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Home Automation w/o monitoring
Hello, I'm new to this forum and to home automation. I just built a home and the contractor added in some home automation equipment including a Qolsys IQ Panel. Is there a way to access and control the Panel remotely without using a monitoring service like Honestly, if it can't be done then I'll probably remove some of the equipment. Thanks for your help!

Need help to build a small electronic device
I would like to build a small device (about 40 mm x 40 mm x 10 mm) that is turned on _only_ when in a vertical position and either beeps or triggers an LED strobe every second or so _only_ when it is dark or in a low light situation. Device should be powered by a standard wafer battery such as a 3 volt CR2032. Would appreciate a circuit diagram and parts list. I have basic soldering skills and am sure that I could assemble something, but just need help in the circuit wiring and what parts to get.

New HVAC flex ductwork new plastic smell
About a month ago we had a new AC handler and new AC ductwork installed in our home. Since then we have had a new plastic smell coming from some of the vents. The smell is similar to when you open a new plastic shower curtain or new pool float. The ac company said the smell is coming from the plastic lining that is used in the flex ductwork. The maker of the ductwork has stated that is not possible since they use PE plastic and PE plastic does not off gas in anyway. We were okay with the smell when it was first installed but after a month I would have figured the smell would have gone away. Any ideas? Could it be the plastic lining? And if so, are the off gases hazardous? Could some of the ductwork be defective, which is why only certain vents are effected? The ac company inspected the entire system yesterday and cannot find the source. They were thinking that there might have been an incomplete seal causing some of the mastic to remain wet and produce a smell. But they found no leaks and all the mastic appears to be dry. They are coming back out on Monday to cut into the duct board boxes to see if they might be able to locate the source.

Raising a low vehicle by 2
I am looking for some suggestions as to how best to raise my vehicle by about 2 inches off the ground. I bought the Quick Jack hydraulic system for my car, but my vehicle is a little too low to place these under the side rails. I would like to get / make something that I can drive onto that will raise my vehicle by about 2 inches so that I can slide these hydraulic jacks underneath my vehicle. Ideally I would like something that is self made and must not too bulky that I can easily store away. (I do not weld). I am not aware of any rubber mats or something similar on the market that might serve this purpose. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated !

Clearing wireless sensor low battery notice on TotalConnect
Several months ago I got a notice of a low battery in a motion detector on my Honeywell Vista 20p. The same notice showed up in the TotalConnect app. I pulled power, including the battery from the panel, and replaced the battery in the motion detector. This cleared the low-battery notice on the panel itself, but did not clear the low-battery notice on TotalConnect. The warning has remained on TotalConnect for months, even though there is no warning on the panel itself. I believe the reason this occurred was that TotalConnect was waiting for my panel to send a battery restored signal, and that didn't happen because the panel was powered down at the time I replaced the battery. But the panel knows everything is fine because the motion detector is not sending low-battery warnings to it. I thought I could fix this by forcing the panel to send a low-battery restored signal to TotalConnect. With the panel powered up, I put the old weak battery back in the motion detector, confirmed this with a low-battery warning on the keypad, then put in a good battery. I believe this enabled the battery restored signal to be sent to TotalConnect, because the low-battery warning in TotalConnect has been cleared. So the lesson here is to not power down the panel when replacing batteries in wireless sensors, as you could end up preventing the battery restored signal from getting sent to TotalConnect, and potentially be stuck with low-battery warnings in the app, even though all the sensor batteries are fine. I did bypass the sensor while replacing the battery, just so the tamper wouldn't set anything off.

Need help with my BRK smoke alarms...
At 12:30 last night my smoke detector when off. I have 6 BRK 7010B (hardwired smoke detector) and 1 BRK SC7010B (smoke/CO2 detector wired together. After checking everywhere for a fire, I pushed the silence button on all of them. 1 made the noise go off for a few seconds by pushing one, but then it came back on. After about 5 minutes it all went off. Another unconnected CO2 detector much closer to the furnace and water heater did nothing, so I don't think it is CO2. I then tested all the detectors. One flashed repeatedly instead of sounding; that is supposed to indicate it is the initiating device. It was the same device that pushing silence temporarily stopped the alarm, so presumably it is the problem. I disconnected it and took the battery out. That is the first problem. I would guess the fix is to the replace the initiating device, even though it is 3 years old. (it is very clean). Any advice on this would be appreciated. The second problem is that the CO2 detector does exactly what it is supposed to do on an test. The rest do not. The are supposed to beep 3 times followed by another 3 beeps. Instead they all breep twice, and then the CO2 detectector beeps 3 times, 3 more times, 4 times, and 4 times, just as it is supposed to. Why don't the other 5 unites, do what they are supposed to do; they is beep two sets of three?

Any good youtube videos or website for wiring junction box?
Hey guys. I'm looking for a sanity check on wiring a junction box. It's been awhile. Specifically, one wire in and two wires out (each going to an outlet. Any help?

Waterproofing wallpapered 1970's shower??
I'm trying to replace an old and worn glue-up tub surround in a 1978 house. I was thinking about taking out the tub surround and putting up tile, but don't know how to properly waterproof whatever is under the tub surround and prep it for tiling so i don't have issues down the road. The bathroom in general has 2 layers of wallpaper, a rainbow stripe bottom layer with a grey checked version on top (just saying this so you know what you're looking at in the photos). I pulled back some of the tub surround on the back shower wall and was shocked to see the base layer of the rainbow wallpaper all the way up and down the wall. Wallpaper isn't waterproof and i figured maybe this was just on the back wall, so i pulled back the top of the front wall (with the shower fixtures) and saw more of that rainbow wallpaper. Is it possible that they were showering with just wallpaper on the walls??? Was it waterproofed in some wat that i've never heard of, which actually makes it a good starting point for my tile project? The bathroom is small and its the only bathroom in the house and the tub alcove is perfectly sized for a tub so i can't imagine that the plumbing was moved at any point. I was also able to access the shower/tub plumbing from the next room, and saw that i have wood studs (not surprising) and a plywood board was used as the first layer "wall" on the shower fixture side of the wall. So, it looks like i have studs, with a plywood layer, some white stuff (drywall over the plywood? some other compound layered over the plywood? maybe its just white wallpaper glue directly on the plywood? who knows), then a layer of peeling wallpaper, and a glue-up tub surround. I would like to avoid ripping out the walls, which are straight and seemingly in good shape. What steps should i take to appropriately waterproof the walls before starting my tiling job? And is it maybe already waterproofed somehow because of this baffling wallpaper situation? Thanks!

What would be the best tool for this project?
So here's what I am planning to do, crazy or not. I have a cast iron manhole cover that I want to recess down into a square piece of wood. The cover itself will be resting on another piece of wood below it, so the circular piece of wood is acting more as a frame around the cover rather than any type of support. To do so, I am needing to cut out as circle 25" in diameter and at least 1 & 1/2" deep. I know I can cut out a circle with a router and a circle cutting jig, but can I get a cut that deep with a standard router.

Should I paint interior window caulking?
I've had new widows installed and on the inside there is a 3/4 inch gap filled with caulking between the metal window and the wooden trim on the window sill. The windows will get condensation build up. I'm painting the wooden trim should I also paint over the caulking? Would painting help repel moisture or does it make any difference? Thanks

Grey water
I went down to my basement and all of the sudden I am getting sediment and gray water in my sump pit. We have lived here 10 years and this is the first time I have had anything but clear water in it. what could the cause be? what do I do about it?

1994 Geo Tracker: wheels oscillate when towing behind RV
I have a 1994 Geo tracker, 4 wheel drive, no power steering, in great condition that has a problem nobody can seem to figure out! When towing and slow turning, the front wheels go back an forth significantly until I stop. It rocks the vehicle so bad I can feel it in the RV. I watched the wheels and they turn back an forth from left to right. I replaced the front struts, leveled the tow bar, etc, but no help! All the joints, fittings, etc, seem fine. Please help! Dan

Chain Drive Door Travel Issue
My 1/2 HP chain drive opener is the type with a gear operated travel limit switch. A metal contact plate travels on a threaded rod which rotates while the opener operates. When the plate touches either the up or down contact tab, the opener stops. The contact tabs are mounted on threaded rods of their own so they can be manually adjusted closer or farther away from the moving center contact plate. By adjusting the distance that the moving center contact plate has to travel to touch either contact tab, you control how far the door travels in either direction. For some reason, my opener is stopping before it reaches full down or full up even though the moving center plate is not reaching either contact tab. The door itself is well-balanced and moves freely manually. The problem began after I changed the main nylon drive gear in the opener. However, the opener and door were working fine after I changed the gear. I adjusted the chain tension and door travel after I finished swapping out the drive gear, but after a week of working fine, the problem I described started all of the sudden. Any ideas what it may be? It would be a real coincidence if something electronic (e.g., circuit board) was responsible so soon after I repaired the main drive gear.

HELP!! I'm trying to make euro-pleat drapes.
I have been using the directions for making the euro-pleat drapes and have hit a road block. I'm at step 5-adding rings and it's not making sense to me. There are no visual guides and the instructions don't seem to follow what I was envisioning. If someone could help me out I'd appreciate it because I can't find any other sources of Information on making these drapes. Diane Caruso Attachment 109144 (

Briggs 4.5 engine drinks oil
I picked up a free mower from Craigslist that "Won't run". Briggs 4.5hp - 10H902-0216-E1 code - 05070154 So I started checking, first it had no oil so I put oil in it, removed the air filter and noticed the carb throat was black from oil, so I sprayed a shot of brake parts cleaner down the intake tube of the carb and gave the rope a pull it fired up and screamed, the throttle linkage was bent which is what people do when a diaphragm starts to go bad to compensate for the surging, I replaced the diaphragm and set the rpm to about 3000. I checked the compression and it had a little over 120lb so I filled the fuel tank up and fired it up and it smoked like it had been tipped or overfilled on oil so I decided to let it set and clear itself well it finally quit and never cleared up there was still a little as in it but the oil was all gone, the engine was not frozen. I have picked up at least a hundred "Won't run" mowers and have never had a engine with compression use that much oil that quick, there are no leaks on the engine anywhere. I need some shadetree ideas to address the oil usage problem, I can always set it aside and use it for parts. Have a good one. Geo