vb.net read barcode from camera Smoke Detection in Software

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34.3 Smoke Detection
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Where there s smoke, there s fire. Statistics show that the majority of fire deaths each year are caused not by burns but by smoke inhalation. For less than $15, you can add smoke detection to your robot s long list of capabilities and with a little bit of programming have it wander through the house checking each room for trouble. You ll probably want to keep it in the most fire-prone rooms, such as the basement, kitchen, laundry room, and robot lab. You can build your own smoke detector using individually purchased components, but some items, such as the smoke detector cell, are hard to find. It s much easier to use a commercially available smoke detector and modify it for use with your robot. In fact, the process is so simple that you can add one to each of your robots. Tear the smoke detector apart and strip it down to the base circuit board. The active element used for detecting smoke the radioactive substance Americium 241 has a half-life of approximately seven years. After about five to seven years, the effectiveness of the alarm is diminished, and you should replace it. Using a very old alarm will render your Smokey the Robot fairly ineffectual at detecting the smoke of fires. Remember to properly dispose of old smoke detectors according to the rules and laws where you live.
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34.3.1 HACKING A SMOKE ALARM
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You can either buy a new smoke detector module for your robot or scavenge one from a commercial smoke alarm unit. The latter tends to be considerably cheaper you can buy quality smoke alarms for as little as $7 to $10. Hacking a commercial smoke alarm, specifically a Kidde model 0915K, so it can be directly connected to a robot s computer port or microcontroller will be presented in this chapter. Of course, smoke alarms are not all designed the same, but the basic construction is similar to that described here. You should have relatively little trouble hacking most any smoke detector. However, you should limit your hacking attempts to those smoke alarms that use traditional 9-V batteries. Certain smoke alarm models, particularly older ones, require AC power or specialized batteries (such as 22-V mercury cells). These are harder to salvage and, besides, their age makes them less suitable for sensitive smoke detection. Start by checking the alarm for proper operation. If it doesn t have one already, insert a fresh battery into the battery compartment. Put plugs in your ears (or cover up the audio transducer hole on the alarm). Press the test button on the alarm; if it is properly functioning the alarm should emit a loud, piercing tone. If everything checks out okay, remove the battery, and disassemble the alarm. Less expensive models will not have screws but
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34.3 SMOKE DETECTION
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will likely use a snap-on construction. Use a small flat-headed screwdriver to unsnap the snaps. Inside the smoke detector will be a circuit board, like the one in Fig. 34-2, that consists of the drive electronics and the smoke detector chamber. Either mounted on the board or located elsewhere will be the piezo disc used to make the loud tone. Remove the circuit board, being careful you don t damage it. Examine the board for obvious hack points, and note the wiring to the piezo disc. More than likely, there will be either two or three wires going to the disc.
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Two wires to the piezo disc. The wires will provide ground and +V power. This design is typical when you are using all-in-one piezo disc buzzers, in which the disc itself contains the electronics to produce the signal for audible tones. Three wires to the piezo disc. The wires will provide ground, +V power, and a signal that causes the disc to oscillate with an audible tone.
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Using a volt-ohm meter, find the wire that serves as ground. It is probably black or brown, but if no obvious color coding is used, examine the circuit board and determine where the wires are attached. An easy way to find the ground connection is to find the lowest resistance wire to the negative battery lead. Connect the other test lead to the remaining wire, or if the disc has three wires, connect the test lead to one of the remaining wires.
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