We moved in to a house where previous owners had ADT's alarm system. The board is still there and I'm planning to remove it because it doesn't do anything at the moment.

But the (wireless) sensors are still on doors and windows and as far as I can tell are still functional. I would like to reuse those, but I would like a 'local' alarm system (that would just trigger a sound but nothing else), as opposed to centrally monitored one that you have to have subscription for.

The question is what are (affordable) options for units that could connect to existing ADT's sensors and that are reliable enough to cover basic security situations? (I don't care about sophisticated attacks. I just want to know immediately if anyone breaks into the house while I'm there. Everything else, I don't worry about.)

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    Are the sensors wired or wireless? Wired sensors are typically just a simple switch that any alarm control panel could use, but wireless probably use a proprietary protocol. – Niall C. Jul 8 '15 at 20:51
  • Those are wireless. Do you think that would be a proprietary protocol? Not something like a Z-Wave or similar? (I'm not an expert, but I would imagine they would try to save on costs and use something more common for the sensors part and make money on the service rather than technology. – Nikita G. Jul 8 '15 at 23:22
  • They also make money (or prevent some fraction of people terminating the service to do it themselves) by preventing you from using their technology without paying for their service, one suspects. Given their scale of operations a proprietary protocol would make all sorts of sense both for this case and to make switching to another central alarm provider more hassle/expense. – Ecnerwal Jul 9 '15 at 0:07
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    Maybe don't throw it in the trash too fast... hackaday.com/2012/07/30/… phantomlink.com/default.aspx?aspxerrorpath=/diy.aspx – Ecnerwal Jul 9 '15 at 2:41
  • Hmm. The first link sounds better than the second link seems to actually deliver...? – Ecnerwal Jul 9 '15 at 2:52

This sounds like a fun project for a rainy weekend.

I have similar situation. Bought a house that had an old alarm system in it. The box is locked and I don't have a key. The "control panel" still lights up and there is a "ready light" that glows whenever all of the sensors are "happy".

I'm thinking it would be easy to take one of the super-simple wifi enabled micro controller boards out there these days (like the photon/spark unit) and just set it up with IFTTT to notify me if that light goes out when I'm not at home.

Could theoretically make a low-duty-cycle battery powered one that would not even need any connection at all to the alarm system. Just have the micro controller watch the LED with a light detector.

  • Do you know of any existing (documented) projects that have done that? Theoretically, I could probably go the micro-controller self-made route, but honestly, for this particular project I would prefer to pay a hundred or two bucks for an existing solution. – Nikita G. Jul 9 '15 at 16:42
  • I would suggest asking your question on this forum. There is a large and growing community here. community.particle.io – Jeff Pritchard Jul 10 '15 at 12:49
  • Given that it's been over a year, I suspect you have resolved this in some manner or given up on the idea, but it shouldn't be impossible to get an alarm installation company come over, remove the existing lock and install a new one. It's quite possible that the siren would trigger no later than when the box is opened, though, if the system has been even half-way competently set up. – a CVn Oct 24 '16 at 14:53

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