If you’ve ever wanted an alarm system and balked at either the upfront cost or the trailing cost (free system = not free after about two years of paying $30 extra a month,) I can tell you they’re pretty simple to install if you go the wireless route.

Of course there’s no true wireless as the base unit has to have power, but you get the point.

With the help of a friend of mine we cut a square hole in the wall where the base station was going to mount, fished a low voltage wire up from the basement where an adapter was plugged into an outlet, and mounted the touch screen on the wall. That was by far the hardest part. Alternately I could have just put the thing on a table and plugged it in.

Every wireless component (door, window, motion, smoke,) was then paired by tripping the tamper switch, giving it a name (there were 80 or so to choose from,) assigning it to a zone (10=door, 13=window, etc) and then I just wandered over and installed the units, sometimes using tape they came with, sometimes drilling them in.

Even in my Faraday cage of a 1940’s house I had no issues with any of the sensors being able to be tripped at extreme distance.

The downside of the wireless is I will have to float like a butterfly from sensor to sensor in a few years and replace batteries on 20+ sensors, but considering the ancient house and plaster walls for every wall except the one I mounted the base station on, it seemed like the way to go that didn’t end with 90 cracks in the wall and large chunks of plaster falling about.

Alarm company’s coming to install their little cellular doohickey for monitoring and then it’ll be set, although it does a good job of barking at people now.

Total time to do nine windows, two motion sensors, four doors, two fire alarms, a FOB was in the four hour neighborhood, but I also had to wait on sleeping kiddos to get into those rooms and I really wasn’t attempting to book it as I was also watching the Olympics and I also read the manual front to back.

Also no, this was not to protect my new $479 TV, although it did cross my mind that it was pretty funny timing.

My objectives for install was 1) Noise on entry or exit as three year old knows how to operate the door and has walked out behind me and we’re afraid she might while we’re asleep. 2) pro grade smoke detection to supplement cheapy smoke detectors we have because I know what a pyro I was at 5 years old, 3) protect work equipment that looks expensive to a thief but isn’t, 4) tell me if a bog monster is in my basement, which seems to be insisted by my three year old.

This is basically what I got.