The alarm control is the brain of your security system. It is typically placed in an area that is out of the way like a basement, attic, closet or office. The motherboard and additional components such as radio receivers, backup power supply and zone expanders are inside this metal box, which is often locked. You will have little or no interface with the alarm control. Visit online for more details , Your alarm technician will need to access this unit to program it and wire it to general standards, or your custom standards.

There are many manufacturers of alarm controls. Each manufacturer will also produce several models within a particular product line. Alarm companies purchase direct from the manufacturer or more often buy their products through one of a few available alarm distributors in their area. These distributors and manufacturers do not sell product to the non- professional consumer. You can buy this equipment on line if you have the ability to install it and service it yourself.

As a general rule the controls that are most dependable and have the most programming options are more costly. I will teach you how to get the best control you can find as this will greatly affect your ease of use and your ability to have your alarm adjusted to fit your lifestyle.

In the interest of keeping this device as understandable as possible for you, I will forgo the intense and hundreds of differences among these units and I will break them into a few categories that should make more sense to you.


There are many basic units available to the alarm dealer. They will often use these units knowing that the average consumer does not know the difference, and they will stock them at very little expense. A less qualified installer can also install these basic units, because there are few or no programming and wiring options.


What you should be most concerned about when it comes to these basic units is that we professionals refer to many of them as ” CROWBAR SYSTEMS.” These systems come as a control, keypad, siren, communicator and backup power supply all built into one unit. If a burglar breaks into your place and hears a siren coming from this unit, they are going to take the proverbial crowbar and smash it off the wall. At this time you would no longer have a control, keypad, siren, backup power supply or communicator to call for help. A lot of good that would do for you!

Now that you are educated in the pitfalls of a self contained unit I doubt that anyone will be able to sell you one, or even give you one for that matter.


The majority of systems that professional alarm companies install fall into this category. They are dependable for the most part based on how long the model has been on the market. Some of these manufacturers have stuck with their dependable product lines for well over 20 years. Some of the newer models have nice new features but when it comes to mid-range units I have always avoided turning my clients into product testers. These units are comprised of any number of separate components that are wired together to make your complete system. This way if someone knocks a siren or keypad or any other component off the wall the alarm still does what it needs to do. The control panel in this range typically comes with at least eight zones. Zones give you the ability to use all or part of your system; you will also be able to pinpoint with some accuracy where a violation has taken place. An example of using part of your system would be as follows:

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