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Author Topic: Door bell  (Read 17421 times)

grayson peddie

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Door bell
« on: August 23, 2005, 09:47:15 AM »

I would like to have an X10 Wireless Door
Bell that, when somebody presses the door
bell from outside (whether it be my parent
or a visitor), I would like to have the
lights flash on and off to let me know
there's a visitor comming into a house.
Well, I could hear a door bell but simce
I'm hearing impaired, I would like to have
the lights let me know.

Plus, would it be possible for X10
to "learn the codes" from entertainment
devices like home theater receiver, TV,
etc.? Maybe if it's possible, I could have
X10 pause the DVD movie when somebody
activates the door bell.

Thanks.
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Noam

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Re: Door bell
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2005, 12:29:57 PM »

I don't know about the second part, but the
first part can be done (all except the
wireless part) pretty easliy. Hook
a "standard" doorbell button to a Powerflash
module. One of the options is to flash on
and off (but only while the button is held
down), or, you can have it trigger a macro
that will flash lights, and activate a chime
module for you.
I hope this points you in the right
direction.
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Charles Sullivan

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Re: Door bell
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2005, 01:01:25 PM »

It's not a completely wireless solution, but
an X10 PowerFlash module connected to your
existing door bell (6-18 Volts) could trigger
a light-flashing macro in a CM11A or CM15A
interface.  (Although the PowerFlash can be
configured to flash the lights directly, a
quick jab at the doorbell button would result
only in the lights being turned On.)
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Yesterday it worked.
Today it doesn't work.
X10 on Windows is like that.

HEYU - X10 Automation for Linux, Unix, and Mac OS X     http://www.heyu.org

grayson peddie

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Re: Door bell
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2005, 02:30:10 PM »

Okay, thanks. Do I have to turn off the
power to connect a Powerflash module to a
button? Do you have a link to a Powerflash?
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grayson peddie

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Re: Door bell
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2005, 02:32:27 PM »

Oh, and I forgot... Since I live in
apartment, not all apartments have a door
bell. Couldn't X10 make a wireless door
bell which could communicate to a wireless
transever?
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roger1818

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Re: Door bell
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2005, 02:48:55 PM »

It would probably be a good idea to
disconnect the power while connecting it
up, but doorbells uses low voltage so you
won’t get electrocuted if you don’t.  You
will need to have the powerflash in low-
voltage input mode and connect it in
parallel with the existing bell.  If you
don’t have an existing bell, you can
connect a doorbell button across the
terminals of the powerflash and have it in
contact closure mode.

The link to the powerflash is:
http://www.x10.com/security/x10_pf284.htm

A wireless doorbell button would be a good
idea.  If you are handy with a soldering
iron, you could hack a keychain remote and
make your own wireless doorbell button.
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grayson peddie

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Re: Door bell
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2005, 03:45:06 PM »

Okay. Well, I've never done any experience
with hacking a keychain remote but thanks.
I may be thinking of getting a stick-in
wall switch that could attach to the door,
plus, I could cover the three lower buttons
and make it non-functional. This could make
the wireless wall switch a door bell. Will
this work? Although in case of the
precipitation like rain, I'll probably will
have to make it weather-proof.

Will this work?
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roger1818

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  • Roger H.
Re: Door bell
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2005, 11:32:57 PM »

Grayson:  I don't see why it wouldn't
work.  You will have to make sure it is
withing range of the transceiver and make
it clear which button to press to "ring the
bell" though.
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grayson peddie

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Re: Door bell
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2005, 09:27:32 AM »

Oh, okay. Thank you for your help. :)
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donald mcmow

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Re: Door bell
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2005, 09:37:58 AM »

I think that if you used a VCR commander -
programmed with the DVD pause command
rather than the VCR's play command would
accomplish what you want. The VCR Commander
would have to be programmed to the address
of the "door bell". Funny, I never thought
about that solution until now! At least it
might be an idea to look into.
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grayson peddie

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Re: Door bell
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2005, 10:24:20 AM »

Okay, so you're saying that either the
power button, record, or stop button can be
programmed when triggered by a doorbell
macro? How do I get the VCR Commander to
get it triggered by a doorbell macro?

I'm thinking that the VCR Commander II
should need a new title, as I've heard that
not only it could be used for a camera and
a motion sensor, you mentioned that I can
assign the play instruction to a DVD Pause
code, plus, to have it address the doorbell.
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roger1818

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  • Roger H.
Re: Door bell
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2005, 10:28:06 AM »

FWIIW: I did a Google on X10 Wireless
Doorbell and found a company called
Deafworks that makes X10 products for Deaf
people.  Their doorbell isn’t really
wireless, their solution looks really
kludgy and is overpriced (talk about
gouging the disabled).  Instead of using a
Powerflash, they have hacked a mini-
controller and charge you $68 + P&H for it
or for an extra 21.95 they will throw in a
lamp module with a plug-in light socket, a
doorbell button and some wire.  What a rip!

They do have a “Telephone Transmitter”
which will turn on a light when the phone
rings which sounds interesting.  This could
be done with a 4:1 step down transformer
(or a voltage divider) and a powerflash
though.
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roger1818

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  • Roger H.
Re: Door bell
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2005, 11:17:36 AM »

Grayson: The VCR Commander certainly can be
used.  The exact programming method should
be left to someone who actually owns a VCR
Commander, but in a nutshell you want to
assign it to the address of your doorbell.
You then want to program the “Record”
function on the VCR Commander to send a
Pause signal to your DVD player.  You could
program the “Stop” function to play again,
but you would probably want to do that
manually.

There are a couple things to watch out for
though:
- The VCR Commander receives the command by
RF so if you are using a powerflash you
will have to have to convert it to an RF
signal.  You also need to make sure it is
within range of your RF transmitter.
- Only one device (DVD, VCR or PVR) can be
programmed to pause when the on command is
received so you will have to pick which one
you want to program.  You might be able to
fake it into pausing a second device pause
by having your CM15A send the RF-OFF
command as well and program that device’s
pause to the “Stop” function.
- The VCR commander responds to 4
consecutive unit codes (I am not sure if
you can specify which units they are or if
they have to be units 1, 2, 3 and 4) so you
might want to put it on its own house code.

Oh, one other thought; instead of using a
doorbell button, you could use a motion
sensor.
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grayson peddie

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Re: Door bell
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2005, 01:16:16 PM »

Roger H., thank you for pointing me to the
right direction (Deafworks) and I
appreciate your help.

About the motion sensor, I'm not sure if
it's weather-proof. Plus, I would have to
position the motion sensor downward so it
doesn't catch the person that doesn't come
toward the front door, which may not be a
problem for me but I don't know how far it
will sense the person's movement far away
from the sensor.
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Noam

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Re: Door bell
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2005, 01:50:11 PM »

As far as hacking a plug-in mini-controller, I found instructions online. Basically, I turned it into eight PowerFlash modules four on and four off signals). It cost me $10 for the controller at Radio Shack. It took me less than an hour to solder onto the connections, and I did it in such a way that I didn't lose the ability to use the buttons still. It now functions as an 8-trigger dry-contact transmitter (4 on, 4 off) that can be used to trigger macros to do whatever I want.
Here is the link to the modification instructions: http://www.idobartana.com/hakb/modifying_mini_controller.htm#Turning_the_mini_controller_into_dry_contact_receiver
« Last Edit: October 24, 2009, 03:10:27 AM by -Bill- (of wgjohns.com) »
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