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Author Topic: Knightrider's Smoke Alarm Modification Part 2 (the macros)  (Read 19776 times)


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Knightrider's Smoke Alarm Modification Part 2 (the macros)
« on: December 31, 2008, 10:42:55 PM »

Ok, so it's been awhile since I've visited this topic, and thought I should share the rest.

  First, to give you a little background to my system, I have almost everything I can think of in the house connected to x10 in some way.  I even have the phone lines in the house switched off and on via a UM506 (except the one in my bedroom [very important]).  I also use x10 to run my oil burning furnace (secondary heat), all the hydronic pumps to my outdoor wood boiler (primary heat) and the various heating zones in the house (underfloor heat), and several baseboard heaters and two 120 volt electric "radiator" style heaters (tertiary).
  I have a dedicated phone line running my dial-up internet which is shared over 5 computers, three of which run full time and each has a CM15A.
  I also have a detached garage where my outdoor wood burner is located.
  I run AHP, X10 Dispatcher, PC companion, AlertDialer, BVC, BXMC, and still run X10 Wavplayer on the three machines attached to the CM15A's.

Let me also state again that the Smoke Alarm Modification is not intended as my primary Fire Alert system, nor should it be yours.

It's also worth mentioning, that I have a VERY RELIABLE X10 HOME.

Of my three computers running AHP, my computer is the primary.  It houses most of my macro's so as to keep my system uncomplicated.  My wife's computer only runs macros for my heating system, as this allows me to utilize more than 16 flags.  The third computer running AHP is connected to a central amplifier in the house.  I have speakers in every room (most rooms), each switched via x10.  I also have outdoor PA horns hooked to this system, as well as some outdoor speakers (this is a very special custom built amp with different outputs, don't try switching these loads without knowing what you are doing). The computer also runs a program called "Computer Alarm Clock", which plays Westminster Chimes (and carillon music at certain times) over the PA horns (can be heard 5 miles away). 

To this amplifier, I also have a ramping siren generator circuit attached.  When the storm sirens in the nearest town are "toned out" over the fire dispatch frequency, a tone decoder activates a powerflash, which triggers the siren generator via some macros, but that's another post for the future.

I use my smoke alarms in both the house, and the garage. Currently there are four of them (one on each level of the house, and one in the garage) labeled E13 - E16.  I also have a phantom/dummy module set up as E1.  They are all located in a room labeled "Smoke Alarms" and there is absolutely nothing else on the "E" house code.

Now, on to the macros.

When a fire is detected in the Garage, things happen in this order:

1) Every unit on every House Code is turned off.

2) Every light on every house code is turned on.

3) The phone lines to the house are turned on.

4) AHP sends an email to my personal accounts, my cell phone, and to the local volunteer fire department.  (in the future, snapshots will be sent to the fire department as well)

5) All audio channels in the house are switched on.

6) I have a post lamp out by the road, which AHP flashes on and off.  This allows the fire department to find me if no fire is showing.

7) I constructed a wav file of one of the most annoying, piercing sounds I could fathom.  It lasts 5 minutes, and is triggered through X10 Dispatcher, not AHP, and runs on both mine and my wife's computers.

8) AHP sends an "on" code on the "E13" (garage fire) unit code, thus creating a "looping macro"

9) The "Storm Siren" is activated on the "Carillon" computer, and can be heard both in the house and outside.

Yes, when this happens, all Hell breaks loose, and it's VERY difficult to purge the macros and stop the wav files from playing.
I had considered using Alert Dialer to call out on my other phone line, but the email to my phone has eliminated this step.  It should also be noted that my X10 Dispatcher is set to only play listeners at certain times, so I really need wavplayer to handle the alarms played on the first two computers.  (still a work in progress)

When a "House Fire" is detected on "E14" (main floor), "E15" (upstairs) or "E16" (basement), respective snapshots are taken and emailed and each triggers the "E1" dummy module.

"E1" is also a macro which is handled via a different annoying tone played on the computers.  "E1" is also the House/Unit code that is hooked to the um506's attached to each smoke alarm in the house, so that if one goes off, they all go off.

"E1" then activates the "E13" Garage fire macro and the vicious cycle begins anew.

Sorry if I have overcomplicated this post, this system is confusing even to me.  I will edit and clarify this as needed and as I remember some of the other things I have included on this that didn't make the post.

In hindsight, I really should have flow charted this thing (would have made it easier to explain to everyone), and I should really write a handbook on how my house operates in the case of my demise.  At this point, if anything happens to me,  I'm sure my wife will call the "Ohio Gang" over and rip out everything X10!

For those of you that missed Part 1 (the hardware) here's a link:
« Last Edit: December 31, 2008, 10:58:52 PM by Knightrider »
Remote control is cool,

but automation rules!

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Re: Knightrider's Smoke Alarm Modification Part 2 (the macros)
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2008, 11:39:09 PM »

Awesome job Knightrider!

Your mod and macros has inspired me... now I have a mission. Thank You.
Home Automation is an always changing technology


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Re: Knightrider's Smoke Alarm Modification Part 2 (the macros)
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2009, 12:30:36 AM »

Thanks Knightrider,
     Another way for more fun. Truly making me gleam  ;D with thoughts of what can be achieved with X10.   #:)

A thanks for this thread and the first.  :)%



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Re: Knightrider's Smoke Alarm Modification Part 2 (the macros)
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2009, 01:02:52 PM »

Knightrider  This post and part one are really great.  Thanks for taking the time to tell us all about it.  X10 continues to have far more muscle than its critics are willing to admit. Or, maybe they just don't understand it.  Or, worse yet, X10 itself is its own worst enemy.
Having "fun" with X-10 since 1980.


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Re: Knightrider's Smoke Alarm Modification Part 2 (the macros)
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2009, 01:45:18 PM »

Knightrider   #:)
It is users like you that share their setup info that inspire many of us to Improve our own setups!
It also inspires software and Im sure hardware designers as well!
I know users such as you have helped PC Companion grow to what it is today!
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Re: Knightrider's Smoke Alarm Modification Part 2 (the macros)
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2009, 04:03:15 PM »

Very impressive setup Knightrider. Thanks for sharing. I'm sure many others will benefit from your ideas.

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