Motorola Homesight System Components - Part 2
Wireless Temperature Sensor
A Wireless Temperature Sensor? While you may not immediately know what to do with one let me just say that even if you don't have a wine cellar or dedicated cigar room, you can always put a wireless temperature sensor up in the attic where it will neatly detect AC leaks which could result in a huge waste of energy and money. If you live up north you could put one in a basement or cellar to ensure that temperatures don't exceed set parameters.
I went through a huge fiasco earlier this year where I was making the attic cooler than my home. As a result I have placed a temperature sensor in a convenient area to alert me if the main air duct springs another leak. This kind of sensor is nice because I can set up a schedule and notification to immediately send me an email or a page should the attic drop in temperature beyond what would be considered normal.
Wireless Water Sensor
Motorola made all of their door/window/temperature/water sensors out of the same ABS plastic mold. The sensors then conveniently plug into the bottom of the unit and each sensor is, of course, correctly identified by the Device Discovery tool. I thought the inclusion of a water sensor was brilliant as I can think of no more important notification feature than one that tells me there is a water leak in the house. It can be the difference between hundreds of dollars worth of damage and tens of thousands.
I placed the Wireless Water Sensor upstairs in the laundry room with the actual sensor placed in the water heater drip pan. Should any leaks occur the sensor should alert me with at least some time to catch the problem before it spills over into the rest of the house. I conveniently mounted the actual transceiver unit on the wall and allowed the water sensor, which attached with a long wire, to dangle down from there. In this way I got a nice clean connection and signal while making sure the unit was out of the way.
The dedicated Wireless Motion Sensor is perfect for locations that do not require the use of a camera (not to mention you save a ton by not adding the video surveillance). I placed one in the stairwell to monitor motion going up or coming down the stairs as part of a whole home security zone.
I consider this part of my "upstairs" Device Group as it joins part of the security system to monitor traffic to and in the upstairs part of the home. Adding a motion sensor or two to your home is a very effective way to monitor and prevent intrusion to various areas that might be secluded or not have easy access to an AC outlet. The Wireless Motion Sensor runs off of two AA batteries (included) and can be stand-mounted or wall-mounted (we chose to wall mount it).
What good is a home security system, as a preventative measure anyway, if it doesn't have a siren? Well, Motorola provides one and it can be placed anywhere there is an electrical outlet. You simply insert it like you would an AC adapter and press the Discovery button to add it into the system. In addition to a siren, the unit features a strobe light that also goes off in the event that the unit is triggered by a disturbance. To ensure that the unit is always functional, it has an audible chirp in the event of a loss of AV power and also when activity is detected and the system is unarmed. It has an internal battery backup so the unit will continue to function if the power is out during an armed intrusion. The entire system, however, would also need to be on a battery backup for this to function effectively of course.
Wireless Power Controller
One of the easiest ways to add some interactivity to your home while you are away is to simply schedule a living room/family room light to come on at predetermined times. You may perhaps even pop on the television at night to make the home appear occupied while you're away. One way to effect this is to utilize a Wireless Power Controller. It simply plugs into an outlet and allows you to connect a single 120V appliance into its AC outlet. The Motorola homesight system then has full control over triggering or scheduling the power up and down of the appliance.
More creative folks might set up a schedule to turn on a radio or coffee pot at predetermined times of the day or use it to schedule or trigger an untold number of devices.
The Wireless Keypad Kit is hands-down the coolest feature of the Motorola homesight system. Instead of the traditional keypad where you must enter a numerical code to arm and disarm the system, the homesight uses encoded Keypad Keys that store your identity and tracking information on them. In this way the arm/disarm sequence is reduced to simply holding up your key ring to the activation button and pressing "arm" or "disarm". Now that's simple! The kit comes with two keys and you can buy additional keys in two-packs to use for guests, babysitters, contractors, etc.
Mounting the Wireless Keypad is simple and includes the option for battery powered use or connection to an AC adapter. I chose the former and mounted it just inside the doorway. This simple device arms and disarms the entire homesight system from one convenient location. Mounting hardware is included as is a template for drilling the holes to secure the unit to the wall. A desk stand adapter is also included in the even that you would prefer to set it on a table.
If you are like me, your house may not be all on one level and you may have some significant interference from one floor to the next. Motorola has made available Wireless Repeaters for use with the homesight system. To install, simply place them in locations where you would need to boost the wireless signal to additional sensors or video surveillance devices. Now, during the device discovery phase, new devices can be attached to the repeaters should they be unable to make contact to the Wireless System Controller.
I found some difficult locations in my home and so installed two repeaters - one upstairs and one on the other side of the downstairs level. The results were immediate and the system was able to connect to all devices with no apparent difficulties. Repeaters require an AC outlet (they come with a 12VDC adapter) and have a convenient desk stand to allow them to sit on any flat surface. You can also wall mount them with included hardware.