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Author Topic: Vechicle sensor and an interface to X10  (Read 12609 times)

obrienj

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Vechicle sensor and an interface to X10
« on: March 09, 2008, 02:59:00 PM »

I have a Chamberlain vehicle sensor (RWA300R) which sends an RF signal from the sensor at the entrance of a 400 foot driveway to the receiver in the house.  The receiver sounds a buzzer AND momentarily closes a relay that is accessible externally.   This relay will switch on any current supplied by an external power supply up to 20A 120V. 

The buzzer and the closing of the relay occurs whether the car is entering or leaving the driveway without discrimination.

What I would like to do is turn on my outside flood lights on the first alarm and turn them off after some preset time. If any alarm sounds during the timeout period I would like to simply ignore it.

I know that I can turn them on using a PowerFlash (and other X10 components) but the "turning off" is the issue. 

Since the relay is momentary, I believe a simple timer circuit that hold the voltage up for the specified time would do the trick but I am unsure  where to find such a device or what the circuit might look like.

Any suggestions?  (Note: I'm not attached to the design concept I outlined)

Regards,
Jim
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steven r

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Re: Vechicle sensor and an interface to X10
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2008, 05:19:55 PM »

I'd use a timed macro with a flag to ignore additional triggers "during the timeout period". All easy to do with AHP.
Do you have AHP with Smart macros? It's $49.99 for the package including the CM15A hardware where programing is stored as well as all the software plugins. It would work well for your needs. It may also be possible for your same signal to trigger both  welcome or exit macros based on a flag condition.
I have a drive over switch that I use for both my welcome macro as well as my exit macro. By use of a flag, it knows if I'm coming or going.  ;) If I'm coming it turns on an inside light. If I'm going, it turns things off for me. Both macros close my garage also.

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obrienj

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Re: Vechicle sensor and an interface to X10
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2008, 06:49:22 PM »

Steven R,

Thanks for the input. It remined me that I forgot something in my post. 

I'm renting for a year or so and most of my computer hardware is in storage so I am really looking for a non-computer hardware solution.  I've found some circuits and while I've worked with computers and programming for 45 years, building electronic circuits is not my strong suit unless it is very clearly documented.

So again, thanks.

Regards,
Jim
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Brian H

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Re: Vechicle sensor and an interface to X10
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2008, 06:52:07 AM »

I will look at a timer module I bought sometime ago and see what it can do. If memory serves me it could be triggered and then it would time out and stay that way. Had a NO and NC relay contact set on it. Also had a adjustment pot to set the time out length. I will unpack it tonight and see if it may help your project.
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obrienj

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Re: Vechicle sensor and an interface to X10
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2008, 10:24:49 PM »

Brian H,

Were you able to locate the timer?  If so, who makes it and do you haveany ideas where to order it.

Regards,
Jim
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Brian H

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Re: Vechicle sensor and an interface to X10
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2008, 06:46:21 AM »

Yes I did and then seem to have had a brain fade.  :o
Will post full details tonight.
It ran on 12 volts and had two modes. One you powered it all the time and when triggered by a contact closure. It timed out and then reset. When in the timing mode the instructions indicated it would not lengthen the timing if a second trigger was seen before the first time out. The other mode you added a jumper across a header on the board and it self triggered when 12 volts was applied then time out.
Has both a normally closed and normally open set of relay contacts so a timed off could also be done.
Also has a header to add an external timing adjustment pot. In that case you unsolder  the on board pot.
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obrienj

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Re: Vechicle sensor and an interface to X10
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2008, 11:01:44 AM »

Brian H,

I look forward to the info on the timer.

BTW, I have those brain things too. In my case, the polite term is "senior moment".  The other term isn't suitable for a post.

We live deep in ranch country and I'd like to get the vechicle sensor at the end of the drive hooked into my X10 network so that all the lights around the barns and the house come on when a car enters the driveway.  Of course, I want them to turn off after a reasonable time so my poor little brain doesn't have to remember to do it.

Regards,
Jim
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Brian H

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Re: Vechicle sensor and an interface to X10
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2008, 07:09:58 PM »

It is a Cerbek I-1 Interval Timer Module and I got it from Jameco Electronics. Though it seems that the line is not on their site anymore. Though Cerbek still showed Jameco as a US vendor as they are in Spain.
Manual for module: http://img.icnea.net/Forum/E6001/ftp/I-001_English_Esp.pdf
Web Site: http://fadisel.com/Producte.aspx?referencia=201&article=universal-timer-12v-cebek-3-minutes
I did a test on mine and it did about 1 second shortest to about 4.25 minutes longest time and seem to not be re-triggered by a second closure. Like I had about a 15 second time set and hitting the trigger after the time started didn't seem to extend the total time.

I have done some searching and JDR Microdevices has timer modules for experimenters but I have little data on those.

http://www.jdr.com/interact/default.asp
http://www.jdr.com/pdf/Catalogs/Catalog_112/Cat112_Kits.pdf
http://www.jdr.com/interact/item.asp?itemno=EK-ET1

« Last Edit: March 21, 2008, 07:35:57 PM by Brian H »
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obrienj

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Re: Vechicle sensor and an interface to X10
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2008, 10:15:07 AM »

BrianH,

Many thanks.

I'll do the research from you sources.

Regards,
Jim
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Brian H

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Re: Vechicle sensor and an interface to X10
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2008, 12:30:26 PM »

You are welcome.
I am still looking around for electronic hobbyist type suppliers. I know that some of the commercial suppliers have timer modules but most are for industry.
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steven r

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Re: Vechicle sensor and an interface to X10
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2008, 01:59:10 PM »

Brian has provided some excellent alternatives to using X10. At just $49.95, however, even a temporary setup using AHP might prove to be your least expensive approach. Once programed the CM15A would not require being connected to a computer for your application.

I've used X10 from before there was even computer software for it. It has moved with me through a multitude of rental and temporary situations till the home I'm in now.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2008, 02:02:23 PM by steven r »
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obrienj

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Re: Vechicle sensor and an interface to X10
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2008, 04:20:56 PM »

Steven R,

I don't know enough about the CM15A but will go do some research.  While I have a couple of laptops, none are available for continuous use for this purpose.

Your comment, "...once programmed, it doesn't need to be connected to a computer.", intrigues me.

Remember the event that starts the process is an external signal (momentary contact of a relay of up to 120v) from a non-X10 device.

I understand that I can switch on an independent power supply (say 5v) using the external device but I don't know enough to see how I would interface that with an X10 network unless I could use the PF284 and then the CM15A.

I have all of the other X10 componets in place, I just need to bring them all together.

Any help on this would be greatly appreciated while I am off looking at the CM15A.

Regards,
Jim
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Tuicemen

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Re: Vechicle sensor and an interface to X10
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2008, 05:53:29 PM »

obrienj
Using macros and timers built into ActiveHome Pro (CM15A) I'm sure that would be the way to go as steven r stated! the CM15A would only see the signal from the PowerFlash (and other X10 components)and react to them the way you'd like macros can run for 4 & 1/2 hours so lots of room!
A tip: If you decide to go with Active Home Pro get the package with all plug-ins ($49) as you'll want the smartmacro plug-in for sure!
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steven r

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Re: Vechicle sensor and an interface to X10
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2008, 05:56:43 PM »

While you would need to load the AHP software onto one of the laptops and reconnect to the laptop every once and a while to update the clock (e.g. X10 / AHP still hasn't figured out the new DST.), once you loaded a macro like below, the CM15A could be disconnected from the computer and plugged in wherever you wanted it.

Powerflash set for M2

Macro M2 ON - Programmed to trigger with an M2 On signal when flag 2 is clear.*
set flag 2
<Turn on lights>
delay <pick your time>
<Turn off lights>
clear flag 2

With the first trigger, lights are turned on and the delay begins. Till the macro ends any additional triggers are ignored.

*Note: If flag doesn't happen to be clear initially, it can be easily reset by simply running the macro from AHP. (Conditions are ignored when triggering directly in AHP.)

...and this is just the bringing of what you can do. With the use of elses and another flag, you could have it know when you are coming or going. e.g. A welcome macro might wait 5 minutes to turn off the lights and an exit macro could do it after a minute as well as make sure the any inside lights weren't left on.

As Tuicemen sneaked in while I was typing, make sure you get the package with all the plug ins included.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2008, 06:07:11 PM by steven r »
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obrienj

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Re: Vechicle sensor and an interface to X10
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2008, 06:06:43 PM »

Thanks guys.

So I order the correct thing, should I order what is called the ActiveHome Starter Kit for $49 in the X10 online catalog (Automation section).

Does that have all the plug-ins?

Regards,
Jim
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