Help with "connecting" two houses, please.

AnthonyZ

Active Member
So I am looking for a cheap ('cause I'm funding it) but reliable solution for "linking" my home to my neighbor's home. They have a young boy who has a bipolar disorder and he can get really, really violent. For times when his dad isn't around, his mom needs to be able to quickly and efficiently signal us that we need to haul a$$ over and help. We have a short term solution in place where I have provided her with one of my Radio RA visor transmitters which I've programmed so that when one of the buttons is pressed, my home announces twice over thirty seconds that there is an emergency. Ultimately, though, we are looking to add something a little more long term and probably get them three or four locations where they can quickly get to a button.

As I was already starting to think about picking up some outdoor, wireless X10 motion sensors, I wanted to ask some of you with more experience in X10 RF stuff, what kind of range could I expect were I to add some X10 gear to their home that would be received at mine? The distance between the homes is approx. 100-120'. As for available gear in place now, we both have HAI OPII's installed. I also have CQC and a Russound CAV that I'll use for an announcement and I'll also be flashing some lights in our house. I'm also going to set up their garage door when they set off the alarm (to ensure that I can quickly get in their house) and thus, I need there transmitters to be recieved by both theirs and my HA system. That's part of the reason why we're looking to pull out the RA in the long term. We don't want to have to buy another RA RS232 module for their home to link to their HAI panel.

Any thoughts?
 
Check out post 19 in THIS thread. I slightly over-voltaged a palm pad remote and customized an antenna for my W800 RF receiver to get that distance.
 
Do either of you have the GE/Caddx module for your Omni? If you had one of those you can use Keyfobs that they can carry with them or they have larger button devices too. Also since the Caddx stuff is supervised and it 'alarm grade' stuff I would think it to be perhaps more trustworthy and it sounds like since this is for 'emergency' type stuff it may be a good fit?
 
I agree with Steve..... the range on the GE Caddix is pretty good. I would try and set it up so that if they hit a panic button in their house that they get a confirmation from your system that the message got through. It can be done by having your system trigger a transmitter to notify their system back that the message made it. Also maybe a second one to notify a different response if you are armed away and not home so they know that help is NOT coming from you etc.

I assume that the HAI has non alarm zones that can be used on your system to trigger a message to you if they hit one of several panic buttons (wrist transmitters, wall mounted, keypad function keys etc like on the ELK system). So you program into your system those transmitters and also one that a relay from their system trips if they hit a hardwired panic or a function key.

Then when your system gets the message it can flash lights and beep keypads etc....... and send an acknowledgement back to your friends house like I stated above which can beep their keypads.

The NX-650 transmitter are pretty cheap. The wrist transmitters are about $50. If you want to go this route I will help you out with them. I can spare a few things from inventory for you (one wrist and 2 or 3 NX-650). You can use those to get it basically set up and then go from there. If it doesnt work out then you can just send it back. I dont mind helping you with a couple of free transmitters for a cause like this.
 
Digger, you are the man! First, the suggestion on the GE rcvr. is a good one. I've used the GE rcvr. on two HAI gigs and it works very well. Two, I love the idea of feedback to my neighbor's place. That is a killer idea. Three, I don't think I could swing it now (2 x GE rcvr. = a lot of bread) but, I do very much appreciate where your hearts at in this. I think that I'm gonna probably shoot to do the project with either BSR's palm pad hack or I may rig an XBee radio setup for it. I'd like to screw around with the X10 (my faith in it was recently renewed when I updated a 5 year old HAI system for a client some weeks back and I do like the wireless PIR's) and I also have a handful of XBee radios looking to be put to good use. In either case, Digger, between this thread and the other on how Elk has treated you, I get a good idea of "who you are" and as I can, I will absolutely be doing business with you. You've earned it!
 
I was hoping you had wireless in place already. The receivers are pricey so its not an option for now. Maybe some others can jump in and help out and between us we can come up with what you need.

If I can help out let me know.
 
The X-10RF gear is very reliable, I rely on it big time. With BSR's antenna mod, you should be able to get the range you want without any problems. That said, I like the idea of a GE Keyfob as well, with fresh batteries, it allows me to open my garage door from several hundred feet away.

Let's try to get Anthony hooked up with the GE hardware he needs. Digger has already made a generous offer, CT will help out as well. If any other vendors/HAI (or anyone else) would be interested in donating, please post here ASAP.
 
Curious - I would use -

- maybe powerline if you can see the house next door / or vice versa - see how stable it is.
- internet - if its stable - I would trust a wireless bridge between the houses more than X10 wireless
- wireless FOB (personally would look at a direct type of connection before using wireless)
 
I love this site, guys, and it's largely because of the "community" nature of it. I really appreciate where everyone's at on this. The project really does need to happen for the safety and security of my neighbor's home and I intend to go forward with it. Thanks for all the good suggestions. I will contact my rep with HAI and see if there's anything to be gained on the GE wireless solution (the best solution in my opinion). If I can't get some help from them and because I'm broke, I'll most likely use the X10 option. With that in mind, we both have UPB lighting in our homes. How well does X10 and UPB coexist on the same power lines?
 
I'll make one of those antennas for you (with BNC or F connector, you determine) if you want. I should have a spare MR26a, will have to look. They are not as good as the W800 though. I also have spare Palm Pad controller. LMK :(
 
Wow! I am here to express a heartfelt thank you tyo every one who has shown support here (both in the thread and via PM's).

As an update, I have got the ball rolling via my HAI rep to start collecting the necessary gear to implement the GE wireless solution. Dan has also offered support via CT and I will gratefully accept the offers from HAI, CT and Digger ( www.icanautomate.com ). I spoke with my neighbor just moments ago and told her about how CT has stepped up as a community to help them and she broke into tears. She was just returning from a visit with their child's doctor and it's clear that his issues will most likely be lifelong. In other words, this solution is going to serve the family for many years to come (he's only 7 years old).

On a personal note, 2009 has been very difficult for me on both personal and professional levels. CT (and HA as a hobby, not just my profession) has been a great distraction for me. I am incredibly grateful for the community that exists here, the opportunity to steal all your good ideas, the humor that's displayed and help that is offered to one and all. Why I've waited to financially contribute to CT as a member, I don't know but, I can assure you guys that as finances allow, I will be "officially" joining and doing my part to support the effort.
 
I use these for my W800 and they work well.

Antenna

I found them originally on a closeout sale for around $15 at a local RS which was closing.
 
Wow! I am here to express a heartfelt thank you tyo every one who has shown support here (both in the thread and via PM's).

As an update, I have got the ball rolling via my HAI rep to start collecting the necessary gear to implement the GE wireless solution. Dan has also offered support via CT and I will gratefully accept the offers from HAI, CT and Digger ( www.icanautomate.com ). I spoke with my neighbor just moments ago and told her about how CT has stepped up as a community to help them and she broke into tears. She was just returning from a visit with their child's doctor and it's clear that his issues will most likely be lifelong. In other words, this solution is going to serve the family for many years to come (he's only 7 years old).

On a personal note, 2009 has been very difficult for me on both personal and professional levels. CT (and HA as a hobby, not just my profession) has been a great distraction for me. I am incredibly grateful for the community that exists here, the opportunity to steal all your good ideas, the humor that's displayed and help that is offered to one and all. Why I've waited to financially contribute to CT as a member, I don't know but, I can assure you guys that as finances allow, I will be "officially" joining and doing my part to support the effort.


PM me an address and I will ship you the GE Wrist transmitter and a few NX-650's via priority mail tonight or tomorrow. If I see anythng else in the stock room looking lonely that I think you can use I will throw it in. It will help keep a kid safe so its worth it. Do you need a strobe or anything?
 
No Digger, I don't think so. I'm gonna put a couple of LED's in the wall for them. Red if we're unavailable and green if we're coming.
 
Wow! I am here to express a heartfelt thank you tyo every one who has shown support here (both in the thread and via PM's).
Well, your neighbors are lucky to have a neighbor as helpful and dedicated as you. It's really sad, but not many people these days would step up and support their neighbors as diligently as you.
 
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