Arm or disarm the alarm using the Orbiters

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Usage Information

How to set it up

Adding Sensors

  • Go to LinuxMCE Admin Website-->Wizard-->Devices-->Security. Add the sensors in your house, such as motion detectors, broken glass sensors, smoke detectors, and so on. In most cases these are controlled by a security panel that has a computer interface, such as an RS-232 port. If this is the case, be sure to add the security panel first, on the Wizard-->Devices-->Interfaces page.
  • Security sensors can be rigged using standard input outputs. For example the GC 100s which are normally used for infrared control also have inputs. It is possible to mix and match. For example, you can add an alarm panel on the Interfaces page, and then add 2 broken glass sensors on the Security page. In the "controlled via" pulldown, choose the alarm panel. You can then hook other broken glass sensors to the input on the GC 100. On the Security page, add a third broken glass sensor, but this time set the "controlled via" pulldown to the GC 100. In this way all three sensors will be treated as a glass break, and it makes no difference to LinuxMCE that two of them are using an alarm panel and the third is using a GC 100.

Adding Alerts

  • LinuxMCE Admin Website-->Wizard-->Security-->Settings By Alert Type page lets you select various alert options. For example, you can set the length of time following your departure from your home until the security sensors are armed.
  • Wizard--> Security-->Active sensors page lets you indicate what sensors are active when the house is in a given mode. (The mode is selected on an Orbiter.) The house can be in one of six modes: unarmed, armed away from home, armed at home, sleeping, entertaining, and armed extended away. For each sensor and each mode you can indicate what action LinuxMCE should take when the sensors tripped, such as fire a security breach event, make an announcement, ignore it, etc. There are no hard rules for what sensors are active during which modes. You could, for example, state that when you are at home and the mode is "unarmed" your motion detectors will trigger a security breach, or when the mode is "armed away from the home" the motion detectors do nothing. This would not make much sense of course, but LinuxMCE allows whatever settings you choose. The default action which LinuxMCE assumes, if you don't change the settings, is that smoke detectors always cause a fire alert no matter what mode the house is in. Door and broken glass sensors cause a security breach when the house is armed or sleeping. Motion detectors are ignored when the house mode is armed "at home" or "sleeping", and when the house mode is "entertaining," door sensors cause an announcement to be made so you know guests have arrived.

Matching Cameras to Sensors

The Wizard-->Security-->Security-Video Links page lets you indicate which cameras are triggered by which sensors. When one of those sensors is triggered, LinuxMCE will automatically archive the video from the designated camera(s). If LinuxMCE tries to notify you of an alert, as indicated on the security notifications page, LinuxMCE will automatically send you a snapshot from the cameras that are associated with the sensors that were triggered. The snapshot LinuxMCE sends will have been taken at the moment the sensors were triggered.

Arming and Disarming the System

Many alarm panels also allow themselves to be armed and disarmed using the computer interface. Whenever the user changes the house mode, such as arming or disarming the system, an event is fired which the alarm panel device can use to stay synchronized. In other words, when you set the house mode to armed, not only will LinuxMCE's security system be active, but the alarm panel's own security system will also be activated. And when you return home and shut the alarm off on LinuxMCE's orbiter, it will also push disarm the alarm panel. On the wizard, devices, interfaces page select the advanced button next to your alarm panel, and click the documentation link to see how your alarm panel will implement this, and how to disable it or enable it for this particular panel.

Choosing Rooms for Control

On the Wizard--> Scenarios --> Security Scenarios page be sure the "main security panel" box is checked for each room in which you want to be able to control the alarm system. Checking that box automatically creates a scenario that takes the user to the alarm panel, allowing them to change the house mode to arm or disarm the alarm system. By default this box is checked for every room, meaning that normally there will always be a button on every Orbiter in every room to arm or disarm the alarm system.

How to use it

On the Orbiter touch the security panel button, then enter your pin and choose the new house mode, such as "armed at home", "entertaining", etc.