Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Juggs

Home Automation - Anyone doing it?

Recommended Posts

... wanker.

 

I finally received my Raspberry Pi, and what I'm thinking of doing is using it as the centre of a home automation setup. We're in a rental, so I can't do all the extra funky things like controlling blinds and what not, but my general line of thinking is something along these lines:

 

Basics:

I want to be able to control lights(well, lamps really), home theatre (mostly audio, including set zones around the house) from a central touch screen/ipad/web interface.

I'm also looking into pet feeders as well, that you can load up with dry food and set to a timer.

 

More advanced:

I am thinking about using RFID fobs on our keychains to do things like turn lights on after a set time (i.e. if its after 5pm, the lights will come on when you enter), as well as looking into things such as personalised playlists that can start up upon entrance into the house.

 

Not much to begin with, but enough to get me tinkering and lay down a foundation for other home automation possibilities.

 

 

So, the questions:

 

1) Has anyone actually implemented any home automation solutions around their house?

2) If so, did you go for an off the shelf starter pack or did you put something together yourself?

3) And with either of the above, do you have it set up with a centralised server that you can further script events etc, or did you just use a standalone control module?

 

 

I know I'm just barely scratching the ice, but as I said - rental. And i've not really been looking into it all that much beyond what I've mentioned above. I've seen a few different starter packs, but am not really swayed one way over the other (re: wireless vs over power).

 

Your thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got a watering system and outdoor lights hooked up to timers. does that count? :p

 

Seriously though, I'm interested in home automation but I've not been able to find the time and the money at the same time, to get something off the ground. I looked in the Clipsal kits a few years back but that's about as far as it got. One of the selling points in a good home automation system is that it should save you electricity, being able to set your washing, dishwasher etc for offpeak, and especially having lights hooked to motion sensors so they switch off as you leave the room/area.

 

I've got a pretty loose timeframe on my own system. Ideally it'll be impemented before my kids are teenagers (6 years) so I can turn off certain power points and lights at appropriate times. Maybe even lock windows and doors :p

 

This was an interesting podcast on the topic, though it's now nearly 5 years old.

Edited by dorsi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Watering system would be something I'd like to do down the line. I helped my ex's father set up his own, but that was pretty much a full custom system. And even then, we still dug trenches to lay everything. I've been researching setting up a portable green house that can move with us, but thats something for future.

 

As for things like peak vs off peak, I'm not really concerned about that at the moment. Tho the powering off of lights etc when someone leaves the room does interest me (again, it could only be lamps at the moment). Locking doors and windows is one of those things that'd come down the line with more investigation.

 

Right now tho, all i'm really looking at is having centralised control of a few devices around the house. Ideally, I'd like to be able to let myself in the front door, hit my rfid fob against a reader, that will then turn on lights down the hallway (this house is weird in that the rooms are long and the switches are on the far side of the room), as well as kick over the stereo with a set playlist for my profile (or, in the case of Cheeky, a preset radio station). Then when its time for bed, and I realise that the TV/PS3/Lamps are on, I can use my phone or ipad to shut them off without having to get up.

 

Having an automated pet feeder would be good too, as well as being able to feed them remotely.

 

Another thing I've forgotten, is setting up a webcam stream to be able to watch the place from at home (security, mebbe. Moreso watching the cat and dog play all day :P )

 

Once the greenhouse is setup, I'd like to incorporate an irrigation system into that, but theres a million timer products on the market that can do that without centralised control. Still, it would be handy if I could integrate that too.

 

Thats the kind of thing I'm after at the moment.

 

 

 

The clipsal kits you mentioned: They're mostly just timer based products, no?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Look into LiFX, Philips Hue and MooresCloud Light

 

 

They want to move beyond simple timers and switches, and move into a collection of devices with smarts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Clipsal C-Bus was what I looked at. Seems to have come a long a bit since in the last few years

http://www.clipsal.com.au/consumer/product...us_home_control

 

I'm getting there anyway, with, as said earlier having automated irrigation and lighting already, as well as gigabit ethernet through my walls (minimum of 2 ports per room but utility rooms have 4 ports each). I'm running a Panasonic IP Camera that overlooks the entertainment area, BBQ area and pool. Not for security, more just because I can, and I can keep an eye on the kids. Years and years ago (well over a decade) I had aspirations of making my own home automation from scratch, that included soldering the circuits and making the low level controller software - but it was another thing that never got off the ground, especially after what I saw the clipsal gear can do.

 

There are also sensors that you can place on the floor (if you've got a wooden floor - and I don't) that will measure vibrations - a superior method to detect if someone is in the room, and moving, than motion sensors. From what I read, you really need to use a combination of technologies to get over things like sitting in a chair and reading a book and having the lights turn off because you don't move. I guess RFID/proximity cards etc would solve that problem and it's certainly a cool way to have the house adapt to use as you move through it.

 

edit: What's with the "...wanker" at the start of your OP Juggs?

Edited by dorsi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys, gives me more to look into.

 

 

dorsi: It was the first thing I thought, and have been saying since I got my RasPi... so, since Friday :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got DLNA happening between the computer, mobile phone, tablet, BluRay player.

That's about it really.

 

AC has an on and off timer built in. Washing machine has the delay start feature. Lights have been practically all CFl for years now so don't really give a shit about leaving one turned on for days on end.

 

Off topic a bit, but next round of projects is to setup control and remote access to the computer from afar with phone/tablet.

Thinking along the lines of being able to leech/drop files when needed, initiate torrent downloads etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×