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Fall is here, back to automation

Posted by Shinyshoes , in Nuvo Grand Concerto, Premise, Sensors, Weeder Digital I/O, Wiring 26 September 2012 · 1780 views

Once again I have been very tardy in updating this blog.  Surprise Surprise.

As Indicated in the last entry, Summers are very busy for my family and I.  We just moved into our dream house on an acreage in Feb 2010.  This means that all the work that goes along with a new house, not to mention all the work that goes on at an acreage quickly sucks up the time in the summer months.

Once again, I did manage to get a number of non-HA projects done this summer, but now that fall is upon us, I can get back to the lingering automation projects I have been salivating about for the last 7 months since my last post.

The development of the improved Nuvo Grand Concerto driver has been moving along.  I have refined it enough that I have implemented it into my everyday system.  There are still a few bugs I am tracking down but it is coming across nicely.

Once I was able to start to use the new driver I was also able to move the Driveway sensor receiver back down to the wiring closet and hook it back into premise.  I got everything hooked back up again and the alert was playing through the Nuvo speakers successfully. I’m finally starting to get back to where I was prior to my server crash……

My wife made a couple of comments about the driveway sensor going off when I was leaving to go to work on days that she didn’t have to go anywhere.  Some days it would even wake up my daughter even though the speakers in her room weren’t hooked up to the Nuvo.  To resolve that I installed a door contact sensor on the garage doors and hooked them into the Weeder I/O board.  I added a timer into Premise that mutes the driveway sensor if either garage door has been closed in the last 5 minutes.  This prevents the alert from going off if someone is leaving the house.  Increased WAF.  =)

In spring of this year, my driveway sensor stopped working.  I verified that the wireless transmitter was attempting to get the signal to the receiver but the receiver was not getting it.  I dug up the sensor and moved it to the other side of my lane.  I then soldered a longer wire onto the probe and moved the transmitter box another 100 feet closer to the house.  I refrained from burying the sensor because of the inconsistency of the system.  That solution seemed to work very well until the last 2 weeks.  Nothing has changed except the time of year and the receiver isn’t getting the signal again.  This time, rather than move the transmitter box, I decided to look at the antennas.  Both the transmitter box and receiver have a small 4 inch antenna very similar to the antenna on a WIFI network card in a computer.  The only problem is that they are not removable.  On the receiver box, in addition to the solder holding the antenna on the circuit board, there is a small bolt that goes through the antenna base and the circuit board.  I stripped all 8 cables in a leftover piece of cat5 cable, twisted them all together and crimped them into an o-ring terminal.   I loosened the screw from the antenna and attached the o-ring to the board.  I just let the new “extended” antenna dangle from where the receiver was mounted to test things out.

It has now been running successfully that way for the last 3 days.  Hopefully this is the end of my connection problems and we can move on to other things.

I also tied up some other loose ends.  I got the phone jack in the garage working.  I also purchased a new HDPVR and got it wired in.  Most importantly, I was able to partially clean up the wiring closet.  You wouldn’t believe it, but there is actually a concrete floor in there……Who knew?

August 2020

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