Monday, October 9, 2017

Paradise ponders: creeping crud and remote gate sensing edition...

Paradise ponders: creeping crud and remote gate sensing edition...  Poor Debbie is laid pretty low with some virus she most likely caught on her travels.   I took her to our local Urgent Care facility yesterday just to make sure it wasn't something truly awful.  The doc said it's just your usual virus, gave her a prescription for some codeine-based cough suppressant (seems to be working ok), and a backup prescription for antibiotics in case it was something more than a virus.  The doc practically begged us not to use the antibiotics, but to save us a possible second trip he gave us the prescription anyway, once he was sure that we understood his pleas.  From the manner of his delivery, I'm guessing that many people don't realize that (a) antibiotics are completely ineffective against viruses, and (b) that taking antibiotics when they're not needed has some undesirable effects.  You'd think by now, almost 100 years into a good understanding of viruses versus bacteria, that these things would be more generally known.  Apparently not...

In between caring for Debbie and the animals I've been working away on the remote gate sensing project.  Today I got the Tuxedo panel, the RF receiver, and the alarm panel all installed and working.  Furthermore, I got three of the five gate sensor installed and also working.  Woo hoo!  The remaining two gate sensors have to wait until my contractor has fixed the two gates they're going onto.  The only thing I have left to do is some caulking and painting of the cables running along the outside wall, which, weather permitting, I will do tomorrow.

Meanwhile, here's what the visible components of the system look like.  The first photo is the Tuxedo panel, which is installed in our kitchen, right alongside the door we use to let the dogs into the back yard.  It looks a bit like an iPad mounted on the wall.  The screen turns off after a few minutes of disuse, leaving a bland plastic slab visible – not exactly beautiful, but at least not obnoxious.  A touch to the screen lights it up again, at which point that green bar across the top means “All gates are closed!”   If that bar turns orange, one or more gates is open.  In that case, a couple of click on the touch screen will show the open gates, by name.  The second photo is the RF receiver, which I've mounted in the kitchen just above the aforementioned door.  It's particularly unobtrusive – you'd have to have an unusually observant person to even notice it was there.

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