Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.




1664 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 188

Subscriber

Topic # 132360 19-Oct-2013 11:50
Send private message

After reading a great post by Shimmer I was inspired to try something similar and begin automating a few bits and pieces in my home. I already had a Raspberry Pi so the first thing I did was buy a PiFace extension board and use it to control my underfloor heat pump using some basic scripts. This was 6 months ago, and since then I have become addicted!

Similar to Shimmers post I am keen to create a forum for sharing ideas and technologies that people have come across and/or are using in their homes for smart automation. I have found that it is only half the battle to actually automate devices, the really clever bit is how you link devices together and use them to make your home 'smart' rather than just 'automatic'.

For example, I have the following things 'automated' in my house;

1. 80% of lights (everything exception bedroom, office and bathroom lights are controlled by ZWave in-wall micro relays)
2. Garage door opener
3. Underfloor heat pump
4. Alarm system
5. Irrigation system
6. Coffee machine
7. Squeezeboxes in living room, kitchen, master and outdoors
8. All AV equipment including TV, Receiver, Sky, BluRay (via Redeye IR blaster)
9. XBMC media players in living room and master (Raspberry Pis running Raspbmc)
10. Computers (via WOL and shutdown RPC calls)

And can monitor (i.e. view the state but not necessarily 'control);

1. Presence detection using mobile phone WIFI status, and GPS geofences
2. Front/garage door sensors
3. Living room IP camera
4. Energy monitoring via Owl CM160
5. Weather temp/rain monitoring via outdoor weather station
6. Weather forecasting and sunrise/sunset via Wunderground API
7. Temperature in living room, master, garage, outdoors

The next bit is what I am most interested in, how do you 'connect' your automated devices together to make your house 'smart'? 

Currently I have the following;

1. Arm the alarm when no one is at home (and check there are no open doors)
2. Disarm the alarm when a 'known' person comes home
3. Turn on/off lighting based on presence detection and time of day (i.e. sunset)
4. Disable irrigation if there has been any rainfall in the last 24 hours or rain is forecast
5. Boost underfloor heating if the forecast is for a very cold day
6. Various scenes - i.e. Watch Movie turns off all living room lights, turns on TV/Receiver/BluRay player
7. Turn on coffee machine in the morning, turn on lights if sun hasn't risen, and fire up my work PC if a weekday
8. Shut the coffee machine off after an hour (and send a notification to my phone 10mins after turning it on to remind me it is ready!)
9. Various notifications displayed on TVs via XBMC and sent to mobiles via NotifyMyAndroid and Prowl
10. 'Bedtime' action which checks all doors are closed, then turns off all appliances (i.e. coffee machine), AV gear, lights and optionally sets the alarm if 'secure' mode is chosen. This gives the wife piece of mind if I am away that she can go to bed and feel safe that everything is secure.
11. Rules to check that sensors are delivering data regularly and that their batteries are not too low
12. Recently added the ability to send audio notifications via my Squeezeboxes - still playing with this.

On the TODO list...

1. I really would like a ZWave enabled door lock for the front door. So I can check if the front door is locked when away from the house, and automatically lock/unlock when the alarm is armed/disarmed. Also means I can leave the house with just my phone and be able to secure it completely, and get back in, without having to take my keys - i.e. when going for a walk.
2. Add an external IP camera at the front door and send images to the XBMC devices when someone arrives.
3. Monitor my solar hot water heating system and HWC temps

That is enough from me! Looking forward to hearing what others have configured!!

Regards,
Ben

View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic
 1 | 2
1629 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 358

Lifetime subscriber

  Reply # 917334 19-Oct-2013 12:33
Send private message

No where near what you have, we have a security DVR with remote viewing, our alarm is also to be remotly armed/disarmed with status checks sent via  the celluar network.

Automating your home can soon get quite expensive and way beyond what the average person would do.

I've even seen a full blown PLC with a HMI used in home automation control.




1664 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 188

Subscriber

  Reply # 917366 19-Oct-2013 13:42
One person supports this post
Send private message

I have actually been quite surprised how much you can do with relatively small amounts of $$ and a bit of time and patience. Devices like Arduino and Raspberry Pi have made these types of things a lot cheaper and easier to achieve for the average home tinkerer.

However for things like lighting control, you really do need something like Zwave, which can start to add up if you are doing a whole house. But the beauty of the system is you can start small and add devices at any time, expanding your network as time and funds allow. That is exactly how I started and now I find myself never having to manually flick a light switch ever!

One thing I forgot to list was a home brew water sensor sitting under my hot water cylinder and underfloor heating manifold. This sends me all kinds of alerts when it detects water. Fibaro have a much smarter version called the Flood Sensor which is Zwave enabled. Ideally I would like to put an electronic valve on my water mains and have this automatically shutoff if there is ever a water leak detected. These are the sorts of things I think add real value to smart home systems.

Oh and another 'smart' rule I forgot to mention is if any of my smoke detectors are tripped the house switches on every light it can. Therefore in the case of a fire in the middle of the night all lights will be automatically switched on and should make it easier for the family to get to safety.

 
 
 
 


Stu

Hammered
5144 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 1116

Moderator
Trusted
Lifetime subscriber

  Reply # 917378 19-Oct-2013 14:10
3 people support this post
Send private message

Children

Isn't that why they exist? ;-)




Keep calm, and carry on posting.

 

 

 

Click to see full size Click to see full size


3134 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 1605


  Reply # 917426 19-Oct-2013 15:39
2 people support this post
Send private message

Wife 1.0. Does everything I need :-)




Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman, then always be the Batman



Stu

Hammered
5144 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 1116

Moderator
Trusted
Lifetime subscriber

  Reply # 917429 19-Oct-2013 15:46
Send private message

Between Wife 1.0 and Children 1.0, 1.1 and 1.2 I think I've got everything covered as well as some redundancy when primary systems fall over!

If we ever build though, I'm going to look at something that's more user-friendly that doesn't fight you every step of the way and that can be completely shut off when required! (And I bet the running costs are cheaper too!)




Keep calm, and carry on posting.

 

 

 

Click to see full size Click to see full size


53 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 10


  Reply # 917430 19-Oct-2013 15:52
3 people support this post
Send private message

I found Wife 1.0 suffered from a memory leak which lead to lights being left on through out the house.

322 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 51

Trusted
Spark NZ

  Reply # 917432 19-Oct-2013 15:59
Send private message

I'm looking at automation solutions for LED lights, video surveillance and looking to get the IP module for house alarm.

 

Where did you get the ZWave in-wall micro relay's? Price? Are they self install?

1629 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 358

Lifetime subscriber

  Reply # 917488 19-Oct-2013 18:35
One person supports this post
Send private message

scuwp: Wife 1.0. Does everything I need :-)


I think I got the beta versions of Wife and children, the audio receiving units don't work :(


1195 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 149


  Reply # 917495 19-Oct-2013 19:05
One person supports this post
Send private message

only automation i have are those outside lights with motion sensors...


791 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 79

Trusted

  Reply # 917532 19-Oct-2013 20:47
Send private message

has anyone tried this? http://www.fibaro.com/nz/the-fibaro-system
looks great and easy to assemble on existing homes.

installation --> http://www.fibaro.com/nz/the-fibaro-system/installation

the user interface also looks great!




2572 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 306

Trusted

  Reply # 917572 19-Oct-2013 23:06
Send private message

What home automation software are you (OP) using for all of this?

Also, what Garage door opener device are you using please?




21823 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 4566

Trusted
Subscriber

  Reply # 917593 19-Oct-2013 23:52
Send private message

I only have sensors on lights - outdoor and select ones (hallways)

Only getting things sorted so I can go ahead with some much needed other upgrades first, but I think my first real automation will get added in the garage and outdoor areas so I can still finalize what the plans for the rest of the house are. Anything new will get some automation, probably whatever I can get a deal on thru the sparky cousin.

Will be wanting to automate the irrigation beyond the single on tap timer that I have which cannot account for rain, or wind etc, or give different amounts to different zones, so even with the smallest flow drippers the water is flowing out of the hanging baskets way before the gardens have had enough. But the price of those controllers is insane. Was looking at an arduino based design but the thing with that is it will end up in perpetual tinkering mode and never go into production operation.




Richard rich.ms



1664 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 188

Subscriber

  Reply # 917660 20-Oct-2013 10:28
Send private message

Hey guys, yep I am using the Fibaro gear and it is very good. I am running open source software, openHAB, with a USB ZStick from Aeonlabs, but from what I have seen the Fibaro Home Center2 is a very polished unit, and is much more 'hands off'.

If you wanted to control your garage door you can simply put a Door/Window sensor on the door itself, and then an in wall micro switch behind the existing opener button, and you then have full monitoring and control.

They are bringing out new sensors and devices for the NZ market very soon, including the Flood Sensor and the Wall Plug, which are all detailed on their website.

DISCLAIMER: I am a reseller of Fibaro gear so if you want prices etc PM me.



1664 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 188

Subscriber

  Reply # 917661 20-Oct-2013 10:32
Send private message

Richms - you could try a Raspberry Pi with a 4 way relay board hooked up to the GPIO pins. The Pi is $50 and the relay board is $20 from a hobby site here in NZ. I even added a 24VAC-5VDC converter so I could run everything off the irrigation power supply. This is of course assuming you have the irrigation solenoid already.

Once you have the hardware it is relatively easy to script up whatever you want in terms of control. Including parsing a weather feed to check for rain or very hot weather and adjust your times accordingly.

Plenty of fun to be had!

1494 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 153

Subscriber

  Reply # 917667 20-Oct-2013 10:57
Send private message

The Fibaro system is what I am looking at (thanks to SumnerBoy!).  Originally I was looking at the Belkim Wemo's, which can be integrated with IFTTT.COM to give basic automation, and I have heard (from staff at Yoobee) that Belkin will be releasing replacement power points too.  This gives a simply system, but I have read lots of negative comments about getting it working (but hard to tell if they people are having issues with the hardware or their ability to set it up).

I am now planning out the Fibaro system, and it already has maximum WAF from just the screenshots!

 1 | 2
View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic



Twitter »

Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:



Geekzone Live »

Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.


Support Geekzone »

Our community of supporters help make Geekzone possible. Click the button below to join them.

Support Geezone on PressPatron



Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.