Part III: Home Security
If you still want third-party monitoring, Smarthome offers a cheap service, and
it sounds like they might even be willing to monitor a hacked-together system.
Check out http://www.smarthome.com/ALARM.HTML.
I decided that the best way for me to improve the security of my home while
staying within a tight budget was to build my own security system using off-
the-shelf parts. Such a system can provide most of the features of standard
security systems, as well as a few features found only in high-end security
• Door and window sensors
• Motion detection
• Local audible alarms
• Video monitoring
• Off-site archiving of video feed
• Remote alerting using my existing mobile phone
The system should be designed to resemble Figure 13-1. Intrusion detection
mechanisms will provide input to a script running on your computer. The
script will use logic you provide to determine the appropriate response: take
pictures or video through remote cameras, send you an alert, or do noth-
ing if the system isn’t armed. You can arm and disarm the system using
anything that you can use to communicate with your computer, including
a wireless remote.
In this project, you will design and implement an X10-based wireless
security system using door and window sensors, motion detectors, video
cameras, an Internet connection, and a whole bunch of software. This
project has five phases, corresponding to each of the five components in
the design: intrusion detection, intrusion deterrence, gathering evidence,
arming, and monitoring and alerting. Each of these components is modular.
For example, although this project as written uses Windows, you can very
easily implement it using a Linux computer by replacing the monitoring/
Shortcut: You can buy home security kits from large hardware stores and many
different sites on the Internet. However, they are not nearly as hackable as home-
built systems, and you don’t have as much control over the behavior.
11/24/2004 1:56:45 PM