If you’re like me, a typical homeowner, consumer and also reasonably savvy with technical things, then you’ll probably want to read this article.
It will also be helpful if like me, you wanted to get rid of your old school home alarm system, and perhaps some of the rather high fees for monitoring, and limitations that came with it.
Two disclaimers up front. The first is that I happen to be a little bit more than slightly savvy in the technical end of things. I have a BSET in electronics, A BS in computer information sciences, two Microsoft certifications and have worked my entire life as a ield engineer on high tech diagnostic medical systems such as CAT scanners, MRI, and cardiac cath labs. All of that needless to say was a big help during the install and conversion process of my alarm system.
The second disclaimer is any notion that Konnected, it employees, owners or concerns, have in any way influenced, paid or otherwise compensated me in any way for anything, at any time. What I write here is strictly from firsthand, unbiased experience and presented only as an aid to anyone considering this company or product for their home.
I have always had my home completely protected and monitored. All opening, motions sensors, glass breakage, Smoke, CO2, the works. ADT was a as good a company as any. Truthfully, I don’t have a lot of negative to say. They’re expensive, but they do a good job I think. My problem was I wanted a newer, more flexible system that I could do more with. Maybe cameras, smartphone integration, etc, etc. After getting a smartthings hub as free git from Samsung, I began integrating devices around my home. Then one day, while looking for something else ( don’t remember ) I stumbled into some bloggers writings about Konnected, the devices and costs. I was sure it was too good to be true. I had already explored most other household alarm companies ut there on the market. To re-equip my home, with its 26 zones of sensors, required a sizeable investment. Between $1500 and $2000, depending n which company were talking about. All of wireless of course, but then, what the hell was I to do with my perfectly good wired sensors throughout my home? Replacement batteries after the install…please, The wired sensors were a much better option and should not be replaced just because …
So there was Konnected…Claiming that I could integrate my wired system, inexpensively, with a smartthings compatible, reliable, expandable and truly state of the art, system. I could also opt for professional monitoring, which I knew I would want… So what was the catch…? Had to be one…I am quite the skeptic, especially on the internet.
My entrance costs for the Konnected system were reasonable.
After doing much due diligence I decided to move forward and purchase the 4
control cards and wireless modules that I would need to get started. Worst case
scenario, It would suck and I would simply have to find a decent company and
I purchased the 4 controllers, and wireless modules, also purchased the small UPS that is offered for the package.
Day one – Disconnect original ADT mother board and Cel interface – begin process o locating all wire pars to sensors. – 7 hours +/- to complete this and double check all wires making a complete schema of the existing system
Day two – installed Konnected hardware into the now empty box – pay attention to wire lengths, and crossing over hardware and wires making service of your installation difficult in the future. Downloaded smartapps and device handlers from GitHub for install to the new hardware devices—notes here on this. GitHub is a code repository for open source code on the web. To an inexperienced person, even attempting to follow instructions, and work with GitHub can be an intimidating process and one which the person may not feel is trustworthy. –Intimidating yes, trustworthy? Emphatic Yes. Open source refers to software projects which the author ahs posted his/code in open ( viewable, inspect able and verifiable) format, for all the world to see. For you the consumer, layperson, that means that monkey business in not only unlikely, but really, for all practical purposes, impossible. Anyone can see the code, what it does, what it will do, and no one can change that with the owners authorization, again, for all the world to see. It s, the safest and most secure method of code sharing, and program download you can have. So fears of malicious codes, doing secret things while you’re not watching, no, not rational. Havig said that, posting code which may have to be compiled at times, assembled, and with various versions that may be available such as stable release, master, beta1, 2 3, etc can be intimidating to say the least. Here’s where Konnected in my view falls a little short. Instructions…
They do have plenty of instructions, videos, YouTube channel with videos and articles. Finding the right one from wherever you happen to be on their website is the chore at hand. Once you have located them, I recommend bookmarking them in a spate folder for easy return. You may find yourself going back and forth and needed them on several occasions.
Once I had the smartapp and device handlers correctly installed ( follow the how to and also Nates videos about the process) I wired up my system. This was tedious o course, but easy.. Having made a schema and studied what needed to be done first, this was just a manual procedure.
Day three – play with smarthings app, learn how devices are seen and utilized in smartthings – purchased ActionTiles program to setup tablets at entrances and positions previously with numerical keypads/alarm controllers. Completed actiontiles interface with minor exceptions on certain linked tiles
Bear in mind the “days” stated are not all, 8 hour working days, but off and on work, at times lengthy, other times just reading something or playing with the phone interface.
Day 4 – install junction boxes in wall, wire in new USB power wires for eventual install o tablets -- used Velcro as temporary wall fixation while shopping or tablet bezels and permanent mounting. Mounted and tested both tablets and actiontiles interface
Day 5 – smoke detector interface – 4 wire smoke detectors required a relay board sold by Konnected to enable remote reset I smoke detector should alert – installed relay board and wired smoke detectors. This required obtaining original manuals for smoke detectors and ensuring proper power and interface and termination of chain.
The install was then completely operational. – all sensors worked fine, Smartthings interface was fine and tablets with actiontiles also working fine. I noted however that once in a while, every 10- 12 days or so, the inside motion sensors would stop working – after several weeks of slowing gather information and symptoms I determined that the old ADT cabinet with the door closed created too much attenuation of the RF signal and the controller in question would drop out.
Day 6 This was corrected by removing door, taking a jigsaw and cutting door. A speaker panel type mesh was installed to hide internals and later a bezel was included on the outside. Although it did not quite come out as nicely as I had wished, it did completely fix the intermittent RF connection loss.
Day 7 –Installed noonlight monitoring service to smartthings and interfaced to system and Konnected – This is more GitHub smart application and device controller download, setup in smartthings, and time spent researching and finding the necessary instructions and digesting them. Subsequent testing of the noonlight monitoring service were perfect. I am more than satisfied at this time with all o the install.
Summary: I am impressed with the package that Konnected has put together. taking advantage of all of teh package included teh actiontiles tablet interfaces, the monitoring by noonlight, and the misc hardware needed for smoke alarm, battery backup,.
ON the few occasions that I have ordered something from them, or sent an email for tech support, the entire team has been quick to resolve any problem or question I’ve had. ( really have not had any real problems though) The system works as advertised, and has honestly exceeded my expectations on all fronts. It does however require a fairly robust ability to handle technical challenges and locate the information you may need to get through an install. The system is priced fairly and is a good bargain, and again, works as advertised exceeding expectations. Patience and resolve are the guiding words to make this work.