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Old 04-08-2015, 12:14 PM   #1
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New boat alarm idea

Yesterday I was at Lowes and saw what looked like a nifty new gadget which could function as a boat alarm system.

So, I bought one for the house and tried it out.

The gadget is called IRIS. It is available at any Lowes store. Here's the web age

Iris Smart Home Management System: Thermostats and More

What I found is that the little gadget is with a few limitations almost a perfect boat alarm system.

It provides...

A full text, email, telephone, and iphone app for status.

Sensors for

Water intrusion (high bilge water)
motion sensing (security)
temperature
fire, smoke, CO

and a host of other things i haven't had a chance to work with yet.

The one thing I am very interested in is DC battery sensing and 120 volt sensing. I havven't had a chance to figure out how to do these things yet, but I just got it yesterday.

What I can say is that it is a very handy device that uses wireless sensors, and is extremely easy to get set up and working.

More to follow...
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Old 04-08-2015, 01:38 PM   #2
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I just bought a pumpalarm from pumpalarm.com for $200 + $30 a year for cellular service. It's just providing a high water alarm and a low temp sensor which isn't nearly as good as this looks to be.

Does this do everything in one device or are there additional modules to purchase?
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Old 04-08-2015, 02:16 PM   #3
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Please keep us posted Kevin. I'm interested for sure. Looks like it could provide peace of mind when away from the boat at a very reasonable price.


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Old 04-09-2015, 07:32 PM   #4
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Thanks for posting, looks like a great option.

Let us know when you've got it all figured out!
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Old 04-09-2015, 08:23 PM   #5
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Thanks Kevin!
Looks like a great concept. Can't wait to see your results as well as evaluation.
Please keep us informed.

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Old 04-09-2015, 09:06 PM   #6
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I haven't done much research but these might be other possible options:

SmartThings | Life Like Never Before

https://www.ismartalarm.com

insteon.com
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Old 04-09-2015, 09:14 PM   #7
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I want a z wave system.
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Old 04-09-2015, 09:18 PM   #8
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I got excited, then read some reviews on AMAZON ...
Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Iris Smart Kit

Looking forward to Kevin's review!
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Old 04-09-2015, 09:24 PM   #9
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Cnet only gave it 3 out of 5 stars.

Here's a portion of what they said about the IRIS:

"... the website you'll use to control your system isn't as well-designed or easy to use as it should be. The smartphone app isn't much better.

...Iris charges $10 per month for full system functionality, making it difficult to recommend over fee-free competitors..."
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Old 04-09-2015, 09:27 PM   #10
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OK to adress a couple of things and provide an update.

Lowes Iris says it'll work with Zwave and something called Zigabee, but lowes and or the manufacturer certifies devices to work with IRIS.

So far we have several motion sensors and some magnetic door alarms working on our system. It has been nothing short of flawless for that.

Every device seems to have a temperature sensor in it. You can set alarm points based on temperature of any of the points.


I have not tried the high water sensors or the fire alarms yet, but will in a couple of weeks when I can allocate some time.

loss of shore power sensing is something important on a boat. Right now I have a relay feeding a contact closure on my current alarm system. Shore power goes away, the relay drops out causing a contact to open.

Doing this with Iris is going to be interesting. I read where someone used a magnetic door alarm and wired around the magnetic activated switch to create a contact closure sensor. I prefer not to do that. I would prefer a off the shelf item so I'm still working on that.

On my boat I alarm based on battery voltage. If the house battery drops below 12.5V then the charger isn't working so this raises an alarm. The way I read the battery voltage on my current system is to use a OMEGA 0-15VDC to 4-20 miliamp converter which is tied to a 4-20 miliamp input on my current alarm system. I fon't k now how to replicate this using Iris yet.
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Old 04-10-2015, 06:01 AM   #11
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I've been using an Iris system at my home in TN for a year now. We're away for weeks/months at a time and it's been a very reliable way to remotely turn lights on and off, control HVAC and see who's at the front door via remote camera. CNet's concern about the website and app is overblown IMO. Yes, they're not elegantly designed for mobile devices, but they're entirely serviceable. I've been thinking of installing one on our boat and am grateful KSanders has decided to be an early adopter in the boating world.
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Old 04-11-2015, 10:20 PM   #12
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Kevin's post picked my interest, but IRIS' dependence on the "cloud" services and monthly fees took me aback. IRIS could be good for someone who needs monitoring service in addition to automation. I have been looking for a good automation and notification system, and I think I found the one for me ... SmartThings.

SmartThings, like IRIS, supports WiFi as well as Z-Wave and ZegBee standards, and is fully compatibility with IFTTT (If This Then That) open source standard. This makes it compatible with virtually hundreds of sensors from dozen of manufacturers.

Here is an older CNET review ... SmartThings review - CNET ... the newer reviews are even better.

You can find more info on SmartThings page here ... Benefits | SmartThings ... and the links to the reviews and the index of compatible sensors here ... Works with SmartThings | Product | SmartThings .

Hope this helps ...
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