Getting Technical

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Nov 132021

I spent yesterday getting technical. Yeah, right, we both know I have as much chance of doing that as I do getting skinny, don’t we? But I do have my moments now and then, believe it or not.

Maybe I’m paranoid, and that’s possible since we have been burglarized twice, once coming back to our motorhome and finding the intruder there armed with one of my own handguns. I have been looking for a good security system for our home since we bought it five years ago. Longtime readers may remember that we tried the SimpliSafe system and were not happy with it at all. We could never get it to connect reliably to their monitoring system and had more time downtime than it was ever online.

From there, we went to Ring doorbell cameras, and they work so-so. The problem with them is that even when they do work, somebody may ring the doorbell but it doesn’t always record the video. Many times people have walked up to our door and we see them coming and open the door, or a delivery person drops something off, but the Ring never alerts us or records anything at all. However, while they’re not good at that, they do alert to every car that drives down the street and beep to let us know about it day and night, which can be a real pain at times. At first, I thought we were having an issue due to poor cell service or something, but I have friends all over the country who have Ring systems and many tell me the same thing, the latency is a problem no matter what kind of signal they have.

I also bought several Arlo security cameras and have them installed inside and out. Again, they work part of the time, but there is also a latency. I can be sitting in my office and see the UPS or Amazon driver pull up, go outside to greet them and get the package to save them walking up the driveway, come back inside and close the door, and walk to Terry’s loom room/office on the other side of the house before we ever get an alert of motion on the cameras. In that time, a porch pirate could come and make off with whatever was left there, or an intruder could make his way in. Neither is a good idea.

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine in law enforcement recommended the Cove home security system, and after doing a lot of research I decided to give it a try. It’s a self-installed system and their reviews are very good. I found out that they give a veterans discount that added up to six months of free monitoring, and there’s a 30-day return policy on all equipment and service, so what did I have to lose?

I ordered a system that consisted of five motion detectors, three door detectors, two remote control key fobs, a panic alert button (Think “help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”), and the control box. It all arrived the other day, and yesterday I decided to see if we could get it installed and working.

Overall I’m very impressed so far. Installation was easy, and even out in our metal garage, which is attached to our manufactured home with two additions built onto it, the motion detector communicates with the base station easily. I had a couple of questions during the installation and called technical support, and while English is obviously the second language for both of the techs I spoke to, they were efficient and knew their business and answered my questions quickly and professionally.

The base station can either be set on a countertop with an included support bracket or hung on the wall. It plugs into a regular outlet but also has a 24-hour battery backup. And you can push a button and talk to someone at their monitoring station immediately.

The door sensors are easy to use and simple to install, and in the normal (Disarmed) mode, they alert you any time a door is opened and tell you which door it is. Besides the Disarmed mode, there is a Stay mode and an Away mode. The Stay mode activates the door sensors, as well as glass break sensors if you have them, but not the motion sensors. This is to be used when you’re at home and don’t plan to go outside, for example, at night. The Armed mode also activates the motion sensors.

The motion sensors are just that, motion sensors, and like the door sensors, they are mounted with sticky tape that is definitely sticky. Be sure you know exactly where you want to place them before you slap them on the wall because that’s where they’re going to say. You don’t have to worry about them coming down.

According to Cove literature, they will not be activated by an animal under 45 pounds, so you don’t worry about pets. One of the motion sensors we installed is in a bedroom with a ceiling fan and I called technical support to see if that would be an issue and they said no, it wouldn’t.

You can activate the system from the control panel or from the fobs that you can carry in your pocket and are similar to a key fob. The fobs also have a panic button, which is a nice feature to have.

In addition to all that, Cove also has indoor and outdoor cameras, smoke and CO2 alarms, flood alarms, and freezing alarms, all of which can be incorporated into your system. The base station also has a very loud siren. I know this because I tried it. Just the one time was enough for me. That thing is loud!

We’ve only had the system active for a few hours and so far, I am impressed. It works anywhere there is a good 4G phone signal, and it is certainly affordable. You can tailor-make the system for your own needs, adding the smoke alarms and things I mentioned above, or not if you don’t feel you need them. We already have good smoke alarms, so I did not go with that option. Altogether, the total cost was $190, and that includes six months of free monitoring I received as a veteran. After that, the monitoring options are $15 or $25 a month depending on what you need. I went with the more expensive option because it also includes lifetime warranties on all the equipment.

And that’s about it for me today. All of this high-tech stuff has given me a headache. I think I’ll go see if that delicious apple chunk cake that Miss Terry made the other night will help ease it a little bit. I bet it will!

Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Watching Over Me: A Psychological Thriller, the first book in the heart-racing Crime After Crime series by M K Farrar and M.A. Comley. Trust me, this British crime writing duo know how to keep readers on the edge of their seats from the first page to the last! To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books to foreign countries, only entries with US addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed.

Thought For The Day – Always sit with the winners. The conversation is different.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  2 Responses to “Getting Technical”

  1. Amen to “Always sit with the winners. The conversation is different.”

    As a busboy, restaurant manager, and then a regional manager–so having dealt with a wide range of social classes. MOST of the winners and MOST of the losers can be categorized within a few minutes. Not by looks, dress, sex, or race but by attitude and common courtesy.

  2. I think there may be the makings of a good mystery story figuring out how to circumvent a security system that will not pay attention to an animal less than 45 pounds.

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