Add a Status Sensor to MiLocks

Posted on
Fri Jan 08, 2016 10:28 am
raneil offline
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Add a Status Sensor to MiLocks

Here’s some additional info for those that want to add a locked/unlocked status sensor their MiLocks. I was able to apply the information provided by Karl (@kw123) to the INSTEON® Hidden Door Sensor 2845-222 to achieve the same results. This sensor has a smaller circuit board that fits easily inside the MiLocks enclosure once the battery-holder clips have been cut off. And because the circuit board is otherwise unaltered, you retain full use of the Reset Switch. Otherwise, I don’t see that this method is any better, easier, or more cost-effective than the one Karl outlined, but it is an alternative. It’s been working well now in 3 different MiLocks (a doorknob, a lever, and a deadbolt) for over a month. I have no complaints.

1. Add your Hidden Door Sensor to Indigo in the usual manner. Test it to your satisfaction. I suspect that cutting pieces off of it will likely void the warranty, so it’s probably best to ensure it works properly before proceeding.

2. Open the sensor’s plastic enclosure to reveal the circuit board. Remove the battery, then gently pry the circuit board out of the enclosure.

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3. Mount the circuit board in a vice. Be sure it’s held firmly in place without damaging it. Move the beeper and the antenna wire out of the way. Using a Dremel tool (or something similar), cut off the metal battery-holder clips. You won’t be needing them, as the sensor will get it’s power from one of the lock’s batteries. Note: do not attempt to simply bend the battery-holder clips out of the way. They are quite rigid, and applying enough force to bend them will crack/break the circuit board and ruin the sensor. Don’t ask how I know this.

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4. The clips on the NEGATIVE end should be cut off very close to the surface of the circuit board. The clips on the POSITIVE end should be cut off higher, so that they remain taller than the Status Switch (SW2) soldered to the circuit board adjacent to them. They will serve as support legs to prevent the Status Switch (SW2) from being depressed when you install the circuit board into the MiLocks enclosure. If you cut the clips too tall, the Reset Switch (SW1) will likely be depressed when you mount the lock to your door, as the sensor circuit board will not be recessed deeply enough in the MiLocks enclosure. If you cut the POSITIVE-end clips too short, the Status Switch (SW2) will be permanently depressed when you install the sensor into the MiLocks enclosure, and the sensor will never report any state changes. Notice the very small gap between the Status Switch’s actuator and the surface on which the modified circuit board is resting. I suggest cutting the POSITIVE-end clips longer than necessary, and then gently filing them down to achieve the desired results, as pictured.

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5. Solder a small wire (I used solid-core 22-gauge telephone wire) to the Status Switch (SW2), as pictured. With the circuit board oriented such that the Status Switch (SW2) is on the left side, facing up, the correct pin is the top-right one, just below the text “SW2” on the circuit board. This is your signal wire that will be used indicate the locked/unlocked status of your lock. The wire need only be about three or four inches long. You’ll cut it to length later.

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6. Solder positive and negative power wires onto the other side of the circuit board. Note that there are three large (relatively speaking) lugs you can choose from for each wire. Note also the orientation/direction of each wire relative to the circuit board — it’s not critical, but it makes routing the wires in the MiLocks enclosure a bit easier.

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7. Remove the metal backing plate from the lock assembly by first removing the three screws from the holes indicated.

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8. Drill a small hole through the plastic enclosure at the location shown. It’s diameter need be no larger than required to pass the positive power wire you previously soldered to the sensor circuit board. Ensure that the hole is positioned just beneath the base of the right-most spring at the top of the lock’s battery compartment (right-most once the entire lock assembly has been flipped over to reveal the battery compartment, as pictured in the 2nd shot, below.)

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9. Place the sensor circuit board in the cavity on the opposite side of the lock’s battery compartment, as shown. I used a piece of black electrical tape to hold it in place. Position the beeper and the route the antenna wire so they’re of the way.

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10. Route the positive power wire through the hole you drilled in step 8. Cut and strip the end of the wire such that the bare end sits neatly in the bottom coil of the spring, as shown. Optionally, place a single AA battery in the battery compartment to compress the spring and hold the wire in place. This is not the battery that will power the sensor (the one to it’s right will do that later) so there is no danger of prematurely applying power to anything.

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11. Cut, strip, and solder the NEGATIVE wire on your circuit board to the solder bead on lock’s black ground wire, as pictured below.

12. As in Karl’s updated instructions, use a diode to connect the signal wire (step 5, above) to the lock’s circuit board. Connect the diode's cathode lead to the lock’s circuit board at the header connector for the orange wire coming from the lock’s limit switch — the one that is not connected permanently to ground, i.e. the one that is switched to ground only when the lock is locked (see photo, below and refer to Karl’s updated instructions, linked above.)

(Note: Rather than solder the diode’s cathode lead to the lock’s circuit board, I cut the lead at a 45-degree angle to create a sharp point on the end and inserted it into the open end of the header connector. It makes for a solid, reliable connection without soldering. I used several pieces of black electrical tape to prevent any bare leads from touching anything inside the enclosure).

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13. Solder the diode’s anode lead to the signal wire you previously soldered to the sensor circuit board.

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14. Final installation. I used plenty of black electrical tape to ensure that none of the bare leads are touching anything.

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Posted on
Fri Jan 08, 2016 10:47 am
jay (support) offline
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Re: Add a Status Sensor to MiLocks

Very clever!

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Posted on
Fri Jan 08, 2016 10:59 am
raneil offline
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Re: Add a Status Sensor to MiLocks

jay (support) wrote:
Very clever!


Thanks, but it should be noted that forum user Karl (@kw123) is the clever one from whom I stole the original idea, as posted in the MorningLinc thread. :mrgreen:

Posted on
Fri Jan 08, 2016 4:24 pm
kw123 offline
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Re: Add a Status Sensor to MiLocks

Nice work
In my case the scary part was to cut the board But it worked. Good that this device has a much smaller footprint.
Mine has now been working for >2 years without problem. The only issue I have is that one of my 4 doors is VERY old and you need to pull quit a bit to enable to close it = the mechanics does not always work the bolt does not go into the hole .
in addition It has copper plate insulations and when it is wet or hot you can see thru it. But it looks good and there is no way I am allowed to replace it.


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Posted on
Fri Jan 08, 2016 4:33 pm
raneil offline
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Re: Add a Status Sensor to MiLocks

kw123 wrote:
Nice work
In my case the scary part was to cut the board But it worked. Good that this device has a much smaller footprint.
Mine has now been working for >2 years without problem. The only issue I have is that one of my 4 doors is VERY old and you need to pull quit a bit to enable to close it = the mechanics does not always work the bolt does not go into the hole .
in addition It has copper plate insulations and when it is wet or hot you can see thru it. But it looks good and there is no way I am allowed to replace it.


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Thanks for the update -- and for the original inspiration! How often do you have to change the batteries in your locks? The one thing I like the least about this whole setup is having to rely on batteries.

Posted on
Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:11 pm
akimball offline
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Re: Add a Status Sensor to MiLocks

Very nice enhancement. I've got three MiLocks and have used hidden door sensors (HDS's) in the deadbolt pockets as feedback that the door is latched. I'm sick of replacing batteries in the hidden door sensors and I believe your enhancement is really nice from a power standpoint. I use a 2nd HDS in the hinge side of the door to tell me if the door is open or closed.

The one advantage I can spot with having the HDS in the deadbolt pocket is that if the door is ajar and yet you lock the door using the MiLock mechanism, the HDS in the deadbolt pocket will give you positive proof that the door is not really latched. Yes, the deadbolt tongue may be extended but who knows for sure that the door was actually closed? I also realize that my second door closed/open sensor near the hinges may give information about locking an open door, but I do like the redundant security aspects of having one sensor in the deadbolt pocket and the other to say if the door was actually closed.

As far as battery life of the HDS is concerned, did I say I'm sick of replacing batteries? (yes I did). I'm considering a modification which will allow 1.5V to be sourced from an independent DC power supply (110VAC to 1.5VDC)... I guess I could build it, or in the case of a door which is too hard to reach, I'm looking for a single battery holder for a 1.5V "D" cell which can be drilled into the door jam and covered with a simple plate or maybe just an adjacent J-Box... wires running to the deadbolt pocket. A single "D" cell would last much longer in any case. Since there is a J-Box close to all my doors, a simple 110VAC to 1.5VDC supply of small enough size may be the easiest option.

By the way, I do love your mod... my 2-cents. -al

-Al

Posted on
Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:40 pm
kw123 offline
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Re: Add a Status Sensor to MiLocks

For the milock you need 6 volts -- a single D cell would not do it. The battery usage of the Insteon module is MUCH smaller than the usage by the locking mechanism. So it does not really reduce the battery life of the 4 aaa batteries.


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Posted on
Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:44 pm
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Re: Add a Status Sensor to MiLocks

Kw123, I'm sorry if I wasn't clear. I was speaking only of powering the HDS sensors, for which I have 2 embedded in each door. I replace batteries far too often on those. I have no complaints with the battery life of the MiLocks, which my oldest is only now running a bit low and is nearly 2 years old. I agree the MiLocks do require 6V or so.

-Al

Posted on
Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:58 pm
kw123 offline
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Re: Add a Status Sensor to MiLocks

Sorry did not read it well. My experience with the Insteon sensors is >1 year battery life But not the hds one.


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Posted on
Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:17 pm
akimball offline
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Re: Add a Status Sensor to MiLocks

I've ordered 20 of these kickstart do-hickeys that I want to try out with some good name brand AAA's in the HDS units. I have no idea if it will help. They have not yet shipped so I can't comment on how effective they'll be. If that doesn't help I'll implement plan b or plan c to power my HDS's.

I do like how this mod powers the sensor but as I stated, I like the sensor in the deadbolt pocket.

-Al

Posted on
Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:18 pm
akimball offline
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Re: Add a Status Sensor to MiLocks

Forgot to mention the do-hickeys found here: http://batteriser.com

-Al

Posted on
Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:32 pm
kw123 offline
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Re: Add a Status Sensor to MiLocks

I believe these will not help here. If I understand the electronic in the sensor correctly :they draw a current more or less independently of the voltage and transform it to some higher voltage. As long as the battery can deliver the current the electronics works. I believe the batterisers do same thing.
They convert current into a 1.5 voltage With a max current of xx. They delayed the release because they wanted to support a larger current ( I also ordered some of them)

But let's see what's going to happen.


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Posted on
Fri Jan 08, 2016 10:33 pm
akimball offline
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Re: Add a Status Sensor to MiLocks

Yeah it presents a pseudo battery impedance to the device to even out the lifetime. Hope it works.

-Al

Posted on
Sat Jan 09, 2016 10:20 am
raneil offline
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Re: Add a Status Sensor to MiLocks

akimball wrote:
The one advantage I can spot with having the HDS in the deadbolt pocket is that if the door is ajar and yet you lock the door using the MiLock mechanism, the HDS in the deadbolt pocket will give you positive proof that the door is not really latched. Yes, the deadbolt tongue may be extended but who knows for sure that the door was actually closed?

Agreed. I probably would have done the same thing if all of our door and window sensors weren't also monitored by Indigo. The "locked" indicators on all of my Control Pages only show as "locked" when the door is both closed and locked. Similarly, the "lock the door" actions check first to ensure that the door is closed before sending a "lock" (ON) command to the associated lock controller.

akimball wrote:
By the way, I do love your mod... my 2-cents. -al


Thanks. So far, I'm pretty happy with it, and have plans to install a few more. The real test, of course, is the test of time. We'll see...

Posted on
Sat Jan 09, 2016 10:47 am
raneil offline
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Re: Add a Status Sensor to MiLocks

There is another aspect of this mod that I haven't seen mentioned yet. It might be useful to know in advance for others considering it:

Due to the way the MiLocks door knob and lever lock sets are built, the internal limit switch used in this mod is activated when the door knob (or lever) is turned counter-clockwise. As such, the installed lock sensor will send "ON" and "OFF" state changes in rapid succession every time the knob/lever is tuned and released (but only in the counter-clockwise direction), as when opening the door. MiLocks deadbolts don't do this.

For example, below is a typical sequence of Indigo log entries posted when when our Utility Room / Garage Door is opened and then closed.

Code: Select all
  Received INSTEON                "Utility Room Door Lock Sensor" on (button 1)
  Phidget Event                   Utility Room / Garage Door opened.
  Received INSTEON                "Utility Room Door Lock Sensor" off (button 1)
  Phidget Event                   Utility Room / Garage Door closed.

It's not a a big deal (at least for me), but it does make for busier log file. FYI…

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