Are you like most of us? All the talk of a home office is great, but not practical, because our bosses require us to be at the office during the work day, and just allow the home office for us to do more work for them while we’re at home! That’s okay for some, but I’ve got a better idea — lets bring the home — to the office; or anywhere we are! Cheap!!

This article explains how you can use the Smart Housekeeper to connect your pager to things that give you piece of mind — like:

* Has my son arrived home safely?
* Has my alarm been triggered?
* Has my Sump Pump Overflowed?
* Has the temperature fallen too low?

For today’s exercise, you’ll need to add three digital inputs and an RCS thermostat to your layout. The digital inputs can be interfaced directly to any ‘low going’ or ‘grounding’ output from security alarms and other devices. If you need to interface your Smart Housekeeper to an A/C or high voltage input signal, you can use a relay. E-mail if you have questions about interfacing the GateWay from your Smart Housekeeper to your security alarm or other devices. The layout should look like this:

We’ll also need to create the following events for today’s exercise:

Well, obviously no intelligent controller can tell you that your kids have arrived home, but the Smart Housekeeper can tell you that somebody disarmed the alarm and opened the door — on a weekday between 4:45 and 6:30 p.m. All with your numerical pager!

Let’s start with the first objective: Has my son arrived home safely? Let’s discuss what we can use to determine, or assume such an event has occurred. Just how should we determine that somebody came home?

1. It’s a weekday
2. It’s between 4:45 and 6:30 p.m.
3. The alarm was successfully disarmed
4. The door has been opened

We’ll have The Smart Housekeeper page us when the above four conditions are true. Under the event called ‘Son is Home’, we want to receive a page whenever the event is triggered:

We’ll perform the event called ‘Page Son Home’ whenever the input Alarm Status (on = armed, off = disarmed) = OFF. Under the targets tab, we’ll reset the variable to off whenever it’s turned on. You may be saying, “I don’t want to get paged whenever the alarm is disarmed!” We can add more conditions to determine whether to execute the event or not.

So under the ‘Other Conditions’ tab, we add two conditions: Alarm must be OFF, and Front Door must be ON (ON = Ajar). But this will page me whenever anybody opens the door and disarms the alarm. How do we limit it to when we’re expecting a child home from school? Under the Dates, Times, Days n’ Delay tab, we set our allowed time and day range:

Here we select Monday through Friday, from 4:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Notice here also that you can exclude your child’s school vacation days if you wish! Now for the last step: Page me! Under the Paging tab, specify your number and code:

Once you’ve done this event, the other three events are identical — you simply add paging events under Sump Fault, Alarm Trigger, and Temp Fault. Then add the conditions that create these events:

Sump Fault

Alarm Trigger

Temp Fault

If you have any questions or comments about this article, please e-mail me at If you would like to purchase the Smart Housekeeper package, visit us at and order online, or call us at 248-828-8159. Visa and MasterCard accepted!