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A Sinmple Way to Implement Controller Theft Security ??


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Here is an idea I have on how to implement a relatively easy controller theft alarm. This would only work on systems that use hardwired communications. It would NOT work with the wireless transmitters/receivers.

In the case of hardwired systems, the controllers are already connected via cable. (Nothing new to add here.) I am not that familiar with RS-232 over ethernet cable. Are there two wires in the cable (there are a total of 8) that are not used? If so, one could add a RJ-45 plug at the end of the line (on the output of the last controller) and short the two unused lines together. Near the USB to RS-232 to differential driver adapter, an dual RJ45 adapter could be made to tap into these two wires.

Since the two wires are shorted together at the end of the communication line, if any of the controllers are removed from the communications path or a cable is cut, the two wires would not longer be creating short at the points where the two wires are broken out of the cable near the serial converter. This short, or lack of short, could be easily used to trigger an alarm.

Since the terminator connector (where the short is made) would plug into the output RJ45 on the last controller, any number of controllers could be added or removed by simply moving the terminator to the output of the last controller.

This mod could be made easily and would work until LOR is able to add a more complex security feature in the software to poll the controllers.

This is just off the top of my head. Does anyone have any comments? Specifically as to if there are two wires not used in the CAT5 cable?

Thanks,:P

Roger

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If you are using Ethernet cable than only 4 of the 8 are used. But if you use phone cable all 4 are used. So yes that would work. Youve got me thinking...

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Dan talked about doing a "controller alarm" as part of the software back at PLUS 2003. LOR itself would keep a status of what was connected, and alarm if something went away. This could be a theft, or a GFCI/Breaker trip, whatever.

I'd still like that feature...

-Tim

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Roger,

That's not a bad idea and could see it as a workable idea. There are only 4 wires used in the CAT5 cable for the LOR controllers.

I'm going to add to your idea. I could take the 2 wires and connect it to my home/business alarm system and use it as an individual zone on my alarm. If this were to work, then if any wires were cut or disconnected, breaking the loop, then the alarm to the house would go off. It would act like a door or window was opened. Then I can program my alarm to send a message to my cell phone (that's a neat option) with a particular message just for the zone that tells me LOR has been tampered with.

Thanks for the idea. I might have to look furhter into that since I have 20 controllers spread out everywhere in a 50,000 sq ft area.

Tom

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You know this sounds like a pretty cool security feature LOR could impliment into there system. I bet they could add a feature that would would automaticlly kick on a "security sequince" if it noticed the loop has been broken.

Nice idea Roger.

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I mentioned your exact solution in one of the previous threads on this topic. When Dan chimed in, he said that only the 4 wires used by LOR were passed down the line. Because of this, the other 4 are cut at the first controller. I have never checked to verify this, but I don't have any reason to doubt him. I inquired about making the controller connections a pigtail with the extra conductors looped, and dan advised agains that due to reflections on the line. Thinking back though, one way woudl be to bring 2 cables from the board to 2 separate jacks (would still look like continuous cable to LOR) and loop the extra conductors at those secondary jacks. I might work on this for next year. I've never had a theft problem, but don't really want to find out the hard way either.

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I don't think the other 4 are totally cut out. Reason why is because when I was talking to Dan about the USB485b, he was telling me that even thou there are two connections on it and they go different dirrections it actually acts like its in the middle of the LOR daisy chane. That tells me that the other four wires must be working. At least I think they are.

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JR V wrote:

I don't think the other 4 are totally cut out.

I specifically asked Dan about this a while back as well. He told me that the wires do NOT go through to the other controllers.

J.
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Did Dan say if the extra 4 contacts in the RJ-45's go anywhere at all on the boards or are they floating/no connects ?

If they're not connected, then some little wire wrap wire jumpers from one RJ-45 to the other on the back of the board might be an answer.

DO NOT try this until it can be verified that the extra connector pins have not been connected to the board's circuitry in some way...


Unfortunately - and this is my ONLY gripe about the 16 channel kit I just built - no schematic was provided for the board. Somewhat understandable, but it would have been helpful a time or two.

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I made my own cables and only used 4 wires. Luckly, I left the other 4 wires just sticking out and not used. I could just connect those wires in each controller to each other and not even use the RJ-45 connectors. Then I wouldn't have to worry about the boards.

Tom

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You might also want to use some proven security features as well

1. Look for some trouble maker teens. Tell them your display is loaded with high voltage booby traps. Your computer display is high tech, they will believe you and spread the word among other hoodlums.

2. Get a cow shocker at home depot (you put behind barb wire fencing to keep the cows from breaking out of their fencing) and make good on suggestion #1.

3. Lots of lighting, get a 65 watt flourescent shop light at Walmart for about $25 and set on roof, show is over, turn on shoplight, it floods tremendous amount of light all over your yard.

4. Record your own voice clearing throat, coughing and set up a playlist that plays this cough and throat clearings alternating once every 1 or 2 minute and play it not over your FM radio but via speakers hidden outside at believable volume. If someone starts to monkey with your stuff, they hear this, freak out and leave thinking you might be up and hidden somewhere out there or on side of your house where they cant see you.

5. Grid your yard with tight string, making it a hassle to get out of your yard without tripping, tangling, etc with strings and ropes in yard. Grant it, its a hassle for you to get around with all this tangle and trip lines but its better then waking up to find missing controllers, torned up or chopped up wires, etc.

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Joseph Ayo wrote:

You might also want to use some proven security features as well



Wouldn't just placing a sherman tank in the middle of the yard be easier :]?

Tom
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A laser would be less messy and very little noise.:laughing:

Wouldn't just adding a couple of motion sensing lights be sufficient? You could still sound an alarm inside if you wanted to catch these guys, light or no light.

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