks for no apparent reason I'll just glance at the console and see that a motion detector zones is open.

  Another thing that makes it difficult to recommend the system are the infamous MS10a these are well, as far as I'm concerned the Achilles Heal of the system these things are prone to false alarms in the 1 movement  mode and the 2 movement mode lacks sensitivity sometimes you're actually able to walk right across it's path without triggering the detector, it's like the mode 1 is too sensitive and mode 2 isn't sensitive enough these things just need a little tweaking but x10 insists there's noting wrong with them.

 Now for the kicker this is probably unlikely but if you know what you're doing you can circumvent the system with something as simple as a Palm Pad I won't go into detail but the information is widely available. Now the Protector Plus also has some features that are truly impressive, first of all it offers a gateway to home automation allowing you to control all your major lighting and appliances and the range on this unit is excellent easily surpassing the 100 foot advertised range.

 Another thing that I really like concerning the alarm features is the ability to flash all x10 controlled lighting this feature is priceless and cannot be duplicated regardless of price. To my knowledge there is no other manufacturer that offers this feature unless it's x10 compatible, and x10 itself offers a burglar alarm interface that you can add to a hardwired system to flash all your x10 lighting, the effect of this is absolutely incredible and is the major reason I feel when my house was broken into a few years back the thieves got nothing!!! It occurred at night and the effect of practically every light in the house not to mention the porch lights and even the floods yes x10 flood lights will also flash if they are on the same housecode as your other lighting, was truly spectacular!

 Many of my neighbors said my house looked as if it were alive, and they saw these guys running from the house one other reason they probably didn't hang around was the large powerhorns only had two at the time but I'm sure that they made there brief stay very unpleasant.

Initially I actually had to return my Protector Plus console 3 or 4 times the first one was DOA and the major reason for the other returns was the voice chip the recordings were so distorted as to be almost unintelligible.

 Latter I decided to purchase an additional unit as a backup and was in the process of testing it before I retired it when I came home one day and heard this buzzing sound turned out it was the backup unit that had failed. At the time it was only 6 months old and still under warranty so I returned it and x10 promptly sent out another one so if you decide to get this unit by all means get the extended warranty so if any of this stuff fails you can get it replaced for just the cost of shipping.

 I've never had anything actually fail except the console you can get it replaced under warranty. I would also suggest if this is going to be your major source of security that you should buy a backup unit because you will become dependent on it  and if for some reason it fails you will find it very disturbing not having any security. I've had these for going on 5 years and both have been basically trouble free except a few weeks ago my main unit started making a chiming sound once every hour or so and I found a few zones started to stick and it was very difficult to unstick them so I wiped out my trusty backup and I've been using it for the last few weeks.

Think I'll just take the other unit to Radio Shack and have it repaired it's not really that old and they can fix it and thoroughly check it out before returning it they really do good work and know the unit very well because they used to sell a almost identical unit, I could buy another one for about 50 bucks but then I would have to go through the whole testing procedure all over again.

There are some other issues that you should be aware of for one there's no support for smoke detection there's also no support for an outside siren. In addition if the alarm goes off and you're out of town there's no way to turn all your lights off remotely, I really consider this an oversight on x10 part, now sure there ways around it if you have AHP you could construct a timer to do an All Lights Off every morning but if you just have the stand alone system you're basically out of luck.

Another flaw and one that really concerns a lot of us is how easy it is to circumvent the system with something as simple as a palm pad, another thing you should be aware of is that you can not have this unit professionally monitored, a lot of the newer more sophisticated units allow you to have the option of having the unit either call you or friends directly or have it professionally monitored, another thing you should be aware of is if the alarm is triggered and the console calls you can listen in over the built in microphone but you will not know which of the 16 zones has been breached.

 The DS7000 obviously the lacks the sophistication of some of the more pricier units but if funds are tight and you need a system by all means get this one even if you plan on getting a more sophisticated system down the road you can always use this one as a backup which is what I plan on doing.

If you do decide to make sure you insist on the pro version of the MS10a the PMS01, they function way better the 10a's, set them to the two step mode to avoid false alarms and make sure you test the units you receive thoroughly don't forget if they ever get past your perimeter defenses the only thing between your valuables and the front door are those motion detectors. So there you have it the good the bad and the ugly, I'm actually moving on and have purchased a DSC hybrid system everything is either Canadian or American made no more Chinese stuff for me not for my new alarm system, but the DS7000 with all it's flaws has served me well for a number of years, and although I'm sometimes reluctant to recommend it to my friends I guess for the price it's still pretty hard to beat.

Tom j

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« Last Edit: March 19, 2009, 12:33:13 AM by tom j »
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steven r

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Re: Why I Sometimes Find It Hard To Recommend The Protector Plus
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2007, 10:45:36 AM »

....Another thing that I really like concerning the alarm features is the ability to flash all x10 controlled lighting this feature is priceless and cannot be duplicated regardless of price. To my knowledge there is no other manufacturer that offers this feature unless it's x10 compatible...
Thanks for your user feed back on the system. While an inexpensive option for a home alarm solution, people need to realize its limitations.
My "real" alarm has a low voltage output that I use to flash my lights via a powerflash module so don't worry about losing that feature if you upgrade your system at sometime.
Also, as I've said before, there is hands down no substitute for having your systems monitored by a monitoring service!
« Last Edit: September 21, 2007, 01:55:28 PM by steven r »
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tom j

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Re: Why I Sometimes Find It Hard To Recommend The Protector Plus
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2007, 05:40:34 PM »

....Another thing that I really like concerning the alarm features is the ability to flash all x10 controlled lighting this feature is priceless and cannot be duplicated regardless of price. To my knowledge there is no other manufacturer that offers this feature unless it's x10 compatible...
Thanks for your user feed back on the system. While an inexpensive option for a home alarm solution, people need to realize its limitations.
My "real" alarm has a low voltage output that I use to flash my lights via a powerflash module so don't worry about losing that feature if you upgrade your system at sometime.
Also, as I've said before, their is hands down no substitute for having your systems monitored by a monitoring service!

Hi Steve just letting people know what the limitations of the system are was my main motivation for writing this exposition. And yep I couldn't agree more concerning the monitoring that was my major reason for the upgrade that and the fire and carbon monoxide capabilities. I actually found a monitoring service that just charges 8.95 a month!! got to pay it all up front each year and there's an initial setup fee but it's still a great deal see below. And yeah that powerflash option with the ability to flash you lights priceless!! Say you know I just had a false alarm today on my Protector Plus and I'm still in the process of tracking it down. It had my neighbors calling the police, looks like it was a faulty door/window sensor if so this would be a first never had a false alarm as a result of one so I would I still consider them the most reliable part of the system. It's got to be either the sensor or the console and should be able to tracked down in a few hours. Just glad it didn't happen while I was at work I was only a few blocks away walking the dog. I'm glad you liked the review Steve and I hope anyone considering this system will find the information useful in making their decision. I tried to be as fair as possible, with all it's faults this same unit saved the day on two occasions saving my expensive stereo system and notebook computer. Still about a month or two away from configuring all my new equipment this new equipment is easily costing me 15 times what I initially spent on the Protector Plus but I bet if I had the DSC system installed I wouldn't have gotten the last false alarm. And like I said if any of you folks do decide to purchase this unit now and upgrade latter it would make a good backup for your main system, just test it thoroughly!!


Tom j

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« Last Edit: September 20, 2007, 01:23:48 AM by tom j »
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HA Dave

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Re: Why I Sometimes Find It Hard To Recommend The Protector Plus
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2007, 07:05:20 PM »


Although you can't beat the price and some of the features at any price ...................................... Another thing that I really like concerning the alarm features is the ability to flash all x10 controlled lighting this feature is priceless and cannot be duplicated regardless of price....................................... but the DS7000 with all it's flaws has served me well for a number of years, and although I'm sometimes reluctant to recommend it to my friends I guess it's still pretty hard to beat.


An interesting NON-recommendation Tom.
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tom j

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Re: Why I Sometimes Find It Hard To Recommend The Protector Plus
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2007, 07:47:00 PM »


Although you can't beat the price and some of the features at any price ...................................... Another thing that I really like concerning the alarm features is the ability to flash all x10 controlled lighting this feature is priceless and cannot be duplicated regardless of price....................................... but the DS7000 with all it's flaws has served me well for a number of years, and although I'm sometimes reluctant to recommend it to my friends I guess it's still pretty hard to beat.


An interesting NON-recommendation Tom.

Hi Dave, well that's why I labeled the subject what I did, the Protector Plus has it's good AND bad points just trying to help folks make an informed decision.

Tom j
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tom j

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Re: Why I Sometimes Find It Hard To Recommend The Protector Plus
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2007, 02:52:15 AM »

UPDATE..

Well I finally tracked down that false alarm. Turned out to be two bad window door sensors seems like they both went bad at the same time. Now what's the likely hood of something like that happening a million to one??? Well I was able to confirmed it by hooking up the offending sensors to my spare ds7000 console and they tripped the alarm within an hour. That's why if you decide to purchase this system make sure you have backup equipment so if something fails you'll have something to replace it. x10 recently offered a combo package and I highly recommend it. You get two motion sensors 2 key chain remotes and four window door sensors and one large powerhorn all for 50 bucks! and for God sake take out that extended warranty it's really cheap insurance.

 One other thing you should beware of is that x10 says you can put put these sensors in your garage, not so unless it's heated or you live in California, Florida or some other warm climate because these sensors don't like cold weather and will fail if exposed to extreme cold or below freezing temperatures. I had a couple in a unheated part of the house where we were building an addition this part was unfinished and unheated for two years and the motion detectors and window/door sensors would fail after about a year I was blaming the sensors until I realised that this was the only part of the house that I was experiencing problems after which I concluded that the cold weather was the culprit. So because I've really never had a w/d sensor go bad that wasen't exposed to extreme cold I guess these window/door sensors must of come from a bad batch as I remember I got these both from a previous order, that's why x10 needs better quality control!! If they did maybe something like this could have been caught, that's why it's an absolute must to get the extended warranty!

Tom j
 


« Last Edit: September 27, 2007, 09:02:57 PM by tom j »
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BWeech

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Re: Why I Sometimes Find It Hard To Recommend The Protector Plus
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2007, 10:32:59 AM »

I have used X10 home automation for several years, and I'm looking into the X10 security systems as a low cost alternative to other wireless systems. If the lack of professional monitoring is one of the major drawbacks, has anyone tried SmartHome's Pro2000 X10 compatible system (SmartHome: X-10 PRO2000™ Monitored Security System Value Pack) that supports monitoring?

In the event of a break-in, the PRO2000's built-in digital communicator can immediately call the monitoring station and alert them as to which door, window or motion sensor has been tripped and where that sensor is located within the house. At that point, the monitoring station will notify the proper authorities of your address and where to check in the house for the break-in.


As with most of the Pro products, they are more expensive but not that much.

Update: Oh, and I forgot to mention that SmartHome is showing the 7 pc. DS7000 as discontinued... SmartHome: 7-Piece 16-Zone Wireless Security System DS7000 PSV067

BWeech


[TTA Edit: Combine 2 consecutive posts; add descriptions to LINKs. NOTE: Top-right corner "MODIFY BOX" allows you to edit posts.]
« Last Edit: September 23, 2007, 04:05:32 PM by TakeTheActive »
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tom j

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Re: Why I Sometimes Find It Hard To Recommend The Protector Plus
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2007, 11:52:29 PM »

You know BWeech Smart Home probably doesn't carry it anymore because they can't compete with x10 online direct pricing, probably upset their prices are being under cut. I think you can find  better selection of x10 compatible systems at the Home Security Store,  Smart Homes prices are way to high to me. I used to buy stuff from them until I found the HSS. Do your homework though some wireless systems require additional accessories to work correctly with x10 hardware. The Powermax seems to be pretty popular and they were programing it free of charge, another one to check out is the GE Simon I believe this one is x10 compatible out the box feel free to contact Home Security Store's tech support their support is excellent and they should be able to address any concerns you might have. A lot of people don't know that x10 sells a monitored version of the ds7000 the Monitor Plus I believe but this is a proprietary system and must be monitored exclusively through x10 limiting your choices plus I tried one and experienced a lot of problems with quality control issues, the major issue being that once a sensor was tripped the unit wouldn't sometimes react until their was a second one, so I personally wouldn't recommend it that plus x10 charges 20 dollars monthly but with no long term contracts that might appeal to some people, I actually bought mine to use when I was flipping properties after which I could just discontinue the service.

Tom j


http://www.homesecuritystore.com/ezStore123/DTProductList.asp?p=2_1_1_1_0_0_110

http://www.homesecuritystore.com/ezStore123/DTProductZoom.asp?productID=1504&bViaAC=False
« Last Edit: August 30, 2008, 02:18:01 AM by tom j »
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tom j

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Re: Why I Sometimes Find It Hard To Recommend The Protector Plus
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2007, 12:11:03 AM »

I have used X10 home automation for several years, and I'm looking into the X10 security systems as a low cost alternative to other wireless systems. If the lack of professional monitoring is one of the major drawbacks, has anyone tried SmartHome's Pro2000 X10 compatible system (SmartHome: X-10 PRO2000™ Monitored Security System Value Pack) that supports monitoring?

In the event of a break-in, the PRO2000's built-in digital communicator can immediately call the monitoring station and alert them as to which door, window or motion sensor has been tripped and where that sensor is located within the house. At that point, the monitoring station will notify the proper authorities of your address and where to check in the house for the break-in.


As with most of the Pro products, they are more expensive but not that much.

Update: Oh, and I forgot to mention that SmartHome is showing the 7 pc. DS7000 as discontinued... SmartHome: 7-Piece 16-Zone Wireless Security System DS7000 PSV067

BWeech


[TTA Edit: Combine 2 consecutive posts; add descriptions to LINKs. NOTE: Top-right corner "MODIFY BOX" allows you to edit posts.]

STAY AWAY FROM THIS UNIT, x10 was promoting this one a while back and no one could get it to work for one they weren't providing you with the correct software no one could program it and there are a bunch of other issues. Don't take my word for it do a search under security for the Pro 2000 right here and read the horror stories beware!!!

Tom j
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HA Dave

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Re: Why I Sometimes Find It Hard To Recommend The Protector Plus
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2007, 06:29:14 PM »

[
STAY AWAY FROM THIS UNIT, x10 was promoting this one a while back and no one could get it to work for one they weren't providing you with the correct software no one could program it and there are a bunch of other issues. Don't take my word for it do a search under security for the Pro 2000 right here and read the horror stories beware!!!


Tom is correct!
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Modern automation is much more than turning things on and off.
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tom j

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Re: Why I Sometimes Find It Hard To Recommend The Protector Plus
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2008, 03:18:44 AM »

UPDATE 2

Well concerning my original review x10 appears to have corrected the problems with the MS10a's! I've been testing a mega system for a friend and have not had any false alarms in the 1 movement mode and these sensors have been pointed toward a north facing sunny window for almost 2 months!! Pointing a motion detector at a window is usually the worst thing you can do, so I'm actually quite impressed with the improvement. x10 has also apparently addressed the zone sticking problem I mentioned so if you do purchase one of these systems and you happen to get a good one with any luck you should have a pretty good and reliable system.

Now I say this with a caveat, I just did a post under troubleshooting  "2 Consoles Fail" I just had 2 five year old consoles fail like I said they were five years old but for something as important as a security system I feel this represents a serious reliability problem. But now that my major complaints have been addressed I actually would suggest purchasing this system but because of the limited life span of the console only as a backup to your main system or something that you might want to use until you can get something better.

My next door neighbor has a DSC system and was trying to fix his doorbell when he crossed some wires and fried the system board well he kept putting off getting it repaired and sure enough he had a break in they got this new notebook his wife's jewelry and quite a bit of money if he had a backup like the Protector Plus he would had known as soon as they placed a foot in the door, so for 50 bucks or the complete system for $99 it's a great deal. Now if you really want a really good wireless system get a Honeywell Lynx form the Home Security Store, this is a fantastic system but after looking at the Protector Plus you might think a little pricey it runs 200 bucks not that bad but the components get kind of pricey like a motion detector runs around 80 dollars and the smoke detector 93.00, but you get what you pay for and this system supports x10 so if a break in occurs it will flash your lights and you can call in and turn your lights on and off turn, and if you forget even turn the system on remotely and check the status. In addition you can even have it professionally monitored for 8.99 a month! or have it call you and several other numbers just like the Protector Plus. But even if you do buy this one or any other system for that matter I would still recommend everyone with a alarm system now buy the Protector Plus if for noting else insurance against what happen to my neighbor. Setup is a breeze and you can have it up and running in a mater of minutes. One other thing when ever you set it up generate new security codes for everything to avoid the possibility of false alarms. I actually just ordered a backup system myself, to replace one of the consoles that failed. I don't know if you've ever experienced a break in but it can be devastating and this is cheap insurance. And be sure not to forget the large Powerhorns!


http://www.homesecuritystore.com/ezStore123/DTProductZoom.asp?productID=388


Tom j.

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« Last Edit: February 07, 2009, 12:50:56 AM by tom j »
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