Tuesday, December 20, 2011

PIR Burglar Alarm

This week I constructed a PIR Burglar alarm. Parts I used are: a PIR sensor, an Arduino, a XBee, an XBee Shield, and a high-decibel Siren. The code I used is provided on Make Projects.  I also needed a second XBee and an XBee Explorer.

I decided to use an XBee to send my text alerts wirelessly back to the computer, as part of the Smart Home system, to monitor when a PIR sensor triggers. In the future, the Siren will be on its own node, to be remotely controlled whenever an emergency justifies sounding the Siren.

I'd like to note though that I wont be replacing my current fire alarm system. Smoke Alarms pass stringent standards and are required by law, so I wouldnt ever replace that system with my smart home system. My system just would add a few extra layers of protection in addition to that system. So the Smart Home System would be independent of the Fire Alarm system in a home. As I see it, all nodes will be on XBee, and power will probably be two fold. There will be a backup lithium battery in case power goes out, and the main power supply will come from a land line wired to all the nodes. Nodes that cant be reached with wiring, would have to be solar powered, or simply battery powered.
Next up on my plate is an RFID/XBee Door Entry System. (A link to the product intro is here.) Again, this wont be replacing my keyed locks, this just adds one layer of security on top of existing security features. This entry system in addition to the Face Recognition System I plan to implement, pretty much means, not only will nobody get into my home unless I allow it, but I will know when someone tries to get in with or without my permission. I love biometrics. =)

A merging of two Open CV Logos I found on the web
Please feel free to comment on ideas, Im welcome for suggestions and discussions. As always, I am committed to sharing links of sites I come across that are useful to my research projects. This week, Ive added quite a few more, so take a look.

Peace Out.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

XBee 101

This month I am working with XBee's to get my sensors wirelessly transmitting data. Ive started to come across many tutorials out there, but nobody is saying straight out that XBee's will work out of the box with no setup required. You just have to verify that the PAN ID, CHANNEL and BAUD RATE match both XBee's, but other than that DONT play with any other settings if you just want a simple point-to-point transmit/receive setup.
XBee Series 1 Modem
If I had known that a week ago, I would have spent this time experimenting with sensors, but I just got the thing working last night, because both Sparkfun and Adafruit DONT explicitly state these things. They give you a tutorial to follow, and if you stray from that, you're in trouble. For example, one tutorial I came across said to change my DH and DL serial numbers (thats Destination High and Low), to the serial number of the current XBee you are working with. Thats wrong because then it tries to talk with itself, and nothing will happen.

Anyways, complaints aside, now I have a working XBee network. Its only one node and one router, but thats a start. Next step is to work on sensors, and get a simple setup going for a wireless burglar alarm system. It helps to have a high decibel piezo alarm to get a better feel when its working (as I do). I'll keep you posted of updates, and I might throw some sample code on here the next time I post.

Thats all for now. Peace Out.