RFXCOM – integrating BT house screen VP1000/Visonic to Homeseer

submission by Craig – This article discusses the RFXCOM Visonic receiver offered from www.rfxcom.com, as well as exactly how it can quickly be utilized to integrate a Visonic or BT VP1000 house screen Alarm system with Homeseer. The VP1000 alarm from BT has been tracking my house for sometime.

Before buying the Alarm I was sceptical about the variety as well as reliability of the wireless protocol. I discovered a great offer on the Web that included additional keyfobs as well as PIRs, as well as believed I would take a danger as well as provide it try. when the Alarm was installed, I was surprised at the reliability as well as variety of the security devices, the variety of the Visonic PIRs is really much better than the existing WiFi installation.

The next step was to integrate the alarm with my HA system, running Homeseer 2.0. I wished to allow the HA system to be more conscious of what was happening inside as well as outside the house. My master plan is to have several home ‘states’ where gadgets can be powered off when the home is in ‘sleep’ mode or ‘away’ mode. For example, if the home understands we are sleeping or away it can power down gadgets that do not requirement to be on, eg amps, sonos zone players, laser printers, freeview receivers, etc. I likewise would like the system to understand the specify of the home cars, eg parked outside, locked/armed, etc.

I understood the VP1000 was truly a Visonic, as well as I discovered it was possible to configure the manage panel to send X10 via an XM10U. The VP1000 was configured to send X10 signals which where in turn filtered/processed by Homeseer, as well as if required, X10 sent via the CM10. This solution worked, however I was not happy with the truth that X10 protocol was being utilized from the alarm panel to Homeseer. I wished to reduce the number of gadgets utilized for the integration, as well as ideally the latency.

RFXCOM – In my browse for an alternate solution, I discovered the www.rfxcom.com site. RFXCOM have a variety of products that allow RF gadgets to integrate with typical HA software, including Homeseer, Misterhouse etc. The core product is a USB interface that enables upto 2 child modules to be installed.

Different modules are offered for different protocols/frequencies, eg X10, Ikea Koppla, Visonic, etc. See www.rfxcom.com for full details.

The RFXCOM receiver looked particularly fascinating to me, my only concern was it is a USB device, so must be found near the HA PC. The Alarm panel is found at one end of the the house, as well as the PC in almost the opposite corner of the home on a different floor. Although the Alarm panel has excellent Visonic reception from all devices, I didn’t understand if the PC/RFXCOM receiver place would. I took the plunge as well as decided to purchase the RFXCOM with a Visonic receiver module.

The RFXCOM receiver as well as Visonic module shown up with a software/drivers/documentation CD. before installing any type of new drivers/software on my HA system, I always like to test on a test PC first. This has ensured that the HA system stays reliable, as well as is not subject to beta/test configurations. A USB driver is supplied on the CD, nevertheless I discovered a newer version is offered at www.ftdichip.com. I installed the new version, as well as plugged the RFXCOM Visonic Receiver into the PC, new hardware detected on the PC, great! A little issue though, the hardware detected was a ‘Microsoft Serial Ballpoint Mouse’, ooops!! A quick google, as well as I discovered this is a typical problem, particularly with gadgets such as USB GPS modules. If Windows detects a ‘M’ in the serial data, ‘Plug & Play’ assumes its a serial mouse. The solution is to disable serial enumeration in the USB gadget from the system gadget manager in manage panel. This disables the ‘plug as well as play’ on the serial side of the USB chip, as well as it then functions correctly.

It turns out if I had of installed the specific version of the driver supplied on the CD I wouldn’t have had the issue.

Now I had RFXCOM installed, I wished to inspect the range. On the CD is a small utility, ‘RFreceiver’, this can be utilized to inspect connectivity with the RFXCOM, as well as decode the RF output. I walked around the house, as well as verified the RFXCOM found in the corner of the home might pick up RF from all the BT/Visonic PIRs, as well as from keyfobs outside the front door. next step was to test with Homeseer.

ACRF – As the RFXCOM is referred to as being completely compatible with the AutomationCraft RF processor is a Homeseer plugin offered from the Homeseer update page, I believed I would try the application on the 30day evaluation licence. The ACRF does requirement some preliminary configuration, as well as this can only be done if Homeseer is running in interactive mode (not running as a service), however this is only an preliminary configurationto get the Visonic IDs mapped to the online devices. Its a simple one time operation of triggering a PIR, opening a door, pressing a key on keyfob, then looking at the log data to see the Visonic ID, as well as mapping this ID to a Homeseer device. when the gadgets have been setup, Homeseer can be restarted as a service.

Now the software application has been installed on my HA PC, the ‘house’ now understands when we are home, away, sleeping, etc. I am in the process of composing events that can power off gadgets when they are not required

Verdict – RFXCOM has now been linked to my HA server as well as the ACRF software application has been installed for about a week now. before buying I was sceptical about the USB interface as well as RF range, however since utilizing the solution, I am extremely happy with the results. The Visonic protocol as well as RFXCOM Visonic receiver variety as well as error inspecting has exceeded my expectations.

The ‘house’ now understands when we are home, away, sleeping, etc. I am in the process of composing events that can power down gadgets when they are not required, as well as ideally save some pennies off electricity expense that I can utilize for future HA purchases.

The future – I have discovered out the BT house Monitor/Visonic sensors have a secondary get in touch with available, so each sensor can screen 2 ‘zones’.I plan to utilize additional zones for an integrated door bell/entry system.

I likewise plan to attempt to in shape a Visonic sensor to the home vehicles as well as utilize the sensor to screen if the vehicles are on the drive as well as in a locked/unlocked state.


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