No Products in the Cart
The chances that you may have inherited an old alarm system with the purchase of your house in South Africa is relatively good. In my case the alarm system was quite an arcade unit and its only purpose was essentially to arm it when we not at home or go to sleep and have the security company on call should any of the areas are breached while in an armed state or a panic signal triggered.
Other than that I personally found the alarm system to be an eyesore with all the PIR sensors and door magnets all over the house and the glued cables to power and connect to the alarm distribution box which in itself looks like a crows nest. But we live in South Africa and the reality is that the system serves a purpose at the end of the day as far as security and emergencies go.
As the saying goes… If you cant beat them join them. And that was the mindset I had with my home alarm system. There just had to be more that could be done with it than simply arming and disarming when needed!
On the other hand I had a Home Assistant platform which could control lights, switches, monitor power and perform automations which was expanding at a fierce rate, and then the penny dropped…
Why cant I use the existing alarm and integrate it with Home Assistant so that it actually serve a purpose as far as presence detection go with the PIR sensors or automations when doors or windows get open or closed.
Before we jump into the good stuff I would just like to state that this integration is not a replacement for your existing alarm system. The purpose of the project for myself was to run it in parallel with the existing alarm so that i had the to created some automations or control its arming and disarming via Home Assistant. It is also important to note that the system only works on wired magnet sensors and PIR sensors. Unfortunately wireless beans and PIR sensors wont work.
Each module built supports 6 wired zones on the alarm so if you have more zones to be considered you would have to double up on modules to accommodate the amount of zones. Arming and Disarming the alarm will also require a dedicated zone for programming as a keyswitch.
What you will need for the project:
Tools you may require
The electronics for the build are relatively easy to obtain. I will leave some links in the Additional Resources section of this post should you wish to purchase online. Otherwise you can check out our website and I will be happy to preassemble and flash for you and place it in a 3D printed enclosure.
There are 3 main components to the assembly of the integration module:
The NodeMCU is essentially a WiFi module with programmable pins called GPIOs. There are 6 available pins which can be connected to the alarm panel for monitoring state changes to the relevant zones and also the reason that you will need to build a second integration module should there be more wired zones to cover.
Something else to bear in mind is that the ability to arm and disarm your alarm is done through one of the available GPIO pins mentioned. So in a situation where you would like to arm and disarm the alarm with a single integration module you will have 5 pins available to assign to zones(PIR sensors, door and window magnets) and the 6th pin will be assigned to the relay for controlling the arm and disarm of the alarm.
The GPIO Pins available are as follows:
D1, D2, D5, D6, D7 and RX
Each pin will be wired to a Zone on your alarm panel. For example Pin D1 on the NodeMCU will be connected to Zone 1 on your Alarm Panel, D2 to Zone 2 and so forth. You will also need to make use of Ground on the NodeMCU as this is connected to the alarm panel COM ports.
Make a spreadsheet of all sensors in the house and label / relabel each sensor wire prior to moving on to the integration.