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Adding a Remote Control to a Security System



by Jeff Fisher

Since the advent of high security remote controls, such as the Street Smart Code Encryptor, it has become increasingly popular to add remote controls to residential security systems. And once you have the remote anyway...why not have it perform other functions:
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With such a remote, you can:
  1. Arm and disarm the security system from your car or from inside.
  2. Open and close the garage door.
  3. Turn lights on and off as you leave and return.

Hooking up a remote control to your security system is easy, provided your security system has the proper inputs, and you can program the security system.

Remote Control Interfaces

All remote controls consist of two pieces, the remote control itself, and the receiver that hooks up the devices you want to control.

Different receivers can have different kinds of outputs; and the output types can be mixed in a single receiver. Here are the most common types of outputs:

  • Form C: SPDT Relay
  • Form A: SPST N/O Relay
  • Relay Drive
  • Security system specific interface

Each output can have different modes of operation. Sometimes the desired mode can be selected during programming, and sometimes the mode is predefined. Common modes are:

  • Momentary.
  • Toggle.
  • Fixed time on, then automatic off

The type and mode of each output determines how you hook up the receiver to the device you're trying to control. Most receivers have at least one relay output (since it's easiest to hook up) and one or more relay driver outputs. Most outputs default to momentary, but some may be changeable programmatically to other modes.

Form C: SPDT Relay

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This is the most flexible and easiest to connect type of output. An isolated relay inside the receiver normally connects (shorts together) the C (common) and NC (normally closed) wires. When the appropriate button is pressed on a remote, the C and NC contacts open, and the C and NO (normally open) contacts close. Channel 1 of the Code Encryptor is a Form C type.

Garage Door

To connect Form C contacts to operate a garage door opener, just connect the C and the NO wires to each screw terminal for the local button on the garage door motor.

Security System Arm/Disarm

To connect Form C contacts to a security system for arming and disarming, first make sure your security system has a "key-switch" arm/disarm input or an available zone that can be programmed to arm/disarm the system. Connect the C wire to a common, and the NO wire to the open zone or key-switch input. Note that you may need to install a terminating resistor between the C and NO wires. Now program the panel to set this zone up as a normally open key-switch input. (See below.)

Security System Panic

A Form C contact can also be used to "panic" the security system. Just connect the C and NO wires as above, but program the security system to recognize the zone as a panic button.

X-10 Control

Form C contacts can be set up to send X-10 commands via the PowerFlash Module (6330) or the Leviton 6315.

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For the PowerFlash, just set the INPUT switch to "A", the MODE switch to "3", connect the C wire from the receiver to "-" and the NO wire from the receiver to "+".


If the mode of the receiver is "momentary", the PowerFlash will send a quick ON then OFF command to the selected House Code and Unit Code when the remote button is pressed. You can use the ActiveHome or HomeVision system to trigger a macro on the "OFF" command.

If you can change the mode of the receiver to "timed," you can use the X-10 code to turn on lights while exiting, then turn off automatically after the timeout.

If the receiver has a "toggle" mode, you can use this button to turn lights on and off by remote control.

Form A: SPST N/O Relay

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With this output, you can do everything listed above under Form C output. The "NC" wire is not available to you, but we didn't use that wire in any of the above setups. Just read the directions above.

Relay Driver

A relay driver output is simply a "pull down transistor" or "open collector" output. It can connect to a PowerFlash and 6315 with ease, connects to most security systems without much difficulty, but it may not work (directly) for connecting with a garage door opener and other devices requiring a "contact closure" input.

Garage Door

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The simplest way to connect a pull down output to something like a garage door, or other devices that requires an isolated contact closure, is to convert the open collector output into an isolated relay output. You'll need a 12VDC relay, available at any local electronics store. Hook it up as shown at right. The relay contacts will now be functionally identically to the Form C relay contacts described above.

Security System Arm/Disarm

To connect a pull down output to a security system for arming and disarming, first make sure your security system has an available zone that can be programmed to arm/disarm the system. Connect the ground of the receiver to the common of the security system, and the pull down output wire of the receiver to the open zone of the security system. Note that you may need to install a terminating resistor between the common and zone input connections. Now program the panel to set this zone up as a normally open key-switch input. (See below.)

Security System Panic

A pull down output can also be used to "panic" the security system. Just connect the ground and pull down output wires as above, but program the security system to recognize the zone as a panic button.

X-10 Control

Pull down contacts can be set up to send X-10 commands via the PowerFlash Module (6330) or the Leviton 6315.

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For the PowerFlash, just set the INPUT switch to "A", the MODE switch to "3", connect the ground wire from the receiver to "-" and the pull down wire from the receiver to "+".


If the mode of the receiver is "momentary", the PowerFlash will send a quick ON then OFF command to the selected House Code and Unit Code when the remote button is pressed. You can use the ActiveHome or HomeVision system to trigger a macro on the "OFF" command.

If you can change the mode of the receiver to "timed," you can use the X-10 code to turn on lights while exiting, then turn off automatically after the timeout.

If the receiver has a "toggle" mode, you can use this button to turn lights on and off by remote control.

Security System Specific

Some remote control systems support specific vendors' communication protocols so that the receiver can be directly connected to the "data bus" of the security system. Consult your instruction manual for further information.

Connecting the Code Encryptor to the Apex Destiny 6100 security system.

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This is where we get product specific again. We'll show you how easy it is to connect the Code Encryptor to the Apex Destiny 6100 Security system.


The Code Encryptor has three channels and three buttons. We'll set these three functions up as follows:

  1. Arm and Disarm the security system.
  2. Operate the garage door.
  3. Turn a light on for 15 minutes, then automatically turn it off.


We'll get power to operate the receiver from the security panel...so the remote even works when the power is out. The Code Encryptor doesn't have a "security system specific" output type for the Apex system, so we'll use the standard security system interface (go into spare zones.) All this costs us is the zone inputs (which we have plenty of) and the functionality is just as good. Note that we could just hook up the receiver to the garage door pushbutton inputs, but we've decided to go through the security system. This is so we can program a function key on the keypads to operate the garage door also! Similarly, we could go into a PowerFlash unit for the lighting control, and use the 75 or 150 second timer built-into the Code Encryptor. But, again, we want to be able to do this from the keypad and, anyway, the panel already has an X-10 interface built-into it so why not use it?

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This is how we connected the Code Encryptor to the Apex Destiny 6100 panel. Note that the arrangement of screw terminals in the drawing is a simplification. The labels match the real panel. The body of the receiver should be located outside of the metal alarm box.

Programming the Apex Destiny 6100 for the Code Encryptor

To program the Destiny 6100, we use the PC software package. We start with the outputs, which the software calls "control channels." We go to System Definition: Control Channel: Control Channel Setup and set up a control channel (we used channel 1) that activates the garage door that will be connected to the auxiliary relay on the security system board.

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Go to the "auto turn off" option and set the relay to turn off automatically after 3 seconds. This will keep the relay from "holding down" the garage door button for an indefinite time.

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In a similar fashion, set up a control channel for the X-10 address you're going to control. We used control channel 2.

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Go to the "auto turn off" option and set the light to turn off automatically after 15 minutes. This will allow time for the user to exit before turning off the light.

Now we're ready to program the zones.

The arm/disarm button is connected to input 16 on the panel. We'll use zone 16 just to keep things simple. Set up zone 16 in the software like this:

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We didn't use any end-of-line resistors, so we have to tell the panel this for each of the three input zones we're using. When you select "on-board hard-wire" for the input type, you'll get a sub-menu. Be sure and say yes to "Disable EOL Resistor Checking."

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Now we set up zone 15 to be the garage door activator. We do this by selecting the control channel link we set up earlier. Don't forget to disable EOL resistor checking.

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And, finally, we set up the light control.

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What It Does

After a little relatively simple setup and programming, we now have a pretty slick remote control and automation system added to our security panel. Here's how it behaves:

  • Press button one (the big one) on the remote and the alarm says "Armed To Away" followed by "Exit in 20" then "Exit in 10" then "Exit is over." At which point the alarm is armed.
  • Press button one again and the alarm says "Control Is Disarmed."
  • Press button one twice within thirty seconds and the alarm says "Armed to Home."
  • Press button two and the garage door is activated.
  • Press button three for three seconds and a light is turned on for 15 minutes.
  • Press F1 on a keypad and the system says: "One, Garage Door; Two, Night Lights" Press "01" and the system says "Garage Door". Press "A" on the keypad and the system says "Control" and operates the garage door. Press 02 and the system says "Night Lights". Press "A" and the system says "ON" and turns the lights on. Press "H" and the system says "Off" and turns off the light.
  • Plus, all the above functions can be performed from any telephone in the house, or by dialing in from outside!


Jeff

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