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Old 12-05-2007, 08:32 AM   #1
Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Canada
Distribution: Ubuntu
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Home Alarm system


I would like to setup a home alarm system.

I would like to have the following:

1. A keypad + LCD at main entrance to control the system
2. Door sensors on at least 2 doors ( possibility for more ? )
3. Window sensors ( I think they are the same as door sensors )
4. Some motion sensors
5. A magnetic keycard reader
6. Door locks controlled by system ( can be programmed to allow keycard to unlock door and/or deactivate alarm system )
7. It is prefered that data for the system ( logs, keycards etc...) be stored in MySQL or in an ODBC compatible database ( postgrey or SQL Lite )
8. Later have the possibility of adding webcams for remote monitoring ( perhaps doubling as motion sensors).
9. Be able to connect smoke and CO detectors to the system
10. Be able to add customizations ( example, send an email to a certain address or execute a bash command etc... ).

Anyone know of an open source software that can do this?

Additionnally, can anyone point me in the right direction for interfacing all this hardware.

I figure it'll run using a small computer ( perhaps EPIA ) with little or no non-volatile memory. Logging and stuff will be sent to a remote computer ( using SQL replication) and so on.

Any ideas of where to start?


Old 12-06-2007, 12:58 PM   #2
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A somewhat complex project but should be doable.
Most real world input signals are going to be higher then 5V and so you would want an input board that would handle at least 24VDC. Having the the circuits opto-isolated will help protect the computer too. You can use relays to switch output signals.

For remote data input like the card reader and keypad you should think about a some type microcontroller circuit or small embedded controller and connect it to the main computer via a data bus like RS-485. It works just like a serial port but you can have up to 32 devices and the wiring can be 4000ft long.

There is some linux software for home automation like misterhouse but I do not know of anything specific to alarm systems.
Old 01-29-2008, 07:50 PM   #3
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Unless you start with something simple you are going to get burgled before you get something working

Magnetic switches on doors and windows are cheap and easy to install (if you are good at running wires) and can be interfaced to the parallel port without extra hardware. Here's an interesting project for low-level access to the port:

CCTV/motion detection apps already exist e.g.

Maybe you can hack a VoIP phone to use as your keypad.
Old 01-10-2009, 10:57 AM   #4
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alarm companies comparison

If you're looking for a home security system comparison you should check out . They give you a free complete comparison of the various home alarm system providers in the US and you can choose one based on the size of your home, your requirements, budget etc.
Old 08-04-2009, 06:04 AM   #5
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pinnacle security systems include live monitoring for your home security system. We feel this offers the most comprehensive form or protection. In teh event of an alarm being activated, the signal will immediately alert the monitoring station.
Old 10-15-2010, 10:00 AM   #6
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Registered: Sep 2007
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I started an open source home security system

I started it on my ubuntu forum but think others may be interested.

It is 1 revision behind what I'm working on but nearly complete to what I want.

I used one of these

And just got done figuring out how to hook a motion sensor up.

As is I have it text me any time the door has been opened.

I have it wait ten seconds for the door to close and then send me a message. With the current state of the door. When I hook it up to my new house I will also hook up cameras that will take pictures of people entering the house. I will have a tarball and instructions pretty soon but not sure how to post that.


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