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    Interfacing Perl to monitor a motion detector?


    I've been acquainted with Perl in the past.. primarily for parsing text. I want to monitor and log the output of (1 or 2) motion detectors via Perl on my Linux PC. (I expect I'll have to condition the detector's output to be 'appropriate' for a PC port, maybe even one-shot it for a pulse.) I wonder if I should use a serial or parallel port? I'll want to log, with date, the events to a file, then sleep for about a minute then continue polling. Just a command line script, no GUI. I have Linux Mint9 on a PC of the DDR2 era. The Linux runs from a thumb drive. Serial or Parallel? Am I asking for trouble?
    Thx, Rootjim
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    I'd have thought the motion detectors would already comply with some standard comms library? Have you purchased these detectors yet?

    Another option might be X10 or Insteon kit, there are CPAN sources for this, I've not worked with them though.
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    Originally Posted by Axweildr
    I'd have thought the motion detectors would already comply with some standard comms library? Have you purchased these detectors yet?

    Another option might be X10 or Insteon kit, there are CPAN sources for this, I've not worked with them though.
    Hello, and thank you.. The detectors are being delivered. They aren't 'wireless' detectors such as X10 types, (which I also have) they are hybrid; PIR and microwave, to reduce false detections. I want to them to give me a look at each day's 'genuine' motion around my premises. Then I can search DVR camera results for that time frame to see if it was deer etc. My DVR's "motion detection" (visual only) is constantly being tripped by moths, birds, and reflections of passing autos.
    I believe the output of the detector is either/both of NC or NO contacts, or a 12v level. I was wanting to convert that output on a breadboard to an appropriate voltage (and isolation) such that it could present a 1 or a 0 on a port. I dearly want to connect a computer to "the outside world" hopefully without a proprietary type of protocol.
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    I believe that communicating over a serial port or parallel port implies a certain intelligence on both sides of the cable. (And parallel is so ancient let's just talk about serial.)

    A perl script can communicate with a serial device (stackoverflow), but that still implies something on the other end will respond to your requests for information.

    And ideally, rather than you continuously polling for information, there would be a microprocessor on the other end that could recognize hardware interrupts and initiate the conversation when it had data to share.

    So I recommend you check out Arduino and see if that would work for you. The boards appear to be inexpensive, and the software is available for all operating systems.

    Edit: perl and arduino
    Last edited by keath; August 4th, 2012 at 10:30 AM.
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    Arduino?


    That looks very interesting.. It might enable me to do more than log events. Thanks for the tip and a more stable alternative to my thoughts. This seems like the 'right' way to do what I want. I've seen the name Arduino while browsing but had no idea what it was. I hope to reply with an update on my project.
    Thank you for the assistance!
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    Ordered an arduino uno R3


    Just an update.. I'm getting an Arduino Uno R3. As you probably know, it features a micro-P designed for a small proprietary C environment, and it looks as though it can be set up to port information to Perl. If this works I may have a new hobby! I'm already dusting off my O'Reilly books to revisit what I thought I remembered about Perl. They say your memory is the second thing to go.. I forgot what was first. Thanks!
    --Rootjim

    An Update: I have the Uno and have it up on my Mint 10 Linux box. Looks like a Datalogger shield and some input into the digital pins might be all it takes to do my motion sensor task. There are already other things I have in mind for the Arduino. Looking good, and Thanks for the direction... and Axweilder too.. I didn't know that the motion sensors complied with a standard Comm library. There are wireless dual-tec models which I overlooked because I didn't think they were compatible with my console. Thanks, and I may be back with Perl questions..
    ---rootjim
    Last edited by Rootjim; August 18th, 2012 at 04:58 AM. Reason: UPDATE

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