IVB\’s Home Theater and Home Automation

You don\’t have to spend a lot for that smarthome.

Post #2: 4/3/06: It continues…

Posted by IVB on April 14, 2006

Last week I had ran all new wiring for a doorbell as I didn't have any due to using a wireless. But, it worked for crap in my 100yr old plaster/lathe house, and I wanted to do some more intelligence, so I switched to a wired doorbell. Cheap as heck too. ($10 for the chime, $15 for the power source, $10 for the fancy restoration hardware doorbell button, $40 for the Elk doorbell ring detector)

Today I:
– Ran wiring for 2nd doorbell pushbutton. [doesn't work though, I broke one of the wires by accident. Should be simple to replace].

– Got Elk setup to trap the doorbell, and say something via the loudspeaker. It's not entirely stable, i didn't do a "fast loop detection", which I realized at 9pm after my kids went to bed so I can't test this tonight. I actually did wake them up earlier, but wife just looked at me and said "you woke them up, you get them". See below for my next steps.

– Ran wiring for 2 more thermocouples [one in BR, one outside]. I updated the CQC screens, check out the screenshot above. They were both working fine, but I just looked again and the outside stopped working. Not sure why, i'll have to recheck the wiring.

– Started reading up on the CQC events server, and a bunch of supporting material so I could do some cool stuff with the Doorbell. Also, to finally do something with the rain8NET since it finally works. (not that i've been brave enough to try my hand at another long RJ12 cable yet after completely messing up the first one).

Hopefully this week i'll be able to

1) get the Elk trapping the doorbell consistently, and get CQC to display a visual clue on the screen if/when it happens. It would be super-neat if I could figure out how to pause SageTV and pop CQC up and tell folks there's someone at the door, as in my house the TV room is all the way in the back and we don't ever hear it if the TV is on.  It gets complex as it would have to know whether kids are watching TV, in which case don't pause it, or if mom is, in which case please pause it. Some of that intelligence is outside CQC's abilities right now, but Dean's working on it so I'm sure it'll be done once that whole CD/DVD mega-release is done.

2) If #1 works, then do the same thing with the telephone ring detector [on same Elk board].

I also just realized that since I have those two, I could probably setup the Elk and CQC so that I could pull the chime off the doorbell circuit, add another contact closure, and then use CQC to create a "quiet/nap" mode where the doorbell doesn't ring, and one where it does ring. That way the kids don't wake up if the Jehovah's witnesses come a-knockin…

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