Wireless Systems—Next Gen is Now

Wireless alarm solutions provide comparable functionality to wired systems, yet offer significant advantages in installation and use. New wireless solutions feature a simple control panel with a single wire accepting high or low voltage AC power and can save time and money for the end-user and the installer. This Q&A will bring you up to speed on all the pluses.


Q. What new technologies have been implemented in  wireless alarm systems?

A. The addition of advanced wireless capabilities to tried and true alarm systems create that improved product. With new wireless systems, the control panel no longer has to be hardwired to your devices and can be more easily concealed and protected. Modern cellular reporting uses the inexpensive data capabilities of cellular networks for instant alarm reporting and constant status updating via the Internet. These same cards can leverage the traditional contact ID phone connection reporting in the event of a problem. The traditional types of sensors, sirens and keypads still exist, but now with wireless communication capabilities. New systems offer built-in RFID card readers. The use of longer life batteries, reliable digital signal transmissions, informative and functional wireless keypads and tamper-protected housings all have improvedwireless alarm systems.


Q. How are the many physical challenges of an alarm system installation overcome with wireless?

A. Today's top wireless alarm systems feature digital communications in the mid 800MHz frequency, offering a real-world range in excess of 300 feet--even through walls. These systems employ internal antennas built into advanced circuit boards in tiny, aesthetically pleasing sensors and feature battery saving technology, enabling sensors and devices to achieve three-year battery life using standard lithium. Also featured are wireless two-way alphanumeric keypads, many with built-in RF card readers.

Q. What other advantages do wireless alarm systems offer?

A. SMS messaging to the homeowner and remote programming from anywhere in the world are just two advantages. Digital technology enables data transfer, which allows photo verification from a camera-equipped PIR sensor to be instantly transmitted to a central monitoring station.

The installation of a micro PIR sensor into vehicles provides dependable protection while the vehicle is parked in the driveway. Users can also choose to add sensors to a guest house or other outbuilding on a property. Wireless relay outputs are also available for control of garage doors and remote driveway access gates.


Jason Wallace is the product manager for SC Black (a new dealer/ integrator focused division of Supercircuits) in Austin , Texas .