Using your AlertMe, British Gas Hive, Safe & Secure or Iris system.
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Post by jonhoops » Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:05 am

Hi there - long time lurker here.

After a couple of years, I think my system has run it's course. Whilst I would love to continue, it seems clear that the product won't be supported/developed.
Any suggestions on any alternative products? I'd love something that a) has door sensors and b) cameras.

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Re: Alternative!

Post by roobarb! » Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:10 am

That's a bit of a tricky one at the moment. I've looked into various other systems myself over the past couple of years, but not found anything that really fits the bill. Where they all tend to fall over are the devices themselves; in my book it's fine if the Hub portion of a system is an ugly brick, but the things I'm going to see on my wall every day have to look the part.

The AlertMe ones are small and work. The alternatives I've seen, particularly the wireless ones, are huge. Couple that to a lack of an API for most (the API is the main reason for a connected alarm system for me) and there's just nothing I've found.

To be honest, my plan is to continue on my merry way with the AlertMe system until the bitter end. Why? Because right now it works for me, it's stable, I've got copious spare parts and even if they kill their original system, I can't imagine it'll be too long before British Gas start expanding the abilities of Hive. Then I'll just replace the Hub.

If all that fails, I'll buy a Lowes Iris Hub from eBay for £30 and run my devices with that instead. :)
Alerty - you could control your AlertMe system with my third-party app for iPhone and iPod Touch. Used to be available on iTunes!

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Re: Alternative!

Post by mbuckhurst » Fri Oct 17, 2014 1:21 pm

I've spent the last 20 years trying to get an alternative that works as well.

X10 - cheap and cheerful, but mostly outdated, unreliable and most devices cannot provide status and because an on trigger isn't reliable you can't assume sending a command results in an action. Slow to react to commands.
HomeEasy RF - even cheaper, but still unreliable, you can get third party interfaces that work, but range is short, in my house I can't reliably turn devices on, no status as X10 so difficult to rely on.
Motorola Wifi - worked well, but now unsupported, required a box to be connected to a PC, only works under XP.
Zwave - everything you could ever want, except not cheap.

Basically the only viable alternative is Z-wave, but be prepared to spend. None of the rest are as reliable, but there's no real standard software package out there, certainly none cheap enough. I've bought a PIR, a zwave USB dongle and plan to replace my Alertme with this setup, once they kill the service, but until then I'll continue to use the system.

What I particularly like about the system, is the rock solid reliability, I already had PIR activated lighting throughout my house, but since my neighbours have been burgled, I want to turn lights on without PIR activity to make the house look lived in, the basic software took no more than a couple of hours to write using the API interface provided by one of the other members. The switch on time is faster than X10 and reliable so you don't need to worry about status, though I've no doubt I could get it.

The best thing about the software is the ease with which I'll be able to slot in z-wave at some future date.

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