Security Sensors – Easy Modifications

How can we hack the TriggerLinc & DS10A security sensors to be more useful?

This page is originally geared towards the DS10A, mainly due to the low cost, but also because the TriggerLinc wasn’t available when I first wrote it.

Triggerlinc Modifications

  • Low Cost method to make your HA detect your door bell button
  • The triggerlinc ($35) has an external terminal, which you can connect any push button switch to it, place that switch in place of your door bell button, and there you go. You may even be able to use your existing door bell switch, depending on the resistance levels…

  • DS10A Modifications

    • Detect a Door bell Button — Connect the DS10A to your door bell button, or substitute any Push Button switch.  When the button is pressed the State change will be detected, and you can have Indigo perform any actions that you wish…
    • Detect if the furnace is running or not. A user attached a peice of card stock to the top of filter so that when the furnace is running the card stock is “sucked” up in the air. At the bottom of the card stock is the magnet. The other magnet and DS10A is attached to the filter itself. When the furnace turns on the card stock is lifted when it turns off it floats back down and closes the contacts. The differences in times the device is on and off is the runtime of the furnace.
    • How can I modify one of my DS10A’s to monitor 2 windows? I have 2 windows side by side in a corner and don’t want to use 2 different zones seeing how they are side by side…–   The two switches need to be connected in series.  So disconnect one of the wires from the first switch, and connect a wire between the other screw on the first switch to one on the second switch. Then connect the second DS10 wire to the second switches other terminal.[ DS10 Base ]——-[switch 1]——-[ switch 2]————————-| [DS10 Base]

    Change the Sensor on the DS10A

    Deadbolt Detection

    It was pointed out to me that I never got around to posting how easy it is to modify a DS10A, to be used for just about ANYTHING, not just an magnetic door sensor. That is one reason I hope that the Insteon TriggerLinc will be made into a variant that just has the external connector.

    First, the DS10A consists of a transceiver box, that has two leads running out of it, which connect to a magnetic sensor. Secondly, there is a small box that is just a magnet contained in a plastic box.


    The trick to easily modifying the DS10A is simple, the entire sensing hardware is contained in the wired sensor module.  If you look on the side of the plastic sensing module, you will see two screws.  If you release those wires, you can easily connect any switch to the DS10A, and it will broadcast properly.  When the switch changes to the open position, the DS10A will broadcast an Security Sensor Open, and when it changes to close, it will broadcast the Security Sensor Closed signal.

    So you could connect the DS10A to a water sensitive sensor/switch, or in the following case I will show you how to detect the position of your deadbolt.  This of course will require some basic tools, a pair of crimpers, a spare DS10A, and in my case, I used some inexpensive automotive wire crimp on wire-terminals.


    Step 1:

    Detach the wires from the magnetic sensor, by unscrewing the terminals, and pulling the wire out.  You may want to strip some additional insulator off the wire, but I didn’t see the need in my case.  I next, crimped the wires into the auto terminals…


    Step 2:

    Mount the DS10A, but make sure you have plenty of wire for manuevering, and reaching the deadbolt.


    Step 3:

    Examine your deadbolt, and see if you can access the inner portion of the deadbolt receiver.  In my case, the door frame was accessable from the inside, and I was able to run the terminals directly in to the deadbolt opening.  Now, when the deadbolt is slid home, the deadbolt itself will complete the circuit, and cause the DS10A to broadcast a closed signal.

    One major change that I am planning is to use a wooden backer board for the terminals, because right now they are pressure fit, and can be moved out position.

    Please feel free to leave a comment with suggestions, other modifications for DS10A, or alternatives methods to accomplish this…