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3. Kitchen and Bath > 38. Detect the Beer Thief

Detect the Beer Thief

Motion detectors are useful not just for finding out when someone is present, they can also tell you when a person is meddling where he doesn’t belong.

Michael Ferguson, of Sand Hill Engineering, had a persistent problem at his home. A minifridge used to keep a few bottles of beer cold for hot Florida days was raided frequently by visiting friends and workers, but Michael had a hard time catching them in the act.

Defining a device status conditional

Figure 3-4. Defining a device status conditional

So, he good-naturedly created a solution that takes advantage of the small size and long battery life of X10 motion detectors [Hack #6] . It’s a clever yet simple idea that has many possible applications.

Simply place an X10 motion detector in the fridge, and whoever opens the door will be caught red-handed. You might have to make sure the transceiver is nearby to receive the signal from the motion detector, due to the steel shell of the fridge. As a bonus, the detector’s dusk sensor can help you discover that the door has been left ajar because it won’t signal dusk until the light in the fridge goes off.


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