Smart Homes & Prepping

How are you preparing
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Smart Homes & Prepping

Postby ChefSimon » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:49 pm

Reading a few of the comments in the how are you prepping this week post I thought I would tell you about some of my preps.

As well as preps I am a Geek! I have a smart home, by that I mean smart locks, lights, security, protection, heating, home assistant, entertainment etc. Basically I can control my home from my phone anywhere in the world I can get a signal should I need to or talk to the room and have the house respond to me.

I've invested quite heavily on battery & solar powered internet connected security devices. My thought process behind it was that if there was a power cut I can still ensure the home is secure for an extended amount of time allowing me to get other preps into place.

To assist me with this I have a MiFi mobile wireless dongle. It's on a pay as you go contract and I top it up twice a year, charge it up once a month from the mains to ensure that the battery is full.

The idea is that when the power fails and the normal internet goes down I can fire up the dongle and the devices will switch over onto the dongle and I can continue to power them as long as I can get a charge to my dongle (Via a solar charger) and also to my smartphone.

The longest I've run the 'back-up' system so far is 5 days without issue. I was still able to get all notifications and security alerts to my phone when away from home and to my iPad in the home.

It means I can always have a secure home when there is no power to the home. The only obvious downside is I would need to be at home to turn the dongle on in the event of power loss. I'm currently looking at a switch where if the power stops it will press a switch which would trigger the dongle to turn on, unfortunately the switch is only available in the USA and is rather expensive when you add import taxes on it.

Note: I'm not prepping for SHTF situations like EMP's etc. I prep for civil unrest and natural disasters, things where basic things like phone signal, power etc may not be down for long. If it was a SHTF situation, I wouldn't care less about the smart home as I would revert to a dumb home and talk to the wife instead of the house! (haha)
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Re: Smart Homes & Prepping

Postby unsure » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:16 pm

sounds good , if thats your thing . ill stick to low tech , basic house alarm , genny hook up and a big dog . :lol:
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Re: Smart Homes & Prepping

Postby xplosiv1 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:32 pm

you say this keeps your home secure but in reality it just tells you your doors are locked and alarm is set and hasnt been tampered with, it's not going to stop anyone breaking in.

in everyday life it probably alerts you to any disturbance and (either automatically if it a monitored system or manually by you) alerts the police, in a SHTF scenario you cant rely on the police if you are a few hundred miles away, so all its going to tell you is if you have a safe place to go to which is a good thing it could save you days of travel.

you've said you didn't do it in preparation of a SHTF scenario but for civil unrest or natural disaster .... both of those situations could affect service providers. I could almost guarantee if there was major civil unrest in the UK the internet would be the first thing to go followed by mobile providers.

then you mention that currently it needs to be activated manually at home during a power failure, I'd look into rectifying that.

I'm an electrical engineer and to be honest I wouldn't rely on your set up, well without seeing it (it may be more robust than i'm imaging). I'd rather go for dead bolted doors and hard security measures they're probably the best thing even stuff like rose bushes below ground floor windows, zero maintenance, zero power requirements, quick install and will stand the test of time. the only draw back is they wont tell me anything about my house, but I do have a motion activated internal and external cctv system which will alert my phone.

if by chance someone manages to get in then they need to get past the dogs lol
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Re: Smart Homes & Prepping

Postby korolev » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:39 pm

ChefSimon wrote:It means I can always have a secure home when there is no power to the home. The only obvious downside is I would need to be at home to turn the dongle on in the event of power loss. I'm currently looking at a switch where if the power stops it will press a switch which would trigger the dongle to turn on, unfortunately the switch is only available in the USA and is rather expensive when you add import taxes on it.


You could hack a circuit to turn the dongle on using an arduino and a relay for a few quid.

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Re: Smart Homes & Prepping

Postby jansman » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:54 pm

Its certainly an interesting sounding system ChefSimon.My employer's daughter has all this paraphernalia in her house.She is in her early twenties,and I suspect you are a young chap too? I cannot knock it because I have no experience of such a set up.However,my only reservation would be that it relies on electricity at all.My insurance company approved deadlocks work just fine,and no leccy.So does the solar /lithium battery alarm system.

I suppose its a generational thing,as young folks embrace new tech more readily.Mind you,so do a lot of old 'un's too! Personally we are very low tech here and if we lost internet,we'd just turn on the emergency lighting ,battery radio,and read a book.No Smart System would light the stove either!

But hey! If your house is comfortable, and it works for you,that's great,although I ( like the others) would consider more ' tried and tested 'security measures.
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Re: Smart Homes & Prepping

Postby sniper 55 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:52 am

Forgive the probably silly question but I am an old git. If the power goes out wont your PC and router all go off anyway? As I understand it the router will reboot when the power comes back but most pc's wont.
The other question is how secure is internet connected locks? The average 12 year around here can hack anything. Seriously those Iphones the FBI couldn't open my friends grandson opens/unlocks easily he does my friends a few times a week when she forgets the password (and he doesn't know the password I tested him with my brothers, he open that as well)

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Re: Smart Homes & Prepping

Postby jansman » Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:38 pm

sniper 55 wrote:Forgive the probably silly question but I am an old git. If the power goes out wont your PC and router all go off anyway? As I understand it the router will reboot when the power comes back but most pc's wont.
The other question is how secure is internet connected locks? The average 12 year around here can hack anything. Seriously those Iphones the FBI couldn't open my friends grandson opens/unlocks easily he does my friends a few times a week when she forgets the password (and he doesn't know the password I tested him with my brothers, he open that as well)

I think the FBI unlocking issue was to do with unlocking encrypted message systems within the Apple system.
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Re: Smart Homes & Prepping

Postby xplosiv1 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:39 pm

sniper 55 wrote:Forgive the probably silly question but I am an old git. If the power goes out wont your PC and router all go off anyway? As I understand it the router will reboot when the power comes back but most pc's wont.
The other question is how secure is internet connected locks? The average 12 year around here can hack anything. Seriously those Iphones the FBI couldn't open my friends grandson opens/unlocks easily he does my friends a few times a week when she forgets the password (and he doesn't know the password I tested him with my brothers, he open that as well)



it wasn't the fact that the FBI couldn't open the phone, they could easily unlock it, the issue was they wanted apple to give them backdoor access into iphone operating software ie. give the FBI the keys to the kingdom which would allow them to access any Iphone even ones not in their possession. they used this issue to push an agenda and failed thank god.
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Re: Smart Homes & Prepping

Postby Arwen Thebard » Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:55 pm

Im sitting in the middle on this one.

I have the "techie" cameras and alarm for info and warning, which are great.

But I rely on dead bolts, shutters, barbed wire and dogs to actually help keep people out.
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Re: Smart Homes & Prepping

Postby xplosiv1 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:32 pm

Arwen Thebard wrote:Im sitting in the middle on this one.

I have the "techie" cameras and alarm for info and warning, which are great.

But I rely on dead bolts, shutters, barbed wire and dogs to actually help keep people out.


you cant really go wrong with the tried and tested methods, even a small dog is more of a deterrent than a top of the line alarm system, nobody reacts to an alarm system anymore unless its monitored, just like car alarms.
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