Do-It-Yourselfer's Guide to Home Security

No salesmen. No contracts. No hassle. The three most popular brands are covered, those being Honeywell, DSC, and GE Interlogix. These are the very same systems sold by all those three letter alarm companies you see on television. Each brand has it's advantages and disadvantages, but none are a bad choice for a do-it-yourself installation.


I've built the Honeywell portion of the site around the V20P60RFPK kit. This is the ideal kit for a do-it-yourself installation due to it's included 6160RF keypad. The 6160RF is important for two reasons. It's custom alpha keypad allows for menu programming (necessary for setting up your new system) and the built-in wireless receiver enables the use of wireless devices in your system.
Fixed Alpha Display

Custom Alpha Display
w/ RF Receiver

I've focused the DSC portion of the site around the popular DSC PC1616 control panel. Although my how-to's and wiring diagrams are made for the PC1616, they can also be used for the PC1832 and PC1864. The larger panels have a higher hardwire and wireless zone capacity, but their wiring schemes and programming methods are exactly the same.

Make sure to purchase a DSC kit that includes a keypad with an "RFK" suffix, these will have a built-in wireless receiver for wireless device capability. Unlike Honeywell panels, DSC panels can be programmed with any keypad, so a custom alpha display isn't absolutely necessary, but would still be a cool thing to have.
The NetworX line of control panels represent a full-featured security system that uses advanced technology for burglary, fire and environmental detection. A highly flexible security option that is both easy to install and simple to use, NetworX control panels can accommodate smaller residential applications up to the most demanding commercial security needs. The series includes the NX-4, NX-6, NX-8 and NX-8E control panels.

Note: Of the three brands covered on the site, the GE how-to pages are the least refined as of now. Both the Honeywell and DSC areas have been through three to four re-writes to better streamline their information, the GE area has useful information but is still a little rough.
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