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Watching out for Mom over Internet

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Jim3222, May 4, 2013.

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  1. Jim3222


    May 4, 2013
    My 89 year old mother's sight is degenerating and there is some cognitive impairment also. She lives about 250 miles away and is one of those people who will only leave the house if they carry her out feet first.

    Meals on Wheels has been arranged but sometimes she doesn't hear the door bell or can't get to the door quick enough. My brother and I are considering getting a door camera for her. But I'm concerned it's not going to be able to work for her for long. Plus there is the problem of getting to the door fast enough. My brother has installed a CCTV system through out the house so we can keep tabs on her and make sure she hasn't fallen.

    What I was wondering about is being able to rig up some type of setup so that I can monitor the front door and if my Mom isn't able to make it do the door I could buzz in the person delivering the meal. Her mobility is very difficult. So it's not like a case of leaving the meal on a table outside the door. She can't carry it in because she uses a walker and is crippled up with arthritis as well

    She has an Internet connection. We use it for the CCTV system. There are electric door strikers so that you can just press the button and the striker will move so the door can be opened. But the question is how to activate the striker release from 250 miles away.

    I could only be classified at best as a starting electronics neophyte who is comfortable using the internet. So I'm hoping that someone can offer a solution that is doesn't involve much if any actual circuit construction.

    Thank you.

    Have a Great Day,
  2. dietermoreno


    Dec 30, 2012
    The solution you desire is buying a system and maybe paying someone to install it for you.

    Other wise, yeah your going to have to do something yourself.

    I'm not trying to be cold, I'm just saying the facts how they are.

    The fact is that if you don't want to build a circuit then you have to buy it and if you don't want to install it then you have to pay someone else to install it for you.

    And anything that connects to the internet I don't think is a good project for a beginner.

    My grandma has back problems and has fallen before so my grandpa puts a baby monitor in the room my grandma will be working in while he works downstairs in the basement with the baby monitor receiver on his desk.

    Unfortunately, baby monitors won't work for 250 miles.

    That's why we invented the cell phone! You should get her a cell phone!

    Actually, what might be even easier than connecting to the internet is using a cell phone connected to the door striker and the cell phone circuit when energized from a phone call it opens the door, just like detonating a bomb. If terrorists can build it, it probably isn't that hard to use a cell phone to turn on a circuit when the phone receives a phone call.
    Last edited: May 4, 2013
  3. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

    Nov 17, 2011
  4. galaxy


    Nov 3, 2012
  5. BlinkingLeds


    Feb 23, 2013
    How about a simple relay controlled by the parallel port of your mom's computer with an optocoupler to protect it? Its very easy to make no special circuitry required. you can control it with teamviewer or remote desktop or another program, you choose the software
    Oh and it will cost you about 10 bucks

    you can also see and speak to anyone at her door through skype or something
    Last edited: May 4, 2013
  6. BlinkingLeds


    Feb 23, 2013
    Here's what i mean. Wait for other more experienced people to make this better i'm just giving a suggestion for something cheap and easy

    Attached Files:

  7. BlinkingLeds


    Feb 23, 2013
    help someone?
  8. hpfiend


    Feb 20, 2013
    The fellow with the optocoupler and the serial port sounds most affordable and simple but I have no experience with that.

    Wow that instructable is really neat too but the computer couldn't be turned off or the monitor sleep if I read it correctly.
    Last edited: May 9, 2013
  9. Brian Ski

    Brian Ski

    Apr 19, 2013
    Well for my 2 cents... If she can't hear the door, they do make strobes or flashing lights for people that are hard of hearing (or deaf).

    Also, how about a note saying that it takes a while to get to the door and to wait.
  10. donkey


    Feb 26, 2011
    there are thousands of these around the net. you already have cctv so hook up one to the front door as well.
    there is an app called ISpy which I like too. it goes on a computer and then streams across the net, currently I have seen it used for motion sensor and can send a text to your phone..... but not tried it out in detail.
    there are a myriad of prebuilt devices on the market and you might want to make something for yourself but at the risk of your mothers safety I woulf definitely go prebuilt
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