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  1. #1
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    Reputation: wv_bob's Avatar
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    Any EE's, techs, or hobbyists? Looking for advice

    I've got a Harbor Freight wireless motion detector alarm that signals a base station to ring a chime.

    Wireless Driveway Alert & Driveway Alarm System

    It's got plenty of range to reach all corners of my house, so I wondered if there was any way to interface it to a PC, so instead of ringing a sometimes useless chime, it could be configured to do multiple things - for example, text me. The things are close to dirt cheap, so it could be an effective way to home-brew a security system on a budget.

    I took it apart and it's got two wires from the circuit board to the chime, so it seems do-able if I could get some advice on how to interface that to something (like a basic stamp or ??) that could in turn signal the controlling PC.

    The attachment shows the circuit board, and the two green wires go to the chime and are about 4 inches long. The base station is powered by 3 C-cells. I can take it apart further, if it would help.

    Any suggestions are appreciated.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Any EE's, techs, or hobbyists?  Looking for advice-clipboard06.jpg  

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  2. #2
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    I don't know if it would be all that much cheaper than AVR/Arduino stuff.

    Maybe if you have a serial port still, and can find a DC signal on that board? (Probably AC audio going to the chime?)

  3. #3
    I'm just messing with you
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    I was hoping to just use what I've got, since I've already got the sensor & base gadgets, and PCs out the wazoo. Undoubtedly I've got one with a serial port, I know I've got them back through Windows95, but I think I got rid of all the DOS and C/PM stuff.

    As for a DC signal ... we both missed the three red LCDs left center on the board that light up with the chime. That's the ticket, ain't it? I suspect there's going to be something close to 4.5v there, since it's got 3 C cells @ 1.5v each.

    I'll look at AVR/Arduino also. I've got a link saved to the Arduino playground, but never really checked it out much.
    Chasing bears through the woods drunk with a dull hatchet is strongly not advised

  4. #4
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    The rough thing with a serial port might be the voltage--LED is 3-3.5V, I believe 3V is the minimum in the 232 standard, (+DC, at least,) so you may need a bit more voltage to get it to trigger. I know I've seen projects floating around the net for some time that use the DTR line for switching type applications, but it's been a while.

    I didn't think about it before, but a joystick port could be a better option as far as wiring goes--they seemed to end up on a lot of sound cards well into the 2000's. There's a 5V line on the joystick port so you can get rid of those batteries, and use it to trigger if the 3V level isn't enough with a fet or some such.

    Game port - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    IIRC, some joystick drivers/utilities could attach hot keys to buttons, might be the ticket if you can find one that runs on the OS you can find.

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