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Does anyone know how to sound a chime using MS-ACCESS?

Posted on 2011-09-22
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Last Modified: 2013-11-28
Hello,

I would like to sound a chime and also turn a strobe light on and off programatically using MS Access.
I will execute the code as part of an OnClick routine for a command button.

Upon clicking the button, it is my objective for a doorbell-like sounding device in another building to chime.  In addition, I would like a strobe light to turn on.

Does anyone have any ideas?

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Question by:pcalabria
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Accepted Solution

by:
Jeffrey Coachman earned 167 total points
ID: 36582273
Note that strobe lights can cause seizures in many people:

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2007/06/mias-new-websit/
http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1718
...et al


To do what you are asking you would have to create a system to interface with AC outlets, via some output from the computer
(Com Port, Usb Port)
In other words, this cannot be done by "Access" alone.

Let's see if any other Experts have done this already and can provide more input...

JeffCoachman
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Expert Comment

by:dqmq
ID: 36582427
I agree with Jeff.  You need some kind of device that sounds the chime and engages the lights on demand.  I would suggest a network-attached, remotely controllabe switch, for example:

http://www.ambery.com/reposw.html

or

http://dataprobe.com/iboot_dc8_remote_power_control.html

Getting Access to control such a switch is technically feasible, however, the details are totally dependent on the interface that the device exposes.   In any case, I would start with finding a device that is capable of switching the lights/chime, then work backwards to Access from there.


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Expert Comment

by:GRayL
ID: 36582446
Here's how to do the sound.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/95647
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Author Comment

by:pcalabria
ID: 36584409
Okay, Jeff, maybe I'll go with a rotating beacon! :-)

These are all links to some cool stuff, but I"m not sure how I would write code to replace the browser interface.

Has anyone ever heard of or done anything with x10?  I'm thinking about using a USB-CM15A from http://ActiveHomePro.com

They make a device that plugs into a USB port that has the ability to turn on and off appliances, however, I would need VBA code to control the USB device.

I don't know how I would make my software talk to the software that comes with the USB controller.

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Assisted Solution

by:dqmq
dqmq earned 166 total points
ID: 36584964
>They make a device that plugs into a USB port that has the ability to turn on and off appliances

As long as they are on the same electrical secondary.   If the switched devices are in a separate building from the Access workstation, that's unlikely.


>I don't know how I would make my software talk to the software that comes with the USB controller.

ActiveHomePro comes with a software development kit that, according to the website, should work from Access VBA.  But check with the vendor to be sure.



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Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Coachman
ID: 36585109
<Okay, Jeff, maybe I'll go with a rotating beacon! :-)>
Yeah, where I work, we deal with developmentally disabled individuals, so anything that "strobes" is forbidden...
;-)
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Expert Comment

by:mbizup
ID: 36586053
Did you try the method at the link posted by GrayL?

I personally could not get that to work - got an error claiming that the file could not be found, despite the path being accurate.

There is also this:

application.FollowHyperlink "C:\chimes.wav"


Of course, that's for the user's computer - not a seperate building!
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Author Comment

by:pcalabria
ID: 36593536
GrayL and mbiz... thanks for the help.
I've made note of the code and I'm sure I'll use it somewhere... I like it much better than the BEEP that I've used before...

but it won't work for this application.   The people in that back are too far from the computers...

Also, thanks again about warnings with strobes... had not considered the consequences at all..

I ordered the x10 USB device and will give the code a try... if it strays much from Access VBA I'll be lost!  The manufacturer isn't able to offer any more support than what's in the develpment kit.  I have no idea how complete it will be.
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Assisted Solution

by:Helen_Feddema
Helen_Feddema earned 167 total points
ID: 36710802
Years ago, I created a database that interfaced with (literal) black boxes that had red, yellow and green lights that lit up when a choice was made in a form.  They were connected to the computer by a serial cable, and there was an ActiveX control (created by another programmer) to interface with them.  That is the sort of thing you need here.
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Author Closing Comment

by:pcalabria
ID: 36960507
I decided to use the ActiveHome SDK with a rotating beacon.  Thanks.
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