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Building a Home Security System with BeagleBone by Bill Pretty

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Chapter 1. Alarm Systems 101

In this chapter, we will cover the major components that almost all alarm systems have in common. By the end of the chapter you will realize that the so-called high tech alarm systems and access control systems are not really as complicated as some would like you to believe.

That said, let's get started.

Every alarm system in the world does two and only two basic things.

  • It monitors the world around it. If the alarm is your neighbor's dog, it keeps an eye on trespassers. If it is an alarm system, then the central control panel monitors a bank of contacts (switches) and waits for something to change (just like the dog). These contacts are the output parts of various kinds of sensors. This is how the sensor tells the panel ...

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