Open the Door – Part 1

Since I have yet to be able to recover my lost data from old blog entries I decided to try to re-create this article.

A little over a year ago I received a phone call at work form my mother. She had locked herself out of the house. I had to leave work, and drive the forty minutes home to let her in. Then drive back to work. At the time we were beginning the process of adding an addition onto the house to make entry easier for my wheel chair bound mother. I realized this would be the perfect time to add an electric keyless entry system so that she would never be locked out of the house again.
After deciding that I was going to do this, I began to decide what it was I wanted in the system. I looked though a few catalogs and came up with the following features I felt would be the most beneficial to us.

  • Ability to answer the door from anywhere in the house
  • Ability to enter the house by using a code
  • Ability to assign multiple codes and change them quickly
  • Ability to handle both the front and rear doors
  • Ability to still enter and exit using keys if the system fails
  • System shouldn’t cost a small fortune

After doing more research, I could not find any one system that met with all of my requirements. I did however find two systems that I was certain could be interconnected to do what I needed. I settled on the Doorbell Fon and a keyless entry system from SmartHome. I actually found the Doorbell Fon on EBay new from an electrical contractor for half price. In addition to the the keypad kit, and the Doorbell Fon itself I had to purchase the optional Electric Lock Controller, an Electric Lock, and a 12V DC power transformer. (Had I have really been thinking I could have probably managed just fine with an old AT computer power supply)

Parts List: (Smarthome)

  • 3062 – 12VDC 1.5A POWER SUPPLY

Also needed:

  • hook up wire (I used 5 wire thermostat wire from Menards)
  • short lengths of Cat5 wire for telephone connections
  • wire nuts, various sizes
  • Terminal Block for connecting wires and keeping things clean.
  • Siding “J-Box” to give a professionally mounted look for the intercom, and the keypad

Part two will include wiring diagrams and more details on the install.


Bryan Bowers

Saturday night I attended the Bryan Bowers concert at the Folk-Lore Center in Warrenville. My fellow Bounding Maniac Dave joined me for dinner and the show. It was a good show, including a few call and response songs, which I enjoyed. Of course like most shows there’s one song that is stuck in my head and I have yet to find it on any recording. Perhaps it will be on his next album. Come to think of it I haven’t check mudcat, perhaps I can find it there…. Nope, not on mudcat either. I would have to conclude then that it is an original song. I did find a simmilar song, titled Woodland Dream on iTunes, but it is definitly not the same song.

Materials Location Map

Well, today I managed to add another exciting feature to the library catalog. Now, thanks to a suggestion by Kendall we have a popup map showing the location of items in the library. That feature in and of itself isn’t a major marvel. It is a bit unique, as I don’t know of any librarys doing it. The real excitement came later tonight when I used PHP, LDAP, NDS, and a few DIV tags to add a dynamicly placed “you are here” beacon to the map. The page checcks the REMOTE_IP data provided by the webserver to see if the request is being made form a machien in the proper IP range. Once it determins that the requesting system is actually a library system, it queries NDS by way of LDAP to find teh workstation object. After acquiring the workstation object from NDS it retrieves the maping coordinates from the location property. The map coordinates are actually used by another program I wrote a while back to manage all my workstations. Unfortunatly for me the maps arent excatly the same size, I shrank the maps by a percentage. So of course the coordinates had to be multiplied by that percentage in order to get them to line up on the new maps. Once that was done everyitgn lined up just fine.

Folk-Lore Center

I opened my inbox this morning to discover an email fomr Tom and Chris Kastle announincg a show the are doing at The Folk-Lore center in Warrenville. I had no idea the place even existed. So I went to thier site at “” and discovered that not only are Tom and Chris going to be there, but the week after so is Bryan Bowers. Hmm, I gues shtat alters my weekend plans 🙂 Something tells me this could be a bad thign that I now know this is so close. 🙂

Font Addiction bad for 9x/ME

This morning I was discussing fonts with a friend when I remebered that there is a limit to the number of fonts you can have on Windows 9x / ME . I couldn’t remember the exact number but I was thinking it was around 1000. A quick search of the MS knowledge base and I discovered this article:

So remember font addicts, there can be to much of a good thing, especially in windows 9x/ME

Windows XP and 2000 users don’t have to worry, there is no limit to the number of fonts you can have. Although each font you install adds a slight increase in boot time.

GAIM badge

I was playing around tongiht while watching Stargate SG-1 and put together a little badge for Gaim.

Gaim Badge
80 x 15
Gaim Badge
94 x 15

If you use these please copy them to your own server. I do not have the bandwidth available to support linking to them directly.