HELIX Connect O2 is a smart home solution from EOS Australia. Built by Resolution in the U.S. the wireless control panel represents the future of intrusion detection. Thoughtfully designed to best manage today’s hybrid applications, Helix Connect O2 is affordable, expandable and highly functional.

EOS Australia’s Connect O2 smart home solution is a solid solution combining security, automation and energy management functionalities in an affordable and flexible package. What’s neat about Helix is that it very simply combines life management functionalities with security imperatives. Something else that’s nice about the system is just how easy it is to commission and install. The Connect 02 app, too, is noteworthy. It’s solid, giving all sorts of information and capability.

Built around the hub principle, Helix has a compact controller – it’s 22cm high, 22cm wide x 7cm deep and with battery installed it weighs 850g. You can locate the controller anywhere you like there’s no interference with wireless comms. In a domestic of commercial environment that could be tucked away in a cupboard, on top of a bookshelf (best for local wireless support) or alongside other networking equipment in a media room or study.

The controller delivers 24-hour backup from its 2000mAh NIMH battery, supports 96 wireless zones, has a 90dB siren and integrates comms paths including Z-Wave, Fast Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi with WPS, and 3G, which can be configured as the primary or secondary alarm reporting path. Local sensor comms is handled by a CriptixTM crystal-based, 433MHz security sensor receiver which incorporates encryption. Open air range between controller and sensors is 450m and the controller operating temperature is rated from -10 to 30C.

We have the CO2-RE6110S-HX-A-Helix Panel to test drive. This controller comes in a kit form with a very neat HeliPAD keypad, which has a Bluetooth Smart RF connection between keypad and controller. The HeliPAD has an e-ink capacitive touch screen display which is at once retro and very modern. The HeliPad offers up to 4 years’ service from user-replaceable AAA batteries. Inside this controller are expansion cards for Z-Wave for automation, GSM for alarm reporting and interactive services and Wi-Fi for alarm reporting and home interactive services over the local network.

Our sensors include a Co2-RE622 reed for windows or doors with a gap of up to 1-inch and up to 6-year battery life, and a Co2-RE610P-PIR Pyroflex IR sensor with HighBar signal processing for improved performance – this device has pet immunity and a detection angle of view of 44 degrees with a 90-degree angle field of view to each side. Pyroflex sensors have a maximum battery life of 8 years. There’s also a wireless internal siren.

Of course, this is not the totality of the Helix ecosystem when it comes to sensors. There are standard reeds with 15 years’ battery life, tilt sensors which trigger at 30 degrees, a gimbal-mount PIR, a glass break sensor, a temperature range sensor, a tri-mode environmental sensor able to detect rising water levels, extreme high temperatures and extreme low temperatures reporting as 3 distinct zones. There’s also the PINpad keypad offering single button arming and a panic alarm that can be carried in the car or in a purse, or located in a bedroom. And there’s a tactile keyfob with LED indicator and recessed buttons, as well as a panic pendant. The pendant is designed for emergency initiation is water resistant.

Other interesting inclusions include an IGM able to take over Honeywell Vista, DSC PowerSeries and Interlogix Concord or NX panels. Of note, the Connect O2 IGM gives smart phone security management and Z-Wave home automation management of locks, lights and other appliances. There’s also a wireless-to-wireless translator, which is able to accept up to 63 wireless zones and translate them from one protocol to another. There’s also a hardwire to wireless translator, which allows existing hardwired detectors to be brought into the wireless fold.

At the heart of system management from the point of view of users is the Connect O2 app, which runs on Connect O2’s fully encrypted private network and reports to SecureNet-enabled monitoring stations. Users can manage security, automation and energy management functions by controlling Z-Wave and/or Wi-Fi devices, as well as receiving event alerts in real time. The system can also report alarm events directly to professional monitoring services.

Sweet, from the point of view of installers, are comprehensive installer tools build into the app, which allow the fast creation of new accounts in the field. Installers can add and activate accounts, manage service plans and edit customer details. Authorised users can also manage alarm responses, contacts, panel codes, response instructions, test status, gateways and system configurations.

Driving Helix Connect O2 is very simple. Enrolment is as simple as it should be – the controller detects the ecosystem of devices nearby and recognises them – you can label them in the app. Our solution is compact with just a keypad, reed, PIR and siren. Downloading the app takes nothing more than a visit to the App Store or Google play and the panel and app-enabled smart devices find each other in an instant. You set up parameters relating to users, zone labelling and reporting during the commissioning process. It’s all very simple to manage. Arming and disarming is easy too, whether using the neat HeliPad or the mobile app.

According to EOS Australia’s Norman Wee, the controller and all devices are made in the U.S. by Resolution, which is particularly strong in hardware and the system is supported in the cloud by Securenet, which is strong in software and cloud monitoring solutions.

“At the heart of the system for installer and end user is the app, which allows arming, disarming, configuring of tamper, setting up rules and monitoring system health or the state of multiple client systems,” Wee says. “You can see everything in the app – trouble, tamper, whether devices are armed, which devices have low batteries. You can drive lights, or create rules to manage automation. Doorbells come up, garage door controllers, smart locks with Z-Wave cartridges.

“When setting up, all sensors have bar code and serial number – you can enter new devices manually or just bar code scan them and then add and label new zones, setup up active arming, click save. The system refreshes automatically. From an installers point of view, it’s very easy. They pair it up by locating sensors roughly where they want them, they can see signal quality as they are installing – the signal strength is indicated by the app.”

According to Wee, trouble shooting is easy thanks to the dealer portal.

“Installers can log into the portal on a laptop or workstation, log into the relevant account and everything relating to that installation will be right in front of them,” he explains. “Remote access saves a lot of time – they don’t need to drive to site unless something is seriously wrong. Installers can also see which accounts are in alarm, click on them and hop straight into the panel, see the MAC address, the plan they are on, panel settings, log into panel settings and check the applied settings, check how the panel is connected. They can get low battery signals, trouble signals from sensors. A lot of work has gone into the back end.”

“Securenet does the interactive services and they also have a dealer portal to manage their side of the system,” says Wee. “The way it’s designed, installers can set up Securenet accounts on the fly.”
According to Wee, there are also cameras that can be integrated – these are residential quality but they allow easy video verification of alarm events in real time.

“Through the app, users can also see energy consumption with a graph showing usage,” he says. “Then there are custom scenes – these can be more complex or quite simple – arm away turn lights off or alarm off turn lights on. The idea behind this is lifestyle – to make consumers more comfortable while giving customers and installers a serious security and automation system that is flexible and expandable.

“There are many home automation solutions appearing on the market that compete with security systems, but those home automation type systems are not capable security solutions and they lack the degree of capability you see here,” Wee explains.

“The Connect O2 solution is extremely well thought out with significant lateral connectivity to existing control panels, sensors installations, as well as handling automation. It’s an excellent system that offers end users and installers a higher level of flexibility and functionality.”

By John Adams

Features of Helix Connect O2:

* Up to 96 zones
* Z-Wave, Fast Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi with WPS, and 3G
* Huge sensor range
* Z-Wave home automation
* Remote app management
* Securenet professional monitoring
* A range of takeover/integration options.