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Author Topic: Macros with camera, motion sensor, it's all going back to X10  (Read 10592 times)

captainjerky

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Hello all-
This is going to be somewhat long-winded, because my problems cross several forums here, including a plea to X10 tech support.  Here goes....
I bought the 22 piece home security setup and the 3 cam b/w wireless X2 camera package a few days ago.  My desire was to create an integrated home security setup where everything talks to each other, and to that end I also purchased Iwatchout, Onalarm, Smart Macros, and MyHomeOnline. 
I have pored over these forums and found many topics that address some of my issues here, so I'll recap very briefly my predicament.
I set up one of the wireless cameras, which was part of the following system:
1 Wireless PC Transceiver (CM19A) 
1 Camera Remote Controller (CR12A)    
1 X10 Premium Vanguard Camera Software (SW26A)
1 Wireless Transceiver (TM751)    
1 Hi-RES USB Video Capture Adapter (VA12A)    
1 Wireless Video Receiver (VR36A)
3 NightWatch Wireless Low-Light B/W Video Camera (XX20A)    

I installed all 4 major Activehome plugins (Iwatchout, Smart Macros, etc).  After installation, I could see the picture from the camera mounted at my front door on my computer through Activehome.  The PC is a Win XP laptop, and is dedicated solely to the security system.  So far, so good.
I tried recording the live feed, and was rewarded with a video file recorded to my hard drive.  Excellent. 
Now, I figured it was time to make a macro.  I wanted an Eagle Eye motion sensor to detect movement, triggering the camera to record for one minute, then shut off.  This is where it all went to crap.
I tried several flavors of macro, but I'll start with the most simple- the example given in the X10 HELP SECTION of Activehome.  I created the macro as-is, and here's what happened.  When the motion sensor would trip, it would send the signal to the camera.  After a random period of time (30 seconds to 1 minute), the camera would start to record.  It would not, however, stop recording.  Worse, the file never actually recorded to the hard drive.  The little 'record' box lit up, but nothing was happening.  I tried several variations on this, but eventually gave up and ended up in these forums.  I looked at the activity logs and saw the motion detector send the 'on' command, and one minute later send the 'off' command.  The camera would start transmitting (supposedly) upon reception of the 'on' command, but there was never an 'off' command sent to the cam after one minute.  Then I stumbled across this tutorial:
http://forums.x10.com/index.php?topic=11477.0
I thought I'd try it, but when I tried making a macro with the same address as a module/camera/motion detector, it gave me an error saying the address was already assigned.  Well, now the tutorial didn't work for me.
In summary- the motion detector works, the camera works, I can view the feed live, but I cannot create a macro to activate the recording mechanism of the system. 
I read about possible problems with the VA12 converter and bug issues with the latest release of Activehome (I have both). 
I need help.  I need a macro that will do what I mentioned in the above paragraph.  That's why I bought all these cameras and software.  I haven't even gotten to the security portion of my order yet, because if I can't get the cameras to work, there's no point in going with X10. 
I have roughly 20 days left of my 30 day money-back period, and I'm giving serious thought to just sending everything back and demanding my money back.  I purchased hardware and software, and they do NOT accomplish the tasks they are claimed to do.
Now, I'd love nothing more than for this stuff to work.  The possibilities are amazing here.  I don't care if I have to program a 20 step macro, but I need it to work. 
I called X10 tech support, and the woman I talked to actually asked me to call back in an hour when a 'Level 2' support guy was available. 
So, can anybody confirm that there's a compatibility issue here?  Would switching to the Vanguard software work?  I read about Blue Iris, but I shouldn't have to cough up even more money to replace the software I was told would to the job.  I have a week or two to test this out, and then I'll simply have to return it.  I don't have the time to monkey with this stuff for hours a day.  I wish I did, but the reality is it just isn't going to happen. 
So, can anyone please help?   

Desperately Yours,
Ryan
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Re: Macros with camera, motion sensor, it's all going back to X10
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2010, 01:49:48 AM »

captainjerky aka ryan,

Go to AHP's Tools menu and select Preferences, and then under the ActiveHome Pro tab, check the "Multiple modules can use same address" check-box.

I think that will get rid of the error message saying the address was already assigned.

 >!

P.S.

I have deleted your multiple posts and left this one where it makes the most sense to post.

Posting the same thing multiple times is generally bad etiquette.   ;)
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captainjerky

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Re: Macros with camera, motion sensor, it's all going back to X10
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2010, 03:39:07 AM »

Thanks for the advice, I'll try it as soon as I get home.  I posted it in a few forums because it covered a range of topics and I didn't want to assume that people who read the software forums would also read the troubleshooting forums, for example.  I hope your idea works!

Thanks,
Ryan
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captainjerky

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Re: Macros with camera, motion sensor, it's all going back to X10
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2010, 12:35:51 PM »

Well, I have macros that think they're functioning beautifully now.  RF signals are sent and received, macros kick in, cameras turn on.  As far as they know, they're working fine.  However, I have yet to record a single snapshot or frame of video that's triggered by a macro.  I can record manually all I want, but that defeats the purpose.  I want to sleep while my computer and the macro software I paid for does the work. 
So, I'm back to a compatibility issue.  A tech support person said it was line interference and I should try all the house codes until I find one that works, but the macros are stored on the computer, the same place the hard drive is, so I'm not sure why line noise would be a problem.
So, am I missing something?  Does anybody have any ideas why video is not recording?

Thanks,
Ryan
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geeforce

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Re: Macros with camera, motion sensor, it's all going back to X10
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2010, 09:10:28 PM »

Hello captain. I too have had the same type of problems with the camera software. I have played with many different macros to get my cameras to work the same way you are trying to with no luck. Right now i'm using the snapshot mode with it rotating between cameras and email alert. That method is working for me right now. The only problem with that is i end up with a ton of snapshots in my mail box. The presents of the cameras and signs in the yard is keeping the wolves at bay. You may want to also try this. While i was trying the different macros to record on motion i experience it saying it was recording but nothing was there. And at one point it wouldn't manually record at all. I found that even thought i was deleting and dumping/clearing the interface. It wasn't actually do so. I had to unplug the interface, removed the batteries, and unplug from the computer. Let it set for a minute and replug to the computer and then to the wall socket. A reset so to speak and i was straight again. I have yet to jump back on that programing since.
    This i can say with all confidents. The home security system; auto dialer, window sensors, etc. work as advertised. It does do all it claims. I've been using it for 10 years. After my first break in i bought it from Radio Shack and it has caught 3 crooks trying to get in. I work at night and i have it call the police department first then my cell phone. That was how they were caught. I hope this reply helps some.
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geeforce

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Re: Macros with camera, motion sensor, it's all going back to X10
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2010, 09:28:59 PM »

I forgot to add this. At the bottom of this link is instruction on how to set up multiple camera. At my first attempt i couldn't get it to work. I'm wondering by the interface not being cleared properly could that have been my problem. Maybe you can get it to work. http://kbase.x10.com/wiki/What_Are_Flags%3F
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captainjerky

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Re: Macros with camera, motion sensor, it's all going back to X10
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2010, 10:09:40 PM »

Thanks for the advice- I'll give it a try because anything may jog my system to functionality!  Glad to hear the security stuff works- I'm temporarily abandoning the endless wasted effort of getting the cams to play nice and plan to install the security side of things tomorrow. 

Cheers,
Ryan
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