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Author Topic: Access control for kids computer and TV  (Read 16744 times)

medvampire

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Access control for kids computer and TV
« on: October 26, 2006, 01:08:44 AM »

I would like to control my boys access to their computers and TV in there rooms. I have ordered an AHP package from x10 and it will be here soon for a control point but haven’t concluded what modules I will need for this. I was thinking of AM466 with a strap around it and the wall plate to prevent tampering (the boys are very resourceful :o). I would plug a surge suppressor in to the AM466 and on to their computer and TV. I have read surge suppressors are signal suppressors and was curious if this would work.
Thanks
Steve

After reading the newbie’s post I guess I will introduce my self.
I work as a med tech in E. Tennessee. I work in a small hospital lab. Like I tell my friends “Think of the most gross things that can come out of your body and I can tell you what is in it”. I am just recently married and have 2 step sons I love dearly but am learning that you must help them to learn self control. The oldest is 14 and constantly on line chatting with the ladies :-* and the youngest 10 is constantly playing games :D. I have put a content filter in place using Clark Connect through a WAP but that doesn’t control the amount of time they are on their PC or TV so I thought of X10 and AHP to control their time and when they have access. I also am interested in the home automation, security, and surveillance that X10 provides but I will have to buy a few pieces at a time. I am grateful to the forum from witch I have gleamed so much info here.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2006, 01:24:46 AM by medvampire »
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Charles Sullivan

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Re: Access control for kids computer and TV
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2006, 03:53:06 AM »

An unmodified AM466 will not work as you hoped.  It has a feature called "Local Control" whereby just turning the connected appliance Off and On again will cause it to switch On.  A little hardware hacking is required to disable this feature.

Some of Smarthome's ApplianceLinc modules can be programmed to disable this feature.   http://www.smarthome.com

However if your sons are as resourceful as you indicate, your X10 control of their activities will probably last no longer than a week or so.  X10 is not a secure system and they'll soon learn that a $12 plug-in controller allows them to override your controls.

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Yesterday it worked.
Today it doesn't work.
X10 on Windows is like that.

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TakeTheActive

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Re: Access control for kids computer and TV
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2006, 05:31:06 AM »


An unmodified AM466 will not work as you hoped.  It has a feature called "Local Control" whereby just turning the connected appliance Off and On again will cause it to switch On...

NOTE (Just to be clear): This OFF and ON again is via the ORIGINAL APPLIANCE'S TRIAC / MECHANICAL SWITCH! And *NOT* via any X10 PLC/RF commands.
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vhoang

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Re: Access control for kids computer and TV
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2006, 08:49:05 AM »

More feedback:
1)
I've found that a surge suppressor without "noise rejection" typically lets x10 signals through.
You mileage will vary.   A regular power strip can be used as a last resort.

2)
another way to disable local control witout modifying the AM466.
on the same powerstrip, tie on a nightlight (that has no off switch).
the local control of the tv/appliance will not be detected as long as the nightlight
is plugged in.

3)
However if your sons are as resourceful as you indicate, your X10 control of their activities will probably last no longer than a week or so. X10 is not a secure system and they'll soon learn that a $12 plug-in controller allows them to override your controls.

Not much to say about this.   If they want to get around it hard enough they will manage to do so while your not looking.


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medvampire

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Re: Access control for kids computer and TV
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2006, 10:26:09 PM »

I agree any type of electronic control can be defeated but I hope this gentle reminder will be enough to slow them down. They are not bad boys but having a set time limit for things is a good ideal.
I was looking at doing this mod:
http://www.idobartana.com/hakb/Modifying_Appliance_module.htm#Defeating local current sensing
I can get these modules some what less expensive than others and I need 5 to cover every thing. I have no problem with moding things to fit the need. I have been around computers and electronics for quite a few years. I started with a C 64 if that tells you much.
I am new X10 but it seems to be a very interesting protocol and technology.
Thanks
Steve
« Last Edit: October 24, 2009, 03:18:02 AM by -Bill- (of wgjohns.com) »
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Puck

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Re: Access control for kids computer and TV
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2006, 12:39:41 AM »

I started with a C 64 if that tells you much.

BRING BACK THE 6502!!!!  :D

I still have my PET... 28 years old and still works as good as day 1... 32K of memory, the sky was the limit.  ;D
When I first starting looking at security & automation last year, my plan was to use it as the controller. But that was before I knew of AHP.  ::)

P.S. Welcome to the board.
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medvampire

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Re: Access control for kids computer and TV
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2006, 03:53:15 AM »

Quote
I still have my PET... 28 years old and still works as good as day 1... 32K of memory, the sky was the limit.

And I thought I had been around for a while !!! ;D

I loved the my old C 64, really more so when I could get the tape drive to work. It was better than the Apple I worked on in high school. Would love to get an Amega 5000 with a video toster to play with. A buddy had one while I was in college (early 90s)and the things it could do. Commodor had it going but lost to when it upgraded to diffrent lines of systems.
Getting off topic a bit.

I will try the night light trick and if that dosent work I will do the mod listed above. Got to order the modules first next week.

Thanks for the welcome. ;D
Steve
« Last Edit: October 27, 2006, 03:55:47 AM by medvampire »
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KDR

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Re: Access control for kids computer and TV
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2006, 05:25:22 AM »

Welcome aboard as well.  I take it the boys have their own computer and APH will be on yours. Just tell them that with this system your installing that everything will be logged. Maybe that will inspire them to follow the rules. And depending what you get some of the activity will be logged in the activity monitor.
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medvampire

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Re: Access control for kids computer and TV
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2006, 06:27:26 AM »

KDR

They do have a PC and TV in each of their rooms. I do log their internet access using a proxy. I need to control their general PC and TV use. I might bluff them a little and tell them I can monotor all power useage or just order the 2 way module. My parental units never had to worry about stuff like this when I was a kid. I am learning the father unit role very quick....Old Russian maxim "Trust but verify" ;D
Thanks again
Steve
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KDR

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Re: Access control for kids computer and TV
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2006, 06:39:52 AM »

Good luck in your quest. Never having any kids I was spared this ordeal. Just remember by resticting their usage you my hinder their achievements in the future. The games offer eye hand coordination skills, perfect for the worlds best magician or brain surgeon and the computer is an ensless source of knowledge. Don't be surprised if you sneak in late at night and find your oldest boy surfing some quantum physics website picking up ideas. ;D Again good luck and let us know how you make out.
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JimC

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Re: Access control for kids computer and TV
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2006, 10:58:57 AM »

medvampire,

If you have AHP with smart macros you could set up a conditional macro that would turn off the appliance module the computer is plugged into if turned on at any time other than that specified in the macro. I did this once with a lamp for a specific application I had and it worked fine.

Jim
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tjdavj

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Re: Access control for kids computer and TV
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2006, 11:11:19 AM »

Welcome to the group medvampire,

I just have a couple of points for you to consider:

1:  I would recommend that powering off the boys PC's via a timer/schedule if probably courting disaster if the OS is any newer than             Win98. The newer OS's [ME and XP] are not as tolerant to "power loss" situations, and this can cause bootup problems. [more of an issue with systems that have <512m ram, 3rd party backround tasks and delayed-write enabled]

2. Have you checked your WAP for scheduling? Many current generation WAP's have an option that allows for scheduling access. If not, it may be better to replace the existing WAP with one that does allow scheduling by MAC address. You also said stated you are running a proxy server, there may be a possibility that it can schedule access.

Hope this helps..
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TakeTheActive

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Re: Access control for kids computer and TV
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2006, 07:10:08 PM »

I started with a C 64 if that tells you much.

BRING BACK THE 6502!!!!  :D

I still have my PET... 28 years old and still works as good as day 1... 32K of memory, the sky was the limit.  ;D

And I thought I had been around for a while !!! ;D

[Yoda Voice:] Hrmph!!  Mere youngsters you are! :D

I started out building a Netronics Super Elf II [RCA 1802] (anyone remember that?) It was between that and the KIM 6502. I then added a "factory-assembled" RCA COSMAC VIP [RCA 1802] to use the "pre-written / bundled" software that was available. Eventually, hungering for MORE POWER, I built a Digital Research Big Board [Zilog Z-80] and spent many enjoyable years tinkering in Z80 ASM, CP/M, running a 'custom' RCP/M BBS and playing with various 8" floppies and hard drives (Shugart and Quantum).
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TakeTheActive

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Re: Access control for kids computer and TV
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2006, 07:27:21 PM »

If you have AHP with smart macros you could set up a conditional macro that would turn off the appliance module the computer is plugged into if turned on at any time other than that specified in the macro...

Reiterating TJ's OS corruption warning, while still building on Jim's Smart Macro idea, what about (and this is "pseudo-code" - I haven't tried out my Smart Macros yet):

IF  Time > 22:00
AND Time < 18:00
AND Boy's Computer AM466 = ON

TURN ON LM15A (Socket Rocket with Red Bulb in Dad's Den / Office)
[TTA TIP] 7-Outlet Side-by-Side Power Strips  (Read 812 times)
TURN ON UM506 (Universal Module BEEPING in Dad's Den / Office)
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Puck

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Re: Access control for kids computer and TV
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2006, 08:09:29 PM »

[Yoda Voice:] Hrmph!!  Mere youngsters you are! :D

I started out building a Netronics Super Elf II [RCA 1802] (anyone remember that?) It was between that and the KIM 6502. I then added a "factory-assembled" RCA COSMAC VIP [RCA 1802] to use the "pre-written / bundled" software that was available. Eventually, hungering for MORE POWER, I built a Digital Research Big Board [Zilog Z-80] and spent many enjoyable years tinkering in Z80 ASM, CP/M, running a 'custom' RCP/M BBS and playing with various 8" floppies and hard drives (Shugart and Quantum).

I miss my UNIVAC laptop!!!!  :D

Sorry medvampire for going OT on your thread.  ;)

Thats a good idea TTA (above post). Kids will find ways around things... but when they know that you know what they are doing, it usually becomes a stronger reminder to play by mom & dad's rules.
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