QOLSYS design questions/Input.


I stumbled onto this site from watching one of your how-to videos on youtube. I really like that you show how to make the sensors work for outside the box solutions and utilize this forum to help.

I have talked to one competitor and the sales person did not seem to know max sensors and other technical questions. It was kinda hard to get him to stop talking to even ask a question. Once I said I would not be ready to buy for a week to a month so I could research stuff he could not get off the phone fast enough.

I am moving next week into a ranch house and would like some recommendations for how to set up. Any advice for set up or sensors you can give for the areas below would be greatly appreciated!
I do my final walk thru Sunday so I can look at it from a system install standpoint and get a little better idea of what I need.

Sorry for the Novel!

Main House.

I plan to go with the QOLSYS IQ panel.

Does it support making “scenes”? I have saw where people mention them for other systems. Could I set it up to turn on exterior lights for a certain amount of time and record from a specific camera if a car set off a driveway sensor?

I am not sure the best solution for protecting the windows. There are 33 windows that could be used to gain entry. 20 of the windows are located side by side with a small gap are there any dual magnet sensors that only report as a single unit so only 10 sensors would be monitored?

I don’t know if I should even put sensors on the windows since I doubt we would ever unlock and open them since they are the first floor (may put them on window to sons room).

I am thinking to just go with glass brakeage sensors. They would cover multiple windows and reduce overall sensor count.

There are 4 exterior doors on the main house that I know I will need sensors for. I for sure want 1 lock with a keypad for the back door we will use the most.

I would like to know if the other doors are locked and would like to be able to remotely lock or unlock them but do not need keypads for them. Are there any plain deadbolts that will work with the system in this way? I would think they would be cheaper than keypad locks.


I need to decide how to best protect the attic from entry. There are 3 dormer windows that open to the attic. I have a carport attached to the house that has a small office and a utility garage at the end farthest away from the house (kinda makes it T shaped but the top of the T is longer). There are two attic access points inside the house. The attic is completely decked and there are pull down stairs in the utility garage so someone could get in thru the dormer windows or thru the garage access if the sensors there failed.

I am thinking that 3 motion sensors covering the 3 attic access points would be the best solution if they can take the attic heat.

Office/Utility garage.

There are a couple windows, 2 doors and a roll up garage door in this area. I am thinking sensors on the doors to be sure they are closed and the same non-keypad locks as on other house doors and use motion sensors inside to detect if someone breaks a window and climbs in. I need to see how the roll up door is mounted to find the best sensor for it unless someone knows of one that typically works for this application.


There is a workshop that has the well equipment in it located about 185 feet from where the IQ panel will be located. About 40 feet will be thru the house with a couple walls to go thru and then 145 feet of open area. Will the sensors broadcast this far? I want a non-keypad deadbolt, door sensor and motion detector for this area. I would also like a temperature alarm that could turn on a space heater if the temperature drops below a certain level to protect the well components from freezing. I know the temp sensor and other controller would be Z-wave and that has a lower range than the RF used for alarm sensor so that could be an issue.


I am thinking 1 camera for the front door, it will be on a covered porch so not exposed to rain, just outdoor temperature.

1 for the back door covered same as one for the front.

1 looking at the approach for the driveway. Would be set up on side of house, roof overhang may protect it some but would be exposed to water.

1 looking out on front of property. This is the camera I am not too sure about, We will have horses in about 6 Ac. of pasture and it would make my wife feel better if she can check on them while at work. I need a camera that would give a good view near and far. Maybe something that can zoom, pan, and tilt. The farthest a horse would be from the camera is 700 feet. I don’t need to count flies on them but would like to see if they are ok. I think I could mount this one where it would be protected from rain.


Alarm.com itself does not support scenes so to speak, but automation rules which can be used to trigger one or more Zwave devices at once. Sensor activity can also trigger cameras.

You could set up a rule to turn on lights and one to record a clip from the same sensor trigger.

There are no dual reed switch sensors I am aware of, but you might use a sensor with a wired input as well to save a little money if you don’t mind a short bit of visible wire. If cost is too much of a factor, a few motion detectors may do the job. Glass break sensors would only cover the actual breaking of the window and not an open/close.

I’m not aware of a compatible deadbolt which is not of a similar design to the Keypad/touchscreen models you refer to. I myself would love this kind of solution as well, but ultimately it wouldn’t get rid of the need for physical keys due to remote controls being your only other method of access and in the event of a communication error you would be unable to lock/unlock. Still, it would be a cleaner option, I agree.

Motion detectors are typically a bad idea in any non-conditioned space like an attic. They would be best suited covering the hallways/areas where the attic access leads to in the home.

Overhead garage doors can use either Tilt sensors or more heavy duty switches. If you just want notification of the door opening, either would be fine. If you want it to be an alarm generating sensor, I would suggest the switch with a wireless transmitter (door contact with a wired input.)

You are probably going to run into issues trying to get a sensor signal from the workshop to the panel. A signal repeater may do the job. I would bet that the repeater would be necessary. Zwave devices like door locks would not function over that distance. High temp/freeze sensors that are not Zwave are available.

Most of your camera coverage could be completed using Alarm.com cameras. Outdoor models are weather rated and exposure is not an issue. Then, there is good and bad news. The good news is that you would be able to find a camera that would cover the pasture, but the bad news is that Alarm.com does not have an outdoor PTZ (pan tilt zoom) model, and wide angle to 700 feet is asking a lot. For that kind of capability, you are looking at a camera more akin to these specs. Typically this would be 6-7 times as expensive as the outdoor model of Alarm.com camera we list, unfortunately.

Thanks for the swift reply and sorry for dropping of the face of the earth. Started moving right after my post and seems like I haven’t stopped.
The main reason window sensors do not seem to be useful for me is we never open windows to forget to lock them back. So long as we keep them locked someone would have to break the glass to get in, that is why I figured good glass break coverage would be best. We have cats and plan to get a large dog so motion detectors seem out but I will review the recent post about that.
Are there wireless beam sensors like the ones for a garage door that do not allow it to close if something is in the way? That could be an option to detect someone walking in the house and can be set over the height a cat or dog could reach. Something like this would probably require power due to always having to transmit a beam though.
Thanks for your help!

You would not necessarily need the beam detector to be wireless. You could use any beam detector with a normally closed contact relay and wire it into a door/window contact as a transmitter.

Here is one with a contact relay. You are correct these would need to be powered via a plug-in transformer.