An Analog Phone For Our Front Gate

DoorBellFone-250 A short while ago I briefed you on my years-long search and utterly frustrating search for the perfect, affordable, SIP/IP-based door phone, preferably with video. Having set aside that lofty goal, I resigned myself to retain primarily the “affordable” aspect of the prior set of specifications, which lead me to look for an analog door phone.

There are many analog door phones available from companies like 2N, Adtran, Avaya, Bogen, NEC, Panasonic, Valcom & Viking, just to name a few. For my project, based upon some advice from friends, I settled upon Door Bell Fon as a suitable choice.

As a vendor I selected Home Controls since they had inventory, a good price, and seemed to have some experience with the product. My order included the DP28C control module, a DP38 NBZF door station and DP38 BXFS surface mount box. The total cost was right around $300.

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Controlling Applications From Asterisk

asterisk1Many thanks to Dave Michels who earlier today passed a link to this blog post from New Zealand’s James Forman about Controlling Applications With Asterisk. James’ project is an excellent example of the sort of thing that sets Asterisk apart from everything else. He used a multi-step process to have DTMF tones issue commands to control a VLC VideoLAN media player.

His approach is very similar to what I had initially envisioned for my home automation project. Where James is dealing with the VLC commands I was going to have the IVR process call AGI scripts that would cause xsend.exe to send predefined commands to various X-10 home automation modules. That was part one of the project.

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Questioning The Future Of Home Phones

Many folks, including Tom Keating, Garrett Smith and Dave Michels are looking for a next generation consumer electronics device. Over the past while I’ve seen some enthusiasm expressed for the Open Peak’s prototype gadget. I hesitate to call this device a phone although the Open Peak prototypes appear to be a cross between a cordless phone system, a tablet PC and an iPod Touch. I certainly agree that it’s really pretty.

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Vera, Z-Wave & I: Day 1

logo-zwaveToday was the day that I finally got around to taking the Vera home automation system out of the box. It was a simple beginning as I have only one Z-wave device to control at present, a Monster Cable lamp dimmer. In about two hours I was able to get Vera on the network and upgraded to the latest firmware. I also had it controlling my one lamp. Woo Hoo!

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Vera Home Automation

For the past while I’ve been thinking about extending my ancient X-10 based home automation. It wasn’t clear to me what technology was most appropriate but earlier this week my mind was made up for me. micasaverde announced their Vera home automation server based upon Z-Wave RF technology.

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