App Note #2

Let's get Started!

Welcome to my humble home located in the beautiful Ozarks of Missouri. (yes..we do have indoor plumbing) In this series of app notes, I will lead you through the actual process of automating my own house. An informal tutorial of sorts. I will explain each step of this process, and augment it with drawings and pictures as needed. We will start with very basic projects, and build to the more advanced. Feel free to email me at if you have any questions and/or suggestions. Please put "Dan's House" in the subject of your email.'s get Started!

Do we have company? Because my house is situated to take advantage of a lake view (Table Rock Lake), it is difficult to see if anyone has driven into my driveway. While the old fashioned doorbell always works, it is nice to be able to meet some folks at the door. (revenuers, federal agents and the like)

Parts List: (please note all prices are approximate)


Vehicle Detector:

Bury the sensor parrallel to the driveway where entering vehicles will pass it. I put mine about 35ft in from the public road as to not detect traffic just driving by. Our soil (read rock) is difficult to dig in so I was glad it only needed to be in a shallow grave. The attached cable is also buried up to the house where it is run into the garage. Be sure to come out of the ground and into the garage with some PVC pipe to protect the cable from the weed-wacker. Ok..once inside, it attaches like this:

X-10 Powerflash Module:

Set the "House" code wheel to "I" and the "Unit" code wheel to "9". We will use this address in later automation. There are also two slide switches in the front of the unit. (below the wheels) Slide both of these switches all the way to the right.

X-10 Remote Chimes:

Set the "House" code wheels to "I" and the "Unit" code wheels to "9". Plug them in throughout the house in locations where you wish to hear the announcements. If the chimes in some outlets do not work, you may need to install a signal bridge (Leviton #6299 $28) at the breaker box.


While this project only announces an approaching (or departing) vehicle, it is a basis for further automation. Next, we will add some lights and some more automated control to make this more useful.


Worthington Distribution - 800.282.8864 -

Future Standard