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Cheapest way to monitor if outlet is on/off


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#1 justinm001

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 01:54 PM

My aquarium is all controlled by a controller which turns on/off fans, lights, heaters, pumps and other stuff and I was wondering if there's a cheap and easy way for girder to know if these outlets are on or off. Is there any simple way to monitor if there's power using x10, insteon, or even 1 wire?

#2 Michael McSharry

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 02:09 PM

My aquarium is all controlled by a controller which turns on/off fans, lights, heaters, pumps and other stuff and I was wondering if there's a cheap and easy way for girder to know if these outlets are on or off. Is there any simple way to monitor if there's power using x10, insteon, or even 1 wire?

Easiest way is with a wall wart on power stip where the output controls a relay that is read by whatever input mechanism you desire. The DS10A is one example of an input should you go that way for your windows/doors. Note that you need an RF input device for this approach so unless you have other uses for RF it will not be the lowest cost. The important thing to consider on whatever mechanism you use is that you do not want to directly monitor the powerline, but have something that has a low voltage side that can be monitored.

#3 Lou Apo

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 04:28 PM

If I understand how your thing works, you have a series of outlets that are turned on and off and thereby controlling what is plugged into them?

If you put a splitter on each of those plugs then you can monitor the other plug on/off status. It depends on what you are using to monitor the system. In my case, I would use my Elk. I would plug a relay into each outlet and then use the open/closed status of that relay to control a zone on the alarm which could then be displayed on the web interface or trigger a program to do whatever.

The wall wart thing would work too if your monitoring system, whatever it may be, accepts a low voltage on/off status as the signal.

Edited by Lou Apo, 14 July 2010 - 04:35 PM.


#4 AnthonyZ

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 09:26 AM

While it may not be the cheapest option (depending on what gear you are using), I believe that current switches are a better bet. This way, you are not just monitoring the outlet status but, monitoring the devices attached to the outlets. If a pump or light or whatever isn't functioning properly, you get feedback on it's true state. This creates a true feedback loop and could potentially help to avert disaster.

#5 Lou Apo

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 05:52 PM

Insteon just came out with a lamplinc type module that sends an insteon command when the item plugged in draws power. It is $39. The outlet is always hot (not switched), it just reports status, doesn't change it. I assume you can adjust sensitivity so that the small power draw of an off tv or similar is still read as off.

#6 BLH

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 06:15 PM

The 2423A5 SynchroLinc is listed in the latest catalog but not released yet.
Not even showing in the new model preorder stages yet.
Though it does look interesting.

#7 Lou Apo

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 06:44 PM

The 2423A5 SynchroLinc is listed in the latest catalog but not released yet.
Not even showing in the new model preorder stages yet.
Though it does look interesting.


Oh yeah, didn't notice the "coming soon" stamp on it. Well, it's coming soon anyways.

#8 BLH

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 02:16 PM

Well it is one step closer to shipping.
It is now showing on their web sales page.
http://www.smarthome...ntroller/p.aspx

#9 SteveQ

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 09:53 AM

I don't know anything about girder but, if you can run a pair of wires to your aquarium power strip and you have a way to detect low voltage (5 -12V) on these wires, just plug a wall wart (low voltage power supply transformer) into your power strip. If voltage is coming from the wall wart then you know the power is ON. I use this approach of the accessory outlet on my cable box. Work great, 100% reliable.

Steve Q




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