Advice for security system with approx 20 window sensors

Hello, I 'm a complete newbie. This questions does have some “integration” elements in as well, but to integrate I first need to know if specific hardware will do the trick. I am concerned that home security systems I find on amazon for example will not be able to integrate many sensors reliably.

So, I am looking for a security system for a family owned holiday accommodation business in Greece (location might be important) able to have approx 20 window/door sensors (other security devices such as a siren can also be in the package and that sends alerts via app and if possible via email/SMS to multiple people (my self and a local family member).

Ideally, no subscription should be required and the system should use the internet only to allow us to monitor the status and to send alerts (not a big fan of using internet for everything unless the advantages are clear).

The holiday apartments are in the same location (radius of approx 30 meters) and are connected on the same WI-FI network (WI-FI signal distributed by multiple antennas).

The system could be scaled to include other devices such as water leak detectors, surveillance cameras and other devices. The proposed solution should be something relatively easy to set-up as my local family member has no idea about coding (I could code it my self and ship it to Greece if necessary)

Thanks in advance for your advice.

Hello. Welcome to home assistant community…

I am replacing my current alarm system (MyFox - not supported anymore) by another system connected on the internet. The system is developped by Gigaset (Siemens) and have sensors (doors and windows), fire detectors, leak detectors, camera, sirens, connected plugs, and so on… This is a wireless system except the base which should be connected via Ethernet to Internet. You can look at their sites for more details on what they are producing. I have not installed it yet but it is similar to MyFox by having sensors detecting vibrations so the system can warn you before there is an intrusion. This can be easily integrated into a home assistant environment… but is fully functional by itself via a smartphone. I look at different brands and this one is for me the best ratio between price and functionalities…

An old laptop makes a great HA device. Much more powerful than a Rasp Pi and has a UPS built in! If you put Debian on it and then this: you get HA Supervised in about 30 minutes from start to finish. Add on the nginx proxy and Lets Encrypt packages and a port forward to port 443 and 80 from the outside world. Add in the Mosquitto package and Open Zwave.

Get an aeotec z-stick gen5+, put it on the end of a 2m USB extension cable and attach it to an interior wall with some cable clips. Now you have Zwave. Something like this: is a battery powered window sensor.

I have around 40 odd windows at work to monitor and that thing I linked looks suspiciously the same device but from another “brand”. They are robust and simple. Zwave should manage to get around your site OK but you may need some mains powered relays, say this: - they will need mains power via the USB connector - eg a mobile phone charger and will act as relays for your Zwave network. They have a movement sensor built in so perhaps one or more per apartment.

The other two main internet of things comms methods are Zigbee and wifi (oh and Bluetooth, NFC etc etc.) Each has its pros and cons. I use all of them.

You will also discover that HA has several implementations for Zwave (and Zigbee). I do recommend that you try Open Zwave, it is shaping up nicely

Now this is all my opinion. I’ve specified Zwave because it is tried and tested and I have described pretty much what I use for a similar setup to yours. I recommend that you only buy one sensor first and test it before buying lots of them.

As this is remote, make sure you consider backups. A second laptop could be setup ready to go. You restore a “snapshot” that is taken from the live HA (its a built in feature) on it and transfer the hardware dongles over and off you go. Again test all this. Another option is a second hard disc and software RAID. You could clone the entire hard drive using a USB caddy. The choice is yours but do a risk assessment and agree an acceptable downtime in the event of problems.

Remember this is a business, so treat it with respect. You might consider running this sort of stuff in your home first to get to grips with it. There is a concept called the “wife acceptance factor” (WAF.) If you treat your SO as your primary customer then if your toys cough pass the WAF then you can consider yourself able to proceed with some confidence. There is a lot to learn. Why not set a non trivial budget for your home/demo system, say £300 equivalent. A zwave dongle is about £80, window sensor £25, multi sensor £50. That leaves about £150 for a laptop and cables and stuff.

1 Like

Thanks. I’m still a bit lost though.

Is such a setup as easy to do as with a raspberry? Can you provide a link to setup instructions for a PC?

Does the window sensor not act as a relay itself? Why is the “mains” part so important? Is there a limit to how many devices can be connected to Home Assistant or to a relay? If that is the case, can a second relay fix the problem?

Do the sensors usually require a dedicated hub? Like FIBARO, INSTEON etc?

How do I easily search for sensors that do not require a hub? If I do opt for devices with a hub, will I need a zigbee/z-wave dongle?