Xandem Next Gen Intrusion Tested

By Brian Rhodes, Published on Apr 26, 2017

Xandem's "full coverage motion tracking technology" is unlike any intrusion technology we have seen.

We bought their new system and tested it extensively to better understand its strengths and weaknesses. Below is one of the examples from our testing showing movement within our test environment:

 

The plus side is that the technology works and is legitimately different. The negative side is how and where the technology is built to be used.

In this report, we analyze Xandem's technology in depth.

High ********** *** ***** ******

******'* ******** ** ******** toward *** ***** ********* low-end *********** ******, *** given **** ******'* ******** and ****** ********** ** altogether ********* *** *********** what ** ********* *********, we ******* *** ****** ****** is high-end ******* **** ****** a ******* *** *** motion ******** ******** *** technology ******.

Xandem's ****** ******

****** ** ******** ** displace **** ** *** existing ********* ****** **** this ********, *** *** company ***** ** ********** either (*) ************ ** a ******-*** ********** ******** or (*) * ******** acquisition ****** *** ********* intrusion ********* **** *****, DMP, *********, ****, ***. who ***** ******* **** their **********'* ***************.

Key **** ********

****** **** *** **** like *********** ********* *******, and *** ******* *********** some *** ***********:

  • *******, *** ****** ****** well ** *** ****, although ****** ********* *** weaker ** *** ***** and ***** ************ ******** by * ** * feet ******* ** ****** strength ******** ** ******* range ** *****.
  • ****** **** ******** **** consistent ******** ***** ****, with ** ******** ***** detection ** **** ********* events ****** *** ****.  In **** *****, ***** movement ******** ******** ** the ****** ** * room ** ******* *********, but **** ******** ******** was ******* *******.
  • ** ***** (***** ***********) Latency ******* ****** ******** and ********* ******** ** 0.75 - *.* *******, generally ****** ***** ** local ******* ********.  ****** network ******* ******** ** longer *******.
  • *********** ** *** ******* was '****** **', ** made **** ********* ** detect ***** ******** *** pets ***** ** ******. At ******* ***********, ***** children *** **** *** not ** ********.
  • *** ****** ****** ***** lacks *********** ******** ********* in ***** ********* ***** systems, **** ******, ***********/**** arming, ************, *** ******* station ***********.
  • *** '*****' ******* **** not ******** ***** ****** or ******** ********, *** unless ***** *** ********** email ** **** * local ******* *********, ************ of ** ***** ********* may *** ** *******.
  • ********* ** *** ********* of * ******** *** weak ******* ** *****-*****, that ***** **** ** addressed ** ******** ***** in ******* ******** ** outside *****.  **** ****** location *** *** ****** be *********, ** **** installed, ** **** ***** plans.
  • ** *** *******, ****** nodes *** *** ******* 'line ** *****' *********** or ******* ***** ***** susceptibility ** ******* ****** PIR *******.

Theory ** *********

*** ******* ********** ** that ******* ** ******** contacts, ****** *******, *** ***** ***** *******, ****** **** ***** waves (*.***-*.*** ***) ** part ** *** **** radio ******** **** ** WiFi *** ****** *******.

*** *** ****** ** the ********* ******** ** that ******* *** '*** through' ************ **** ***** and ***********, ******* ********* only ******* **** ********* with ******** ******** **********. Movement ******** ******** ******* on *** **** *** how **** ****** ******* relate ** **** ***** via * ****, **** higher ****** ******* ********* is ****** ********.

*** *******'* **** *** marketing ***** ***** ********* the ******* ******** *** operation ** *** ******:

*******, ****** ********* ** household ***** *********** ****** the ******* ****** ******** to **** ****** ****** and ******** ****** * building:

**** ******** * *** difference *** ********* ******** compared ** ********* ********* systems. ***** ***** ******* are ******** ** ****** intrusion ** *** ********* of * ********, ****** essentially **** ******* ******** inside * *********.

System ********

*** ****** ****** ** composed ** ******** ******* that **** ** ** common ** ******* ******* and *********** ** ** internet ********* *** **** uploads ****-**** **** ** a *** ******. *** overview ***** ******** * demo ** *** ****** and ** ******** ** the ******** ** *** portal:

Kit ********

*** *** ****** ***** with *** ******** ***** and *** ******* *** needed ** ******* *** system:

*** ***** *** ******* into ******** ***-******* ******* and *********** ********** ** the ***.

Node ******** *****

********** ** *** **-**** kit ******* **** ******* and ****** ***** ***** on *** ***** ****** footage ** ********.

  • * ****: **** *** 500 **. **. ** coverage
  • ** ****: **** *** 1,000 - *,*** **. ft.
  • ** ****: **** *** 2,000 - *,*** ** ft.

****** ***** *** *** more ***** *** ******** kits ****** ******** ** the *** ****** ** a ****** ******.

** ******** ** *** 'Plug-In' **** *******, * version **** **** ** power ******** *** ******** wiring ** ********* *** commercial ** ***** **** may *** **** ******* installed ** *** ********** area. 

Kit *******

****** ******* **** [**** no ****** *********] *** available ** ******* ********, with ****** '******' ***** or ******** *** ******* power ****** *******.

** ****** *** ******, 10 **** '********' ***** kit **** **** $***, about $** *** ****. The **** ****** *** 10 **** *** ****** about *** **** ** a ***** ***** ** commercial ****** ***** *** is *** **** ****** size. ****** ** **** (XL) **** **** $***, while ***** * **** (MINI) **** **** $***.

****** ********* **** *** number ** ***** ****** "May **** ********* ** construction ********* *** *********. Heavier ***** **** ***** or ****** **** ******* more ***** *** ***** area."

*** ************ ***** *********** wall ****** ***** ** not *********, **-***** ******* including ***** ***** *** offered ** ****** ******: 6 ***** **** $***, 10 ***** **** $***, and ** ***** **** $1,295 ** **** *************.

****** **** ****** *** same **** ** '***' configuration **** ******** ******* backup ******* *** *** nodes *** ** *********, 4 ***** ****** ******** on *** *** *** external *********** ** ********* alarm *******, *** ****** to *** ***. ** tested *** '****' *** version **** **** *** include *** ******** ***** points ** ******* ****** option.

Installation *** *************

** *** ****, ** plugged ***** **** **** outlets *** **** **** which **** *** ********* where *** ******'* ******* instructions. ******* ********* ********** occupies *** ****** ****, and *** ** ********* leaving *** **** ** a ******** ****** ******:

*** *** ***-**** ******, installation **** ***** ** minutes *****, ********* *** time ** ******* *** register *** ******* ****.

**** *****, * ****** floor **** **** ** drawn ** *** *** portal, *** ***** ****** in *** ******** ********* they *** ********** ********* on *** ****.  ****** uses * '**** *** drop' **** **** ** a ****, ***** ** easy ** *** *** very ***** ** ******. Nodes **** ** ****** with ******* ** ***** factory ********* ****** ** the ********* ** ***** to ******** ******** **********.

***** **** ********* ** fairly ******* (**** ** 1 ****), *** ***** of ********* ******* *** essentially ******* ** ***** lines. ******* ****** ******** like *****, *******, ** appliances ** ********* *** hard ** ******** ***** everything **** *** **** line ****, *****, *** color, ** **** ***** are **** ***** ** draw ***** **** *********. Xandem ***** ** **** floorplan ******* *** * development **** *** ****** releases:

******* *********** ** *** nodes ** ******** **** a ****** ** * general *******.  ********** **** sensitivity ****** ** ********, so ** ******** ******** is ******** (****), **** turning *** ***** *********** down ** ***********.  ** actually **** *** ****** 'more *********' ***** ** sensor ****** *** *********, but *** ********** ** very ****** *** *** not **** ** *** situations.

Nodes **. ****

******** ** ******** ****** PIRs, ******'* ***** *** slightly *******. *** ***** below ** * ****-**-**** of * **** ******** PIR, ********* ***** *** comparable ** ***** *******:

****** **** ******** ** hang *- ** **** above *** *****, ****** nodes **** ** ***** to *** *****, ***** 1.5' - *' ***** the ******. ******* *** low *********, *** **** did *** ****** **** problems ********* ****** ** normal ********** *******, *** could ****** **** ****** even ** *** ******* stood *****.

******* *** **********: *** mesh ******* *************'****** ** *** *******, unlike *** *** **** uses * *********** ** FoV *** *********.

** *******, ****** ******** of ***** ** ************* important ** *******, **** Xandem ****** **** **** strength ** **** **** '70%' ********* ** **** performance. ** ****** *** 10 **** ****** **** averages ** **%+ ********, and **** ****** *** to *** ***** **** threshold *** ***** ***** claims ********.

*** ****** ***** ***** a ********** ** **** time *** ****** ********, and **** ******** ********** updates ** *** ***.  The ***** ******* *** availability *** **** **** is ***** ** ****, with '***** ****' ********** being *******:

*** ********** ******* ** generally ****** ** *** than * *****-***** ***** system, ***** *** ****-**** graphic ******** **** ****** fine ****** *** ********* changes ****** ** *** and ********.

Alarms, *************, *** *****

*** ******* ****** **** while ********* ***** ** excellent, *** ****** ****** granular ********* *** **************** of **** ********* *******.  For *******, '*****' **** dictate ****** **** ****** is ******** **** ** created, *** ****** ******** is ******* ** ***** basic ******* ******* ********* 'send *****', '***** ******** speakers', ** '** ** URL' *** ********* ************ with **** ********** *********:

*** ******* *** ****** contains * */*" / 3.5mm "**** ******" ** "TRS" (***/****/******) ***** **** where ******** ******** ** similar ********** ********* ******** can ** ******* **.  Without ***** ********, *** system ****** **** *** have ***** ************.

Weaknesses ** ******

***** ****** ***** ****-********** and ******** ********* *******, it ***** ***** ******** that ***** ** *********** if **** ** * primary ********* ******:

  • ** ***** *******
  • ** *********** ** ********** nodes
  • ** ******** ******
  • ** **********
  • ** ******* ******* ***********

***** ****** ***** ** the ************ **** ***** and ******** ****** ******* is ******, *** **** of ***** ******** *** mean **** ****** ******* are *** ******** ************ for *********** ***** *******, even **** *** ******** and ******** ****** ******** ability.

Strengths ** *******

***** ****** ***** *** depth ** *********** ******** needed *** ********** *********, both *** ******* *** technology ** ********** *** and ***** ***** ******* for ********** ***.

*** ******* ********** ** not ********** ** **** of *** ****** ******* of ***** ****** **** plague *** ***** ****** sensors, *** *** ****** does *** **** *** line-of-sight ** ********* ****** that **** ** ***** technology.

***** *** **** ** refine *** *** ********** features, ****** ******* ***** be * ***** ********* for ********** '**** ********' locations ***** ******** ******** movement ** ********** ** hazardous ***** *** ******, and *** ********** ** higher ********** *** *** be ******* ** ******* given *** ****** ***** and ******** ************ **** existing ****** ******* *** devices.

Comments (20)

This is a really unique product and actually has me excited for the future of alarm systems, which is usually pretty yawn inducing.  I'm not so certain about the Homeplug style devices, but understand the need.  If they're able to address the items mentioned in this article (zones, central station, etc) to bring it out of the consumer grade product range they may do very well.  This would be an worthwhile product to revisit in a year or two.

I evaluated Xandem in 2013.  Back then I was really excited about it's future potential.  However, after 4 years, I would have hoped for more development/evolution.  It appears that having a plug-in outlet module is new (which is nice).  It used to be recommended to not mount it on any metal surface which killed my plan for mounting this system in warehouses.  I don't know if that is still the case.

I am still excited about the technology, but was hoping for some sort of intelligent integration with Alarm systems.  Or, at the very least, maybe they need their own Keypad and communication panel.  It still seems like it's great concept, yet I can only trigger an input on my DMP system and still not have any idea where the alarm happened via a Central Station.  I can mount several wireless motion detectors for the same price of each plug-in unit (Pro units with battery backup are probably more expensive) and actually know exactly what rooms/devices have been triggered.

Perhaps this would be better suited to integrate with a VMS??

I am being a bit critical, but it's mostly because I really like the technology and I'm a bit bummed that (in my opinion) it's still not ready for primetime.

This is clearly next generation alarm technology. It is about time something new happened to the technologies that we have known for 20+ years. A breath of fresh air. exciting times ahead as this technology is developed further. Good work...

I installed Xandem in my home a few months ago.  Install was fast (walk the house and plug in sensors), literally minutes.  Drawing the map was crude at best and took me about another 10 minutes.  I have the sensors hidden behind furniture for the most part, about half are visible.   My crude map was working but the X was off when motion was detected.  I ended up redrawing the map as accurately as I could, you really need to give exact distances if you want motion to be displayed right.  I have had 4 different X's displayed at same time on the map, that part is really cool.  It will pickup motion outside if you are at the window looking in, I have sensors on the wall right below the windows. Range outside the window (brick house) is about 1 ft with sensitivity at default.  A few observations:

 

1) Green LEDs are bright!  I covered some of them with electrical tape to appease the wife.

2) You order the number of sensors for the size of the coverage area.  The hub appears to programmed for that number.  I have 15 sensors, if one of them is unplugged, all the sensors immediately turn amber.  

3) Web app only right now with email notifications.  The app in the video is not available yet.  Once that is available with push notifications, it will be a much better product.

4) Cloud based but you can monitor locally as well.  Nice touch.

5) Sensitivity is for overall not each sensor.  Wish it was per sensor.  I have some near laundry room and they will pickup activity from washer/dryer.  Not enough for the X to be draw, but I can tell by looking at map if the dryer is on.  

6) No "history" of detected motion.  You can see live and the web app tells you last detected motion by timestamp.  Supposedly that will be added in the future release.  If so, that really sets it apart from the normal PIR.

7) You can order a different sensor version (no plug) that is meant to be installed permanently.   Can be located behind drywall in that case for a completely hidden install.

 

 

Nice findings, congruent with what we saw too. 

1) Green LEDs are bright! I covered some of them with electrical tape to appease the wife.

We raised the same issue.  Xandem forwarded us a process to disable the node LEDs via the onboard button:

7) You can order a different sensor version (no plug) that is meant to be installed permanently. Can be located behind drywall in that case for a completely hidden install.

I saw this claim made too, but I'd personally be very hesitant to place a node somewhere it could not be replaced/ power cycled/ maintained such as buried behind wallboard.  That would make me very nervous!

[Note: Poster is from Xandem]

A good trick is to mount the DC nodes just beneath light switches. That way you can use the light switch cavity as an access to pull a node up and out for any required servicing.

Does it have any bad effects on the 2,4GhZ WiFi in house?

Not that I have noticed.  Wireless router is a Netgear NightHawk X8 running custom dd-wrt firmware.  About 20 other wireless devices :  Amazon Echo, Xbox 360, Xbox 1, Vera, TV, soundbar, laptops,  and a number of Z-wave/zigbee devices as well.

 

 

Not that I experienced, but most of the devices in my house use 5 GHz.  I will ask Xandem for feedback here.

Does it detect people walking outside the house near the wall?

I mean is there leakage?

 

Yes, it is possible, but depends on the location of the nodes and the type of construction of the walls:

If you are outside at the window, then yes it will detect.  But you basically have to be peering through the window against the wall and trying to set it off like I did.  Somebody walking by, no.  You can adjust the sensitivity though if that is a problem.

Thanks I missed the photo...

So no battery back up or animal immunity? But lots of potential. 

 We've used Xandem products in large vehicle maintenance facilities that were hard to protect using other devices. This is a outstanding product, false alarms are almost non - existent only have occasional door contact issues. No issues incorporating it into our Intrusion system either. 

Hello Michael,
Did you use the URL notification to integrate it to the intrusion system?

From what I understand its too basic to be used as full fledged alarm system as its lacking CONTACT ID reporting to central station, Battery backup, GSM/GPRS/SMS/PBX notification functions and so on.

I find this system interesting and lacking at the same time and wanted to know what you did with it exactly.

 

Hello Itamar,

We installed one of the earlier version Xamdem which was pretty basic compared to the newer versions. We added it as another zone on the Intrusion panel which is a Honeywell Vista 128BPT, power was provided with a separate external power supply with battery backup as well. The difference here is we are not utilizing it as a stand alone system. The only issue that we occasionally encounter is in the winter when the snow plows are parked directly in front of a transmitter which blocks the signal. We will continue to use Xamdem systems as a supplement in situations where a large area needs to be protected. Hope this answers your question.

Since the Xamdem system does not have any outputs did you connect it as a zone via its url calling interface?

Itamar, Joey Wilson from XANDEM here. There are 4 relay outputs that can be used to integrate via a panel's zone inputs. See the "Connecting the Gateway Relays" section of "Installation" in the tech manual - http://xandem.com/documentation.

Yep. I missed that part...

My bad.

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