I'm looking for a device that allows me to supervise an existing BTicino home alarm system. The system can communicate via RS-232 (or USB) interface using an open protocol, Openwebnet.

I need to be able to:

  1. intercept events from the RS-232 communication (known messages coming from the serial port), and then
  2. provide feedback through a GSM network (SMS messages).

The basic requirements I have are:

  • very low power consumption (<= 5 W),
  • RS232 or USB interface (communication with the alarm system gateway),
  • another RS232 or USB interface (communication with a GSM module),
  • 12 V supply (or UPS battery backup), and
  • programmability (to host the logic for interecept and react to events).

Up until now I have evaluated these solutions:

Which hardware platform do I need?

  • \$\begingroup\$ can someone help and fix the links? \$\endgroup\$ – Johan Dec 16 '10 at 15:34
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Johan fixed links - good deed for the day complete! \$\endgroup\$ – vicatcu Dec 16 '10 at 16:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is an excellent question. I am very surprised, that it has been answered only once. \$\endgroup\$ – Vorac Jul 2 '12 at 8:58

As I understand it, you're looking for a device which can monitor a serial port and send SMS messages.

The list of devices you gave are roughly in descending order of price, so I would guess that you want low cost.

Here are some ideas (substitute Arduino for your favourite microcontroller board):

If you have a broadband connection at the remote site:


This question is old, but it interests me. Call me a necromancer (or bored at work). Designing the board yourself can give you very low price and very low power consumption at the cost of hours of your personal time.

atmega32 uC for $6 with an open and free bit-banged usb (or very very much easier - the on-board hardware USART)

Power Consumption at 1MHz, 3V, 25°C
– Active: 1.1mA
– Idle Mode: 0.35mA
– Power-down Mode: < 1μA

No idea about GSM modules thou.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Personally, I favour this approach, but I guess this is lot more hard-work and requires more time (and test-equipment) to get it working as desired. SIMcom makes some extremely low cost GSM modules ($15'ish). \$\endgroup\$ – bdutta74 Jul 25 '12 at 9:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Lol, this is the poor-student-with-lots-of-free-time approach. \$\endgroup\$ – Vorac Sep 13 '13 at 13:36

I am doing a home security system now and I am using

  • raspberry pi as core management, web interface, logger, etc - 35$

  • one usb wall-powered hub - 10$

  • one gsm usb dongle connected to the pi - 25$

  • a few arduino boards connected via usb to the pi

This way i read the information with the pi, analise it and do whatever stuff i need (sms, alert, call)

  • \$\begingroup\$ I love the idea of using a pi as you can use for lots of other tasks too such a NAS \$\endgroup\$ – back_ache Oct 22 '13 at 20:24

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