Ademco 128BP plugin (looks a lot like Elk)

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Ademco 128BP plugin (looks a lot like Elk)

Postby Mr.Tim » Sat Mar 26, 2005 3:25 pm

Currently in the process of building my new home and like a lot of people, I am trying to decide what equipment I'm going to install.

I see Mario has a beautiful setup for his alarm and camera integration with ML.

The obvious choices for security are the OmniProII and Elk M1 series.

However, at this time I think I'm going to use the Ademco 128BP, for a few reasons. If you're not interested in the reasons, just skip down to the bottom for my question :D

First, I can use addressable devices. Being in the fire service for 10 years and just recently a fire marshal, I want my smoke detectors to be addressable. I want to know exactly what smoke detector initiated the alarm, and additionally I want drift compensation with trouble indication when the compensation is out of range. Nothing worse then responding to a premise and getting a "first floor smoke detector" on the annunciator in a 10000SF building with 20 smoke detectors. Now, with a conventional system you can assign each 4-wire detector it's own zone, but there's still no trouble indication at the panel or the central station if a initiating device goes out of range (although there usually is an indicator on the device itself).

Second, Ademco has introduced the Symphony line of LCD touchscreens, which not only have the conventional alarm control you would expect, but also have CCTV integration through the OmniFlex CCTV add-on. This seems to use what I would have thought were IP cameras, but they make an adapter so you can use any BNC style camera as well. Video is not my forte` so just exactly how this system works is beyond my understanding.

In looking at the Ademco protocol, it rang a few bells. A side-by-side comparison with the Elk protocol bears striking resemblance. I think the Elk plug-in could be easily adapted to handle the Ademco panel. The Elk protocol has all the Ademco features and many more. It seems to me that to adapt the elk plugin a few strings would needs to be reformatted and some of the unavailable features commented out.

The packet format is exactly the same. Many of the messages are also practically the same, for example

Zone Status Request:
ADEMCO: 08zs004B (CR-LF)

ELK M1: 06zs004D (CR-LF)

So my question is, given the similarity, would cinemar be interested in supporting the ademco panel?

Right now I'm thinking of using the ademco 128bp, a midon temp08 (should be able to integrate the temp08 through the GenericSerial plugin, right?), and MainLobby to tie it all together. MainLobby will provide the nice GUI on an airpanel or two in key locations (eg bedside), while ademco will provide basic touchscreen/video by the entry doors etc. I know homeseer can do a great job as well, and I may end up using that in addition if my automation scheme starts to get out of hand ;)

Sorry for the long-winded post



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Postby DavidL » Sat Mar 26, 2005 4:18 pm

Are you going to write the MLServer plugin for the Ademco? Is the RS232 port have documented API? If no to either question, go with an ELK. When implemented with ML, an alarm system takes on a much larger role for every day you have your house, and not just for the emergency day where the alarm really pays off.

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Postby CinemarDave » Sat Mar 26, 2005 10:37 pm


Can you send me a copy of the RS232 specs for this system? I can compare it directly to the Elk plug-in I wrote and let you know how easy it would be to implement the plug-in.

Thanks, Dave...


Postby Guest » Sun Mar 27, 2005 7:33 am

smoothtlk wrote:Are you going to write the MLServer plugin for the Ademco? Is the RS232 port have documented API? If no to either question, go with an ELK. When implemented with ML, an alarm system takes on a much larger role for every day you have your house, and not just for the emergency day where the alarm really pays off.

Ademco does have specs on the protocol. While I only have a basic programming knowledge, and not much to do with low-level, the protocol does seem to be very much like the Elk panel. Whether the documentation provided is enough for a programmer to use is a question for a programmer to answer.

I don't know that I could write a plugin from scratch, but I think adapting the Elk plugin would be a feasible solution.

I understand the alarm plays a much larger role when integrated, but my feeling is it's primary role is to protect life and property; everything else is just an added benefit. My personal feeling is that while Elk is a solid brand name, the Ademco is better suited for my primary needs. The M1/M1G is definitely a great HA panel, and would make a great addition regardless of whether I used the security functions.

Keep in mind there is no compatibility matrix (that I could find) for any smoke detector for use with the Elk panel. Sure you can use any 2 or 4 wire smoke you want, but if your house burns down, the manufacturers are simply going to say "our device was not listed for use with that device".

Futhermore, I don't think the Elk is UL listed for burglary. At least, it wasn't.

I'm sure both these listings will come with time, or maybe they already are.. but they're not available on the web afaik.

Will forward the specs for Dave.. Thanks


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Postby dschoppe » Thu Mar 31, 2005 3:36 pm

I also have an Ademco Vista BP128 alarm. I recently bought the serial I/F module (4100SM?) and located a copy of the Ademco RS232 protocol document, but I really haven't had a chance to play with it. First, I need to free up zone #9 in order to wire-in the RS232 card.

I know of at least one other person on the HomeSeer forum who uses this panel too. He is monitoring the panel in HomeSeer using a script, but I don't know of any current efforts to build a plug-in for the Vista 128BP.


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Postby jamarotta » Sat Aug 19, 2006 3:10 pm

Anyone develop a SWF/Graphic for the Ademco 128FP LCD Keypad? This system works great with HAL. Now would just like to add control via Cinemar.

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