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Posts Tagged ‘Home Automation’

ADT Pulse Update for Android App

June 16, 2013 1 comment

Earlier this week ADT updated their application for the android based smart phone.  You can download the update by the usual method on your smart phone.  This Link will also take you to that update.

What’s new?  They enhanced the thermostat graph for heating and cooling activity.  Video issues associated with sprint/android phones were resolved.  Not much was done.

Stay safe.

ADT Pulse Capabilities

May 26, 2013 5 comments

I came across this link the other day while looking for the latest information on the Pulse system.  The site is called “Reviews.com.”   I was amused at what the writer of the blog claimed the Pulse system would not do.  I have run into this type of mis-information before.  Most seem to read the technical specs and assume if what they are looking for is not listed, the system is unable to perform the task.  To be fair, the website advises they make every effort to provide accurate information but do not guarantee the information provided is correct.

The review claims the system does not include glass breaks, recessed door sensors or garage door sensors.  While it is technically TRUE that these options are not included in the package the system CAN support these types of sensors.  I have a garage tilt and recessed door sensor (hard wired).  I do not want glass breaks due to my belief they generate false alarms.

The review rightly claims PULSE does not provide cameras that pan or tilt.  The writer WRONGLY claims Pulse does not offer outdoor cameras.  I have two of them.  Both came with the original install and are hard wired.  I believe Pulse also offers a wireless outdoor camera.

The review’s information on other areas of the pulse system seems good.  They advise the system does not offer monitoring of carbon monoxide and flood detection as standard.  I have worked around those issues by adding a carbon monoxide detector and flood monitors to the system.  They work within the Pulse environment just fine.  The problem is since I added the modules myself, ADT will not respond to those alarms.  Given the automations and alerts I have set up in response to those two events, I am covered.

If you are considering the pulse system make sure you do a ton of research on what it can and can’t do.  Good luck and stay safe.

Future ADT Pulse Features

March 14, 2013 Leave a comment

I stumbled across a link to CES 2013.  ADT was at showing off the future of the ADT Pulse system.  In the future you can look forward to health monitoring, smart meter options and most importantly in home music control.

Other home control system users have been critical of the ADT Pulse for not having the ability to control your in home audio.

Samsung smart TV’s also have the ability to utilize an app so you can access your home control system. Very nice.

CEPro Story.

ADT Pulse Adds Features

March 2, 2013 1 comment

One of the criticism’s of the ADT Pulse system was a lack of “Scenes.”  Other automation systems provide the user with the ability to set up automations as a group.  Rather then making a series of individual automations a user can select a “scene” or “mode” that triggers a list of user defined automations.

adt upgrades

 

ADT has sent an email to Pulse users.  See below:

Dear Valued ADT Customer,
In the next few weeks, we’ll be adding several new interactive features to selected ADT Pulse® Interactive Solutions packages – features that take ADT Pulse® simplicity and automation to a new level:

Modes: At the touch of a button, ADT Pulse “Vacation Mode” can lock the doors, turn off the lights and adjust the temperature. Or, arm the system and set your lights to turn off in 30 seconds when you select “Sleep Mode.” You can customize a total of eight different modes to tailor your environment to suit your lifestyle.

New – Home View now available for Android™ mobile devices: Previously available to IOS users, Android device users can quickly create a unique floor plan that indicates the placement of the devices connected to the ADT Pulse system in your home or business.

Home View “Zoom In”: Zoom in or out with simple gestures like pinching or double-tapping to easily view the details of the ADT Pulse devices in your home or business.

Auto-Delay Settings: Control the sequence and timing of your automations. For example, when you enter the front door, multiple automations can be set to turn on all lights immediately, lock the door after 10 seconds, then adjust the temperature after 30 seconds.

A web page with a video is available here.

From the looks of it you will know when you have the upgrade based on the addition of a added button by your alarm indicator on the portal.  Stay tuned.

Outdoor Motion Sensor With ADT Pulse

February 16, 2013 9 comments

ADT Pulse requires an “event” to trigger a recording.  Some of the cameras compatible with the system can record detected motion to a DVR.  These cameras will not record to the ADT Pulse system with the same detected motion stimulus.  With the Pulse system the user has to base recordings on a triggering event.

An example of a trigger could be a door opening, light coming on, an alarm event or motion detection via a security motion sensor (not camera).  When I first obtained my ADT Pulse system, I was somewhat disappointed to discover I could not record video of people who came to my door when I was not home.  The solution seemed obvious, create a “trigger” based on a tripped motion sensor by the door.  The problem, ADT Pulse did not offer or support outdoor motion sensors with any of the Pulse packages.  ADT may offer outdoor sensors independently of the ADT Pulse system.  Unless already have an outdoor sensor or request one installed with your ADT Pulse there is NO ADT pulse package that will enable you to record events outside your home, based on motion.

A motion detector is technically a security module.  Triggers and alerts can be created for any motion detector that is part of your security system.  In my case, the security panel is a Concord 4.  The Concord 4 panel integrates with the ADT Pulse IHub to present the end user with an integrated security/home control system.   Any module that is supported and controlled by your security panel is observable and manageable through the ADT Pulse interface (web portal or touchscreen).  While ADT Pulse does not come with an outdoor motion detector module, the Concord 4 panel does support this type of motion sensor.    Any outdoor motion sensor that is part of a Pulse compatible security system should work with ADT Pulse.

VX-402R

 

The VX-402R is a heavy duty, outdoor motion detector that utilizes a variety of transmitters.  For my solution I used the Caddx NX-650.  Joining a VX-402R to the Concord 4 panel requires the user to join the module via shortcut option on the security keypad or utilizing the installer code.

Once the outdoor motion detector is installed, the user can set up automations based on motion, via the ADT Pulse web portal.  Most security panels support some sort of outdoor motion sensor.  Make sure the sensor you choose is compatible with your security panel.   This may seem obvious to some.  I get about one email a month asking how to set this up.  Hopefully, this blog post will help end users tweak their own system.  Good luck.

GE IS-TS-0700 No Wifi Signal Solved

February 9, 2013 2 comments

I am going to apologize in advance for not having any pictures to better explain what I did to restore Wi-Fi on the GE IS-TS-0700.  When I started this process I figured on zero chance of success.  I don’t want to repeat this process out of fear of screwing up my TS.

DISCLAIMER: DO NOT ATTEMPT ON YOUR TS UNLESS DEVICE IS OUT OF WARRANTY.  DOING THIS WILL VOID YOUR WARRANTY.

I purchased a cheap GE-IS-TS-0700 on eBay for about 30 bucks.  ADT offers this same device for 200 dollars +/- depending on the vendors price point.  The device is brand new however, the original OEM packaging showed signs of an impact.  It did not appear the device itself had suffered any damage.

To add a touchscreen to your ADT Pulse system, you need to connect the TS to the intra-net port on the ADT IHub 3000.  You then go to the portal, system tab and select the option to “manage devices.”  From there you select “add touchscreen.”

Looking at the TS I noticed the MAC address listed on the TS in the “about” area was different than the MAC address listed on the back of the hardware.  Odd.  I also noted there was NO Wi-Fi signal with a Wi-Fi status listed as “failure.”  In the settings area the wifi signal strength showed no bars and was simply a red outline.  I was not sure if this was due to the TS not being made part of the network or if this was due to a malfunction within the device.

I was unable to add the device to the network using the MAC address on the back of the hardware.  Using the MAC address listed in the settings area, I was able to join the TS to the network.  Once the TS was physically disconnected from the IHub it ceased to function.  Wireless signal strength was ZERO and Wi-Fi status in the “about” area indicated a failure.  Hitting the “reset” button defaulted the TS to its original setting however, it did not fix the Wi-Fi issue.  Power-cycling the TS while holding down the “home” key did give the option to restore factory defaults.  Doing this failed to download any new firmware and seemed to cause a failure loop as the device looked for an IP address.

Calling ADT Pulse technical support was non-productive.  They offered to send a tech out to take a look.  I doubted the tech could help.  I asked if there was an option to update the TS firmware.  They were not sure and again came back with a Tech option.

A tech I am familiar with showed up.  She is very good.  However, she confirmed what I believed.  The Wi-Fi was not working on the device and there was no option to fix it with her training and equipment.  I had hoped she could physically connect via the USB port on the TS to possibly re-install missing factory firmware.

At this point I decided to open up the TS.  Flipping it over you will see a number of tiny screws along the outside perimeter of the TS.  I removed all the screws and gently removed the back panel.  This rear panel is connected to the main body by the DC connection.  I raised the panel toward the DC connection so I would not have to disconnect the rear panel from the main body.  On my TS the Wi-Fi heat sink and module is directly above the Ethernet port.  If you are looking at the rear of your TS it would be attached to the main body in the upper right corner.

Everything appeared to be ok.  I did note the MAC address listed on the Wi-Fi module matched the MAC address listed on the rear of the TS.  This shot down my theory that perhaps somebody had tried to hack the TS and replace the firmware with something different.  I had theorized the different MAC address was a residual value from a clone attempt.

Closer examination revealed the power connection to the wireless module appeared to be slightly loose.  It is a four pin connection.  I believe it was a black, red, white and green wire?  (I should have taken pics!….I know…sorry)  The connection is obvious.  The power to the Wi-Fi module connects closest to the Ethernet port and runs behind a silver panel covering the main board of the TS.  I gently pushed this power cord tighter at both connection points.

Before securing the rear panel I powered up the TS.  A small green LED on the Wi-Fi module lit.  This LED is not visible when the TS is assembled.  The MAC address on the back of the panel and listed in the “about” area now matched the MAC listed on the hardware.  Wi-Fi signal strength was listed as full despite not being connected or joined to my network.  No error messages were listed in the Wi-Fi status area.

I re-attached the rear panel and successfully joined the TS to the network.  It would appear the power cord to the Wi-Fi was knocked off causing the issue.  It is also possible (and less likely) removing the rear panel caused some sort of reset to the Touchscreen system.  The “alien” MAC address listed is probably a default for the Ethernet port?

Problem solved.   Again, don’t do this unless you find yourself with an out of warranty, non-ADT supplied GE IS-TS-0700.

ZWave Light Switches and Overhead Fans

February 5, 2013 Leave a comment

The ADT Pulse system has the option of installing Zwave light switches.  These switches can be controlled manually, automatically and remotely.  You also have the option of setting them up for automations and schedules.  The switches can be tied to different Zwave and security modules allowing them to “turn on” or “turn off” when these other items are triggered.

As I sat in my living room looking at my ceiling fan for no apparent reason, it occurred to me I could tie the ceiling fans in my house, to a Zwave switch.  The fan could then be controlled by a schedule, turning on at different times of the day, depending on your particular needs.

Automations could be created to turn on the fan when the system is disarmed or set to “stay” indicating our presence in the house.  This could easily be over-ridden by flipping the switch manually.

Fans in bedrooms could be set to “turn on” during bedtime hours and “turn off” in the morning.  Again, this type of automation can be linked to the “armed” status of your system.  If you are not home, with your panel “Armed Away” you may want to skip this type of automation.

I have not set up this configuration myself.  If I find a few zwave light switches on the cheap I might plunge forward. I am curious if the Zwave thermostat could be tied to light switches based on temperature of the HVAC system. I offer this as an idea for others.  Feel free to share if you have found unique ways to use zwave light switches.

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