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  1.    #1  
    OK, my brother and I have the whole basment to ourselves (the girls get the upperhalf of house)So...we wanted to know if there was an easy way to have a security system to make sure we know whenever parents & our sisters are coming down stairs. We have wires all over the place so i don't really care about that. but i was a light sensor (like the ones you get at Radioshack and stuff) would that work to detect if someone was coming down the stairs? and maybe we would hook up a microphone to there and a speaker that would run to the computer so we could talk to them...what do you think i should do?

    Greg Moore
  2. #2  
    get yourself a webcam and install some motion detection software on it....

    The software oof the creative webcam does the trick...

    Or if you want to go hi-tec all the way, check out the X10 stuff and automate every electic device you have on your floor
    by the way, do not give these guys your e-mail adress, they SPAM like crazy....too bad, because the sell cool stuff...
  3.    #3  
    i have a webcam, the problem is that the computer is on one side of the house, and the stairs are on the other side of the is USB and only goes 6 ft. i think. I am on a budget, i have like no money.

    Greg Moore
  4. #4  
    Move the Computer, or buy some cheap USB hubs and the Longest USB cable you can get...

    You kan use 4 or 5 hubs to extent your usb cable... note, they have to be powered hubs since they need to amplify the USB signal...

    Moving the PC to your basement would be the easy-est thing to do however...
  5. #5  
    If you're really low budget, why be high tech? Scatter sunflower seed husks on the stairs. Loosen the risers so they creak when stepped on. Use the old-fashioned store standard: a bell hung so that it rings when the door is opened.

    Semi-higher tech: there are travel alarms sold which hang on the doornob and shreik when the door is opened. If you prefer a bit more stealth, standard magnetic switches are pretty cheap, with a power source and a light bulb or buzzer you can make your own warning. If you want to get high tech, use a magnetic switch to generate a signal and feed that into your computer via a serial port then write software that pops up a window on screen when the door is opened.

    There's also misdirection: if you leave the door *open* (and aren't making anything other than normal stereo/videogame noises) they won't beleive you've got anything to hide and will be less likely to just wander down the stairs in the first place. Couple that with, say, a photobeam type system (which rings a quiet alarm or light); you'll still have warning, but it will be substatially less obvious that you're *trying* to detect them. Nothing obviates curiosity like letting people think they can wander in and out when they please. Let mom & the girls wander in and out as they please while you do innocuour things like programming, web scripting, computer gaming; ignore them utterly while they are down there ("Uh, yeah, whatever, just let me finish tweaking this cgi here...") and very shortly they'll be perfectly content to leave you alone, as they assume your life is utterly boring. Once this behavior is established, install a quiet, subtle detection system so you still have early warning, continue to leave the door open, and likely you won't be bothered much.
    Psychological misdirection coupled with mechanical electronic early warning. The only thing beyond that is active defensive measures and those will be a) unsafe and b) illegal, unless you own the house, and even then the ethicality would be questionable. If you really want to be left alone, just lock the door from the inside... but that's almost 100% sure to make the folks paranoid.

    Just a few thoughts...
  6. #6  
    and remember, don't start making pipe-bomb and/or other explosives/weapons.

    There has been enough of that Crap allready...
  7.    #7  
    I would never do that. Pipe bombs? No way. The door has to be kept closed b/c it is freezing down stairs and warm up stairs..i have an electric heater in my room. And I would want a bypass so my brother could get down with out setting off the Alarm. The thing with the corn husks would not work. I have music on 24/7 (MP3's) And E-mail me the Blue Prints for the magnetic thing..ok? I am not really worried about my Parents coming down stairs. Just my sisters. They love to harass us. and annoy the crap out of us (i'm sure you would know if you ever had sisters)

    Greg Moore
  8. #8  
    Originally posted by Jim Foster:

    Psychological misdirection coupled with mechanical electronic early warning. The only thing beyond that is active defensive measures... Just a few thoughts...
    Ladies and Gentlemen! Introducing former CIA operative...Jim Foster!!

    Interesting discussion. Have you tried installing a lock and asking them to knock if they want to enter?
  9.    #9  
    Yes, I have tried that, Did not work. These are sisters. It is an ongoing war that will never stop. They would pick the lock. You cannot trust them. I need a good security system that will tell me when they are going to attack. Remember, sisters are bad and evil! (they have pulled tons of pranks on us, like marker on my face when i am sleeping, and a bunch of other stuff) We are the good guys, we do not want to cause any trouble, we just want to have a good defense when they attack. (kinda reminds me of the Russians and the United States)

    Greg Moore
  10. #10  
    Take a look at
    They are offering Xcam2 - a wireless camera - for $80. Also, there's some software that would allow you program sending snapshots at programmed intervals, including upon sensing motion.
    Sounded cool, but I can't endorse it as I haven't bought it (yet)
  11. #11  
    I Have one of the Original XCam devices from X10. Pretty cool. I'm thinking of setting it up as webcam to let other people look at what it looks like outside in Seattle (I better get some rain protection for the cam, hehe). All the cam needs hooked up to it is a telephone cable, and the cable runs to the main base station that sends the signal, then the other basestation picks up the signal. you can also use it to send the VCR Line out to other rooms (See what people are watching up stairs).. I know there is software out there that you can load into your computer (but your computer has to have a RCA Video IN jack) that will detect motion, but usually you will get hundreds of megs of absolutely nothing..

    Another option is to buy an X10 motion detector ('EagleEYE' I think), A Wireless Transceiver (To Receive signals from the Motion Detector), and a Lamp Module (To turn on a light when the Motion detector detects motion.) This Setup would cost under $50.

    but since you don't want to spend any money, the simple wiring setup is really your only option I guess..
  12. #12  
    Heh. No, no CIA operative here... just a observer of human nature.

    There's no real blueprint needed for the magnetic switch thing. At it's simplest, it's a power source, some sort of light/horn, and the magnetic switch in series. IIRC, the magnetic switch is fairly low voltage, so you're looking at a 9V power supply, a 9V lamp or buzzer and some fairly insubstantial wire to run the circuit.

    I've had a sister, but she was never this vicious. Had this thing with fingernails once, but I just let her hang until she drew blood and then walked away. Once she realized she couldn't hurt or couldn't (visibly) annoy me, she gave it up. I still think that patiently outlasting them will do more in the long run that active defenses... if they don't have an opponent, the game ceases to be fun and they'll find others. If they're already picking locks, bypassing another security system will just be a new phase in the competition.

    IMO, if this is *really* getting out of hand, parents need to set some rules and enforce them. There's sibling competition and pranking, that's normal. But if you can't feel that there's at least one place in the house you can relax and be undisturbed, that isn't right. At least that's how I was raised. Or maybe it's all CIA brainwashing...
  13.    #13  
    Family Therapy on visorcentral....
    my sisters are really annoying, sure parents have rules, but my sisters have learned the art of manipulation. They cry, they blame it on the us and whatever we say does not matter..."we don't care who started it, just who ended it" (which is us) I enjoy fighting back. And with this security system we would be able to **** them off b/c they can't win. I get really bored, and this is something to do. Thanks for the blue prints

    Greg Moore

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