PROJECT 1 - X-10 Home Automation

Objective: Control lights and turn coffee machine on via X-10 control, using remote control handset and PC.

Status: Project successfully completed. Several X-10 appliance modules and X-10 lamp modules were initially bought, along with an RF X-10 module (TM12U) and a PC to X-10 control module (CM12U), and are now installed around the house for various home automation tasks. The number of X-10 modules has grown somewhat over time, to include 10 or so of each of the LM10U lamp module and AM10U appliance module as well as modules such as the TW7223.

PROJECT 2 - CAT 5e Home Networking

Objective: Install CAT 5 network around the house, with multiple sockets per room.

Status: Project successfully completed. Currently, 96 CAT 5e network sockets are installed around the house, ranging from 4 sockets to 20 sockets per room. The network is split up into 2 phone lines, a Local Area Network for Computers, and a Home Area Network for future expansion of networked appliances. This ensures that when the time does come to network the fridge and the Microwave, the network sockets are in place to enable this.

The Project was broken down into stages, with each room being cabled and labelled up in turn, and then the labelled cables being wired into the central 19" rack (node zero) holding the central patch panels and Ethernet switch. The CAT 5 wall sockets were then connected, and each module and cable run to the patch panel was tested.

PROJECT 3 - CCTV Cameras

Objective: Install CCTV Camera System for viewing on any TV in the house, or any PC with a TV card installed.

Status: Project completed. 3 main CCTV cameras installed initially, with additional cameras installed later. Camera viewing tested on both TVs and PCs with TV input cards.

PROJECT 4 - 1-wire Network

Objective: Install Dallas Semiconductor 1-wire network sensors to monitor environmental parameters around the house, and connect to the Linux home automation server.

Status: Project in progress. Initially, I am practicing with the Thermochron iButton (DS1921) interfacing to a DS907U-009 1-Wire COM Port Adapter and a DS1402D-DR8 Blue Dot iButton Receptor. The next phase will be extending the wiring of the 1-wire network around the house. Currently the following sensors are planned for the 1-wire network around the house:

Temperature Sensors (DS1820) to sample room temperatures and roof temperatures and to measure device temperatures e.g. coffee percolator, kettle, boiler, server rack.
Humidity Sensors (DS1910 Hygro iButton and DS2438 Based Humidity Sensors)
iButton for identifying who has entered the house
External Radiance Detector (see Project 5)

PROJECT 5 - Solar Radiance Detector / Solar Power Meter

Objective: Install an external Solar Radiance Detector connected via the 1-wire network - this will not only allow monitoring of solar radiance, but will also provide a variable illumination detector for switching of lights on at dusk/night. Normally this would be achieved by using a dusk/night sensor that switches lights at a specific illumination threshold. Having variable illumination sensing capability provides a far more flexible system.

The Solar Power Meter will use a solar / photovoltaic panel to measure voltages generated from the panel throughout each year. Combined with the data from the solar radiance detector, it should be possible to obtain some useful data on incident solar radiation, which can then be used for future large solar / photovoltaic panel sizing and location on the roof.

Status: Project not yet started.

PROJECT 6 - Embedded Servers

Objective: Install embedded TINI Java webservers in the house to further advance the concept of a smart house.

Status: Project not yet started.