I’m awaiting my second 3D printer. While Ender 3 v2 is stuck somewhere between China and the UK, I wanted to get my garage in shape to keep my modified Ender 3 (review). Right about the same time, X-sense dropped me a message to check out their X-Sense XS01-WR interconnected smoke detectors. Why am I talking about these two things? Leaving a 3D Printer unattended is a big no-no (which, let’s face it, we all break considering long print times). I would sleep better knowing there is a dedicated smoke detector looking out for me.
I’m not gonna lie, I’m not an expert in smoke sensors. There is one in my house (which is mandatory for insurance purposes) and I have to admit that I have not tested it prior to writing this article. Up until now, all my print jobs were queued for when someone is in the house, so I considered it a low risk, but if I’m going to leave the printer working in a semi-detached garage, getting a smoke detector is smart.
X-Sense XS01-WR is not “smart”. They are not connected to the grid and don’t talk to you over the Internet. They do make a loud noise and they talk to each other. This is important, as frankly speaking if the fire did occur in my garage, I’d wonder if this is my alarm or neighbour’s security bell is going nuts again. X-Sense XS01-WR can be linked with 23 other units for a 24 strong array of alarms.
If one goes off, all off them ring the alarm.
X-Sense XS01-WR talk to each other using RF in 868 MHz range. If there is a power cut, these alarms will share the information with each other, and you will hear the alarm everywhere the X-sense XS01-WR is installed.
These smoke detectors are equipped with a photoelectric smoke sensor, powered by CR123A battery, which should last about 5 years according to the manual. The sensors are rated for 10 years and meet safety standards UL 217 (US) and EN 14604 (EU).
Photoelectric sensors monitor the air for particles. Smoke, dust and sometimes condensed steam can trigger these. The X-Sense XS01-WR won’t detect CO, but X-Sense has you covered if that’s what you need.
Pair the units first before the installation. It will save you running around! Follow the instructions to pair it (it’s a simple process really). It took me less than 1 min to test and pair all 3 units. A nice addition is the ability to test all units at once by holding down the button until all units beep.
Once linked, install the alarms using screws and bracket provided. A twist and lock system is very convenient, but do pay attention to the installation guide and follow the placement rules as not all locations are effective for smoke detection!
The alarm has 85dB siren. It’s loud enough to be heard from another room, but the siren can be muffled significantly if covered up. While keeping it uncovered may sound like moot advice, covering the buzzer grill with your hand when testing the alarm will save your ears!
I really hope I never get to test X-Sense XS01-WR in the real scenario. It’s been over a week, without any false alarms (other than wood dust in the garage). My units are placed in my office, kitchen and garage. These are the most dangerous areas and the sound can be heard across each room. Do bear in mind that woodworking can create a lot of dust, so consider turning the smoke detector off and placing it near the door, so you don’t forget to enable it again.
In my mock test, the alarm took some time to respond at first, but considering the drafts I get in the garage, that was to be expected. Placing the unit near the smoke, triggered it instantly, sending the wave of the alarms to other units. It did take me longer than 9 min to went the space, so be ready to turn it off again if your place is not cleared off smoke. As far as alarms go, I’m happy. I may not save the print or the printer, but I would be made aware in time to prevent the fire from spreading.
X-Sense XS01-WR come with one convenient feature. You can turn off the siren from any unit. Doing so will silence the alarm on all but the trigger device. Turning the alarm off on the device that triggered the alarm, will silence all units, and put the alerting unit on 9 min stand down so you have a chance to vent the room.
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It’s better to be safe than sorry, X-Sense XS01-WR kit isn’t expensive at $79 for 3 units and it comes with connected alarms are well suited for protecting separated structures like sheds garages cellars where the siren may not always be heard. I will sleep in peace knowing that there is an extra layer of safety added to my remote printing setup. After all, only recently Creality gave us a stark reminder that fires can happen. Perhaps this could be the $79 best spent if you do end up in a situation like this. Let’s hope you never will! Thoughts? Let me know in this Reddit thread.