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1. A Foot in the Front Door > 10. Sense What’s Happening

Sense What’s Happening

Combine the Powerflash module with switches and sensors to monitor conditions in and around your home.

The oddly named Powerflash module (http://www.smarthome.com/4060.HTML; $24), shown in Figure 1-10, often is overlooked by beginning home automation enthusiasts because at first glance it doesn’t seem to do much of anything. It doesn’t have the ability to control lamps or anything else, and, in fact, it doesn’t respond to any power-line commands at all. So, you might be wondering, what’s it good for?

The misunderstood Powerflash module

Figure 1-10. The misunderstood Powerflash module

The Powerflash module is an essential tool for knowing what’s happening in your home because you can use it to turn virtually any switch or sensor into an X10-savvy signaling device and have your home react automatically to changes in conditions and states. Thanks to the Powerflash and to the wide variety of sensors that are commonly available, you can integrate nearly any condition you care to monitor into your smart home—water, temperature points, current detectors, pressure mats, breaking-glass sensors, and more— nearly any of which you can bring into the reach of your home automation controller.


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