Does the retrofit alarm kit support wired motion sensors?

I have a pretty simple setup today, a two wired door sensors plus two wired motion sensors. Are wired motion sensors supported by the retrofit kit?


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Hey @sirfergy! This and more can be found through the links in our Community post about the Alarm Retrofit Kit. If you are unable to find the exact solution, check back here to see if other neighbors have shared a similar experience with their Retrofit Kit throughout the Community. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the reply. I went through that, and it says just contact sensors. That seems really limiting. :frowning:

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I could not get it to work. The motion sensor that I have needs external power as well. Even after providing external power to the motion sensor the Retrofit Kit would not see the motion sensor.

I have a wired motion sensor and powered it externally (using my existing board) and it was recognized by the retrofit kit. However, configuration options for the mode are limited to either a primary, secondary door or window, not specifically as a motion sensor, which seems to be causing me some issues. It also results in constant event updates to status in the apps, as there is no way to disbale a window or door in “disarmed” mode.

It would be great if there was an option to add a zone on the retrofit kit as a motion sensors (assuming you have externally powered it) and handle it accordingly. Maybe a software update?


If the motion sensors don’t require separate power to them then they should work just fine. The Retrofit Alarm Kit installation directions seem to indicate that motion sensors do require an external power source but there’s little detail.

I installed two retrofit panels - one for the casement (crank handle) windows in the front of the house and the second for the casement windows in the kitchen. Ring’s sensors are much too large to use with casements. A limitation with the retrofit kits is that the Ring system sees each panel as one “device” and I want to know which set of windows would be triggering an alarm, hence the need for two retrofit panels. That aside, we have two Ring motion sensors on our system and we’ll be adding a third. They’re really easy to install and when tested worked as expected and worth the $30 investment.

Where would motion sensors get power from if not their panel? And I presume that means I’d be out of luck using my wired motion sensors that pull power from the panel.

There are a range of products so it’s hard to tell without knowing the manufacturer and model of the motion detector that you have so it can be researched to know if it can work. If there are more than two wires for a wired motion detector then it’s likely to require external power and be incompatible with the retrofit alarm kit panel. A new Ring motion detector runs $30.00 with a 15% discount if you first subscribe to Professional Plus alarm monitoring.

i recently moved into a new home which had a hardwired system with one hardwired motion detector. I installed the Ring Base system with the retrofit kit. The system works perfect including monitoring of the existing motion. I used the existing panel’s power supply (and battery back-up) to power the motion detector. Very impressed!

One main issue is that the motion is located on the first floor living room which creates a tone every time motion is sensed.

QUESTION: Is there a way to deactivate the alert tone for ONE zone (ie the motion detector-Zone 6 on my kit) vs alert tone for the entire retrofit kit? I’d like to keep the doors and windows alert tones activate while muting the motion. I believe the base station sees the kit as ONE device rather then 8 individual zones.

Other then this minor annoyance the retrofit kit worked perfect, easy to install, easy to program.

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No, not directly. Motion sensors need power to work and retrofit kits don’t provide that. The directions do indicate this but I don’t remember where exactly.

The Ring motion sensors are battery powered and wireless.

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That’s a clever way to keep your existing motion sensors.

As for assigning chirp tones to devices you’ll need a second retrofit kit to separate an existing sensor to have it chirp while others do not chirp. We needed to separate front casement windows from rear casement windows, all of which had wired sensors. The solution was a second retrofit kit. It’s an bit more expensive a solution, but security is worth the additional investment in our case.

My experience is the same as littlegeeza’s. Overall, the retrofit alarm kit works well for my existing wired motion sensors. My motion sensors have 4 wires - 2 for power, and 2 for sensor contact. I keep my old alarm panel powered on, with it’s battery backup, just to power my two motion sensors - the two power wires from each motion sensor stay connected to the old panel. The old panel was disconnected from phone line, old keypads, siren, and sensors. The 2 sensor contact wires from the motion sensor are connected to the retrofit panel. I configured them as “windows” in retrofit setup. Note the battery backup is essential for me, as the motion sensors will show open circuit if they lose power, which could trigger a false alarm in a power outage.

The event log will get lots of event updates, as the motion sensors log an event on every detection of motion, but that doesn’t really cause a problem. You can select “None” for “Chirp Tones”, so you don’t hear something everytime they sense motion.

That said, it would be great if there was an option to add a zone on the retrofit kit as a motion sensor (assuming you have externally powered it), and have Ring’s software handle it like their wireless motion sensors. This could reduce event log updates, and also provide more integration options with Alexa. With Alexa, you can still create routines triggered on motion detection, but it’s hard to have a routine that triggers on something like: “wait until no motion for 30 minutes” for the wired motion detectors, because Alexa thinks they are just contact sensors.

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There was an earlier post from DigitalDave that incorrectly states…“As for assigning chirp tones to devices you’ll need a second retrofit kit to separate an existing sensor to have it chirp while others do not chirp.”

That has not been my experience - I was able to assign chirp tones to each zone individually. I’m using all 8 zones on my retrofit kit, and all 8 devices show up a separate sensors in the app, with each sensor having it’s own settings for chirp tones, alerts, mode, etc.

Please vote for this feature request by following the link below and clicking thumbs up:

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Like others have mentioned, you can use your legacy alarm panel (if you have one) to power the wired motion sensors. I did this for successfully. However, there are downsides…one big issue for me. Others have mentioned the large number of motion events in the log. I agree these events cause undesirable clutter, but I could tolerate that. But I have a bigger concern which may have convinced me to just use Ring’s motion sensors. Granted, I do not have the time to do a controlled experiment. Every motion detection represents at least 2 transmissions that the retrofit kit has to make to the base station (open and closed). With 3 wired motion detectors in my home, I’m concerned the battery life of the retrofit will be significantly degraded by all of these events. If I lived in the home, battery replacement wouldn’t be a big deal. But my alarm is on an Airbnb out of state. Each battery replacement can result in a bill from my property manager. So, if battery life for your retrofit kit is important, you may want to consider excluding wired motion sensors. Yes, of course Ring motion sensors may also have battery concerns (though not much due to the 3 min hysteresis), but I’d rather lose one or two Ring motion zones due to battery than lose my entire perimeter coverage because my retrofit kit battery dies.
Note: If you’ve got some electrical training, you could probably power your retrofit kit using your legacy alarm panel instead of batteries. For me, that’s a project for another time.

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Yes, With External Integration:

Keeping the original alarm system in place to power the motions was not an option for me so I did it a little differently.

I ordered a terminal block to supply terminate my RING Keypad and Motions (qty=4) for power being supplied by an external 12V power supply. I turned off the chirps by configuring for NO for Chirp Tones in the actual motion sensor config. Pay attention to your + and - for supplying power, it was pretty simple. I’m not sure what the impact will be on the batteries for the retro-fit, but I saved 4 motions that were wired.

I used this converter to power the RING Keypad with the original wiring…

In the image the power (12vDC) is supplied by the pigtail on the terminal block, then you cut down what you are feeding power to on the +/- terminal strip.

Still testing for reliablity / false alarms with no issues, and the dog does not set them off either since the motions are designed for an 80# canine… This is simple integration that RING should provide, but this would drop sales of their motions so why bother…

Follow up will happen if reliability becomes a problem… : )

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For those who still have question about the wired motion sensors. I found you can certainly connect them with the retrofit. There are a few limitations though.

  1. You need to somehow provide power to the wired motion sensor ( you can keep your existing aka old panel and feed the power through that)

  2. You will set it up on a zone and configure on the app as “window”.

  3. on the app it will show up as a “zone” unless you named it motion sensor during setup.

  4. To avoid the constant notifications, go into the configuration settings on the app for that specific “zone”. From here deactivate the open and closed alerts. When you walk in front of the sensor the app will show it as “opened”. This is the equivalent to “motion detected”

  5. Now under Mode settings, only leave the Away mode active. If you leave the Home mode active your alarm will go off when someone walk by the sensor in the middle of the night while you sleep and the system is set to home. You really only need the motion sensor to go off when you are Away.

  6. Chirp mode: select none so that your base station and your phone don’t play any sound through out the day or night.

  7. If you check your settings for the wireless motion sensors everything is pretty much the same.

Hope this helps everyone!