Do It For Me TV Installation with Hidden Wiring

When Kevin Johnson wanted to mount a TV in his computer room he ran into three problems. 1 – The TV Outlet was on the opposite side of the room 2 – There was no power on the wall where the TV was going 3 – All TV power and cables needed to be hidden inside the wall.

Part 1:

Kevin is a DIY kinda guy.  He has some tools, so mounting the TV was something he could do himself.  When it came to installing a new cable TV outlet, running power for the TV and fishing wires inside the wall,  those parts of the job Kevin could use a hand with so he called Ion Smart Security. Ion had the expertise and the specialized tools to help Kevin with his TV install.  By hiring Ion for part of the job, Kevin didn’t have to go out and buy a fish tape, coaxial cable, electrical boxes, stud finders, long drill bits, hole saws, an oscillating tool or drywall saw.  Having someone with experience help guide Kevin through the job not only made  the job go quicker, but also prevented Kevin from making costly mistakes. The first step was to move the existing cable line over to the adjacent wall.  To do this Doyle from Ion first identified the proper cable in the attic that needed to be moved and then spliced an additional length of coax onto the existing cable so it would be long enough to reach the new TV location.  Kevin (the home owner) then crawled in the attic and with the help from Ion was able to fish the cable to the new TV location.  With Doyle’s guidance and tools, Kevin was able to successfully drill a hole in the attic and then fish the new coax cable down the wall where Doyle had already cut a hole and installed a low voltage box. Once the cable line was installed and working the next step was to mount the TV.  Kevin didn’t need any help with this part so Doyle from Ion left and would be called back when Kevin was ready for part two. Kevin purchased a TV mount from Amazon and mounted the TV by himself.  The power and HDMI cables were ran on the surface of the wall for the time being until he had time to book Ion again to help him complete the job. Part 2: After calling Ion Smart Security to book a second ‘Do it with Me’ installation, Kevin was advised by Ion to purchase a DataComm Power Kit from Amazon and have it ready for the installation date.  Many homeowners think they can just drill a hole and run a power cord or extension cord through the wall however this is against electrical code and could void your home owners insurance in the case of a fire claim.  At Ion we recommend that all TV installations follow the electrical code, as Mike Holmes would say “Do it Right”. A couple days after the Power Kit arrived Doyle from Ion Smart Security came back to Kevin’s home to finish the job.  Kevin removed the TV for Doyle and using his oscillating tool, Doyle carefully cut out the holes for the power and low voltage boxes and helped Kevin install the electrical and HDMI cabling inside the wall. After the boxes and cabling were installed, Kevin remounted his TV onto the bracket and connected up his Shaw Cable box and Amazon FireStick.  Doyle even had some tips to clean up the power and wiring making the job look super clean. By doing some of the work himself Kevin saved a couple of hours in labour charges and approximately  30% on equipment and materials costs.  Not having to purchase expensive specialized tools was another saving. By hiring Ion Smart Security to “Do it With Me” Kevin figures he saved both time and money.  In his words “I got the best of both worlds … I did part of the job myself, saved some money, learned a lot and avoided costly mistakes”. If you’re a Do it Yourselfer like Kevin but don’t have the tools or experience give Ion Smart Security a call, we’d love to help you out.  We can do everything for you or if you prefer to do some of the work yourself,  we can “Do it With You”.
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Amazon’s New Echo 3 Generation – Review

echo-vs-sonos-one2Until the Echo Studio speaker is released next month the New Echo 3rd Gen Speaker is arguably Amazon’s BEST Sounding Echo Speaker to date and the best value for the money.

The new Echo 3rd Gen speaker is basically the same as the 2018 Echo Plus Speaker without the Zigbee Home Automation Hub.  Many people bought the Echo Plus to get a better sound but never used the built in Zigbee hub.  The new Echo 3rd gen is $70 less than the Echo Plus but still has the same speakers, form factor and great sound.  Inside the Echo are two speakers, a 0.8” tweeter and 3” woofer.  The Echo can be used by itself or paired in stereo with another Echo and even a subwoofer if you like.

echo-vs-sonos-one3-1While the new Echo is still not as good as the Sonos One, it’s price makes it an incredible value and the sound quality is still surprisingly good, the best I’ve heard at this price point.

Two Echo speakers cost $259.98 for a stereo pair configuration compared to $249 for a single Sonos One.  Two Echos and an Echo Sub would still only cost $439.97 compared to $1396 for two Sonos Ones and a Sonos Sub.  To be fair the Sonos One does have a better smoother midrange and the sonos sub is much better than the Echo sub, but for the budget conscious consumer, the Amazon Echo is a compelling offer and great value.


What to Expect:

The new Echo speaker is slighting wider than the previous model and as mentioned has larger speakers inside.  The fabric covering material is also different on the new Echo with the additional option of the Color Twilight Blue.  The Charcoal material looks more Black on the New Echo and the Twilight Blue looks more grey than blue in my opinion. 

The biggest improvement you will notice with the New Echo over previous models is the sound quality.  The new Echo is louder with much deeper base and smoother midrange.  The speaker is aptly powered and while the bass is noticeably better and not boomy or overbearing.


When it comes to music quality it hard to beat Sonos but the new Echo certainly raises the bar and narrows the gap.  At a price of $129.99, Echo is arguably the Best Sounding Smart Speaker at this price point.  The Echo Studio will sound better than the Echo but it’s also larger and $130 dollars more.   

For me the Echo is the Goldilocks of Smart Speakers.  The sound quality is very good and the size just fits.   If you are on a budget and looking to purchase only one Smart Speaker the new Echo is the one to get!

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Amazon buys Ring and Stops Selling Nest Products

319N9SzWOeL._SL500_AC_SS350_Amazon has announced it will stop selling NEST Products including Nest Thermostats, Cameras, Smoke Detectors, Door Bells and the new Nest Protect Security System.

The move to stop selling Nest on Amazon is part of a bigger war between Amazon and Google as both companies compete for the smart home.  Amazon recently purchased RING the DoorBell and Security Camera manufacturer,  enabling it to compete head to head with Nest and Google.   Google Home products directly compete against Amazon Echo devices and are not available on Amazon.   Amazon will stop selling NEST Products as soon as inventory runs out.

It’s unclear what Amazon intends to do with Ring but what is known Ring will be launching several new products this spring including a New Ring Alarm System.

ring alarmWith the Acquisition of Ring and the potential to control the security system in the Home Amazon’s Key Program would have the ability to disarm your security system, unlock your door, record video of your delivery and re-lock and Arm your security system after the delivery is complete.

Doyle from Ion Smart Security says Smart Key technology already exists with Ion Smart Alarm System but not all courier companies are willing to leave packages inside the home if a signature is required.  Because Amazon’s Key program is controlled by Amazon, “in home delivery” is part of the native delivery process.

If you want more information about Amazon Key or remote door lock access and video monitoring for your home contact Doyle at Ion Smart Security or 780-489-5522.

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Voice Shopping will Explode to $40 Billion by 2022

IMG_9269Currently only 10-13% of homes in the US and UK have smart (Voice Controlled) speakers which generate $2 Billion a year from voice initiated online sales.


According to a Study from OC&C Strategy Consultants Voice Shopping is going to explode to $40 Billion per year by 2022 in the US and UK markets.

Amazon is predicted to dominate the voice controlled smart device category with a market penetration of 55%.  Currently the penetration of Smart Speakers is only 13% for Amazon, 4% for Goggle Home and 2% for Microsoft Cortana.  Apple’s HomePod with Siri has just been released however given it’s price and market delay, HomePod is not expected to be a small niche player in the Smart Speaker Space while Amazon Echo and Alexa enable products will continue to dominate for the foreseeable future.

Source:  OC&C Strategy Consultants:


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Exercise Room TV with Sonos Playbar

IMG_6433When Gary and Christine moved into their new home they wanted a TV mounted in the centre of their exercise room they wanted a TV mounted above their Suntan Bed which could swivel a full 180° degrees so they could watch it while running on the treadmill, working out on the Universal Gym or view the TV while sitting in the Sauna. 

Mounting the TV was the first challenge but Gary’s  second request was also complicated.  “I don’t want speakers in the ceiling”  Gary told Doyle from Ion Smart Security.  “I want a soundbar on the TV with the ability to focus and concentrate sound in the direction the TV is pointed”  “Lastly I want the wiring to be clean”

IMG_6420With years of commercial audio and video experience Doyle decided the best way to meet the clients design criteria was to mount the TV in the exercise room using a ceiling mount rather than a full motion wall mounts.  “Wall mounts only allow about 130° degrees of motion so they wouldn’t work for this application”. The ceiling mount needed to be modified to work with the tight confines of the space above the ceiling tile.  “In commercial applications we usually have a lot more space above the ceiling to work with but in this case we had less than nine inches above the ceiling tile and to make matters worse we had to work around heating vents and water pipes.” 

IMG_6436After figuring out how to mount the TV the next step was a method to mount the Sonos Playbar.  Doyle modified a traditional Sonos wall mount to work with a special Soundbar bracket.  The modified soundbar mount attached to the back of the TV and mounted the Sonos Playbar tightly and securely to the bottom of the TV.  In addition to the Sonos Playbar a Sons Sub was placed in the corner of the gym and paired to with the Sonos Playbar.  With the speakers installed the next step was to Tune the Room with Sonos’ “TruePlay” Speaker Calibration.  Once the calibration was complete the system sounded phenomenal.  The sound was crisp and clean with super tight bass … not a easy feat in a room filled with potential echo’s and standing waves. 

IMG_6426With the TV mounted, the Playbar installed Doyle Turned his attention to wiring up the Shaw cable box and cleaning up the wiring.  The Shaw cable box was mounted behind the TV hidden from view but still in remote control range.  The power and video cables were covered with split loom tubing and neatly wrapped to provide a clean look from all angles.

With the install complete it was time for Gary and Chris to give the new TV and Playbar a workout.  With Gary on the weights and Chris running on the treadmill the volume from the Sonos Playbar was not only loud enough to overcome the ambient noise in the room but sounded fantastic.  After their workout it was time to hit the sauna.  The TV was able to turn enough to allow a “Straight On View” while sitting in the sauna and the direction sound of the Sonos Playbar mounted below the TV was terrific.  “Overall we’re very happy with the install Doyle did … I’m a pretty handy guy but this is something I couldn’t have done myself”.

If you would like more information on TV Mounting, Sonos, Security Systems and Home Automation give the guys at Ion Smart Security a call (780) 489-5522 or

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Self-Driving Cars Will Benefit Elderly Drivers


Roman Boed © CC 2.0

When we hear the term Self-Driving car we often think of Taxi Cabs, Uber and Highway Transport Trucks.  One market that’s largely ignored but could benefit greatly from Self-Driving technology is Senior Citizens.

My mother (77) stopped driving after having a severe car accident that almost killed her while my father continues to drive at age 78.  Another elderly client of mine can no longer drive for medical reasons at 85 years of age.

For most regions in Canada driving is synonymous with independence and losing the ability to drive can restrict your mobility and affect your lifestyle.  Driving takes physical skills and coordination to control the vehicle but also takes cognition to navigate the roadways, destination and traffic.  As we age our physical strength and coordination may diminish along with our cognitive processes.  Autonomous vehicles can assist aging drivers in both the physical and mental decision making needed to safely operate a motor vehicle benefiting both the driver and passenger in the car as well as the general public.  Self-driving technologies could extend the age in which older drivers are able to operate a motor vehicle and thus provide mobility and independence which otherwise would not be possible.

For more about Self-Driving Cars and the Elderly read Mary M. Chapman’s article in the New York Times at NY Times – Self Driving Cars




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Honeywell SC100-SC105 Seismic Vibration Sensor For ATM’s

honeywell seismicThe Honeywell SC100 and SC105 Seismic Vibration Sensor is specifically designed to detect heat and vibrations which result when fixed solid structures are disturbed.

The sensor was designed to protect bank vaults, safes, ATMs and doors.  Free standing objects including gun cases, vending machines, ticket machines and file cabinets can also be secured using the SC Series Sensors.

Advanced sensing technology reduces the potential for false alarms while still being able to detect heavy blows from hammers, drilling, chisel, pry bar and cutting torches and grinders.

Installation is simple and the sensors can be connected to existing alarm systems and central station monitored.

For more information on call or visit Ion Security 780-489-5522

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Honeywell 5822T Wireless Tilt Sensor

honeywell-garage-collage_110772895822-2Compatible with 2Gig and Honeywell alarm panels the Honeywell 5822 Wireless Tilt Sensor is designed to mount vertically on surfaces that tilt horizontally when opened.

The sensor detects tilt movement and will let the user know if the garage door or tilt window is Open or Closed.  When used with the Ion Security Smart Home Alarm panel users can check the status of the sensor and receive text or email alerts when ever the door is open or closed.

For more information or to add the Honeywell 5822T Wireless Tilt Sensor to your system visit or contact Ion Security 780-489-5522



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GE/Jasco Shows Off 5 New Z-Wave Smart Remotes

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The new GE/Jasco Remote Z-Wave Switches look a lot like Lutron Pico Switches and are the same size and shape as Decor light switches.  The remotes are battery powered so no wiring is required.  They can be mounted inside a standard electrical box or anywhere on a wall or inside a cabinet or closet using the included bracket.

The new remotes include

  • 1-Scene Remote (34172)
  • 2-Scene Remote (34174)
  • 4-Scene Remote (34176)
  • These remotes work with or without a Z-Wave Hub


  • 2-Button Hub Remote (34184) – acts as a hub, up to 12 scene capabilities
  • 4-Button Hub Remote (34186) – acts as a hub, up to 24 scene capabilities
  • Works with some Z-Wave hubs and gateways

Availability is Q4, 2017.



Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment New POE Cameras introduced two new POE Cameras at ISC West focusing on Small Business use but equally suited for hardwired residential applications.


The ADC-VC725 is a Indoor/Outdoor Bullet camera with IR, HD video and ip66 Rated Enclosure.  The VC725 has a more robust and better mounting system then the ADC 721 Wi-Fi Camera

The ADC-VC825 is an Indoor/Outdoor Dome Camera with with IR, HD video and ip 66 rating.

Both cameras use 4mm lenses and will be available this summer.

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