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[How-To] Monitor When Your Cell Phone Rings

BraveSirRobbin

Moderator
How-to Monitor When Your Cell Phone Rings While You Are Home
by BraveSirRobbin

Here is a cheap and easy way to monitor via Homeseer when your Cell Phone rings while you are at home and have your cell phone sitting on your desk (it can even be in "silent ring" mode).

Purchase one of THESE pens that "light" up when its near a cell phone that is ringing (up to two foot range) from Elston Systems for six bucks (plus shipping).

EDIT 4/8/08: The above pen is not available anymore, but you can get an equivalent product HERE for ten bucks.

Then dig out an X-10 motion detector from your HA supply chest (we all have two or three of these things laying around). I used the X-10 model MS16A for this test.

Tape or use rubber bands and attach the "light" portion of the cell phone detection pen to the motion detector's sensor window as shown in the photograph below. Set the house and unit code of the motion detector as desired.

cellphonepen.jpg


Set this assembly in a small box so ambient light/heat will not trigger the motion detector, or use black tape and tape the window area.

Create an event in Homeseer to announce that the cell phone is ringing and trigger it on the motion detector's "ON" X-10 command.

Place your cell phone within two feet of the assembly and then test it out. Your event should now trigger when your cell phone rings.

There are some limitations to this methodology though. One is that the pen will light whenever the phone is engaged in a conversation or text messaging. This shouldn't be a problem if perhaps you place a time out on your script after it gets triggered as I doubt once you answer the phone, you would be in range of the pen anyway (sort of an advantage to its limited range). You could also use the motion sensors timed "OFF" command to do this as well.

Also when you first turn your phone on, its "checks" for messages and will light up the pen. Again, shouldn't be a problem if your phone has already been on for a few minutes before you place it against your "box".

Nice thing is it will detect any cell phone so you could have a "staging" area where everyone places their cell phones after they come home.

Not a bad setup for the price of the components involved.

I would like to thank electron for finding this unit and also JohnWPB for suggesting this idea (in THIS thread).
 

electron

Administrator
Staff member
FYI, this method will work with any software which supports X10 Motion Sensors (such as HAL, HouseBot, Ocelot if used with a WGL V572 RF receiver and more. One advantage I can see to the continious triggering is that youc an use this to mute (or lower the volume of ) the speakers while the cell phones are in use. Great How-To BSR!
 

BraveSirRobbin

Moderator
electron said:
One advantage I can see to the continious triggering is that youc an use this to mute (or lower the volume of ) the speakers while the cell phones are in use.
Remember though that the "continuous trigger" will only be "active" when your phone is within two feet of this device. :D
 

electron

Administrator
Staff member
that's true, I guess the only way that would work is if you stick the motion sensor to the back of your phone, making it look like a brick from the 80's.
 

Treetop

Active Member
Freakin' Ingenious!!!!

Props to JohnWPB for the idea, and to BSR for putting it in action (and then telling us how to do it!)

Just goes to prove the adage: You are only limited by your imagination.
 

nsisman

Active Member
Thanks to all for this info especially BSR!

I just took out my home phone to go with just cell service (evenings and weekend package added) and this will be very useful.

Now if it could just grab caller ID info..........

Thanks,
Neil
 

electron

Administrator
Staff member
I have seen several docking stations which will turn your cell into a land line, might want to check it out, they also transmit CallerID if supported by your carrier. Here is an example of such device:

http://www.phonelabs.com/prd05.asp

edit: looks like Ski was posting at the same time (I had to help out my wife with something while I was typing the post, so Ski beat me to it lol)
 

GraysonPeddie

Active Member
Hi. I know this thread is three years old and I don't mean to bump up the thread to the top of the forum.

The pen that lights up when the cell phone rings is not available in the first link you posted.

I really think that this needs posting, because if someone who needs a cell phone detector and wanted to interface it with the Elk M1 Gold through a motion detector, they may find a way through the Internet and if they visit the thread in here, they will find that the item is not available.
 

BraveSirRobbin

Moderator
Hi. I know this thread is three years old and I don't mean to bump up the thread to the top of the forum.

The pen that lights up when the cell phone rings is not available in the first link you posted.

I really think that this needs posting, because if someone who needs a cell phone detector and wanted to interface it with the Elk M1 Gold through a motion detector, they may find a way through the Internet and if they visit the thread in here, they will find that the item is not available.
Good point. Check out the edit in the original posting as I did find a substitute for four bucks more.! :)
 
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