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Abode Alarm / Home Automation System - Starter Package - $299 FS

donftw 829 131 July 12, 2016 at 11:49 PM in Home & Home Improvement (5)
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Last Edited by Shorted August 6, 2016 at 08:34 PM
$359 - $60 (coupon) = $299 shipped (+tax for CA) for a starter package with promotion code - JULY60OFF

http://store.goabode.com/

Startup pack includes:
  • 1 Abode Gateway
  • 2 Door / Window Sensors
  • 1 Indoor/Infrared Motion Sensor w/ Camera
  • 1 Remote Key Fob

Currently $319 on Amazon.com w/prime, so this is an effective $20 discount from the lowest price. If you order through their website, you will also get free shipping on all accessories ordered with a startup pack, which unfortunately may only be good for a smaller home.

I decided to order this system because:
  • home automation capabilities: an IFTTT channel, Zigbee and Zwave support. I haven't delved deeply into HA yet and so I am excited about this. I am hoping that this unit will be just as good as Samsung SmartThings eventually.
  • Android and iOS access are free
  • self-monitoring with aforementioned smartphone access is free through existing Internet (cellular access is optional and is $8-10/mo depending on how you pay)

Simplisafe was a close #2, mostly for reasons of cost. However, the tipping point was that Simplisafe doesn't provide any smartphone access for folks that decide they don't want to pay a monthly fee ($25/mo). Rather, it relies on good hearing and kindness of your neighbors to call either you or the police. In a self-monitoring situation with Abode, if I get a iOS/Android notification, I could potentially check out my home's someday-to-be-installed IP cameras in real time and call the cops myself (the startup pack also comes with a motion detector with a camera). That's my plan, ultimately.

I also looked into Scout Alarm (who now require a monthly fee to self monitor and are only Zigbee compatible), Lowe's Iris 2.0 system (bad reviews).

From what I gather on Reddit threads and speaking with the folks there, the Abode team is working on Nest integration in the very near future and have plans to turn on features they've built but are perfecting in their systems (e.g. panic buttons, NFC in the keypad).

Abode customer service were extremely helpful and gave me permission to post this code provided to me. I haven't seen the price point of this system dip any lower than $299 anywhere, though it has popped up at this price a few times in the past few months.
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23 Comments

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#2
Check your homeowner's/renter's insurance policy, though. Ours gives a worthwhile discount for alarms that are connected to a monitoring center, but self-monitored systems aren't discounted any more than a dumb alarm that just makes noise -- the insurance company only offer a worthless token discount for either of those.
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#3
Quote from Carnivore View Post :
Check your homeowner's/renter's insurance policy, though. Ours gives a worthwhile discount for alarms that are connected to a monitoring center, but self-monitored systems aren't discounted any more than a dumb alarm that just makes noise -- the insurance company only offer a worthless token discount for either of those.
i was told i'd save $20/year through safeco for a monitored alarm system. my friend, who sells insurance, told me the steep discounts have gone down for having a monitored alarm because a lot of people sign up for central monitoring and cancel it after getting their homeowner's discount.

abode does have the option of central monitoring with cellular backup, which we ultimately go for. it costs $20/mo if prepaid for a year in advance. they also do on-demand (a la carte) central monitoring for self monitoring folks ($8/3 days, $15/week, $30/month). it's a unique setup and more flexible than SS.
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#4
OP, you mention that you hope the system to eventually be as good as smartthings. Out of curiosity, why didn't you just go with smartthings?
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#5
Quote from obtuseness View Post :
OP, you mention that you hope the system to eventually be as good as smartthings. Out of curiosity, why didn't you just go with smartthings?
Smartthings is great for home automation, but there are better alternatives for those whose first priority is a home security system. In other words, some people want a professionally monitored home security system that also does home automation, while others want a home automation system that also does self-monitored home security.

Abode, Simplisafe, and Scout are designed primarily to be home security systems. Any automation features are secondary priorities. Simplisafe is exclusively security with no home automation.

Finally, Smartthings is lacking a vital component of a true security system: it's entirely reliant on internet service and does not have cellular backup. Therefore, if your internet goes down, your entire system goes down with it.
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#6
Quote from rja142 View Post :
Smartthings is great for home automation, but there are better alternatives for those whose first priority is a home security system. In other words, some people want a professionally monitored home security system that also does home automation, while others want a home automation system that also does self-monitored home security.

Abode, Simplisafe, and Scout are designed primarily to be home security systems. Any automation features are secondary priorities. Simplisafe is exclusively security with no home automation.

Finally, Smartthings is lacking a vital component of a true security system: it's entirely reliant on internet service and does not have cellular backup. Therefore, if your internet goes down, your entire system goes down with it.
Re: Smartthings internet - you could use a cellular hotspot. That said, I would never trust SmartThings as a security system. I use it fairly heavily and am pretty happy with it, but it's not nearly stable enough for a security system.
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#7
Quote from obtuseness View Post :
OP, you mention that you hope the system to eventually be as good as smartthings. Out of curiosity, why didn't you just go with smartthings?
the other folks identified exactly why ... regarding reliability and primary function of the systems.

i also felt that investing in something like abode would ultimately be a better investment financially and practically because
  • i don't want to buy two systems for security and HA. while i might be tempted to use smartthings for security-ish purposes, it isn't as stable (as previously mentioned) and central monitoring is only available if i would have bought the scout alarm system (which now requires a $10/mo fee for all users ... it is no longer offering free self-monitoring like abode).
  • abode has enough home automation components (and promise of more) to satisfy what i think i'll need. while i've read their IFTTT channel can't take very complicated recipes, recipes using Life360 work to arm/disarm the alarm when the last person leaves or first person comes home. that's a huge ease of use issue, especially with kids

time will tell if i made the right decision. sometimes it's better to have different specialized systems that are great rather than a single system that sucks at both ... but abode is promising enough and the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive ... and my interactions with the team have been pretty decent. they're busy but they usually get back to me quickly (if i stay on their radar - sometimes follow up is necessary).

i think getting in early increases the chances they will allow me to be grandfathered into their generous offerings if they ever change for the purposes of monetization. (e.g. my first ooma hub/scout is still gives me a 100% free landline with no taxes or monthly fees ... i smile every time i see it).
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Last edited by donftw July 13, 2016 at 03:14 PM
#8
there is not much info on abode out there which isn't great. I looked at it for a while and couldn't find anything about the home automation side.

I still want a bridge to use home alarm sensor as part of an automation system. I'm a bit shocked no one has filled that gap yet. I'm even willing change out my alarm panel!
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#9
Quote from Impact-Vector View Post :
there is not much info on abode out there which isn't great. I looked at it for a while and couldn't find anything about the home automation side.

I still want a bridge to use home alarm sensor as part of an automation system. I'm a bit shocked no one has filled that gap yet. I'm even willing change out my alarm panel!
You can control your lights, locks, thermostats, geofence automation, IFTT etc. with Abode. Says it works with ZigBee, zWave, nest, Hue and WeMo You can use the free service which allows for on-demand. They have a wireless keypad, is that what you're looking for? Watch this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0IsRW8sSFM
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#10
Has anyone found an online community specifically for Abode?
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#11
Hey folks,

Note that the code JULY60 also seems to work with buying add on accessories as well. I had picked up this same deal back in March or so when it first was on SD, and so I just got some extras to add on to the starter kit:

Qty. 1 Indoor Add-On Siren (w/ Battery Backup) $60.00
Qty. 1 Wireless Keypad $79.00
Qty. 2 Indoor Motion Sensors (w/Camera) $230.00

I played around with the discounts and stuff and it appears to me that as long as you have around $360-ish of accessories, the code works. Any less, and it gives an error message. It seems logical, as the discount is triggered when you reach the cost of the starter kit.

I tried to verify this on their page or FB, but couldn't find it, so I thought this may help anyone else like me who wants to expand their system. Good luck! Big Grin

MMJ
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#12
One more detail for those that wish to expand. See the list of supported devices:

https://support.goabode.com/custo...ee-devices

I purchased the listed smoke detector a while back and hope that it all goes well (not installed yet). If it does, I'll post that on an Amazon review.

Also I just noticed that there is a door sensor that looks like a version that is recessed into the door jamb. I prefer those to the ugly box type things that sit outside the door frame (like most window sensors do). I think they're only like $40 on Amazon. There is only one reviewer on Amazon that specifically called out that they used Abode, but it was seamless (paired as "other" not as a door sensor, if I recall).

Again, just trying to help. If others have tons of detailed experience on Abode, PLEASE PM me.

Best,

MMJ
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#13
Quote from uscmagz View Post :
Has anyone found an online community specifically for Abode?
not that i could find.

from a business perspective, they probably want to make everything great rather than releasing or inadvertently promoting half-baked solutions and workarounds through forums.

from a user perspective, though, i like those half-baked solutions because they're better than not having features, whatever they may be.

personally, i'd like to know which z-wave/zigbee devices other users have tried that are not on that list (i.e. what *doesn't* work so i don't try it). i'm currently interested in picking up a tilt sensor for my garage door, because i have a lot of tools hanging on the peg board that might go missing if we forget to close our garage.
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Last edited by donftw July 14, 2016 at 02:26 PM
#14
I am also going to jump on this soon for our new home. If anyone has a detailed review of how well the home security and HA features work of this system, I will really appreciate it. Its not going to be cheap by any means so want to make sure its a worthwhile investment.
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#15
Quote from donftw View Post :
not that i could find.

from a business perspective, they probably want to make everything great rather than releasing or inadvertently promoting half-baked solutions and workarounds through forums.

from a user perspective, though, i like those half-baked solutions because they're better than not having features, whatever they may be.

personally, i'd like to know which z-wave/zigbee devices other users have tried that are not on that list (i.e. what *doesn't* work so i don't try it). i'm currently interested in picking up a tilt sensor for my garage door, because i have a lot of tools hanging on the peg board that might go missing if we forget to close our garage.
As you find things that do work, be sure to let abode know. :-) I agree that it would be helpful to know what doesn't work.

Good idea on the tilt sensor! The reviews for the z-wave tilt sensor on Amazon (Ecolink) seem to reflect simplicity in setup. I might have to give it a try in the near future and see if it'll work with abode.
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