Revisiting an old Project


Hi Guys…Lately work has been a bit on the quiet side so it gave me time to get back into H.A. and electronic stuff… I have updated my camera system ,worked on my bathroom rgbled strip which hasnt worked for a while …Also revisited a project i did i think around 2006…I bought an iLock kit back around 2002 from a guy called Mike Baptise …Creative Control Concepts (U.S.A)…It was a little board which could read 7 iButtons…It was installed when my son built the wall and sliding gate was put in…It was a backup for opening the gate if one of my 5 kids called and we were not home…it worked fine until recently…The board has a common output which operates a relay when a recognised button is presented…it also has a digital out signal for each button so you know which button was presented at the reader…i now read these signals into an i/o expander (i2c) i designed to connect to my Homevision controller…wrote some code to send serial messages to my homevision app when a button is presented…Bench tested my i/o expander which connects to the iLock and worked fine…Of course when i went to test had some issues…firstly the reader wouldnt read my iButton, thought i read somewhere the iButtons only had a 10year life span so i bought some more iButtons from RS and a usb iButton reader DS9490… Relearned the new buttons and with a little debugging all,s well…We had a pwer failure recently and i think it somehow corrupted the iLock as i was able to read my old button and the iLock will illuminate the red led if i present it…To finish this project i need to install a couple of Jon,s illuminated buttons so i can open / close my electric gate via Homevision inputs in case my rf remotes go dead …


Jeepers! I haven’t seen those things in forever!!! We used to see them as driver validators for fleet trucks. If you didn’t have one that was in their system, you weren’t going to be starting the truck. I never cut one open to see what was inside but I understand they have a coin cell in them??? Would be why they have a shelf life. RFID was the replacement.

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Dont think these have a battery as the old ones are still readable…I think my board got corrupted after a power outage…

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Interesting. Have you tried to figure one of them out? I know they are not complicated devices. A resistor in a coin cell type case? LOL. Now I have to research them…


These were an early application of the Dallas 1-Wire Bus system, which is still alive today in some forms. In fact if you’ve used a DS18B20 temperature sensor (super popular for Arduino projects) then you’ve used a Dallas 1-Wire device. “DS” = Dallas Semiconductor :slight_smile:

When you query an DS18B20 from an Arduino, one of the pieces of data you can get is a unique ID from the sensor, similar to a MAC address. Each Dallas device has a unique ID. In fact the ID buttons are basically the same as a DS18B20 temperature sensor, sealed inside a metal can and without the temperature sensor functionality - just a MAC address in a can.

I haven’t tried it, but you could probably make your own ID button using a DS18B20 and binding it to the reader.

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MAC in the box… giggles


I still use another system i designed which was a cat5 based zoned system which was used to read the status of tv,s etc using either an led probe (ldr) or video probe…I later modded them so inputs 5 + 6 (last two inputs) could have a DS1820 connected to them…i read them every 15mins and can control my bedroom fans with it…