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Author Topic: Not impressed with the DS7000E home 'security' system  (Read 44322 times)

sconnelly

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Not impressed with the DS7000E home 'security' system
« on: July 31, 2008, 02:27:43 AM »

I suppose when I chatted with an X10 person before I purchased, I either did not ask the right questions, assumed too much, and/or I was mis-understood, and/or mislead.

From what I see, this is not an adequate home security system. It has potential but it is missing a number of features that common home security systems have. I'd pay more to X10 if they are available. It's not about price so much as it is about ease of setup and convince of one-stop shopping. Yes, X10 does have some cool products for low prices BUT I need a more advanced security console.

Getting to my specific points.

First, upon recommendation of the X10 staff (after describing my requirements), I purchased the following: ULTIMATE Home Security System - FULLY LOADED, DS7000E-BONUS-MDK-FB109-V2-HOME-UP2 for    $149.99

Once I received it, I was quickly UNDER-WHELMED by the fact that it's nothing more than a no-frills basic alarm.

What is missing (please someone tell me if any of my points can be remedied before I ship this back):

- no numeric keypad  *
  I want a code to enter when disarming my alarm. What if a remote is accidentally left out in the open? A thief would be able to disarm the system with no difficulty.
  It is simply too easy to disarm this system!

- no REMOTE numerical keypad that is separated from the console  *
  A good alarm system console (the part that protect the home, dials telephone numbers) is ALWAYS separate and hidden.
  The X10 console needs to be in the open and announces itself when its alarm is tripped. It would take a thief only a few seconds to silence
  this console and rob a home without further trouble from X10.

- Keychain remotes (KR10A) are ridiculously huge! Quite impractical!

- To cumbersome to set delayed exit (only available from console) and entry! Delayed entry should be audible so that one knows that within 30 seconds, the alarm will trigger. *

- Only a single zone. No multi-zones. *
  Example:  Setting an at home mode where all external door sensors will trip, some windows sensors will trip, kitchen motion detector will NOT trip but all other motion sensors will trip.

- Door/Windows sensors should have x minute interval flashing LEDs. A flashing LED not only adds an intimidation factor (that the system is active) but also can serve as an indication of good battery status.

- I am experiencing mysterious false triggers (or actually 'pings' since the alarm is not set). I have removed the batteries from each window/door trigger one after another in order to narrow down to the faulty unit. This now brings up another flaw in this system... no status screen in order to view a history of events.

Can any of the above issues be corrected with other X10 or X10 compatible products? The most serious issues have an asterisk beside the comments.

If not, I am going to sent the whole lot back.

Thanks for your input.
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HA Dave

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Re: Not impressed with the DS7000E home 'security' system
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2008, 06:37:21 AM »


- no numeric keypad *


Yeah... a comman request. Many people have explored this but no option has been found that I am aware of.


- no REMOTE numerical keypad that is separated from the console *
A good alarm system console (the part that protect the home, dials telephone numbers) is ALWAYS separate and hidden. The X10 console needs to be in the open and announces itself when its alarm is tripped. It would take a thief only a few seconds to silence this console and rob a home without further trouble from X10.


My console is separate and "hidden away".


- To cumbersome to set delayed exit (only available from console) and entry! Delayed entry should be audible so that one knows that within 30 seconds, the alarm will trigger. *


Not true! You can set the console "delayed away mode" using the Security Remote Control (SH624)


- Only a single zone. No multi-zones. *
Example: Setting an at home mode where all external door sensors will trip, some windows sensors will trip, kitchen motion detector will NOT trip but all other motion sensors will trip.


I've read other such complaints/posts. Currently the consoles "home mode" disregards the motion sensors.

The DS7000 is a fine DIY unit that compares well with current profession "basic units". It's relatively easy to setup... it's not perfect. For $150 bucks... you've purchased a system that will sound the sirens, flash lights, and call you on the phone if a break-in occurs. And it does this with NO monthly fees. An installed system will cost as much in just a few months time. There are many things you can do with your system (to upgrade/improve) using the CM15A and the OnAlert software.

I am first and foremost a Home Automation user of X10. What I like MOST is how easily the X10 systems all intergrate with each other.

Unfortunately Alarm systems simply "report" break-ins. Hopefully preventing us from walking in on a break-in. And with some luck they scare away an intruder before much is taken. Alarms can't really prevent crime. I use X10 as part of my perimeter protection system... you can see that in action on my YouTube Video <link.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2008, 06:45:24 AM by Dave_x10_L »
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sconnelly

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Re: Not impressed with the DS7000E home 'security' system
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2008, 02:41:35 PM »

- no numeric keypad  *

Yeah... a comman request. Many people have explored this but no option has been found that I am aware of.

And because of that, the X10 system loses out on many customers who need this. Like I stated earlier, what's the point of an alarm system if it has a one button disarm?

- no REMOTE numerical keypad that is separated from the console  *
  A good alarm system console (the part that protect the home, dials telephone numbers) is ALWAYS separate and hidden.  The X10 console needs to be in the open and announces itself when its alarm is tripped. It would take a thief only a few seconds to silence   this console and rob a home without further trouble from X10.

My console is separate and "hidden away".

If it is "hidden away", how do you hear it, how do you check its status (that is why a remote next to the door is necessary and common in most alarm systems)?

Anyhow, my point is that since the console is also the unit that dial the owner it is really dumb to place the alarm on the console too! How many seconds will it take for a thief to locate it and take a baseball bat to it?

I suppose one could use the PH508 Power horn but a thief could just as easily stop it by unplugging. The PH508 would be much improved by including a battery backup.

Studies have shown time and again that neighbours will ignore alarms especially if they are turned off in the first 30 seconds.

- To cumbersome to set delayed exit (only available from console) and entry! Delayed entry should be audible so that one knows that within 30 seconds, the alarm will trigger. *
Not true! You can set the console "delayed away mode" using the Security Remote Control (SH624)

I have the SH624 but where do you suppose I place this? Again, because this device has an easy one button DISARM, I would have to have the presence of mind to HIDE this remote every time I leave the home! 

X10 missed the boat on this one! With a few more buttons and a little bit more electronics, this could be morphed into a door-side security remote. 

X10 is always playing to the lowest common denominator (which is quite annoying!). Enough with the buy 4, get 20 free deals!

If they make a remote console such as what I described, we will buy it! I am willing to pay another $100.00 for such a device!

I suppose I could attach the SH624 next to the door but modify the unit so that the disarm buttons no longer work. But why do that when I could purchase a system like the ones offered at http://www.intellahome.com/kp.html?

- Only a single zone. No multi-zones. *
  Example:  Setting an at home mode where all external door sensors will trip, some windows sensors will trip, kitchen motion detector will NOT trip but all other motion sensors will trip.
I've read other such complaints/posts. Currently the consoles "home mode" disregards the motion sensors.

Disregarding *all* motion sensors with no other options is just plain silly!
 
The DS7000 is a fine DIY unit that compares well with current profession "basic units". It's relatively easy to setup... it's not perfect. For $150 bucks... you've purchased a system that will sound the sirens, flash lights, and call you on the phone if a break-in occurs. And it does this with NO monthly fees. An installed system will cost as much in just a few months time. There are many things you can do with your system (to upgrade/improve) using the CM15A and the OnAlert software.

I can't speak for others but I didn't buy solely for price. I purchased because of the perceived variety of home automation integration and most important, quality.

I think some of the camera products are nice (my home automation order was over $400 and included cameras). I am very likely going to ship the DS7000 kit back, especially because I can't seem to solve the false triggers and the darn system won't tell me which of the 14 sensors is falsely triggering. It is so infrequent (about once every two hours) that process of elimination is difficult (esp. because I think more than one sensor is bad).

Hopefully, I won't have problems returning these parts that some customers have reported. I will likely keep the cameras but the I must say that the VK75A is really clunky (as in huge). So big, in fact, my wife won't let me install it.  :(

Thanks for your response.
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steven r

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Re: Not impressed with the DS7000E home 'security' system
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2008, 04:36:26 PM »

My 2...

Alarms come in 3 varieties...
  • 1. DIY of which the X10 one is good one
  • 2. Inexpensive installed professional ones were you get everything for $99 and then pay around $1500+ over the next 3 years with the mandatory contract
  • 3. A paid up front professionally installed system with no mandatory monitoring contract.

I'd much rather keep a potential burglar out than be warned that he has broken into my home. So the first thing I recommend is that you use lighting and good locks to keep them out. After that my preference is option 3 with a good monitoring service. I pay $8.95/month. My next choice would be a DIY system but keep in mind an alarm is only as good as it's notification system. i.e. It being able to let you know it's status.  I do not recommend option 2 and that is what all the major installers stick you with.

I'm a strong believer in having a good monitoring system. This can be missing in many DIY setups.
Reasons I like my monitoring system:
  • They are active with a human response 24/7 as well as a backup for their monitoring systems.
  • They notify me in the event of a power failure at my location
  • They can tell me what zone was compromised. i.e. They will tell me what door or window was opened.
  • They can distinguish between fire or break in.
  • I can deactivate the local siren while silently letting them know of a panic situation.
  • In the event of fire or panic, they will contact emergency services first and then me.
  • If they don't reach me, they will go down a list of numbers till they reach someone.
  • They do all this for a very reasonable rate of $8.95/month.*

In addition a monitored system qualifies me for a 20% home insurance discount. I don't know if a non-monitored or a DIY system would.

*Paid annually. Also there was a one time setup fee of I believe $30. I also pay an optional 50/month for email notification with a printout of contact time and problem resolution.
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Jimmer

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Re: Not impressed with the DS7000E home 'security' system
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2008, 04:55:00 PM »

Well I look at it this way.  if I go to Canadian Tire I have to pay  for a Skylink Wireless Home Security System $299.99 that comes with System contains a control panel, emergency dialer, 2 door/window sensors, 2 remotes and a motion sensor.  So I think the x10 price is pretty good.
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Tuicemen

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Re: Not impressed with the DS7000E home 'security' system
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2008, 07:57:52 PM »

The only issue I see as not being able to overcome is - Only a single zone. No multi-zones.
Mind you some will require you modifying an existing x10 device, using a PC or waiting for a new X10 product (in testing)! ;)
 >!
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HA Dave

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Re: Not impressed with the DS7000E home 'security' system
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2008, 08:32:42 PM »

There are many good points to be made for DS7000... or ANY home security alarm system. They provide a level of peace of mind. I have read many shared stories here at the forum where X10 users had a break-in. However (I have repeatedly read) the DS7000 sounded alarms and flashed lights... and frighted away the intruder, empty handed.

If the alarm system you've purchased failed to provide the peace of mind... for which it was purchased.. there is likely another reason. No alarm will prevent a break-in. If the area is break-in pron... so is your home. Alarms can't replace good locks and strong doors and windows. Easy entry is an invitation to a break-in.

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sconnelly

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Re: Not impressed with the DS7000E home 'security' system
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2008, 12:17:42 AM »

There are many good points to be made for DS7000... or ANY home security alarm system. They provide a level of peace of mind. I have read many shared stories here at the forum where X10 users had a break-in. However (I have repeatedly read) the DS7000 sounded alarms and flashed lights... and frighted away the intruder, empty handed.

If the alarm system you've purchased failed to provide the peace of mind... for which it was purchased.. there is likely another reason. No alarm will prevent a break-in. If the area is break-in pron... so is your home. Alarms can't replace good locks and strong doors and windows. Easy entry is an invitation to a break-in.


Which is the reason why re-enforcements to your doors and windows is absolutely necessary and even perhaps more important than the alarm itself.

I have already added latch plate covers to front and back doors, replaced the terrible latch plates with stronger ones and much longer screws (all of them, not just 2 as seems standard). I am unsure what to do with the patio door (large window type) but that is my next project. I've heard of a transparent 'bullet proof' plastic coating that can be added.

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sconnelly

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Re: Not impressed with the DS7000E home 'security' system
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2008, 12:21:25 AM »

The only issue I see as not being able to overcome is - Only a single zone. No multi-zones.
Mind you some will require you modifying an existing x10 device, using a PC or waiting for a new X10 product (in testing)! ;)
 >! 


Personally I can live without the multi-zones BUT how do you over come the fact that there is no remote keypad with entry/exit key code?
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steven r

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Re: Not impressed with the DS7000E home 'security' system
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2008, 01:04:52 AM »

Personally I can live without the multi-zones BUT how do you over come the fact that there is no remote keypad with entry/exit key code?
I choose to have both multi-zones and keypads. You may have to make some compromises with a DIY system.

My keypad system allows me to set up to about 40 different access codes so it's easy to set different ones for friends and family that allow them access without giving them the ability to accidentally screw up other setting. i.e. If my mom comes in town I can give her a code for access that doesn't let her accidentally change something else. It also makes it possible to give guests as well as emergency people temporary access.

Unrelated to my alarm, my garage also has a keypad that I can set a temporary code that has a limited time or limited number of access.

I like keypads and prefer them over remotes or keys that can be lost.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2008, 11:54:56 AM by steven r »
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HA Dave

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Re: Not impressed with the DS7000E home 'security' system
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2008, 10:46:02 AM »


.......... how do you over come the fact that there is no remote keypad with entry/exit key code?


I guess the point I am trying to make... once the intruder discovers you have no keypads.... he will already have broken in. At that point... what difference will it make? I use several large powerhorns.... it would be no easy task to track down the console before it calls out.

We have had professional burglars in my area... but those are few and far between... and very little can be done to prevent/stop those. Certainly NOT any alarm system.

It's easy to focus on what about this... then what about that. The facts are simple: Homes are generally very easy to break into. 98% of all alarm systems can easily be disabled by just kicking the fuses out of the phone fuse box (the little gray plastic one outside). A few systems alert the monitor via the internet (like the cable line is so hard to disable) and a VERY few have cellular phones. The cellular ones require the intruder to have a small piece of jamming equipment. ALL ALARMS ARE EASILY DEFEATED.

On top of all that... throw in that your not only likely to KNOW your intruder... your very likely to share DNA with them. So if the intruder isn't your crack addicted sister... it will be you teenage daughters boyfriend. Or maybe just the neighbors kid.

The only solution I've read about for the keypad... is a lock-box for the security remote.. like the ones used for keys. I just hide away my security remote. If you find a better solution please let the forum (and me) know.
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tom j

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Re: Not impressed with the DS7000E home 'security' system
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2008, 12:14:08 AM »

My 2...

Alarms come in 3 varieties...
  • 1. DIY of which the X10 one is good one
  • 2. Inexpensive installed professional ones were you get everything for $99 and then pay around $1500+ over the next 3 years with the mandatory contract
  • 3. A paid up front professionally installed system with no mandatory monitoring contract.

I'd much rather keep a potential burglar out than be warned that he has broken into my home. So the first thing I recommend is that you use lighting and good locks to keep them out. After that my preference is option 3 with a good monitoring service. I pay $8.95/month. My next choice would be a DIY system but keep in mind an alarm is only as good as it's notification system. i.e. It being able to let you know it's status.  I do not recommend option 2 and that is what all the major installers stick you with.

I'm a strong believer in having a good monitoring system. This can be missing in many DIY setups.
Reasons I like my monitoring system:
  • They are active with a human response 24/7 as well as a backup for their monitoring systems.
  • They notify me in the event of a power failure at my location
  • They can tell me what zone was compromised. i.e. They will tell me what door or window was opened.
  • They can distinguish between fire or break in.
  • I can deactivate the local siren while silently letting them know of a panic situation.
  • In the event of fire or panic, they will contact emergency services first and then me.
  • If they don't reach me, they will go down a list of numbers till they reach someone.
  • They do all this for a very reasonable rate of $8.95/month.*

In addition a monitored system qualifies me for a 20% home insurance discount. I don't know if a non-monitored or a DIY system would.

*Paid annually. Also there was a one time setup fee of I believe $30. I also pay an optional 50/month for email notification with a printout of contact time and problem resolution.

I would like to add a 4th option and the one I'm pursuing. You can get a basic hybrid system for around 200 bucks and either install it yourself if you're so inclined or have it done for you and then have it monitored for 8.95 a month!!!! This is actually what I'm in the process of doing see the link below for the monitoring, this is not a fly by night company they have been doing this for almost 30 years they JUST do monitoring any severing is up to you but if you use good components they will last almost forever some of my stuff actually has a lifetime warranty. And as far as having the unit out so it can be heard I would strongly recommend the large powerhorns!!! got 4 of thee throughout the house so you can basically hide the console to keep it out of sight, now with the newer consoles probably like the one you have you can set it up to flash a light when armed so you really can put the console up well hidden and you really don't need to even hear the conformation armed tone.

 I used to be critical of some of the things you mentioned but I actually had a break-in and the little Protector Plus preformed flawlessly!! those large powehorns kicked in and all the lights in the house were flashing and an aftermarket x10 outside siren kicked in. Apparently it was to much for them they ran out but only after unplugging part of my home entertainment system but they actually got nothing so ever since I've been somewhat impressed. Almost forgot to mention that it did call me on my cell and I got there with my Smith & Wesson M&P within minutes, came home to a door hanging off the hinges but that was it they didn't even get the money on the piano for my wife. I am currently in the last stages of installing my DSC super system this thing has it all a vocabulary of 300 words so you can call in and check the system from anywhere in the world allows you to use any phone as an x10 keypad smoke CO detector it even has wireless components so you don't have to rip up your attic, even picked up a talking siren, but this stuff was expensive and it's been over a year in buying and installing the equipment kind of had to learn as I went along as far as how to set it up now I could do it in a week, but like I said the little DS7000 has been keeping an eye on things until it's completed and even then I'll keep everything as a backup and to use it in a couple houses I intend on flipping. The system is not without it's flaws but for the money it a good deal and offers you a gateway to home automation and some decent security if properly configured with lights sirens ect.

http://monitoring.homesecuritystore.com/
http://www.homesecuritystore.com/ezStore123/DTProductZoom.asp?productID=1685

Tom j.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2009, 04:34:47 PM by tom j »
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MatrixPC

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Re: Not impressed with the DS7000E home 'security' system
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2008, 03:37:56 AM »

 >*< >*< >*< >*<

There is couple thing I really like X10 to improve the DS7000 like OP posted.
- Numeric keypad and remote for arm/disarm.
- Discard the sounder on the console dialer and provide connection to trigger external siren.  Existing power horn isn't going to cut it.
- Add a 2nd set of LEDs for status of 9-16 sensors.  Also a more meaning full status report (slow/rapid flashing for low battery etc ...).
- Key chain remote is huge to carry around on key chain compare to most car alarm remote.  BTW, I embed the remote buttons into existing car's buttons.  Just like I did with the garage opener.  So it size is not really important.  But smaller always make it easier to hide.
- Improve the dialer (more digits and ability to dial # sign)
- Within 1 month using it, I already had 2 false alarm because the freaking magnet sensor fall of the windows  ;D ;D


There is only 1 reason I like the DS7000: When trigger, it can flash lights and I hope that it will scare away intruder.  And if you dial emergency, Panic button help emergency responders locate your house faster.
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steven r

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Re: Not impressed with the DS7000E home 'security' system
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2008, 12:02:57 PM »

...Also a more meaning full status report (slow/rapid flashing for low battery etc ...)...
...There is only 1 reason I like the DS7000: When trigger, it can flash lights and I hope that it will scare away intruder....
Yes I prefer a LCD display.
Most higher end alarm systems have an output signal that can be used to trigger a power flasher.
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Re: Not impressed with the DS7000E home 'security' system
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2008, 10:16:51 PM »

The only issue I see as not being able to overcome is - Only a single zone. No multi-zones.
Mind you some will require you modifying an existing x10 device, using a PC or waiting for a new X10 product (in testing)! ;)
 >!


Say Tuice X10 got something in the works?? hmmm?

Tom j.
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