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Need A Cheap Stand-Alone Remote Texting Alert


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#1 upstatemike

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Posted 01 April 2018 - 03:37 PM

I need to set up a remote system to monitor power failure plus one or two other alert conditions. It needs to be cheap and stand-alone (no other automation will be installed in this location). Prefer text but can do email if no texting solution available. Have wired Ethernet port/Internet available. No phone lines or cell service. What is the quickest cheapest option to accomplish this?



#2 cobra

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 07:45 AM

What kind of sensors are the other two inputs? Initially, I was thinking an alarm system with sms module, but you said no cell service? When the power goes out, what backup power is available? Is the internet connection power backed up?

#3 upstatemike

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 07:53 AM

Dry contact.

UPS on modem/router/switch.



#4 BraveSirRobbin

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 07:58 AM

Mike;

 

I really like the ControlByWeb products and have used several of their stand-alone devices as well as their PLC with interconnecting I/O modules.

 

They are easy to program and are reliable.  The nice thing about them is you can have inputs to one module have logic ties to another module on the network.

 

For your application I suggest:

 

https://www.controlb...artnumbers.html

 

(BTW, not affiliated in any way with this company).

 

They have mobile apps, but only the Apple one works (I could never get their Android app to work with various phones).

 

You will have to buy a wall wart, but that's the only other peripheral needed.


Edited by BraveSirRobbin, 02 April 2018 - 08:00 AM.


#5 BraveSirRobbin

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 08:09 AM

Mike;

 

Let me please clarify if using that module I recommended.  I believe you will need a five volt or so wall wart plugged into the outlet you want to monitor, and this will go into one of the digital inputs (you tie its ground to the module's ground).

 

You will need a wall wart to power the unit itself, and this needs to be on a UPS of course to get the signal to your network equipment (which of course needs to be on a UPS).  Any other inputs would need to be contact closure (see diagram attached) or use this methodology.

 

Attached File  Snap5.jpg   50.62K   17 downloads

 

I use this same methodology with a RaspberryPi (except I use a 3.3 volt DC wall wart into an input).

 

You may want to look into a RaspberryPi, but from your post I was lead to believe you wanted something that was just plug and play with minimal hassle and could get up and running quickly.


Edited by BraveSirRobbin, 02 April 2018 - 08:10 AM.


#6 upstatemike

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 08:15 AM

Yes you are right on target with this. Does it let you customize the text of the email that is sent for each alert?

 

Edit: Never mind I found it in the manual.


Edited by upstatemike, 02 April 2018 - 10:28 AM.


#7 upstatemike

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 08:30 AM

For power fail sensing I will be using one of these:

http://www.digital-loggers.com/ac.html

just because I use them a lot so I always have some sitting around.

#8 upstatemike

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 09:16 AM

BraveSirRobbin, on 02 Apr 2018 - 09:13, said:
Mike;

Let me please clarify if using that module I recommended. I believe you will need a five volt or so wall wart plugged into the outlet you want to monitor, and this will go into one of the digital inputs (you tie its ground to the module's ground).

You will need a wall wart to power the unit itself, and this needs to be on a UPS of course to get the signal to your network equipment (which of course needs to be on a UPS). Any other inputs would need to be contact closure (see diagram attached) or use this methodology.

attachicon.gif Snap5.jpg

I use this same methodology with a RaspberryPi (except I use a 3.3 volt DC wall wart into an input).

You may want to look into a RaspberryPi, but from your post I was lead to believe you wanted something that was just plug and play with minimal hassle and could get up and running quickly.

So one point of clarification; why do I need the 5V power supply? If the system can be supplied by 9-28 V I would probably use a 12V supply. The Opto-isolated inputs are rated for 4-26V so why wouldn't I use the same 12V as the source for my dry contact inputs? I don't see the value of using 5V if I am not doing any kind of interface with IC logic.

#9 BraveSirRobbin

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 04:04 PM

Mike:

You are correct. I should have worded my “five volt or so” a lot better.

#10 BraveSirRobbin

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 07:18 AM

For power fail sensing I will be using one of these:

http://www.digital-loggers.com/ac.html

just because I use them a lot so I always have some sitting around.

Where do you order these from?  I couldn't find them on the digital loggers site or Amazon.



#11 upstatemike

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 08:13 AM

They used to be on Amazon but currently are not coming up. I emailed support and got a note back saying they have them in stock and to give them a call if I want to order some more. They didn't mention why they are currently missing from Amazon but I see they do have about 7 other products available from there. Maybe the $9 relay isn't profitable through Amazon after they subtract prime shipping and Amazons cut?

Hello Sir,

Thank you for interested in our AC Sense Relay.
We do have the AC Relay in stock and ready to ship.
http://www.digital-loggers.com/ac.html

Please give me a call, if you are ready to finalize the order.

Best Regards,
Thanh Kim
DLI/CSC Sales
Office: 408 330-5599 Ext 123
[email protected]

Edited by upstatemike, 03 April 2018 - 08:18 AM.


#12 BraveSirRobbin

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 12:07 PM

The only downside to that AC Power Sense device is it is not nationally certified with UL or CE, etc... I did purchase a couple to evaluate and will take one apart to look to see what type of components are inside.

#13 upstatemike

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 12:51 PM

Yes that is true. UL and CE are just too expensive for a lot of small specialty shops. I used to buy audio trigger relays that were the best available at the time but low volume and therefor no certifications. I think the XTB X-10 products from Jeff Volp would also fall into that category.



#14 cobra

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 04:52 AM

I wonder if they were pulled from Amazon because they are not at least UL listed.  It looks like a handy device, but they use the words safety and isolation in their literature in ways that I think would not pass cert.  They don't mention internal fusing, which given they are a line connected device, means it has a possible failure mode of high voltage (think lightning strike) causing a dangerous application of power to the downstream electronics and not failing open.

 

Not saying you can't use them... just that they would need some minor changes to pass a safety cert, and it would probably drive the product price up some.

 

They say "Magnetic isolation -- eliminates shock hazard", which is not any standard type of safety protection.  Relays provide some spacing isolation, which is vary dependent on the physical construction of the particular relay used.  Maybe this is just a bad translation from a foreign language...



#15 upstatemike

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 09:08 AM

It has a 15A thermal circuit breaker on the AC input side so I think that counts as being fused. (click on the spec sheet link)






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