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Author Topic: Have Some Questions....  (Read 14311 times)

Wurd

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Have Some Questions....
« on: February 09, 2008, 06:58:52 PM »


Hello.  I came upon the X10 website and am curious about the security system.  My home has been broken into twice and I would really like to get something to at least help keep my house from getting robbed again.  

I have read alot of the topics/posts about the security system and stuff.   But, I am still not sure if it's right for me.  

Now, I understant that the X10 security system (Protector Plus) is not the best alarm system in the world to use.  Most likely, it is just something temporary until we can get something better.  I guess what I really want to know is......how is it for, actually, protecting your home?  Is it useful at all?  
Also, if I did decide to get the Protector Plus system.....what other extra devices should I get?  Is there like anything that you all would really suggest getting with it?  Here is a list of things I have in mind of maybe getting (if I ever get the system).  

*2 window/door sensors (for the front door and back door)

*a motion sensor (for the kitchen)

*at least 2-3 power horns (for more noise)

*maybe a few lamp modules (at least 2-3)

*MAYBE a motion flood light (for the back yard)

Now....besides those...would you all suggest anything else that might be really needed?  

Now....I am not trying to down X10 or any of it's products (I have never used any of them so I can't lol), but from reading the forum...I have noticed some of the security devices aren't really helpful and are more of a nuisance than anything else.   Could someone tell me which devices are absolutely necessary with the system, but also work well?  I have read alot about the motion detectors and that they really seem to be a bother.  But they can be "modified" to work better, right?    Also, are there any of the other devices that aren't too good to use?  

I have noticed some things that I really don't like.  Mainly with the main control system itself (forgot what it's actually called lol).  It's cool that you can have it call you, your family, friends, or neighbors.....but.....how well does that, actually, work?  What if your neighbors aren't home or too busy at the moment?  Or what if you happened to have your cell phone off when the system calls you?   I saw a post that someone posted that it's ok to use 911 as one of the contacts.  But, wouldn't that do more harm than good (in a way)?  Say it called 911 and told them the problem (by your recording).  Now, how would they know what to do from there?  They really wouldn't know who to call, would they?  Or would you have to ask their permission before hand if you could use them as a contact?  Also, the control/dialer system has an alarm in it as well (which is, actually, your alarm I guess).  Isn't that bad?  Why didn't X10 instead make the alarm and master control seperate?   That way when someone breaks into your house, your master control system will be harder to find.  Or even better....just make the voice dialer part and the master control part two different units altogether?    

I read one of tomJ's post and he said that it is wise to get more than one of each thing you have so you'll have a backup and/or backups (especially the master control/voice dialer).   Now, if I did get the Protector Plus system, about how many extras should I get?   Also, I have noticed you can purchase special units that will turn your lights on and off as well?  Is that worth getting along with the ProtectorPlus security system?  Or does the master control/voice dialer do that already?  

Now for the most important question.  Exactly, how reliable is this thing for protectiong your home against intruders?  Despite it's flaws, is it still worth having (at least somewhat) or is it not worth getting at all (if you're looking for a cheap "temporary" option for an alarm system)?   Is there, actually, anything that is like X10 that may be better to get (like LaserShield or something)?  Like I said, I am not trying to be negative or down X10 and their products.  I just want an honest opionion from those who have and/or have tried the security system.  I really hope that you guys can help me out.  Thanks for your time.  

-Richard (Wurd)


  




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steven r

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Re: Have Some Questions....
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2008, 08:10:46 PM »

Even the best state of the art system is not worth peanuts if you don't have some form of monitoring system. You can't count on neighbors or even your cell phone to be a 24/7 alert system. If you decide to go with a professional system, say away from the big names that give you the system and lock you into a contract at $30 to $50 a month. It's better to pay for a system that you own and find your own monitoring service. (As a reference, I only pay 8.95 a month for my service. - I figure I can afford the cost of a movie to protect my life and property.)
« Last Edit: February 09, 2008, 08:13:20 PM by steven r »
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HA Dave

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Re: Have Some Questions....
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2008, 08:43:27 PM »


......My home has been broken into twice and I would really like to get something to at least help keep my house from getting robbed again. 

*MAYBE a motion flood light (for the back yard)

Now....besides those...would you all suggest anything else that might be really needed?  


I think X10 makes a fine DIY home security system... I also agree with steven r.

I think of home security in terms of LAYERS. Outside security 1st... like lights, and motion sensors.... then MORE lights and motion sensors. Then good locks and secure strong doors and widows. I live in a city... so keeping landscaping clear so entry areas are clearly visible is good too. I also have visible security cameras, a really good deterrent. I use other deterrents OUTSIDE as well. I also have an alarm.

If someone trips or triggers an alarm system.... that would mean the home has already been broken into. So, in regards to preventing a break-in.... the alarm system won't likely help you there.

Burglars are dangerous people. They (as you stated) have targeted your home twice. Your life.. and the lives of your family are in danger. Call a local professional... the sooner the better!
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Wurd

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Re: Have Some Questions....
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2008, 02:03:44 AM »


Well, luckily when our house got broken into (my mom, grandma, and I live in the same house)......we weren't home.  They done it while we were gone.  The first time, they actually took something.  The second time, they took nothing....oddly (thank goodness).   However, I think it would be nice to have something that would alert neighbors and, hopefully, scare off the theif in the process.   I know x10 is probably not the best way to go in the way of home security when compared to the more "professional" alarm systems out there.   I agree that it would be better to call a local alarm system retailer, but I am not sure if we have any in town (however I might be wrong). 

Anyways, how reliable is the Protector Plus in alarming the neighbors and/or scaring off a theif if they do happen to break in while we're gone?  In other words....is it worth using UNTIL you can get something better?  Or is it not really worth the money?   Also, is the Protector Plus security system easy to instal, activate, and use?  In other words...how easy is it to use by older people (70's to 90's)?  Most likely, I would be the one having to program it and stuff. 

Also,  as steven r said...an alarm system with monitoring is better.   So, my next question.  How good is the ORCA monitoring?  How reliable are they compared to the big names like Brinks or ADT?  According to the X10 website, you do NOT have to sign a contract or anything to use them and you can cancel the service at anytime.  Even determine what months you want to use them.  And it's alot cheaper than most monitoring services offer.  I would have gone with Brinks home security if it would not have been for their 3 year contract.  But then.....if they didn't have a contract....you'd probably have to pay bookoo's of dollars to use them then.  I guess you can't have it all, huh? 

Well, any other opinions and/or advice on the Protector Plus sercurity system would be very much appreciated.  General advice is welcomed too.  :-)     

Thanks again for your time. 
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HA Dave

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Re: Have Some Questions....
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2008, 08:42:07 AM »

I am sorry Wurd... I may have been too brief in my previous post.

For a user-installed Home Security system, I don't think you will find a better system than X10's (DS7000)... anywhere, at any compareable price. The set-up is quick and easy... it is very user friendly, and reliable. I have read several stories from X10 users that said the alarm scared off the intruder.

In many aspects... the X10 system is every bit as good as what you pay a professional for. The ORCA monitoring is priced reasonably... and is also reliable.

Many of us regulars here at the forum... myself included... take security very seriously. MUCH has been written (posted) here in regards to home security. Like myself... we are volunteers here... users helping other users. I don't work for X10... I have nothing to gain from my posts here. I am very much into technology, and a big fan of X10.

Security alarms... provide peace-of-mind... and serve as your LAST defense against intrusion. Used as a LAST defense against crime... the X10 technology should provide you with all the peace-of-mind any professional system would. Used as a only defense.... (IMHO) would be scary. Security isn't a technology... and can not be purchased.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2008, 08:45:50 AM by Dave_x10_L »
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Wurd

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Re: Have Some Questions....
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2008, 09:37:58 AM »

Thanks Dave.   That sounds like some very sound advice.   Well, we our thinking about getting a dead bolt for the back door (since that IS the door the intruder(s) used to get in).  Also, the police told us that it most likely was someone that we knew or that knew us (or at least our habits) because they knew what they were looking for AND they knew when we would be gone.  Actually, I think the reason they didn't take anything the second time is because I left the TV on in my room and that "might" have been what scared them away (because they thought somebody might be home).   Oddly enough, they were "nice" enough (being sarcastic here) to fix the screen door back (they put it upside down-screen on top/glass on bottom) and they put a concrete block in front of the screen door. 

Also, I think it would be good for us to get some type of motion sensor light for the backyard as well.  I notice there are two different types of motion lights offered on the X10 website (that I've found).  The flood lights would probably work good enough as they would light up the whole backyard in case anyone (or anything) got near them. 

One thing I noticed about the Protector Plus is that the "packages" you can get are alot more affordable than most other alarm companies.  Plus, they offer more units with the system.  And as an extra, I noticed the Grand Opening sale offers some really good packages at decent prices (all under $200 pretty much).  They include some things that the normal packages do not include (like the Power Alarm, Flood Light, etc.).  Most other major alarm companies (like Brinks and ADT) I've noticed just sell you basic stuff and maybe and only few in number.  Like maybe 2-3 window/door sensors, 1 motion detector, 1 alarm, and then the keypad and master control board.  You may have to pay between $50-$100 or even get it free and then have to worry about a contract.  And another plus I've noticed is.....with someone like Brinks or ADT....you don't, actually, own the equipment.  It's more like you're just "renting" it from the company.  And when you move....you can't take it with you.  With the Protector Plus system....you own it and you can take it with you when you move. 

Like I've stated.  I have read alot of the topics on here about the different units and stuff.  I have noticed alot of people seem to have some problems with certain units (some more that others).  I am interested in how offten would you have to replace certain units (or all units)?  I've noticed that some people on here have had there Protector Plus for many years.  That might be why they have to replace things, huh?  lol  What I am really curious about is....about how long do most of the different units last?  And if they do happen to be defective or "die" on you.....do you have to pay a charge to have it replaced?  I have noticed that you can select up to a 5 year warranty on the things you buy (which I have read is a very ideal thing to do). 

Well, thanks again for all of your help and advice.  I look forward to any other advice anyone has for me.  :-)

-Richard
     
« Last Edit: February 10, 2008, 09:44:29 AM by Wurd »
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steven r

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Re: Have Some Questions....
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2008, 10:23:44 AM »

...we our thinking about getting a dead bolt for the back door...

...Also, I think it would be good for us to get some type of motion sensor light for the backyard as well.  I notice there are two different types of motion lights offered on the X10 website (that I've found).  The flood lights would probably work good enough as they would light up the whole backyard in case anyone (or anything) got near them....
The 1st step to security is education! Have you ever watched the show "It Takes a Thief" on the Discovery channel? I highly recommend it. Your thief has been nice to you. In an odd sort of way, he's done you a favor by getting you to think about protecting your home and family. Most the time burglars will tear a home apart looking for stuff.

Dave made a good point. Alarms let you know when someone has tried to break in your home.
TODAY: You need to put up some lights and make arrangements to get some good locks! I like X10s camera flood lights but at the very least you need to go to Home Depot or Lowes and get some motion sensitive lights.

...You may have to pay between $50-$100 or even get it free and then have to worry about a contract....
I consider this a form of blackmail by the major alarm companies to hook you into an average of $30 a month more than you need to pay for a good monitoring system. $30 times a 36 month contract is $1080. That will go a long way toward the purchase of alarm hardware.

Check out http://bdshost.com/ac/. Dave, myself and others are often there during the the evening.
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Wurd

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Re: Have Some Questions....
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2008, 01:04:18 PM »


Thank you both steve and Dave for all of your help and advice.  I really appreciate it.  If you have any more advice you could give, I would be more than happy to have it. :-)

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HA Dave

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Re: Have Some Questions....
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2008, 03:53:42 PM »


Also, the police told us that it most likely was someone that we knew or that knew us (or at least our habits) because they knew what they were looking for AND they knew when we would be gone.


Sad, but true. My dad was a career cop so I know most of the time the burglar is (that once) cute little kid down the street. And now he (or she) has fell into a bad situation with drugs and new friends. These "kids" know every home in the neighborhood... they know the habits and practices of all the residents... and they have a good idea about what is available to be taken. Securing your home doesn't just protect you... it makes you a good neighbor... because it can help keep kids honest.

Generally, they start out looking for a few things they can sell for a little cash... to buy drugs. Later they rob while they are intoxicated and/or high. Somewhere along the line... they find a hand gun in a bedroom nightstand or closet... and then they are dangerous. They seldom leave the area before they get caught, although they may be jailed for something other than burglary. They tend to hit the same homes, again and again... until things change.

Several new motion-sensor floodlights will display a change... even if the robberies are normally done during the day. The X10 floodlights can even turn on lights or a radio INSIDE your home. That can both alert you if your at home and deter the intruder if your not.

Secure doors (and windows) and shiny new locks means the intruder will be visible and working on the outside longer. If it takes too long to break-in... they will leave.

I have security alarm stickers too. I use security cameras. Some of my cameras are hard to spot... some are in-your-face easy to see. If the intruder is using your backdoor as a point of entry... I would not hesitate to put a camera directly over that door. Cameras are a great deterrent.... and my neighbors know I have them... I hope I never "catch" anyone with them. But all activity is video taped, with smaller clippets automatically emailed to me, for off-site storage and monitoring.

Apparently.. you lock your storm doors as well as your regular doors. That's a good habit. When you get the DS7000 you may want to use door/window sensors on the storm doors as well (I do). Why wait till TWO doors are broken or damaged before the alarm sounds... if the storm door can be enough.

Because we know the intruder is likely drugged and or drunk... and maybe NOT reading signs or thinking clearly... I went a step further and I use a voice announcement warning system <a link. You can see it in action (YouTube Video) on my Home Automation Web Site. It's hard for me to tell where my Home Automation stops.. and my security system begins.

Once you've made your home hard to get into... and alarmed if it is... secure the stuff inside too. Adding a few locks on drawers can help keep valuables out of view from windows... and harder to grab.

If your the OBVIOUSLY toughest house in the neighborhood to get into.. and something out of... you will likely be the burglar's last choice. Home security is sorta like the old joke: If YOU, me and [say] steven r are out in the woods... and we get chased by a bear. Steven R and myself don't need to out-run the bear.... we only need to run faster than YOU.

« Last Edit: October 15, 2009, 12:42:57 AM by Dave_x10_L »
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tom j

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Re: Have Some Questions....
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2008, 05:44:06 PM »

Hello Wurd I did what I feel is an extensive and fair review of the Protector Plus, this unit actually saved my bacon on two occasions. I tried to point out the strengths and weaknesses of the system (no system is perfect) check out the link below. And I agree totally with Dave you have to have multiple layers to your security system, perimeter protection is first, doors camera locks ect, this will give them second thoughts and hopefully move on looking for someone less prepared.

tom j

http://www.x10community.com/forums/index.php?topic=13473.0
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