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  • A way to interface weather radio alerts to HomeSeer?

    I have a weather radio that activates whenever there's a severe weather warning (tornado, etc), but I'm not always in a part of the house where I'll hear it. It would be nice if homeseer blinked the lights or otherwise did something to get my attention (especially for tornado's).

    In the past, I've noted that the weather radio will often sound off a minute or two *before* weather alerts appear on weather related sites, like weatherunderground.com or accuweather.com. I'm under the impression from reading official government tornado damage reports that weather radio is still the fastest and most reliable way to get a warning. So, rather than rely on a purely internet alerting solution, I think hooking a weather radio into HS would make sense because when reacting to a possible tornado, every minute counts.

    Any recommendations on how to integrate a weather radio into HomeSeer? Maybe one or more of the plug-ins do this? Luckily, weather alert types have numerical codes, so triggering on only the alerts of specific interest should, in principle, be easy.

  • #2
    By the way, the weather radio I've had since 2008 is the Midland WR-300:


    Apparently, it does come equipped with an external alert jack that could power a contact closure. So, if nothing else, there's that. For instance, Midland sells a strobe light designed to plug into it so deaf people can still get alerted.

    I wish there was a weather radio (or even just a decoder) that had a PC interface (USB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, or whatever) built in so I could maybe trigger different events in HS based on what the particular weather code is, but so far I haven't found *any* with a PC interface. Very odd. I thought for sure there would be a model with that for weather prosumers. Does anyone know of one? Some do have USB, but it's purely for either powering the unit or for charging cell phones using a crank, not for PC connectivity.

    Comment


    • #3
      what plug does the strobe plugin to? maybe create something off that jack?
      HW - i5 4570T @2.9ghz runs @11w | 8gb ram | 128gb ssd OS - Win10 x64

      HS - HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.435

      Plugins - BLRF 2.0.94.0 | Concord 4 3.1.13.10 | HSBuddy 3.9.605.5 | HSTouch Server 3.0.0.68 | RFXCOM 30.0.0.36 | X10 3.0.0.36 | Z-Wave 3.0.1.190

      Hardware - EdgePort/4 DB9 Serial | RFXCOM 433MHz USB Transceiver | Superbus 2000 for Concord 4 | TI103 X-10 Interface | WGL Designs W800 RF | Z-Net Z-Wave Interface

      Comment


      • #4
        Your contact closure is your best bet. If you want to trigger off of different events the only solution that I'm aware of is the one of the weather warning scripts/plugins.
        -Rupp
        sigpic

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        • #5
          Originally posted by TeleFragger View Post
          what plug does the strobe plugin to? maybe create something off that jack?
          The WR-300 manual doesn't give any details, but assuming it's the same External Alarm Jack as the WR-100, the WR-100 manual says:

          Connecting the External Alert Output to an External Device
          You may need to turn on or turn off another device when an alert is
          received. The WR-100 provides a switch closure to signal other
          devices at the EXT. ALERT jack when the monitor receives an alert.
          The output is compatible with home automation devices from suppliers

          like X-10 and others. Connect the positive lead of the interface to the tip of the 1/8 inch (3.5mm) phone plug and the negative lead to the body

          of the plug.


          A DC powered device using 12 Volts or less and requiring less than

          200mA of current can be switched directly using the EXT. ALERT jack.



          Observe the polarity of the jack so that the negative side of the external

          power source is connected to the body of the






          1/8 inch (3.5mm) phone plug and the device is connected to the positive source and to the tip of the phone plug.






          The internal switch is closed when an alert is received. Pressing any button on the front of the monitor will open the switch.






          My goal would be to convert that 12v <200mA into a z-wave signal. Obviously, I could power a small relay to create a "dry contact" as an intermediate step, but for simplicity's sake is there an obvious z-wave device that I could just wire it to directly? Maybe the Aeon Micro Switch or the Remotec ZFM-80 or...?

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          • #6
            I guess it wouldn't have to be z-wave... I just noticed that the wr-100c costs just $25, so for that amount it might be cheaper to just buy a dedicated unit that sits near the HS PC if that enables a cheaper way to get the 12v <200ma signal into HS through a hardwired connection.

            On the other hand, I guess that amount of voltage and current could power a cheap electromagnet, which in turn could possibly close a reed switch on one of the z-wave door/window sensors. I would hope for something a little more elegant and less kludgey, though, if possible....

            Comment


            • #7
              What I think I'm going to try

              This thread got me to thinking about the way I use the Snevl_WW Weather Warnings script (in the "Script and Plugin Library"). Right now I have the script run every 6 minutes, 24 hours a day. If I interface a radio that triggers on my S.A.M.E. programming, then I know there is an important alert I want to know about. Right now it could be up to 6 minutes later.

              If the radio can tell me when an alert for my area has happened, then I can trigger an immediate run of the Snevl_WW event and know within seconds what's up. Then I can relegate the script to running less frequently, so it can still tell me when non-important warnings occur.

              This should work, right? I'm not over-simplifying this, am I?

              Thanks
              Steve

              (System configuration is in my profile)

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              • #8
                Sounds great to me, that sounds perfect. I hope you can do it, and cant wait to try it.
                danielbo

                Comment


                • #9
                  I don't yet know anything about Snevl (not even what it is), but what I was planning to do was to use the weather radio event to trigger the launch of a browser linked to an internet weather site (most likely weatherunderground, because I like their wundermaps) where the NWS info would be visible.

                  As it turns out, last night I was using the weather radio because we had a pretty energetic lighting storm together with some fast winds and heavy rain. If you happen to miss the part where they make the announcement, they go back to their dreary old weather forecast (which, as it turns out, was very obsolete). Therefore, I was listening to it say "some areas may receive up to 1/4-inch of rain" even after I had already received 5x that amount.

                  Anyhow, the lights flickered and I lost my wired internet connection. Luckily, I could switch to wireless internet to look at the weather stations in the area and decide what was going on. However, it made me realize that in a really severe weather event, there's a good chance the internet will be knocked out. i.e. it would likely fail exactly when I would need it the most.

                  So, with the above in mind, does the NWS also broadcast its weather statements by radio in a way that the text can be received and decoded without having to wait and listen for the next cycle of the NWS verbal radio announcements? This would serve as a backup in case my internet connection goes down.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Here foremost I use my weather station to provide "live" weather. Over the years I have also used the internet to provide data. (currently using weatherxml). Aside from just internet weather data I also look at various weather maps tweaked by the provider of said weather maps.

                    I am now though looking at using "radio" to hopefully get data a bit sooner regarding alerts et al.

                    Concurrently also looking a downloading weather maps directly from satellite as that is easy to do these days and maybe automating the whole process with Homeseer.

                    The frequency and alerts generated for use by a weather radio can be done today with a software radio and interface to Homeseer.

                    The radios today are just little dongles that plug into a USB port and can be purchased for as little as $20.

                    That said tuned in to a frequency you can connect devices to Homeseer to trigger events based on the radio stuff.

                    I understand this is totally different than connecting to a speaker or tone device on a weather radio but can offer the same at much less cost as a DIY.

                    Today I still have a pager and get text messages relating to my EMA stuff. The pager texts do come a bit quicker than the cellular text messages; it could be related though to the infrastructure utilized. They are in fact the same messages that I get.
                    - Pete

                    Auto mator
                    Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.534 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Haswell CPU - Mono 6.00
                    Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - 3.0.0.534 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e - CherryTrail x5-Z8350 BeeLink 4Gb BT3 Pro - Mono 6.00

                    X10, UPB, Zigbee, ZWave and Wifi MQTT automation.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Update

                      I found a couple devices that enable an arduino or BBB to read and decode SAME.

                      http://www.aiwindustries.com/products.html

                      https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11129

                      Through the arduino plug-in, HS can then use to trigger events.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by NeverDie View Post
                        I guess it wouldn't have to be z-wave... I just noticed that the wr-100c costs just $25, so for that amount it might be cheaper to just buy a dedicated unit that sits near the HS PC if that enables a cheaper way to get the 12v <200ma signal into HS through a hardwired connection.

                        On the other hand, I guess that amount of voltage and current could power a cheap electromagnet, which in turn could possibly close a reed switch on one of the z-wave door/window sensors. I would hope for something a little more elegant and less kludgey, though, if possible....
                        Did you ever find a solution to this? I have the same radio linked to an IOLinc to trigger HS events. If you're still looking for a solution, let me know and I can take some pics to show you how I have mine hooked up.

                        Cheers
                        Al
                        HS 3.0.0.548: 1970 Devices 1149 Events
                        Z-Wave 3.0.1.262: 123 Nodes on one Z-Net

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by NeverDie View Post
                          By the way, the weather radio I've had since 2008 is the Midland WR-300:


                          Apparently, it does come equipped with an external alert jack that could power a contact closure. So, if nothing else, there's that. For instance, Midland sells a strobe light designed to plug into it so deaf people can still get alerted.

                          I wish there was a weather radio (or even just a decoder) that had a PC interface (USB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, or whatever) built in so I could maybe trigger different events in HS based on what the particular weather code is, but so far I haven't found *any* with a PC interface. Very odd. I thought for sure there would be a model with that for weather prosumers. Does anyone know of one? Some do have USB, but it's purely for either powering the unit or for charging cell phones using a crank, not for PC connectivity.
                          Maybe you can hook up a dS10a to that jack output and have a event setup in HS.
                          Hector
                          ____________________________________
                          Win.2003 OS, HS3
                          BLDSC,BLstat,BLRadar,BLRamdom,BLOccupied
                          BLups,BLrain8,HSTouch,Ultrajones Weatherbug,
                          MyTrigger,ACRF2,W800,Zwave
                          AP800,Honeywell Stat

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by sparkman View Post
                            Did you ever find a solution to this? I have the same radio linked to an IOLinc to trigger HS events. If you're still looking for a solution, let me know and I can take some pics to show you how I have mine hooked up.

                            Cheers
                            Al
                            Sparkman,
                            I'd like to see your setup and detail if you don't mind. Thanks
                            Tom
                            baby steps...starting again with HS3
                            HS3Pro: Z-NET & 80 Z wave Devices,
                            HSTouch: 4 Joggler (Android Kitkat), 2 iPhone, 3 iPads
                            Whole House Audio: 5 SqueezePlay Jogglers w Bose Speakers
                            In The Works: 10 Cameras Geovision, new Adecmo/Envisalink Alarm, Arduinos
                            System: XP on Fanless Mini-ITX w/ SSD

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I haven't yet implemented. Reacting to a contact closure gives me just one bit of information per radio, but that was the best I could do at the time I started this thread. Since then I've learned a little something about arduino and how useful it can be. The attraction of directly reading the decoded message is there's the potential to get more bits with a single, compact radio. I figure an attiny85 (~$1) is all the arduino I'd need to read the SAME and then output to HS. The question remains how best to get the info into HS: through a wired or wireless connection to an interface box that's already connected, Ethernet, or wifi. I've started to procure the pieces to experiment with inexpensive OOK 433Mhz wireless (~$1 for a transmitter) for sending serial data with an attiny85, so maybe that's something I'll be able to leverage after I get some experience with it.

                              In theory, all I would need is a radio with AGC tuned to the SAME frequency, and then the attiny85 could simply read the signal from an io pin and decode the SAME directly. I haven't yet looked into that, but my guess is someone has already done it and published a library interface. Also, not sure it'd be worth the effort just to save a fraction of the $20 cost from the breakout boards I posted last night. There's a lot to be said for leveraging something that already works.
                              Last edited by NeverDie; February 1st, 2014, 10:58 AM.

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