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Best IO device to use with HS?

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  • Czechmarty
    replied
    Oh OK.
    Now I understand. In that case everything is perfectly normal..

    Leave a comment:


  • DC
    replied
    Marty,

    The batteries last longer than 3 months. Believe me, I would not keep buying APC UPSs if the batteries only lasted 3 months!

    Out of 20+ UPSs I change ONE battery every 3-5 months. Maybe it's not quite that freqently but it seems like it (I don't keep records). If I changed one battery every 3 months, and there are 20 UPSs, that is 4 a year that need replacing so I guess that averages out to each battery lasting 5 years. I was just estimating they last 18-24 months based on what it seems like, but it may be a little longer - maybe closer to 3 years. Some haven't had a new battery yet and I know they are a couple of years old. I think I will start putting a label on the UPS when I change the battery so I will know exactly how long they are lasting.

    Leave a comment:


  • zoomkat
    replied
    One thing to consider when controlling outputs with a computer, is weather you want the outputs to remain as is when the computer fails or there is a power outage, or have them all go to a fail safe position like off when that happens. For digital outputs, the parallel port is about as simple and cheap as it gets. It can also do simple input monitoring cheaply too. The serial port can also do inexpensive digital output with an IO chip. Input on the serial port has a little more overhead than the parallel port. I haven't tinkered with the USB gizmos, but you may need to know some windows programming to set them up for individual use situations.

    Leave a comment:


  • bruce l
    replied
    Can't beat the 4 port USB Game port adapter for price, 32 digital inputs for about $20 on Ebay.

    Digital outputs are harder to do. There is the parallel port plugin but not sure this works under XP.

    Leave a comment:


  • Czechmarty
    replied
    DC,
    Thanks for the detailed description. I'm sure it will bring new ideas to all of us. (At least it did to me for sure.. )
    The UPSs - IMO no matter what kind of UPS have, the battery should last MUCH longer then 3 months if you don't over power it or don't have 1 hr power outages every day. If you have to change them every three months, there is definitely something wrong. Check the power you are drawing from them and if everything is OK, I'd call the company.

    Marty

    Leave a comment:


  • MikeMatthews
    Guest replied
    Here is a PCI card with a partial HS plugin written.

    Leave a comment:


  • aboyce
    Guest replied
    I already have a Leopard device and find it less than reliable.

    I have a temp Bobcat a secu16IR and secu16 D/AIO

    The other day the bobcat lost its mind and went into address mode (This is the second time this has happend) when this happens all the devices on the Leopard bus stop responding. I disconnected the Bobcat and the other devices came back on line after a reboot of cause. Then I went to re address it but had to disconnect the working devices and blam. confliting address. So I just have it disconnected for now. I just want somthing that does not rely on somthing else to be working before it works.

    IE a simple Reliable IO device such as a PCI card in the server or somthing.

    Andrew

    Leave a comment:


  • DC
    replied
    Marty,

    I have a wide variety of APC UPSs and I'm not sure what all the models are. I remember a few are BackUPS PRO500s. Some are the flat, what I would call "desktop" models (350 and 500 VA). And I have a couple of larger 1100 (or 1500) VA models that I got at Sams.

    The 15 UPSs I was talking about are at my wife's office. I put all her desktop computers on UPSs (since they are relatively inexpensive now). I'm not certain how many there are - I just mentally tried to count them and it's about 14 or 15. Having all her computers on UPSs is VERY worthwhile. It saves a tremendous amount of headache when they have a brief power outage (or fluctuation) that would have previously crashed all their computers.

    Leave a comment:


  • DC
    replied
    Here is what I have hooked up to my Ocelot/Secu16 setup:

    INPUTS:

    1) 9 relay outputs from my alarm panel -
    * 3 motion detectors
    * 3 areas armed (house interior, house perimeter, shop)
    * alarm system ready to arm (all doors and windows closed and no motion)
    * alarm system communication failure
    * alarm activated

    2) Whole-house audio receiver ON - I have a 12VDC wall-wart transformer plugged into the switched outlet on back of the receiver, the 12V output is connected to a 12VDC relay and the NO contacts of the relay are connected to an SECU16 input.

    3) 5 magnetic contacts on doors -- three garage doors in the house, one in my shop and the door to my equipment room where my HA equipment, network, alarm panel, etc. are located.

    4) A 120VAC relay I installed in the automatic switch for my emergency generator. This tells HS when the generator starts and when it stops. The most important thing I use this for is to verify that the weekly self test works. I have the generator set to self-test at 8:30 AM every Monday (it starts and runs for 20 minutes). At 8:00 AM on Monday, I set a virtual device OFF. When the generator starts, HS sets the virtual device ON. If the virtual device is still off at 9:00 AM on Monday HS knows the self-test failed and notifies me. I also have HS send me an email at work if the generator starts during the day.

    5) Two inputs are connected to a directional driveway alert system - this way HS can tell the difference between a vehicle arriving and a vehicle leaving.

    6) 7 motion detectors (other than the three that are part of the alarm system).

    7) 3 WaterBug moisture detectors - one in each laundry room and one near the water treatment equipment in my shop

    OUTPUTS:

    1) Two garage door openers - one in the house and one in the shop. The relay it connected in parallel with the wall switch so I can open a garage door remotely if necessary.

    2) One connected to an electric valve in my water main - if a leak is detected, HS shuts off the water main immediately.

    3) One connected to an intercom doorbell chime input. My intercom has three distinct doorbells. I use one for the front door, one for the garage door and the third one for HS. When HS detects a driveway arrival, it chimes the intercom and then speaks "Excuse me, you have company coming up the driveway".

    4) Three connected to the alarm system arm/disarm relays so HS can arm or disarm any of the three areas. This comes in handy if I need to disarm the alarm from work to let someone into the house, or the shop, without giving them the alarm code. I also have HS send me an email every hour if any area is not armed when I'm normally at work. This way if I forgot to arm the system, I can arm it remotely from work through the web interface.

    5) I have 8 security cameras around the house connected to a NOVEX2000 DVR card in a dedicated computer. This card has 8 dry contact inputs that start digitally recording each of the cameras. I have 8 SECU16 relay outputs connected to these inputs. This way HS can record various cameras depending on the situation. When a driveway arrival is detected, two cameras that can see the driveway are recorded. When motion is detected on the front porch, the camera that sees the front door is recorded. When motion is detected by any of the motion detectors behind the house, 3 cameras that see the back of the house and the front of the shop are recorded. When the alarm system is activated (see #1 under inputs) ALL the cameras start recording.

    This is not all the inputs and outputs I have available. I have other things planned for some of them like additional motion detectors and the water-softener salt level indicator discussed in another thread. This is one of the nice things about this setup, once it's integrated into HS, it's very easy to add another device using one of the inputs.

    Leave a comment:


  • Czechmarty
    replied
    DC,
    what kind of UPC do you have? I have old APC500 that powers whole automation system and the batteries are there for over 2 years without any problems.
    Also - 15 UPSs?

    Please see my post above - would you be willing to describe a little your Ocelot system?

    Thanks

    Marty

    Leave a comment:


  • smee
    Guest replied
    It seems to me that the batteries in older UPSs definitely lasted longer than in newer ones. I have an older, more expensive APC that's been going for 5 years or so without complaining. It's been a few months since I tested it last, but it was still going strong then.

    Since they've become much more of a commodity item, the quality (and/or capacity) of the batteries does seem to be have dropped.

    Leave a comment:


  • DC
    replied
    George, the APC UPSs I have start beeping every few minutes when the battery is bad and has to be replaced so, if yours is not beeping you are probably safe. I have 5 of them at home, and my wife has about 15 of them on computers in her office, and it seems like I replace a battery in one of them about every 3 months or so. I've never kept track of how long a battery in a particular UPS lasted, but I would estimate that it's 18-24 months (it's definitely not 6 years because I haven't had any of them that long!).

    Leave a comment:


  • George
    replied
    DC,

    I have an APC 650 and I've never had to replace the battery in it. We just had a power failure here about a month ago and the UPS still worked great until the backup generator kicked in. Maybe one of the reasons it's lasted so long is I never have to rely on it for more than about 45 seconds until the generator spins up and kicks over.

    Humm, now you've got me worried! Grin

    George

    Leave a comment:


  • Czechmarty
    replied
    DC,
    in some other thread Jim asked for ideas what other people do with their Addicon devices. I see that you have quite few of them. Would you be willing to share your setup/system/ideas?
    I'm sure a lot of people would be interested.

    Thanks

    Marty

    PS. I too second OCELOT as best IO device.

    Leave a comment:


  • DC
    replied
    George, what kind of UPS do you have that has a battery that lasts 6 years? Or can you change the battery without turning it off and unplugging it? I use APC UPSs and the batteries have a useful life of about 18-24 months.

    Leave a comment:

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