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28-01-2010, 12:02   #1
The Guvnor
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Eircom Phonewatch

A bit of background:

Bought a house in September 2007 and it had a wireless PW system in place.

Now we never got the alarm code but did eventually get the account number.

It was fine really - in a corner of a room and out of the way. Every night it called in to control -'phone call ok'.

It was always since we got the house in the 'home' setting.

We called PW and they said there was no monitoring and it could not be calling in.

We got used to it.

However yesterday there was about 5 power cuts and somehow it got switched from Home to Away and when I arrive in, it goes full volume. Simple fix was to cut the power to the sockets in this room.

Now this morning I call PW and guy claims power cuts would not cause this and one of us MUST have pushed the away button.

Anyway after a bit he gave us the four digit code, we had to trip the alarm first.

What I want to know is :

Are these wireless PW systems anygood?
Is it more likely that the power cuts caused it to move from home to away?
The guy in PW was upselling a service on me due to old batteries.
If in off position, it should be fine and even if batteries are knackered it should not go off.

Personally I would have it out but the OH would prefer it to stay there for 'safety'.

I do like how PW tell me it could not move to away without a person doing it as it really is a very simple piece of kit!


Just wondering who has experience with PW systems and any opinions on same.

Thanks
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28-01-2010, 13:54   #2
altor
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Hi The Guvnor,

I use to install these systems for them so know them inside out. The only drawback with them is they use the 433 frequency. It has so many devices on it now that problems are starting to happen with them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Guvnor View Post
Are these wireless PW systems anygood?
They are the same as any alarm, it is there to deter someone from trying to break in and if they do try it will activate.

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Originally Posted by The Guvnor View Post
Is it more likely that the power cuts caused it to move from home to away?
No chance, i have never heard of this happening before. The only thing i could say is when you set the alarm going out you hit the away instead of home.

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The guy in PW was upselling a service on me due to old batteries.
Thats what they do so expect some letters in the post trying to get you to sign up to there service contract or monitoring again. You could replace the batteries yourself. They are camera batteries and you should get 3-5 years out of them.

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If in off position, it should be fine and even if batteries are knackered it should not go off.
If the batteries are dead the alarm wont be able to communicate with the sensors causing it to go into alarm. If the batteries are starting to go the panel will start reporting sensor** low battery. It should give you 6 months warning the batteries are starting to go.

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Personally I would have it out but the OH would prefer it to stay there for 'safety'.
There is no point replacing it if it still works.

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Originally Posted by The Guvnor View Post
I do like how PW tell me it could not move to away without a person doing it as it really is a very simple piece of kit!
I have to agree with them on this, i have never seen this happen with there system before.


Hope this answers your questions, any more just ask..
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28-01-2010, 14:12   #3
KoolKid
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Altor has pretty much covered everything there.
With the exception of older systems . Like CP 32 etc Most systems will remember their last state in the even of total power loss. They should power back up in the same state,
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28-01-2010, 14:21   #4
The Guvnor
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Thanks for the reply Altor.

Just to clarify we have never used the machine. Not once, it's never been touched.

It has been sitting idle in the corner of a room for 3 years with no one near it. No one has ever touched it, until this am when we hit status for the customer rep from PW.

There are only two of in the house. Just to be 100% - no one has ever touched the panel, not yesterday, not ever! Genuinely

If the alarm goes off it is just a case of punch in 4 digit code and it should cease?

I think the large dogs and high gates and perimeter fencing is more of a deterent than the eircom PW!

Thanks again.
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28-01-2010, 14:22   #5
The Guvnor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koolkid View Post
Altor has pretty much covered everything there.
With the exception of older systems . Like CP 32 etc Most systems will remember their last state in the even of total power loss. They should power back up in the same state,
Just to say it could be 11 years old. The house is 11/12 years old and could be in since then.
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28-01-2010, 14:51   #6
altor
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Your welcome,

There older system are being taken out and replaced as the key pad on them are starting to stick plus they dont have parts for these systems anymore but in your case you dont use the alarm so it should not affect you. If the alarm does go off your code will turn the alarm off. If it keeps going off for no reason you could down power the alarm and remove the back up battery.
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01-02-2010, 16:27   #7
HoopsUnited2
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Alarms

Don't suppose either of you guys would be able to recommend a reasonably priced house alarm. It's for a new house which is already wired ...

would appreciate any advice.
Thanks
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01-02-2010, 16:52   #8
KoolKid
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Hi Hoops,
Depends what you want for your reasonable price.. Taking a 3 bedroom house prewired.
Contacts on all openings
Inertia sensor on all downstairs & accesible windows/doors
Contact front door
1 PiR hall or landing
Internal /External bell
1 Control Panel (SigNet 100 or Astec Fusion) 1 Keypad & battery.
Professionally installed & certified to EN50131 .
Cost €800-€900
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01-02-2010, 16:55   #9
HoopsUnited2
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alarms

Woah that's expensive - it's a 2 bed will that knock eh 500 off ha.

Phonewatch is around 500 from what i can make out but i thought they were the expensives ones.

I'm really gonna have to do the homework on this one.
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01-02-2010, 16:59   #10
KoolKid
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If its like a 2 bed townhouse terraced probobly €700-€800.
Yes phonewatch will subsidise the price (donno about €500 though!) because they will be taking it off you again in monitoring fees. Not to mention you will probobly be getting a much older/more basic system.
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01-02-2010, 17:32   #11
altor
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As koolkid said either the astec fusion or the signet 100 will cover any domestic premises. They also have a text feature if you want to self monitor the alarm.

The reason phone watch offer this price (€599 plus your monitoring) is because they will make the money and a lot more back off you through there monitoring and service call outs.

With regards pricing you should get yourself a few quotes but generally in around €650 - €750.
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01-02-2010, 17:55   #12
Jnealon
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You could get a budget system for as little as €349 but this may not be suitable for you.
Ring around and get a few quotes
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01-02-2010, 19:00   #13
The Guvnor
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I got the letter in the mail this am from phonewatch admitting that it dials in but is not monitored.

Monitoring is €25.00 a month and it's €90.00 to turn it off so that it does not dial in.

Fact is - it dials in now at 8.45am and due to eircom phone package the call is free.

From my limited dealings with phonewatch I think they and it are overpriced and pretty much useless.

I am not a fan of alarms in general - I do agree that without monitoring they are just an annoying sound which neighbors ignore by and large.

For complete piece of mind I would prefer to go for a good wired cctv system with 1.5tb storage and discreet cameras.
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01-02-2010, 19:16   #14
KoolKid
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Also if dealing with Eircom check if you get an outside bell. Generally you don't, this is to discourage you from cancelling your monitoring.
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01-02-2010, 22:06   #15
altor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koolkid View Post
Also if dealing with Eircom check if you get an outside bell. Generally you don't, this is to discourage you from cancelling your monitoring.
Thats a good point. €260 for a live external bell is what they charge, add that on to the €599 plus the monitoring charge and they easily have there money back for the discount off the alarm, but at that cost not many people do get one leading them having to continue there monitoring or have an alarm that only rings inside..
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