X10 releases new SecuriLINK Security System

Posted in Hardware by Ruslan Ulanov on the February 28th, 2011

To tell the truth, it’s been a long while since X10’s low-cost security system seen any updates. Having owned the original system as well as its more refined RadioShack-branded counterpart I can say that it works pretty reliable. Since it’s a wireless system I know that for most users battery-powered motion and door sensors are cause for concern — batteries require periodic replacement, signal strength degrades over time. But from using X10 security system over the years I can tell that batteries easily last for over a year before needing replacement (provided that you use fresh and good quality stuff – like Duracell Coppertop).

SC1200 Console

The new SecuriLINK Security System (SC1200) features completely re-designed outer shell with built-in LCD screen that will simplify initial configuration and day-to-day use. It supports up to 32 zones of protection, phone control for remote operation from anywhere in the world, built-in integration with lighting control, and a lighting timer to give your home a lived-in look while you are on vacation. The keypad and backup battery compartment are tamper-resistant. That means when armed and a battery compartment is opened on the console or any of the Door/Window Sensors or Motion Detectors, it will trigger the system immediately.

The new system is compatible with all X10 security modules, both old and new, like Door/Window Sensors (DS10A), Motion Detectors (MS10A), Keychain Security Remotes (KR10A), PowerHorns and more.

The SC1200 allows you to call your home phone number and listen in (I’m not sure, though, if that feature will work on phones with answering devices).

The LCD will show clock while the system is idle, so you will have one more clock to worry about when Daylight Saving Time kicks in on March 13th. :)

It comes in several pre-packaged configurations from 6 to 19-pieces, ranging in price from $99 to $150 respectively. But if you already own the security modules, you can pick up just the console for under $80. And of course it comes with bright red security decals that you can stick to your windows to send intruders away.

I already ordered the new system and should get it some time this week. After I give it a spin for a couple of weeks I’ll report my findings.

DIY Project: Automating porch lights

Posted in DIY Projects,Home Automation by Ruslan Ulanov on the April 7th, 2009

Most of us, homeowners, are accustomed to a routine of turning the outdoor lights on for the night and turning them back off in the morning. Now remember how many times did you forget to turn those lights off in the morning while rushing off to work? Not so green, huh?

How could we fix it? Here are two easy DIY solutions for you… (continue reading this article and leave comments here…)