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  1. Home Automation and Cybercrime

    Trend Micro published a research paper recently, focusing on home automation and the potential security issues associated with these technologies.  The paper focuses on X-10, Z-Wave and ZigBee (I guess UPB and INSTEON aren't popular enough, or are extremely secure).
    While there aren't any shocking revelations in this paper, it isn't a boring/long/dry document, so I encourage you to check it out if you have any interest in this type of stuff.
    Home Automation and Cybercrime Research Paper (wp-home-automation-and-cybercrime.pdf)

    • Mar 15 2013 12:00 PM
    • by Dan (electron)
  2. How to remotely monitor an appliance

    The method described in this How-To will use a CdS photo-resistorplaced over the appliance's light, then have a DS10a trigger based on the resistance change that the photo-resistor sees when detecting those light level shifts from on to off.
    The entire system can be operated off of the batteries of the DS10a so no wiring is needed (other than the wiring coming from the DS10a to the actual photo-resistor). 
    First you take a DS10a and remove the magnetic sensor from its wiring.  Now you need to assemble the circuit shown below on a small bread board.  You should be able to easily assemble the components on a breadboard that can mount in a small plastic box and mount the entire assembly on the back of the DS10a sensor.
    [attachment=4891:light sensor schematic.jpg] [attachment=4892:rear.jpg] [attachment=4893:rear_enclosed.jpg]
    Parts and Assembly

    The parts can be purchased from any electronic supplier or picked up at your local Radio Shack or Frys.  Radio Shack also sells a small circuit breadboard and plastic housing that works well for mounting it on the back of the DS10a with two sided foam type tape or glue.
    If you want to use the battery supply of the DS10a for the circuit you can simply solder a wire on its positive and negative battery springs, then route those wires to the box.  I also cut some notched holed in the plastic box as well as the DS10a's cover so they would not get pinched when that cover is closed.
    The DS10a's wires from the magnetic sensor are polarized so if the circuit does not work, you may need to reverse these wires.
    • Once this assembly is completed, register the DS10a to your home automation software by using the test button.
    • Then place the CdS photo-resistor over the appliances light using black tape (the wide type of 'pipe tape' works best for this).
    • Secure the wiring from the photo-resistor so the sensor maintains proper contact with the LED.
    • You may even want to try to bench test this by just using a flashlight and shine it on the photo-resistor before mounting.
    • Operate the appliance so the LED is turned on.
    • Adjust the pot until the indicator light of the DS10a blinks.
    • Turn the pot slightly more to insure a proper bios of the transistor.
    Note that the circuit's sensitivity has a pretty broad range.  For instance you can make this circuit very sensitive so that ambient room light will trigger it (so it could be used as a room light level indicator for a crude dusk/dawn detector).
    I would like to thank Cocooner TonyNo for helping with resources for the circuit and also the HomeSeer forums(where I remember reading a post about the idea/concept of the transistor triggered DS10a concept). 

    • Feb 11 2013 03:30 PM
    • by BraveSirRobbin