PiSector GS08-M 4g Cellular GSM Wireless Security Alarm SystemRating stars454.5 Reviewed by Paul

 

The Pisector GS08-M 4G Cellular GSM Wireless Security Alarm System is a top rated DIY home security system. In our review we take a look at what makes this system have such a good rating and whether it is justified or the result of the promotional activity of the company.

It is designed to be self-monitored but you can organize for it to be monitored by a professional monitoring company if you want. It can get notifications out to you by cellular
                     buy5._V192207739_                       monitored by a professional monitoring company if you want. It can get notifications out to you by cellular and/or landline depending on how you want to set it up. It has Quad-band Support  and works on the 2G/3G/4G networks (it supports all US network bands except LTE). You just have to buy a SIM card if you want cellular network access.

You get a good selection of sensors included in the kit consisting of 3 motion sensors and 10 door/window sensor along with 3 remote controls and a panic button.
It can be installed quickly without any technical skills.

Installation

It is a fairly straightforward job to install and set up. You do not need the internet to set up (see below regarding instructions). The kit is pre-programmed at the factory to work together when you receive it. There are no specific technical or DIY skills required.

Having said that the set up and installation is more involved than systems that use the internet and smartphone to operate such as iSmartAlarm or Scout, but you do get more components and therefore more coverage of your home for a similar price.

To set this system up to use the cellular capability you need to purchase a regular (large size)SIM card and cellular network plan – it works with AT & T or T-Mobile SIMS but can’t use a Verizon SIM (as they don’t use GSM).   Many people buy a prepaid plan and have found good deals with H20 and Alarmsim.com . (There is a discount code included in the installation instructions).  If you have a Verizon phone the system can call it and receive calls from it as with any cell phone set up.

It supports the following networks-  3G 850/1900 and 4G HSPA but not LTE. The system uses the networks for making and receiving phone calls and texts but not video.

If you want to use the landline capability you can use either a landline or VOIP – OOMA & OBI work but not everyone has success when using Magic Jack. You also need to supply a phone cable to connect the system to phone jack.

The double back tape supplied the company is not strong enough to keep the sensors in place. You need to either buy your own double sided tape or 3M scotch tape or you can use screws or super glue.

With the package you get a quick set up guide that gives a good overview of how to set up the system. The detailed instruction manual is only available at the company’s site and you need the internet to download it. The manual isn’t as clear or as detailed as it should be but you can follow them if you take your time. The total installation and set up time of the complete system can be done within 2 hours.

If you have any trouble with this you can call the company and they  can help you with getting your system up and running.

The 2 areas where installation can be a bit tricky are mounting the external siren and the door/window contacts.

PiSector GS08-M 4g Cellular GSM Wireless Security Alarm System side view control panelThe external siren needs to be mounted under the roof overhang out of the direct weather to avoid rain pooling in the horn and near to a power supply( the power cable supplied is only 5 ft long). You may need to run the power cord through your house wall to reach the power supply.

If you have curved or fancy frames you may have some trouble lining up the 2 parts of the window/door sensors. When the door/window is closed they need to be within 3/4 inch for the system to register it as closed. The kit includes spacers to help in lining them up.

In summary to get the system set up and installed is straightforward with it involving only inserting the SIM, connecting to the phone line, re-naming the sensors (if you want), entering the phone numbers you want system to call and text, recording your message, activating the batteries in the sensors and then installing the system. You can then make some changes to the system set up if you want (see zones).

Contract

There is no contract required to use this system. It is self monitoring system  and you arrange cell coverage and landline so there are no monthly fees needed to pay to the supplier.

To use the cellular capability of the system you do need a SIM card and a service plan which needs to be arranged separately by you (Alarmsim.com is recommended by supplier).  If you don’t have a landline you can use VOIP  – it works with OOMA and OBI, but has problems with Vonage and Magic Jack.

You can arrange for third party monitoring. The company needs to have ADEMCO monitoring capability.  Having this may help in getting a home owners insurance discount.

Support

The company can be contacted by email via their site or by phone. Their working hours are 10.00 AM to 5.00 PM Monday to Friday Eastern Time. This can make it difficult to get hold of them by phone when you have a problem outside your working hours and on the weekend. I found they responded quickly by email (within 24 hours) when I was asking them questions by email outside their stated office hours.

If you have a faulty part the company is for the most part quick to respond by sending out a replacement part. They do have a 30 day money back guarantee and a limited 1 year manufacturer’s warranty.

Cameras

There are no cameras that can be added to this system. It would work out expensive to transfer video over a cell network.

A better and workable alternative is set up a camera system to work alongside it. For internal cameras you could consider the dropcam pro or Piper where you can view a live stream or receive notifications and watch 30 second video clips of motion detected security alerts.

For covering the inside/outside of your property you can use a system such as the Lorex LW2731 for monitoring activity via skype with your smartphone. It won’t notify you when it detects movement but you can watch it live once you’ve been notified by your security system.

Video Storage

This does not apply.

Alarms

You get 2 sirens – an internal and external one. They are powered by the house supply and won’t work in the event of a power outage. They are loud with the internal one having a strobe light that flashes as well as sounding the siren at 85 dbs loud ( like standing next to a lawn mower)and the external one being 120 dbs loud (like being at very loud rock concert) . The noise is piercing and uncomfortable to listen too.

The sound of the sirens may be enough to get an intruder to leave as they generally do not like attention that the sirens might bring. It is important to remember that the sirens are much quieter inside your neighbors house and they may not notice them especially the internal one.

The length the sirens will sound can be programmed from 1 second to 3 minutes. The sirens stop and the system resets itself. If one of the authorized users responds to the notifications or the siren before that time has elapsed they can turn off the sirens and reset the system depending on the reason for alert.

Notification

The PiSector GS08-M 4g Cellular GSM Wireless Security Alarm System can be set to contact you by phone call and/or SMS text. It can be set to phone 6 numbers and text 3 phones which you program in. When there is a security event the system sends out a text and cycles through the 6 phone numbers until someone answers and takes an action. It goes through the cycle 3 times before stopping and reseting itself.

If there is a power outage notification will be sent  notification of this by text.

When it phones you it plays back the recorded message you made when setting the system up. This can be up to 10 seconds long. You do need to make sure you speak within 10 inches of the control panel microphone to get a reasonable quality recording you can hear clearly. It will let you know the sensor name that has been triggered  (you record this at set up). If you have a landline and cellular set up it will contact you using the landline but if that has been cut it will use the cellular network.

The text message that is sent includes the sensor name that triggered the alarm along with the message you input at set up.

The system can also be set to send you text notifications when it is armed/disarmed, when the landline is cut, when there is a power outage and even when a door is opened/closed when system is not armed but you are charged by your system’s phone company each time a text is sent depending on the plan you have signed up for.

Remote Monitoring

You are able to call into the system to arm/disarm it, listen into what is happening and also speak to the room.  You input your password and press the keys as instructed to do this. This can all be done anywhere in the world that you have cell phone coverage.

In addition you can text the system with your password followed by a 1or 2 to arm/disarm which is great if you are in a situation where you can’t make a call. You’ll just be charged the cost of the text by your cell phone provider.

Battery

The motion sensors, door/window sensors and remote control are all powered by batteries. These are included in the kit when you receive it. The batteries in the sensors should last a year before requiring replacement. The remote control battery normally requires replacing every 6 months.

The motion sensor requires a CR123A battery. These batteries can be bought on Amazon for under $17 for 8 Duracell brand ones.

The Door/window contacts use a button style CR2450 battery. These can also be bought on Amazon. You can get 6 Energizer batteries  for under $10.

The sensors will indicate when their battery is low with a constant LED light. The control panel also lets you know  by displaying the low battery icon in the LCD display. You can find which sensor by pushing the search buttons on the control panel

The remote control uses a 12V 23A battery. This is readily available on Amazon. They have 12 Energizer brand batteries for under $15. You can only tell this needs replacing when the LED light dims or you need to get much closer to the control panel for it to work.

The control panel and wireless repeater are plugged into the wall outlets and they each have a backup battery to keep them up and running during a power outage. They use a Lithium ion battery and should power them for 5 to 6 hours.

You can buy a replacement battery for them from PiSector if needed.

PiSector GS08-M 4g Cellular GSM Wireless Security Alarm System Sensors/Detection

PiSector GS08-M 4g Cellular GSM Wireless Security Alarm System motion sensorYou get 3 motion sensors in the kit. The motion sensors are pet immune for pets weighing under 50 lbs. This is great as you can arm the system in away mode and your pets won’t trigger an alarm as they wander around your house.

They are passive infra red sensors so they pick up changes in heat so you do need to be careful where you install them so they don’t give false alarms like when cats jump up on furniture or there is a change of temperature when the heating starts and moves your blinds or curtains. They also are not fully effective when the temperature approaches or is above 98 Fahrenheit.

They have a range of up to 40 feet with a viewing angle of 110 degrees horizontally and 90 degreed vertically. They are best placed in a corner of a room and 7 feet high to give the best coverage of an area.

Door/Window Contacts

PiSector GS08-M 4g Cellular GSM Wireless Security Alarm System door/window contactsThe system comes with 10 of these sensors. They come in 2 parts – a sensor and a magnet. The sensor is placed on the door or window and the magnet on the frame. When the door/window is closed they need to 3/4 inch or closer apart to register as closed. When they move more than that apart they trigger the alarm when it is armed. They can be used on all types of doors and windows whether they slide open, open from the bottom, the top or from the side.

As mentioned in the installation section it can be hard to line them up when the frames are curved – to help with this there are spacers included to line them up with each other. Most people manage to get this to work without too much trouble.

When the system is not armed you can set it to chime when a door or window is opened. This is great if you  have children and want to know if they are “escaping” whatever their age from a toddler wanting to explore to a teenager wanting to get out rather than doing their homework. If you have a business you can use it to let you know when the door is opened to know when a customer is coming in or leaving.

The chime function can be set by door or window. So you can set  the chime to be notified if a particular door or window is opened such as one that leads to a pool or you could have one set on a cupboard or drawer where your drinks or valuables are kept.type and number

Panic Button/Duress Codes

There are 3 places where a panic button can pushed in the event of an emergency – the control panel, the panic button device or on one of the remote controls. The alarm is triggered by pushing the button whether the system is armed or disarmed. This is a silent alarm if you press the button for less than a second so notifications go out without the intruder being informed. For an audible alarm you press the button for more than 3 seconds.

There is not a duress code with the system. A duress code is where you enter a code into the system to disarm it and it turns off the siren but a notification is sent to those monitoring the system that you have been forced to do this so they can dispatch the police.

Setting The Alarm

There are 4 ways to arm/disarm the system:

The system can be armed/disarmed remotely using your phone by texting or phoning the system using your password followed by 1 or 2.

You can use the remote controls to arm/disarm the system. You need to be within 15 feet of the console for this to work on a consistent basis which isn’t that far and could mean you can’t use it outside your house if  your console is in the middle of the house. Also the remote control buttons are not recessed so you might find yourself arming/disarming the system while it is in your pocket – it can be sorted by using a tic/tac box to store it in to prevent the buttons being accidentally pushed.

It is possible to schedule when the system is armed or disarmed each day. When set it does the same for each day including the weekend. This way you don’t have to remember to set it each day when you leave for work and it can be set to disarm just before your children arrive home from school. It would be better if it would let you set it for each day independently as your schedule is probably different on the weekend, so this probably needs to be turned on and off each week,

The 4th way to set the alarm is using the keypad on the control panel by pressing the arm/disarm button and typing in the password.

There are 2 armed modes that can be used when setting the system via the control panel and the remote control.

They are:

Home: this arms the door/window sensors only and not the motion sensors so you can walk around freely in your home without triggering an alarm. This is normally used at night but it can be anytime there is someone at home and they are not planning on going outside.

Away: this is for when everyone in the household is away from the house and it arms the window/doors and motion sensors for full coverage of the home.

When one of the doors/windows sensors are open you can set the system so it won’t let you arm it. The system lets you know this is the case and tells you the window/door sensor that is not closed. This functionality can be overridden on a case by case basis if you want or the function can be turned off.

Control Panel

PiSector GS08-M 4g Cellular GSM Wireless Security Alarm System control panelThe control panel is where you set and change the way  the system is set up. It controls the sensors and auto dials and communicates with the numbers programmed into it by text and phone call when there is a security incident. It is the brains of the system.

At the back of the panel is the access for plugging the phone line in to it, the 5 ft power cable and the SIM card. This is also where you can add wired sensors to the system if you have them from a previous system.

The front of the control panel has an LCD screen, keypad, speaker and microphone. The LCD screen is a good size and is fairly easy to read when the backlight is active but that turns off to save power when the keys are not being used and is difficult to read. It turns back on when you press a key. The screen lets you know the time, whether a door or window is open, batter y status of sensors, whether a chime function is active and which sensor was activated during a security alert.

The number keypad is underneath the screen along with the function keypad. This is where you program the system, arm/disarm it and push the emergency button (panic button). You can add/delete phone numbers, add sensors, change zone rules and change passwords using these keypads.

Timers

When you arm the system you are given 60 seconds to leave the house before it become active by default. This can be changed to 1 second to 99 seconds.

There is also a default delay before the alarm is sounded when you enter of 60 seconds. This gives you time to access the control panel and disarm the system before the alarm is sounded. You have the option to change this from 0 to 60 seconds.

This is a silent alarm if you press the button for less than a second so notifications go out without the intruder being informed. For an audible alarm you press the button for more than 3 seconds.

Protection against it being switched off

The control unit and wireless repeater both have back up batteries so the system will continue to work in the event of a power failure for up to 6 hours. The system contacts you to let you know there is an outage. You will get notifications of any security incident but the sirens won’t sound.

If the landline is cut the system will instantly sound the alarm. It won’t call your phone but it will sound locally and most burglars and intruders at this point will move on.  This feature can be turned off by the customer using the control panel.

If the intruder destroys the unit during the entry delay the system will not sound the alarm. However, the system can be stored in a cupboard (but it does require to be plugged into a power outlet to operate) to make it harder to find and destroy.

Coverage

The motion sensors can be up to 200 – 250 ft away and the door/window sensors up to 100 – 150 ft away from the control panel when the wireless repeater is plugged in. Without this the range is up 100 ft (although this does depend on what your house made from). The company advises contacting them if your house is bigger than 2000 sq. ft.

Wireless or Wired

This is a wireless system that uses 433 MHz to communicate so it should not interfere with your WiFi.

However there are some wires or cables for powering and sending notifications. The sirens, control panel and wireless repeater do plug in to the house power supply but the sensors use batteries for  power. The control panel is also plugged into the landline jack or VOIP if you want to use this form of notification and control otherwise it can be just set to communicate using the cellular network when a SIM card is installed.

Zones

zones

Dimensions

dimensions

Features

features

Accessories

accessories

Pros

Not tied into long term contract and there is no need to pay monthly fees to use functionality

It does not need the internet to work as it is completely independent of it

Battery backup for the control panel means system can continue to work notify when there is a power outage (although sirens won’t sound)

It is wireless and is portable so can be taken with you when you move

Easy and quick installation with everything programmed to work out of the box

You can enable chime feature so that system lets you know when a door or window is opened

Has home and away modes for arming the system

Motion sensors are pet immune for pets up to 50 lbs

Cell back up if the landline is cut or can’t be used. It tries the landline first before using the cell network

Can be set up as cell only, landline only or cell and landline combined

You can add professional monitoring as system supports ADEMCO protocol although this must be set up by yourself with a monitoring company and they will charge you a monthly fee for this

Can call up to 6 phones and send a text to 3 phones

You can make calls from the control panel – using it like a hands free phone but it does use the cellular network

You can set it to send a text message to you when the system is armed and disarmed but you’ll be charged for the text

Cons

You can’t monitor or control with a smartphone App – Apple, Android, Windows or Blackberry but you can use one to call in and listen to what is happening at home and change settings using the keypad or touch screen keypad

Cameras can’t be added to the system but IP cameras like Canary, Piper or DropCam Pro can be set up to work alongside the system

Installation instructions are difficult to follow but system itself is straightforward to set up and install

Double sided tape is not up to job so you do need to buy 3M tape, or use screws or superglue to attach sensors to walls, doors and windows

Can’t be added to or controlled by a home automation system

No battery backup for the sirens so they don’t work when there is a power outage

Power cables included for control panel and external siren are short at 5 ft long restricting where you can place them

Only able to get a small home owners discount unless you add third party monitoring to the system

They offer a free sensor for a 5 star rating

The user manual does not have enough information to personalize the functionality

You can only have one passcode so you can’t give a temporary one to someone working in  your home or visiting you

If you don’t have a dedicated phone line the system can treat an incoming phone call as though line has been cut and sound the alarm. This functionality can be switched off so you don’t have to listen to the siren everytime you have a phone call.

PiSector GS08-M 4g Cellular GSM Wireless Security Alarm System Consumer Ratings

PiSector GS08-M 4g Cellular GSM Wireless Security Alarm System ReviewThere is no doubt the promise of a free sensor for leaving a 5 star review has led to a higher rating than this system would have achieved without it. I think more people will have left a review than would normally do so because of this as most people don’t bother.

But does that stop this from being a good system overall? There are very few negative comments and you would expect more if there was a real problem with its performance. I think the rating is overstated by just a few points and I still rate it 4.5.

The issues that people do report are the double sided tape and the instructions. It would be good if they sorted these out and I don’t think it would take much. Some have reported they have received defective parts and the majority then talk about how the company quickly sorts the issue out.

Overall, then in spite of the influence on the ratings, the remaining reviews for this system are positive with few concerns coming through. The 4 out of 5 reviews also indicate that people are pleased with the performance of this DIY home security system in helping them to protect their home, family and valuables.

PiSector GS08-M 4g Cellular GSM Wireless Security Alarm System Price

The system costs more than the PS03-M system by approximately $100. The type and number of sensors are the same. The premium you pay for this system is because it effectively has a cell phone built into it so it can contact you over cellular network as well as via landline giving you a backup if your landline is down. The PS03-M only works with a landline.

It is similar to the Fortress Security Store GSM-B system another highly rated system. It is about $30 cheaper than this one but it can only use the 2G and 3G networks. The 2G network may be phased out in the near future. You can see my detailed comparison of the systems by clicking here: PiSector And Fortress Comparison

You get a good selection of components for the price of the system and this will be sufficient for many homes to cover the downstairs entry points, cover 2 main rooms downstairs and the access to bedrooms upstairs. They do have other kits in their range that may be better suited to your situation if you live in apartment or alternatively want to cover a larger home or business.

When I checked the best price I found for the system was Amazon and you can check if that is still the case by clicking here:  PiSector GS08-M 4g Cellular GSM Wireless Security Alarm System

Summary

This is a good basic DIY home security system at an affordable price. The kit comes with a good selection of sensors, sirens and remote controls. It doesn’t come with an App or camera or the ability to add them. But it does give you many more sensors for your house and for a similar price as those that do.

It can notify you there has been a breach at home by cellular network anywhere you have coverage. You can also phone in to listen to what is happening and arm/disarm the system.  It is portable and easy to install making it a good option for apartment dwellers and renters as well as home owners. It can make a good affordable option for vacation homes too where you may not have a landline as the cellular option can be used on its own.

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