Interface with security systems



  • Official comment
    Scott Riesebosch

    Can I ask what type of security system you have?


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  • Bharris0

    Frontpoint which uses under the covers.

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  • G. Mobley

    A simpler solution to this which is well known in the alarm trade is to wire the garage door sensor (assuming it's a magnetic contact type on the door similar to what Tailwind uses) to a relay which is connected to the garage door light.  It's usually a simple SPDT 120V relay.  When the door is opened and the light comes on, then that relay engages which shorts/bypasses the main garage door sensor.  The sensor remains bypassed until the garage door light times out - which usually takes 5-7 minutes.  Once the light goes out, the main garage door sensor is no longer bypassed by the relay and will be seen by the alarm panel as OPEN.  This triggers the entrance-delay timers.   If your garage also has motion sensors, they also need to be bypassed.  

    The other option is to have those sensors on a much longer "entrance-delay" to give you more time to open the garage door, exit the vehicle, enter the house and disarm the alarm.    Just an option.   I've used this for 20+ years and it works very well.  Any good alarm company knows how to do this...but most don't because it's extra work and well they have to open your garage door opener to make it work - most don't want the trouble. 

    In case you are wondering, something like this is the type of relay needed for openers with 120V lamps. 

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  • Steve Herriford

    Another viable option if you are using Home Assistant or other automation software:

    I am adding a second ESP32 (according to Scott, this is the same chip in the Tailwind box) with MQTT installed, connected to the existing door magnets.  When the door is opened an MQTT message is sent.  Automation can then disable the alarm system.  I only trust this solution with Tailwind, since it has the added security feature of the bluetooth connection with the vehicle and doesn't use the phone location alone.  So, this solution will auto-disarm the alarm when the door is opened for a cost of less than $20 (assuming you already run Home Assistant or similar, and can interface with your current alarm panel).  Just as a precaution, I have a Bruh sensor module in the garage, and the LED indicates whether the alarm is armed/disarmed.

    For phase II (a work in progress), I want to enable the alarm when the door closes, but ONLY if both of our vehicles are absent.  For this, I will be adding two LIDAR distance sensors to the ceiling over the parking location of each car.  If both cars are absent when the door closed MQTT message is sent, then after a short delay, the alarm system will be automatically arm.  There are probably other/better ways to accomplish this, but I don't want the alarm to auto-arm unless we are both gone.  This, of course, won't work if we leave together in the same vehicle. I could possibly utilize phone presence detection to cover this situation, but for now we can still set the alarm via panel or phone app in this case.  I look at this like the Tailwind auto-close... it is meant to auto-arm the alarm if we both leave for work and we forget.

    Like most things with home automation, there are many ways to skin this same cat.  Now... if we could just talk Scott into adding MQTT to the existing Tailwind ESP32 (hint, hint), but he has done a great job of adding new features and addressing issues, so for now, I'll just utilize a second ESP32 to accomplish what I need.



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