• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

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Anyone use Simplisafe?

prcguy

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When my beloved Lowes Iris system went away I looked at everything on the market to replace it and currently there is nothing that does home alarm and home automation for a cheap monthly rate like the Iris. I wanted to keep the monthly rate around $10 like the Iris and from some reviews I read the Simple Safe with basic fees would only sound an alarm on site and not text, email and phone you like Iris did. You had to go with the much more expensive professional monitoring to get alerts and have control via your phone.

After lots of searching I went with the Scout Alarm system. Its very similar to the alarm portion of Iris, was super easy to install and you get complete control of the system and alerts for $10/mo. The Scout base unit also has a built in cell phone in case your WiFi is out of commission and it needs to alert you.

I still miss being able to turn lights and things on and off or turn off my water main when on travel like the old Iris system and I'm still shopping for some basic home automation.

Reviews look good, price seems right and I like how it can use WIFI and cellular. Anyone use this company and their hardware? What do you think about it?
 

prcguy

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My Iris and Scout are hard wired to my router, which is fairly hack proof. The sensors use Bluetooth or something similar. I would not want the main alarm to connect with the outside world via WiFi, someone down the street can easily toss all your devices off your WiFi router disabling your alarm. I proved this to my neighbors by walking to their front door and pressing their Ring doorbell after I disabled it and the Ring did not alert them or record anything.

I'll look at Scout and see what they're all about and what they offer. Simplisafe uses WIFI and cell BTW.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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When my beloved Lowes Iris system went away I looked at everything on the market to replace it and currently there is nothing that does home alarm and home automation for a cheap monthly rate like the Iris. I wanted to keep the monthly rate around $10 like the Iris and from some reviews I read the Simple Safe with basic fees would only sound an alarm on site and not text, email and phone you like Iris did. You had to go with the much more expensive professional monitoring to get alerts and have control via your phone.

After lots of searching I went with the Scout Alarm system. Its very similar to the alarm portion of Iris, was super easy to install and you get complete control of the system and alerts for $10/mo. The Scout base unit also has a built in cell phone in case your WiFi is out of commission and it needs to alert you.

I still miss being able to turn lights and things on and off or turn off my water main when on travel like the old Iris system and I'm still shopping for some basic home automation.
You might check out the Smarthome site for INSTEON devices. They might by now have gotten their Insteon hub to work so you can do those intenet things. Problem with this home automation stuff is that they are all proprietary and cheaply made. If I were to do it again I would look into industrial PLC's and a single board computer to talk to the internet and do all the timing.

You should not have to pay for alarm monitoring if you can receive e-mails from your controller.

We are playing with a cheap Chinese $60 HD camera from Amazon that has zone alarm, IR illumonation, cloud connection as well as local SD storage. It actually seems to work. You might want to back up your alarm monitoring with some cameras. Focus the zone alarm on the hallway bathroom door. Hint: Burglars get nervous and need to take a leak.
 
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rapidcharger

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I have a 50 watt network public address system so I can not only tell trespassers or burglars to get lost, I can also tell everyone within a half mile.

Cameras are a great tool but don't forget about the power of audio. I don't know how I lived without audio surveillance.
 

rapidcharger

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Very interesting. I threw out most of my old Iris devices but I still want to use an Iris remote controlled water main line shut off valve that is installed here. Thanks for the tip, I will see if it works out.
I had still have 6 first gen Iris smart plugs and while I've been told they weren't compatible with OpenHab or any of those other hubs before the switch off date, it is my understanding that the Iris developers released the source code of those devices and so for all I know they might work now.

I actually migrated back to basic RF control of my outlets and does the same thing for a fraction of the price.
 

prcguy

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I bought several EZ outlets that are controlled through a phone app. So far they are working great for turning some remote radio equipment on and off plus switching antennas remotely via a wall wart connected to a Dow Key relay.


I had still have 6 first gen Iris smart plugs and while I've been told they weren't compatible with OpenHab or any of those other hubs before the switch off date, it is my understanding that the Iris developers released the source code of those devices and so for all I know they might work now.

I actually migrated back to basic RF control of my outlets and does the same thing for a fraction of the price.
 

rapidcharger

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I bought several EZ outlets that are controlled through a phone app. So far they are working great for turning some remote radio equipment on and off plus switching antennas remotely via a wall wart connected to a Dow Key relay.
I never really cared about turning things on and off from an app. I just basically wanted to turn a bunch of stuff on with the press of a button and so these radio control plugs are more convenient. I don't need any of those more advanced features that some of them have and I didn't want to have to load up an app and depend on wifi working just to turn the lights on.

I know the cost of those wifi smart plugs have come way down but I went through at least 2 other brands and had so much trouble setting them up before taking them back and going with Iris. And Iris didn't require an app. You could control them through their web portal which few of the other services have that capability.
 

prcguy

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Update on getting the remote control water valve going that was left over from my defunct Iris system.... Turns out the SmartThings hub by Samsung is compatible with most home automation devices including my LeakSmart valve and my old Iris remote controlled AC outlets and motion detectors, however I had already tossed out the old Iris outlets and motion detectors when that system went dark.

The SmartThings phone app is good and there is no monthly fee. Seems like an ok home automation system that can control your AC/heater thermostat, lights, door locks, leak detectors, alarm components, etc. And its not that expensive at around $67 for the hub and some of the remote controlled AC outlets are only about $13.

So far my Scout Alarm does not seem to be hackable like SimpleSafe, but I'm sure it has its weak points that will be all over the Internet some day.
 
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