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I've seen a handful of posts where community members wish to get some real-time feedback about what's going on with our properties. Well, some of us have had some real fun the last couple days with something extraordinarily simple that gives us just that!
[How-To] Measure Salt Level in Your Water Softener (BSR Goes Old School)
Many years ago, I created THIS How-To on using an ultrasonic sensorfor measuring the salt level in a water softener. Since then I decided to go 'old school' and wanted a basic analog/voltage detection method that I would incorporate into my existing analog to digital converter for this measurement (basically I was not happy with the serial interface of the MaxBotix unit).
After helping a member with configuring their VISTA-20P alarm panel for use with X10 (and UPB via the PulseWorx X-10 to UPB Bridge), I decided to post this quick tutorial, as the manual can be rather overwhelming, and I had trouble locating a complete set of instructions. The tutorial also applies to the VISTA-15P series.
If you have any comments/questions/suggestions, please post them below.
NOTE: This tutorial/project is extremely simple to do. Since I took the time to explain and detail all the steps, the tutorial looks much longer than it really is. If you are technical minded, you will be able to do all of this in just a few minutes, and if you need help, just post in the comments.
Whenever you ask about the must-have apps for Android, Tasker is a name which appears frequently on this list (and I do highly recommend it myself). Tasker allows you to automate every aspect of your Android device, such as your phone or tablet, making it easy to turn on/off features of your device based on conditions and variables.
This tutorial will describe one method of incorporating a Dexcom Diabetes Monitor to your home automation system with the main purpose of providing whole house alerts whenever the monitor detects a diabetic ‘alarm’ condition.
There is an abundance of Garage Door posts and some write up's about monitoring garage doors here on CocoonTech.com so I decided to document what I did for others to use, modify, copy, etc...
Disclaimer: This write up is for educational purposes only.
It seems nowadays, most modern vehicles have HomeLink or Car2U - those three little buttons designed to integrate with your garage door openers and gates. Also, the majority of houses in america have only one, maybe 2 garage doors - so there's almost always a spare button or two.
Have you ever wondered how you could very easily integrate those extra buttons into your Home Automation or Security system?
This will show you how I automated my gas fireplace using UPB. This involves automating the fireplace blower as well as the fireplace flame itself. My fireplace has a typical Millivolt triggering mechanism in which you turn on the fireplace by connecting two low-voltage wires together (flipping a switch).
During the course of automating your home, one will usually come across a dilemma on how to monitor a status of an appliance. Examples can include wanting to know when a washer/dryer is finished, dishwasher cycle completed, etc...
Previous methods of getting status included monitoring the current of the appliance via a current donut, hacking the appliance so a relay or other device was installed in order to get some type of contact closure, and installing magnetic proximity sensors on the appliances dials (all of these methods are actually described in previous CocoonTech How-To's).
But, what happens when you don't want to modify your spiffy new appliance due to voiding warranty (or the WAF prohibits such actions)?
You could easily monitor a status light that most modern appliances have now as shown in Dan's previous How-To. This method will let you monitor a light's on/off status with your home automation hardware that can detect an open collector contact closure (Modicon SECU-16, Elk Input, HAI Input, etc...). But what happens when you don't have any wires running to that appliance from your home automation detection hardware?
This How-To will let you monitor the status of an appliance's light remotely using a standard DS10a security sensor from X-10. Many members here already have the capability of monitoring these devices via a W800, RFXCOM, or MR26a receivers. DS10a's are so popular we even have a thread dedicated to their non-typical uses in home automation projects
- Using a knife, cut open the edge of the battery casing as shown.
- Once a slight cut has been made take a small screwdriver and pop off the cover.
- This will expose the original battery pack as shown.
- Pop out the battery pack from the casing.
- This is the new battery pack you are going to use.
- First cut the wires from the old battery pack noting where the red and black wires were attached to. Also cut off the tiny white connector from the new battery pack and bare the wires as shown.
- Solder the wires to the casing making sure the red and black wires are in the correct position.
- The new battery will fit where the old one was in the outer cover (minus the top you took off and leave off). Just slide the cover back onto the mouse and charge the battery.