Security sensor ideas
We have come up with a few automation ideas for interface into and out of Doberman.
You can set up quite an automation system with few Powerflash modules or keychain remote transmitters as input and appliance modules as outputs. Remember that if you choose to use a remote transmitter, it will send a constant signal while activated. This signal may overload the X10 system interfere with other transmissions, such as turning on a light or appliance.
Add a door sensor
This is by far the simplest. First, setup magnetic door switches and magnets on the doors and wire each 'zone' to one place. You may wish the front of your house to be one zone, the back to be another, basement windows to be a third, or just everything as one zone.
If you are to connect in series, you will need Normally Open (N.O.) switches.
If you connect in parallel, you will need Normally Closed (N.C.) switches. Magnetic door switches can be purchased at any security store, or even at Radio Shack stores.
Plug a Powerflash module in for each zone, and set the desired house and unit code. Set the configuration switches to "***on/off***" and "***dry contact***". You will configure one of Doberman's Door Sensor settings to this code. Powerflash modules do not require a transceiver set to that housecode.
To connect N.O. switches, connect one wire from the powerflash to one side of the first switch. Connect the other side of the first switch to one side of the second switch. And so on. Connect the second side of the last switch to the second wire on the powerflash.
To connect N.C. switches, connect one side of the powerflash to one side of the first switch, connect the second side of the switch back to the second side of the powerflash. Now, connect the first side of the powerflash, again, to the first side of the second switch, and the second side of the second switch back to the second side of the powerflash. Do this for all switches.
Add a siren
Although Doberman does play a wav file during an alarm, you may wish to have an external horn sound. X10 does offer a horn that sounds when addressed with On or Off commands. Please be sure that the products you purchase will work with the standard X10 automation set. X10 security products are not compatible, as the CM11a interface does not see the commands sent by the door switch or the security motion sensor.
Adding a smoke detector
For instance, you could take a second smoke detector with an 'emergency light' (never do this to your primary smoke detectors!) and replace the light with a relay across the contacts of a keychain remote. The power during an alarm will pull the relay and cause the remote to transmit as if the button was being pressed. You may wish to use a different house code to keep free accidentally pressing the On button for that sensor. Another solution is to connect to a Powerflash module. We strongly suggest you locate a smoke detector that has a connection to an alarm circuit and work with that as opposed to modifying one.
Remote central furnace fan
A money saving idea if you live where it gets cold in the winter. Often, houses with a forced-air furnace will one or two rooms that are cold, while the rest of the house is warm. Don't turn the heat up, or turn the blower fan on and accidentally forget it at night. Hook a second 'mercury' thermostat to your house in that cold room. This could control a powerflash module to send a signal to an action spider. An appliance module controlling a relay would then simulate you moving the thermostat fan setting from Auto to On and back again. This inexpensive solution will help keep the temperature even throughout the house.
Underground sprinkler control
Do it yourself underground sprinkler. Buy and setup the tubing and sprinkler heads for your lawn. You could set up with one or two 'zones'. Now, locate an old washing machine and you will locate the water control solenoid (hot and cold in, one out.) These work with regular power line voltage. Connect an outlet plug to each solenoid wiring and plug into appliance modules. Now connect your water to the 'output' of the control solenoid, this is not the input. Connect each 'zone' to either the hot or cold, and when you turn on the appliance module, your lawn will be watered.
Simply plug in a Powerflash module and configure to 'Dry contact' (sensor has no power, module provides power) Connect the two contacts to a pair of wires. Expose the far ends of the wires, but do not connect together. Place the exposed wires are the high water level. When the water rises to the 'high' level, it will 'short' the wires and 'make contact' which will cause the powerflash to send a signal.
Simple temperature sensor
See connections for remote central furnace fan.