W800RF32A as a security system?


Is it practical to use the W800RF32A along with some ds10a and ms10a as a simple security device? Maybe custom programming some actions like sending an sms, email or activating a siren when motion or windows sensor are trigger. I´m planning to use with the W800RF Mainlobby plugin or some custom programming (I'm a programmer, I could use the W800RF32 protocol to develop a small application).
Anyone has done this?
I have done that, and it seems quite reliable (100% as far as I know). I use X10 active-eye motion sensors and the X10 door sensors, so to make sure I have reliablity I use lots so I have a redundancy check. That way, if one is triggered then I wait to see if another is triggered in the logical sequence to confirm that there has been an intrusion. I was able to test my system fully when I got a new roommate and he wasn't used to disarming the alarm, so he was setting it off for a while.

You should check out the software app Girder by Promixis. They have a free W800 plug-in (I think you need the pro license). It's really great. Basically you can do anything when you receive an event from the W800, like using X10 remotes to operate your Insteon lights or TV, etc. It's a very versatile program and is perfect for use with the W800, among a myriad of other hardware devices geared towards what you want to do. I have my alarm system SMS message me on my mobile if anything goes off, or if I miss a phone call it sends me the caller ID info.


by the way, if you choose to use that for your alarm system, be sure to get yourself a really nice UPS in case of a power failure.
I have plans to develop something like this in the future (when I have time and money to do so). I'm currently using Misterhouse both for it's budget-friendly price (free) and it's ability to utilize both UPB and interface with the W800. Bear in mind, this has a steep learning curve, but if you're a programmer, you could probably pick up the Perl quickly enough to at least debug any problems.

I plan to have Misterhouse send me an instant message over Jabber when I'm online (if I ever get Jabber up an working... see the Misterhouse mailing list archives for reference), or send me an SMS when I am not online.

I believe there are also plans (at least, there's a placeholder on the Misterhouse wiki) for telephone interface as well, similar to what HAL can do with its voice portal.

In short, Misterhouse has all the capabilities I need and gives me something to do on the weekends (tweaking it!).
I have this setup in my rental apartment.

The one down side I ran into ealry on, is that the DS10A will send a signal about once an hour... so if I left a window open upstairs, an hour later, the alarm would trigger.

I made some checks in the program to work around this issue, but its something to note. Now when I arm the system, it checks all sensors, tells me which sensors are open (over the speakers), and then continues with the arming mode (30sec countdown) and ignores those sensors until I disarm the system.

This time of year I have my windows open frequently, so its a nice reminder to close the downstairs windows before I leave the house.

Other downsides... Insurance doesn't count this as an alarm system since its not monitored by an outside company and not UL listed. Computer failure (power outage), etc can be a factor, and internet failure another (it calls my cellphone via Voip software).

One project I never finished was using a camera to take pics and email them to myself when a sensor was triggered... Which reminds me! time to do that :)
RonX said:
Treetop, what software are you using? How are you doing the arming mode?
You would have to ask me to show off my ghettolicious setup :)

I'm using Girder 3.9 (this version is unavailable now).

For the "keypads", I'm using Palm Pads mounted on the wall near the front and back doors.

I have the states of the window/door sensors (open/closed) saved as variables, which are checked before executing the next task (ie. Say: kitchen window open).

As far as setting up the keypads: I use a four digit number that has to be entered in the correct order. If any other button is pushed out of order the entire sequence resets itself. Not fullproof by any means, but I can't see how someone would be able to get the numbers right in 30secs. especially when you consider that the code could be say 1ON, 4OFF, DIM, 5ON (or any combination of the 18 buttons on the keypad).
and no... thats not my code ;)
Girl booted me from the computer ;)

One other nice feature about using the palmpads, is that it has a switch on it to allow you to use numbers 1-8 or 9-16. Using this, if the switch is one postion, I have it to set to control lighting modules and the tv (via USB-UIRT)... flip the switch and you are will be using the numbers for the alarm system. Nice to have if you are about to leave and realize the kitchen light is on.

As far as the "calling" portion... I use a program called Stanaphone, which Girder controls directly. All this does is simply ring my cellphone a couple of times... the callerID onn the phone is set to display "ALARM".

One "classy", umm cheesy, thing I added to the system was a Big Red rotating light that sits (used to) sit in the upstairs window... Similiar to This. Don't Ask :)
heheh love the light! I was thinking of adding a strobe to my setup, but then again no one around here gives a crap about their neighbors, so I need to rely on myself. My SMS messages are almost instantaneous. I use Girder 4; we've chatted in the past over the forums, I believe. Nice to see you around! You can get past the false triggers with the door/window sensors with Girder. If you PM me I can explain exactly how you do it, but it's not that tricky. Basically you create a group to map those events, then you write variables to your registry (there is a better way to do it, but I'm too lazy). When it triggers again, it checks your variable for a change. If it is the same state it will just send a message for "Front door Closed Confirmation", or whatever you've set it to. It happens about every hour.
Hey Quixote ! Good to see you still around too. I really need to pop in at the Promixis boards... been awhile...

Would love to hear about your workaround... All I did was disable the group that the sensor was set to, if at the time of arming the system it was "open" Reg==4 so to speak. When I set it up (ages back), I wasn't very skilled at LUA (still not, but i digress), so I just used the Set and Check Register Variables from the Girder tab.

Wish I was able to do it with scripting, as of now, when I look at this portion of my GML even I am a bit confuse at to what I did a year ago. The only thing I have had to change is the eventstring of the sensors when I change out the batteries.

At one time I had grand delusions of learning LUA, but when I was able to figure out ways to do without it...well...

About the stobe light idea... I once talked about putting a fog machine in the main room along with a strobe light... triggered on alarm... figuring that, along with the siren, would totally freak out the intruder (or they would invite others over for a rave). Note: this idea was quickly shot down by the misses (after she laughed at me for being a "dork")

Needless to say, Im not allowed to do any HA stuff after a few beers :)

Oh, just remembered.... RonX ... here's another good thread about what the DS10A sensors can be used for : http://www.cocoontech.com/index.php?showtopic=798&hl=
hahaha a fog machine? Did you plan on scaring off the intruders with disco music? I know I would bolt! :)
I'll tell you exactly how to set up the scripts when I get back tonight. Just have to make a trip to the hardware store after work -- running some wiring.
It's pretty easy, actually.

Create a group called Mapping, (or whatever you want to call it; I call it mapping because I'm basically mapping events)
In that group, create a scripting action for each event of the door sensor: one for the event that occurs on open, and one on close. Attach the correct events to each of the scripting actions. Here is the script for an OPEN event, in this case my front bottom door:
FrontBottomDoor = FrontBottomDoor or 0
if FrontBottomDoor == 0 then FrontBottomDoor = "closed"

if FrontBottomDoor == "open" then gir.TriggerEvent ('FrontBottomDoorOpenConfirm',18)
elseif FrontBottomDoor == "closed" then FrontBottomDoor = "open"
gir.TriggerEvent ('FrontBottomDoorOpen',18)

and here is the CLOSE script:
FrontBottomDoor = FrontBottomDoor or 0
if FrontBottomDoor == 0 then FrontBottomDoor = "closed"

if FrontBottomDoor == "closed" then gir.TriggerEvent ('FrontBottomDoorClosedConfirm',18)
elseif FrontBottomDoor == "open" then FrontBottomDoor = "closed"
gir.TriggerEvent ('FrontBottomDoorClosed',18)

Next, you create the events that you wish to happen when the events happen. In this example, you'll need girder events called "FrontBottomDoorOpenConfirm", "FrontBottomDoorOpen'", "FrontBottomDoorClosedConfirm", and "FrontBottomDoorClosed" (all without the quotes, of course).

What you do with those events are up to you, but my confirm scripts currently only give me an OSD message. For the open confirm event, you can use speech to tell you that you left the door ajar.

What do you think? I strongly suggest you check out Girder v4. It's much more powerful than the previous version and totally worth the bit of cash you'll have to spend to get it. By far, the best investment I've made in my home automation system. Talk to you later!

PS, do you do any graphics? Just curious.
Cool, I'll have to try that out! Thanks for taking the time to share.

PS, do you do any graphics? Just curious.
I can't even draw a straight line with a ruler... :blink:


If you are looking at writing your own app to control the W800, I don't think it would be to difficult (if you know programming). I've read that the protocol is a bit rough to break down, but thats neither here nor there.

Here's a link to the Protocol: http://www.wgldesigns.com/protocols/w800rf32_protocol.txt

Not sure if this helps, but here's what my *.ini file looks like for use with the Serial Plug-in in Girder:

Description=W800 and  W800RF32A support fileÿþÿþhttp://www.wgldesigns.com/w800.html

Once again, being far from a programmer, I'm not sure if that is helpful or not... hopefully it will help.

Treetop said:
The one down side I ran into ealry on, is that the DS10A will send a signal about once an hour... so if I left a window open upstairs, an hour later, the alarm would trigger.
the ds10a sends a signal as soon as it detects a change in state (from open to close, close to open). after that, it checks in every hour or so, repeating its current state.