Insteon Hidden Door Sensor power source.

Posted on
Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:40 pm
akimball offline
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Location: Sandy, Utah

Insteon Hidden Door Sensor power source.

Hi. I'm using the Insteon hidden door sensor (HDS) in several locations but after 4 or 5 years, I'm tired of replacing batteries. The HDS is rather unique and handy for some applications... in particular physical pressing of the button to get positive and verified indication of door deadbolt locking and also sliding glass door latching. These are applications where a magnetic open/close sensor would be difficult or impossible to implement.

So, I'm left with 9 lock sensors in my home (HDS sensors) which will still be needing batteries. ... oh yeah, we'll see about that lol.

The HDS devices are powered by a single AAA 1.5V battery. I've tried using Eveready L91 style lithium cells (AAA) and yes, they last about twice as long and yes they are expensive... and yes, they still drain. So my idea is to independently power HDS sensors as I remodel the home, hiding sensor wires and power wires in CAT5 cable in the moldings. Currently I'm doing my master bedroom.

I took one of the dead HDS sensors from past experimentation, and looked at the electronics using a 16x loop and some bright lights... paying particular attention to the PCB trace wiring and components.. I found that the HDS is powered using the TI TPS6122x "Low Input Voltage 0.7V Boost Converter" (or some look alike part) which takes the 1.5V battery, and boosts the power rail up to a more standard 3.3V for use by the sensor circuits. The battery voltage can fall to 0.7 volts before the HDS quits. too. soon.

Anyway, the reason all of this is important to know, is that when you power devices from CAT5 cable, you have to consider the power cable losses. For AWG 24 wire, you're going to lose about 0.6 volts per 30 feet of wire... 30 feet of power... 30 feet of GND... so chop off more than 1V right at the start. Obviously a 1.5V power supply would be problematic. However A) not all of my runs are 30-feet and B) this sweet little Boost Converter devices will handle anything from -0.7V to 5.5V at it's input pin, a useable 0.7V to 5.5V... 7.5V max (momentary only). This tells me that I can use the 5V DIN rail power supply which I happen to have built into my master bedroom control chamber and run 5V to all 3 HDS sensors which are a part of the master bedroom suite. This should give me a nominal 3.8V after wire losses depending on wire length. Using a 3.3V power supply (nominal 2.1V after the wire losses) would work too but would rather use what I've got.

I'm anticipating that the "Low Battery" messages from the HDS's will simply be few to none. I'll let you'all know if there are any hitches with my approach. I'll be doing this mod before the end of January 2018 (this month).
Last edited by akimball on Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.

-Al

Posted on
Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:43 pm
Colorado4Wheeler offline
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Re: Insteon Hidden Door Sensor power source.

Sounds pretty interesting. I do a lot of PoE so I'm interested to see how that works out for you.

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Posted on
Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:43 pm
Swancoat offline
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Re: Insteon Hidden Door Sensor power source.

Man, if you're going to run wire to all of those Insteon Door Sensors, why don't you just tie them up to the switch terminals themselves, and then just use some sort of contact closure sensor at the head end? Then you don't have to worry about any of these power calculations OR Insteon signal issues...

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Posted on
Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:57 pm
akimball offline
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Re: Insteon Hidden Door Sensor power source.

Man, if you're going to run wire to all of those Insteon Door Sensors, why don't you just tie them up to the switch terminals themselves, and then just use some sort of contact closure sensor at the head end? Then you don't have to worry about any of these power calculations OR Insteon signal issues...


Yes I thought about that and it’s a valid approach. I examined the HDS pcb’s for trace cutting and a direct solder job to the sensor switch SW2 on the HDS BOM. It might be possible, but you still need to consider wire losses plus then I’d need to change my currently installed and working system, buying more I/O devices too, of some kind.

But I also like the current reliability of the HDS and have no issues with the wireless part. Also, I design my home system with the next user in mind....periodically I turn off Indigo, shut down the host Mac Mini, and reconnect the Insteon Hub I own to include any new devices in that location. While Indigo may be so easy and so flexible, the Insteon Hub I will leave in place for the next home owner is less friendly to non insteon hacks.

But good point. Same amount of wire either way.

-Al

Posted on
Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:27 pm
johnpolasek offline
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Location: Aggieland, Texas

Re: Insteon Hidden Door Sensor power source.

Yes I thought about that and it’s a valid approach. I examined the HDS pcb’s for trace cutting and a direct solder job to the sensor switch SW2 on the HDS BOM. It might be possible, but you still need to consider wire losses


You're going to have to worry about wire losses feeding the wireless transmitters, too. The builders at the house I moved into had pulled wires to magnetic reed switches in every door and window, but not hooked them up to anything, so my approach was just to take all 18 of the pairs into a single rPi running Karl's PiBeacon plugin. That works perfectly, too. And unless you already have a whole stable full of hidden door sensors, I'd bet the $20 rPi plus a bunch of reed switches are likely a bunch cheaper.

Posted on
Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:46 pm
akimball offline
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Re: Insteon Hidden Door Sensor power source.

Karl's PiBeacon plugin


Thanks for the tip. Again, running these wires is already finished and in this case was not difficult. Because my system has been running for years, albeit on batteries, I'm not going to make any major changes... but if you saw how open my attic over my master bedroom suite was... and all of the cat-walks and access points,...

However, the home theater project has not yet begun and I need some very very special controls for that room. Thanks again.

-Al

Posted on
Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:27 am
akimball offline
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Re: Insteon Hidden Door Sensor power source.

I thought I’d finally report back on supplying 5V over cat5e wiring to my hidden door sensors: after 4 months of flawless operation it’s an absolute success. The HDS with the longest run of ethernet cabling dropped the voltage from 5.1V to 4.3V measured while another sensor with shorter wiring was nearly 5V. The sensors run great without battery. No more batteries to change for these sensors. Stay under 5.5V and the TPS6122x boost converter used on the HDS can handle the voltage.

Other trivia: The power supply was bought from amazon.com, a DIN rail supply. I like DIN rails due to power sources, relay holders, and the insteon DIN-rail dimmer line.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005T ... UTF8&psc=1
I used a single cat5e pair for power, selecting green. Solid green was positive while GRN/WHT was negative; these were soldered carefully to the HDS battery terminals. I used this approach because i was looking for positive ‘latching’ condition on sliding glass doors locks. See the HDS for sliding glass door latch monitoring here:

viewtopic.php?f=113&t=11958&hilit=Hidden+door+sensor

Also using some of the remaining cat5e pairs I used magnetic reed switches for door open/close status sensors fed in to a SmartInit I/o controller....no longer made. Any digital i/o Input Sensor (rPi etc.) would work with these. The 5V for the HDS sensors along with the reed switch wires coexist in the same ethernet cable peacefully.

-Al

Posted on
Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:42 pm
akimball offline
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Re: Insteon Hidden Door Sensor power source.

6 months of perfect operation of an HDS door sensor using a wired 5V power supply.

I love not having to worry about batteries on these.

-Al

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