Hardwiring a USB-powered Thing

For those of you, like me, who are either replacing an old, wired security system or bought a house with one already installed, it’s quite easy to take advantage of some of those existing in-wall wires. In the case of my new Aeon Multi-sensor, I discovered upon removing the wired motion sensor that the wire is actually a 4-wire bundle. Since the Aeon Multi-sensor is powered by batteries or USB, and USB also happens to be a 4-wire bundle, I tried hardwiring the sensor as opposed to using batteries. I cut a USB cable in half and connected one half to the wire at the sensor and the other half to where that wire terminates at the old security system hub. In retrospect, only 2 of the 4 USB wires need to be connected; the red wire for the power and the black for ground. Then simply plug the USB cable into a power outlet (which should be nearby since the old system was likely plugged in an outlet). Now I have a Z-wave motion sensor and I don’t have to worry about the batteries.

This trick should work for any Thing that is powered by USB. For example, the FotrezZ siren (replacing a hardwired siren in the same location) should work the same way.

that is an excellent idea.

I don’t have a wired home but one thing I would like to try is the arduino shield and multiple hard wired devices. I am uncertain as to how many devices the arduino can emulate at one instance but I know that you can have multiple inputs (triggers) into or out of the arduino.

For instance you could have multiple hard wired window/door contacts connected to the arduino to cover one floor or multiple floors. If the arduino can set off a unique Z-wave trigger for each input then it could take the place of multiple devices.

I haven’t searched very hard for specs on the shield yet as I haven’t had a lot of time to play with the system lately. One of these days I will purchase a shield and see what it can actually do. It would be a waste of an arduino and shield if it can only emulate a report of a single device.

Maybe one day we will be able to use a Raspberry PI or similar device running a web browser based Smartthings controller with a smartthings shield. This would be the ultimate smartthings device or secondary stand alone hub. Hmmmm… ideas…