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HomeSeer/Z-Wave as Interface for Remote Door Entry

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    HomeSeer/Z-Wave as Interface for Remote Door Entry

    I live in a 4 unit condo building with a really old Nutone intercom and door entry system.
    (link to posted item removed by request of original website)

    I'd like to purchase some sort of relay to trigger the electric door strike at the main entrance. Currently this is done by using the speaker system which I posted the link of. In addition to the relay I need to somehow pipe a buzz or some other noise through my ceiling speakers to replace the Nutone unit. I was thinking I could have a HomeSeer event that made a noise through my speakers but haven't figured out how to do that either. Note: I do have a plugin for Sonos which is hooked up to my ceiling speakers so maybe it could play some custom chime.

    Any ideas how I can get this done? Is it possible for the door buzzer to somehow be hooked up to something that can communicate with HomeSeer? Then can I control a relay to be triggered for at least 5 seconds to allow ample time for entry? I was hoping to use a Z-Wave multi button zone controller to trigger the unlocking of the door.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
    Last edited by legendsfan; May 19, 2011, 10:54 PM.

    let me just get this right, when the person presses the buzzer on the outside door you want this buzzer to go into your HS system to alert you? How good are you at electronics? Might be a job of taking the thing apart and seeing what sort of circuit you have available to interface with. Then you can get the signal into HS by perhaps using a powerflash as the simplest way, powerflash then triggers a sound file event.

    You could replace the unit, but you may be able to get away with leaving it where it is and wiring things in behind it.

    I'm not sure if i'd go further and give HS the ability to control the lock, not without knowing exactly how the system is wired - i'd imagine its very possible to do what you are after though. I'd just be hesitant at controlling an outside door, what happens when HS fails - can the lock be overriden, can other people tennants still open the lock, what happens in a fire, does it fail open or fail secure? etc etc.


      Great questions. The main entry can be opened in one of two ways. Either use a key and turn the door handle or trigger the electric door strike to release which will allow the person to just push the door open without the need to unlock and turn the door handle.

      Electric door strike:

      The Nutone remote/speaker I have looks fairly simple as it only has 5 wires running to it. I believe two of those are used to open or close the relay to the door strike and closing the relay releases the strike. Making changes to this unit will not affect any other building occupants.

      I found this product that can trigger a 5v relay by control from TCP:

      I'm not sure if HomeSeer can interface with this product or if I should just use a powerflash. I'm fairly certain I can get the relay part of the system working but I'm more concerned with triggering a sound when the person presses the button at the front door. Currently when a person at the front door holds down a button/doorbell it buzzes but I'll be taking out that Nutone speaker since it is extremely ugly.


        Have a look at the terminals on the speaker unit, you probably have mic and speaker, buzzer, unlock and a ground (although i'd expect a voltage somewhere and I think some of these door strikes are 24V so just check)...see if the terminals are named and then do some testing.

        For single IO jobs i'd say an X10 powerflash and universal module are the easiest options, not the best but the easiest. Theres a few IO options out there which can talk with HS that may also be up to the job.

        I'd say you have a reasonable option of getting the buzzer into HS, you might find that on the wire coming from the front door may just be a closed/open switch which you could then wire straight into a powerflash. Then set the event in HS accordingly.


          Does HomeSeer interface well with anything other than a PowerFlash for relay purposes. My system does have a mic at front door and in unit. To activate you push switch down from buzzer to mic. I don't need the mic so not worried about losing that functionality.

          If I use PowerFlash it seems I would need two of them. One for door and another for the speaker if it is also a simple relay. Is that correct?


            I think there is a decent selection of IO solutions with plugins for HS, personally i've just finished using a Velleman K8055 board with a relay board but that might be overkill for your purposes.

            What I can see is one powerflash connected to the button on the door (I take it the buzzer itself is inside the speaker unit) which sends an X10 command when the button is pressed. Check which wires correspond to this and also check with a multi meter what sort of voltage this is coming in at.

            Then a universal module that opens/closes the relay based on an X10 signal being sent to it, the delay could be sorted out within HS. Also check the relay contacts on the module can handle whichever voltage the system is using.

            I don't know what your experience with X10 is as to whether you have problems with noise etc, there are other ways of doing it though...


              Out of curiosity what is another option you had in mind. X10/Insteon hasn't been very reliable in my condo which is why I switched to Z-wave.


                Originally posted by legendsfan View Post
                Out of curiosity what is another option you had in mind. X10/Insteon hasn't been very reliable in my condo which is why I switched to Z-wave.
                It would be something like the Velleman K8055 board (and connected to another relay, there is a plugin available) or something like the Phidgets board (also a plugin available but not sure for exactly which board). I did think that the Bitwise BC4 (not that I have any experience with it though seems to do some relay IO) was available but looks to have gone from the HS page.

                I'd do some testing first, seeing what voltages you have and perhaps wiring up a test switch and relay to see if it works...