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  #1  
Old January 17th, 2018, 03:12 AM
oregonbob oregonbob is offline
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Less X10 more Zwave - Powerflash X10

My driveway is 1/2 mile long. For 20+ years I've had a vehicle detector buried under the pavement that works great. When a vehicle is detected to closes a contact and sends a signal by a 5 volt wire.

I have that wire connected to an X10 powerflash unit, model PF284, that sends an X10 code to Homeseer when a vehicle passes. Is there a way or product to accomplish this using a Zwave module instead of X10?

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Current Date/Time: 1/16/2018 10:45:52 PM
HomeSeer Version: HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.368
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  #2  
Old January 17th, 2018, 01:57 PM
Ronnie Ronnie is offline
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I had a similar situation where I used the X10 powerflash unit along with outdoor microwave sensors to alert me if someone is approaching my home. The powerflash units were not reliable. I now use an arduino uno and run the relay contacts from the microwave unit into the input for the arduino and use the arduino plug-in for HS3. This has been extremely stable and it is easy to setup.

Ronnie
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  #3  
Old January 17th, 2018, 02:05 PM
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rmasonjr rmasonjr is offline
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Some Z-Wave door/window sensors have a contact closure that you can use. You'll need to check carefully for those that support this.

If you have an alarm panel, you might be able to wire it to a contact closure.

If those dont pan out, +1 for an arduino. Super-easy to wire it in and detect voltage, resistance, etc.
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  #4  
Old January 17th, 2018, 03:06 PM
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langenet langenet is offline
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For about the same money and less work, use a Fortrezz MIMOLite Zwave Input Output Module.
It provides relay control. Use MIMOLite V1 and not V2 as there are issues with V2 and Homeseer.

See here for more details.

Robert
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  #5  
Old January 17th, 2018, 03:23 PM
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Pete Pete is online now
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Here many many years ago ran chases (PVC) from the GDO area down the sides of the driveway to the end of the driveway.

For drive way sensors buried two wired sensors under the driveway. That said at the time there were only a couple of different ones available. Their were a couple of chases on each side. One for LV and one for HV. LV = network, 12VDC, driveway sensors, PIRs, et al. HV was 120 VAC always on and 120 VAC switched at the front door entrance. The wired stuff went to the security panel. Network POE was for CCTV - views towards the house. Note for network you are limited to 100 meters (300 feet) unless you utilize fiber. For alarm wires it is the thickness or diameter of the wire and the length using the following formula:

VD = 2 X L X R X I / 1,000
VD% = VD / Source Voltage X 100

VD = Voltage drop (conductor temp of 75°C) in volts

L = One-way length of the circuit's feeder (in feet)

R = Resistance factor in ohm/kft

I = Load current (in amperes)

28ga copper = 64.898 ohm/kft
24ga copper = 25.669 ohm/kft
18ga copper = 6.3851 ohm/kft

A rule of thumb I use, based on a class in residential electrical wiring, is to increase the wire size by one gauge for every 100 feet of wire used.

1/2 mile = 2640 feet

12 guage with 12VDC would work out to around 1437 feet.

Helped a friend do his new home LV stuff and he rented a machine where we were able to install chases down the driveway and between homes on his farm. Wasn't really that difficult using the machine he rented.
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Last edited by Pete; January 17th, 2018 at 03:33 PM.
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  #6  
Old January 17th, 2018, 06:20 PM
oregonbob oregonbob is offline
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Zwave version of X10 PowerFlash

When I put my vehicle detector in I can only remember a single maker of the units somewhere in the Dakotas or Midwest. I got lucky, didn't do any calculations. There already was a 2-twisted pair copper that phone company installed under driveway. I talked them into installing a different 4-twisted pair and they let me use the old 2-twisted pair. I dug up that line, attached the sensor. Then here at the house I connected the beeper+5volt device to the X10 PowerHouse module. It has worked flawlessly, every time for many years. The only failures were that it false alarms if I get a nearby bolt of lightning. I was just thinking of getting away from X10 because it can be unreliable sometimes at the house and the modules/devices are cheaply made, fail.

Until I bone-up on arduino I might just stay with X10.

Is HS3 really any better than HS2? I just switched to HS3 and first impressions are disappointing. Adding events and devices is so quirky. You can't insert actions in an event. If you click the wrong "Done" you have to delete the action and start over. If you "Control a Device", select that device, then you cannot select that device again as a following step/action. That seems insane.

Are there still a lot of people still using HS2? I have thought about switching back to HS2. I finally upgraded because the PC was ancient and finally died.
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  #7  
Old January 17th, 2018, 06:58 PM
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langenet langenet is offline
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In my opinion, while HS2 was great , HS3 is even better. Sure there's a bit of a learning curve but you will find that there is more power under the hood especially with new plugins available.

Robert
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  #8  
Old January 17th, 2018, 08:01 PM
oregonbob oregonbob is offline
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I am sure HS3 has much more capability, and being able to run on linux is a great plus. I hope they work on events and devices though. I do not understand why they only allow a device used once in a a set of actions (then statements). There is not way to edit an event with an action insert. Maybe it is all just me and being new at HS3.
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  #9  
Old January 18th, 2018, 08:45 AM
lhfarm lhfarm is offline
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I've never found a Z-wave replacement for the X-10 modules. I think someone here had a Z-wave window/door sensor hack to use as a contact closure. I'm working on my first Arduino project and as stated by others, this might be the way to go.

The Arduino solution won't be as simple as the X-10, but I'm enjoying learning something new. My first project is water pressure monitoring and I'm almost there. Replacing my driveway alert X-10 interface could be my second. I'll be happy to let you know what I am able to do.

On a final note, it took me some time to make the change from HS2 to HS3. Part of that was my long history with X-10. HS3 isn't X-10 centered as the earlier versions had been, and required a new way of thinking. Once I figured it out, I would never go back.

Barry
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  #10  
Old January 18th, 2018, 11:40 AM
ITguyHS ITguyHS is offline
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You could use one of these: https://www.amazon.com/Everspring-Z-...ve+door+sensor connected to a 5-volt relay that has normally-closed contacts. When the driveway sensor trips, the relay would activate and open the contacts, which would trigger the z-wave sensor.
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  #11  
Old January 18th, 2018, 12:20 PM
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Pete Pete is online now
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@oregonbob

Here have continued to utilize X-10 (since 1978).

X10 is working well today with Homeseer 3 using CM11A, TI-103, TW-523 and Volp X10 controllers.

The debug features on the X10 HS3 plugin will indicate noise if you have any on your powerline.

I am at 100% connectivity with no issues today using the CM11A with Homeseer 3 and Jeff Volp's dual phase TW-523 (XTB-IIR) on my Leviton OmniPro 2 panel.

Mostly utilize X10 these last few years with my Christmas decorations...easy and fast.
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  #12  
Old January 18th, 2018, 12:29 PM
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langenet langenet is offline
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Hey Pete... still using some X-10 here as well without issue using TI103.
Out of curiosity, how do you get the X10 HS3 plugin to indicate noise ?

Robert
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  #13  
Old January 18th, 2018, 01:00 PM
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Pete Pete is online now
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@Robert,

Turn on debug in the X10 ini file in HS3.

Running HS3 in Linux here.

[settings]
PluginDebug=True
Override=False
COMPort=/dev/com1

Not sure why it mentions COMPort=/dev/com1

Here have a static USB configuration for X10.

/dev/ttyUSBX10

Name:  x10.jpg
Views: 72
Size:  7.6 KB

If you have noise then it repeats and delays transmission.

Jan-18 10:55:54 AM X10 DEBUG CM11A.SendIt(): Send 0x00 to CM11a (command to transmit the data onto the power line).
Jan-18 10:55:55 AM X10 DEBUG CM11A.SendIt(): Got ack of: 0x55
Jan-18 10:55:55 AM X10 DEBUG CM11A.SendIt(): Success! 0.278 seconds for CM11a to send.
Jan-18 10:55:55 AM X10 DEBUG CM11A.SendIt(): Sending 2 bytes: 0x6 0x62
Jan-18 10:55:55 AM X10 DEBUG CM11A.SendIt(): Data sent, waiting for checksum From CM11a...
Jan-18 10:55:55 AM X10 DEBUG CM11A.SendIt(): Received a good checksum: 0x68
Jan-18 10:55:55 AM X10 DEBUG CM11A.SendIt(): Send 0x00 to CM11a (command to transmit the data onto the power line).
Jan-18 10:55:55 AM X10 DEBUG CM11A.SendIt(): Got ack of: 0x55
Jan-18 10:55:55 AM X10 DEBUG CM11A.SendIt(): Success! 0.779 seconds for CM11a to send.

Mark has the CM15A working well these days. (RF plus X10).

Kudos to Mark!!!

Last edited by Pete; January 18th, 2018 at 01:11 PM.
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  #14  
Old January 18th, 2018, 02:36 PM
oregonbob oregonbob is offline
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Pete:

If I recall a cm11a is a serial port device, but you say USB. Are you using a serial-to-USB adaptor?

I have an unused cm11a but I never could get it to work using a serial-to-USB adaptor.
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  #15  
Old January 18th, 2018, 07:41 PM
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Pete Pete is online now
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Are you using a serial-to-USB adaptor?

Yes. I have been using serial to USB adapters since the early days of Homeseer 2.

With Homeseer 3 have tested and used my old Digi Edgeports (8-16 serial ports) and whatever exists today in single serial to usb devices. All have worked fine with the CM11A in Linux. (running two HS3 boxes in Linux today).

Googling today the preferred processor chip: FTDI or Silabs (very reliable).

Amazon, Ebay and Monoprice have them all of the time and very reasonable these days.

My HS2 box utilized two Digi Edgeport 8's and one Digi 7 port USB hub with one cable to the HS2 box providing me with 16 serial ports and 5 USB ports. Never had an issue.

Here is the HS3 Pro computer connection to one Edgeport8

HS3Pro:/dev# lsusb

Bus 003 Device 002: ID 1608:000f Inside Out Networks [hex] Edgeport/8

8 serial ports

HS3Pro:/dev# ls ttyUS*
ttyUSB0 ttyUSB1 ttyUSB2 ttyUSB3 ttyUSB4 ttyUSB5 ttyUSB6 ttyUSB7

BTW over the years there have been counterfeit chipped USB to Serial devices...sold for as little as a $1 ....here messed up my testing a few years back purchasing a few (like 10) of these counterfeit USB to Network interfaces that were Apple clones that looked identical but didn't function correctly....in the 1960's it was how many transistors were in a radio....and then too you saw fake transistors in radios....

Last edited by Pete; January 19th, 2018 at 09:27 AM.
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  #16  
Old January 27th, 2018, 09:05 AM
lhfarm lhfarm is offline
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Just a quick follow up - I did a quick Arduino project with the plug-in to emulate the Powerflash unit. While I am using Z-wave in the house and garage, I have other out buildings I monitor/control where I don't want to add Z-wave. I do have network access in those buildings, so the Arduino solution works best for me. I don't plan to replace the X-10 units now, since they continue to work well. But good to have a replacement in hand.

I am curious as to why HST hasn't added a Powerflash type device to their Z-wave hardware line. Maybe not enough demand.

Barry
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