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Author Topic: Building my own computer controlled alarm  (Read 2625 times)

MarkA2013

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Building my own computer controlled alarm
« on: July 27, 2013, 10:17:04 PM »

I am working on building my own computer controlled alarm system. The biggest problem I have had has been figuring out how to get the sensors to interface with the computer. Someone told me about X10 and mentioned there is a USB wireless receiver that I can use for this.

I am writing the alarm logic in visual basic .net. Where can I find this USB receiver and are their any examples of interfacing with it within visual basic .net?
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Brian H

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Re: Building my own computer controlled alarm
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2013, 07:10:09 AM »

You maybe thinking of the CM19A.
http://kbase.x10.com/wiki/CM19A

Can't help with software needs or if the CM19A will even do what you want.
You are going to try and use X10 Security Modules?
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Tuicemen

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Re: Building my own computer controlled alarm
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2013, 07:58:56 AM »

The CM15 as well as the CM19 will see some x10 security signals using the X10 SDK
However I've been told this isn't by design and is a current bug in the SDK.
Changing batteries can stop sensors from being detected as the signal changes with battery replacement and not all signals are detected.
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dhouston

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Re: Building my own computer controlled alarm
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2013, 10:41:34 AM »

I wouldn't bother with X10 receivers and SDKs for a project like you describe. You're almost certain to find them too limited and lacking in documentation and transparency. And, it's easier to incorporate an adequate antenna - range of +300' is relatively easy to accomplish when you have full access to the hardware.

It's quite simple to capture the RF signals using any of a multitude of superregenerative RF receivers like those listed at...
Use a 315MHz receiver and tune it to the 310MHz that X10 uses in N. America...
or use a 433.92MHz receiver in Europe and most other regions.

And/or you can use sensors from companies other than X10 - you just need to know their RF frequency - you can usually capture/decode their protocols without much difficulty.

You can decode the signals using  a PIC, Atmel AVR, or other microcontroller. Or, if you don't want to deal with the hardware at that low level, use something like an Arduino or Raspberry PI.

You can find the X10 RF protocols at...

There are other articles on my web page that fill in the details and I'll try to answer any questions. See the main web page for my email address.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2013, 10:49:50 AM by dhouston »
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HA Dave

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Re: Building my own computer controlled alarm
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2013, 11:48:47 PM »

I am working on building my own computer controlled alarm system. The biggest problem I have had has been figuring out how to get the sensors to interface with the computer. Someone told me about X10 and mentioned there is a USB wireless receiver that I can use for this.

When you think about it... all an alarm does it let you know you've been broken into. And hopefully scare off the intruder after they've already kicked down a door or broke a window. I use an outdoor motion detection speaker/warning system along with security cameras... that I hope deters intruders. My alarm also YELLS if triggered. Lots of user created ideas HERE
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