Jump to content


Photo
* * * * * 2 votes

Arduino & Home Automation


  • Please log in to reply
32 replies to this topic

#1 Dan (electron)

Dan (electron)

    CocoonTech Admin

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 10853 posts
  • Twitter:@CocoonTech
  • Location:Central NY
  • Experience:guru
  • Software:EventGhost, HomeSeer
  • Hardware:Elk M1, Mi Casa Verde Vera, Ocelot
  • Tech:X10-RF, UPB, Z-Wave, ZigBee
  • Audio:AirPlay
  • Video:SageTV
  • CCTV:analog, ip, dvr
  • Phone:OBi100/110

Posted 06 March 2012 - 09:30 PM

Just wondering if anyone is doing any home automation using the popular Arduino boards? I really would love to see more posts about this subject, and would be more than willing to set up a dedicated subforum for this :)

Personally, I am planning on building a simple pool controller, and initial testing has been fun so far.

#2 JimS

JimS

    Dedicated Cocooner

  • Registered
  • PipPipPip
  • 458 posts
  • Experience:average
  • Software:Mister House
  • Hardware:Custom
  • Audio:Custom
  • Video:MythTV

Posted 06 March 2012 - 10:11 PM

I have been thinking of using these for remote I/O by using a serial version or a USB version connected to a ddwrt router to network. Some local processing and some by the main controller (misterhouse) seems like a good way to go. Still in the planning stage though...

#3 Dan (electron)

Dan (electron)

    CocoonTech Admin

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 10853 posts
  • Twitter:@CocoonTech
  • Location:Central NY
  • Experience:guru
  • Software:EventGhost, HomeSeer
  • Hardware:Elk M1, Mi Casa Verde Vera, Ocelot
  • Tech:X10-RF, UPB, Z-Wave, ZigBee
  • Audio:AirPlay
  • Video:SageTV
  • CCTV:analog, ip, dvr
  • Phone:OBi100/110

Posted 07 March 2012 - 07:49 AM

It's too bad the ZigBee chips are so expensive, because they do provide you with some great connectivity options. What site/store do you prefer for purchasing parts? Sparkfun?

#4 firstone

firstone

    Cocooner

  • Registered
  • PipPip
  • 36 posts

Posted 07 March 2012 - 09:33 AM

I'm planning to use arduino, to convert my intex pool salinator from built-in timer to PC controlled. I think the arduino/software part should be pretty easy. But I don't know if I have enough electronics skills to pull it off. Someone has done something like that but the modifications detais are scarce.

I've also used arduino to control my xmas lights display (with 10 RGB strings). The eithernet speed was a little slow. Hoperuflly, Arduino Due, if and when it gets released, will be fast enough.

#5 mrhappy

mrhappy

    Cocooner

  • Registered
  • PipPip
  • 19 posts

Posted 07 March 2012 - 06:11 PM

Using the Firmata library I wrote a basic HS plugin that enabled an Arduino board to be used as a simple Digital In/Out/Analogue Input device. Never actually used it beyond testing but it appeared to work although it had a couple of little bugs.

Got to admit that the Arduino language does not appeal to me (being a bit close to C++), much prefer the PICAXE as the language there is basic derived. Keep meaning to make an effort though and get stuck in.

#6 firstone

firstone

    Cocooner

  • Registered
  • PipPip
  • 36 posts

Posted 07 March 2012 - 11:37 PM

It's not close to C++, it is C++. And you can use most C++ constructs (with few limitations). Coming from basic, I can see how it might be a problem. But coming from C++, it's very easy to use.

Edited by firstone, 07 March 2012 - 11:37 PM.


#7 video321

video321

    Dedicated Cocooner

  • Registered
  • PipPipPip
  • 777 posts
  • Location:NJ
  • Hardware:Elk M1, Mi Casa Verde Vera
  • Tech:Z-Wave
  • Audio:Custom
  • Video:Custom
  • CCTV:analog, dvr
  • Phone:Ooma

Posted 08 March 2012 - 09:12 AM

I just haven't really understood what people do with these boards. I've looked into them, briefly, before but don't know where/why I'd even want one???

Who has some good examples?

#8 Dan (electron)

Dan (electron)

    CocoonTech Admin

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 10853 posts
  • Twitter:@CocoonTech
  • Location:Central NY
  • Experience:guru
  • Software:EventGhost, HomeSeer
  • Hardware:Elk M1, Mi Casa Verde Vera, Ocelot
  • Tech:X10-RF, UPB, Z-Wave, ZigBee
  • Audio:AirPlay
  • Video:SageTV
  • CCTV:analog, ip, dvr
  • Phone:OBi100/110

Posted 08 March 2012 - 09:37 AM

Look at the posts above, it shows some examples ;)

In my case, I want to monitor the temperatures of my pool, and automatically enable/disable the solar based water heater based on various variables, including temperatures. There are expensive pool controllers on the market which can do this, but I wanted more flexibility, and integrate it with my home automation system. It's basically an automation controller which can do whatever you want it to do, without having to invest a fortune into a dedicated PLC device.

These are also very popular in the robotics and RC world.

#9 firstone

firstone

    Cocooner

  • Registered
  • PipPip
  • 36 posts

Posted 08 March 2012 - 10:17 AM

I just haven't really understood what people do with these boards. I've looked into them, briefly, before but don't know where/why I'd even want one???

Who has some good examples?


You would use it anywhere where precise timing digital (or analog) signal is required to be read or written. In my example, I have a string of RGB xmas lights and the signal for 1 is 20 usec high and 10 usec low and 0 - 10 usec high, 20 usec low. This is stuff you can do with arduino. Plus, the frequency of update is way too high for any of the home automation protocol, which operate on seconds scale rather than microseconds scale. There are, of course, ready controllers out there but not for $30 and they're dedicated rather than versatile arduino.

#10 video321

video321

    Dedicated Cocooner

  • Registered
  • PipPipPip
  • 777 posts
  • Location:NJ
  • Hardware:Elk M1, Mi Casa Verde Vera
  • Tech:Z-Wave
  • Audio:Custom
  • Video:Custom
  • CCTV:analog, dvr
  • Phone:Ooma

Posted 08 March 2012 - 11:17 AM

I'm planning to use arduino, to convert my intex pool salinator from built-in timer to PC controlled.

Does that mean the arduino would be able to have an input to read the salt levels and automatically turn it on (along with the pump) when needed?

#11 firstone

firstone

    Cocooner

  • Registered
  • PipPip
  • 36 posts

Posted 08 March 2012 - 11:25 AM

Does that mean the arduino would be able to have an input to read the salt levels and automatically turn it on (along with the pump) when needed?


No, that wouldn't work. Salt level stays more of less constant. What you would want to read is chlorine level. That would be nice but the salinator can't read chlorine level. I'd have to get a separate sensor.

What I want to do is much simpler than that. All I want to do is to connect it to remotely controlled outlet and turn it on and off from the computer. As it is, I cannot do it because it's controlled by microprocessor and if you unplug it, it looses the schedule and doesn't run. So I want to bypass the build-in microprocessor and just control fan, relays and LEDs directly.

Chlorine sensor could be added later.

#12 video321

video321

    Dedicated Cocooner

  • Registered
  • PipPipPip
  • 777 posts
  • Location:NJ
  • Hardware:Elk M1, Mi Casa Verde Vera
  • Tech:Z-Wave
  • Audio:Custom
  • Video:Custom
  • CCTV:analog, dvr
  • Phone:Ooma

Posted 08 March 2012 - 12:13 PM

Yes, I meant chlorine levels - I picked one up myself last year with the small sand filter at a great price and then sold the filter. In the end I got the salt water generator for around $40 or so. :o

So, if I remember correctly...when the generator has it's power restored it defaults it's schedule, right? And you are able to program the arduino to bypass it - nice!

#13 rmasonjr

rmasonjr

    Newbie

  • Registered
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

Posted 22 March 2012 - 11:11 AM

One of the best ways to use Arduino with Home Automation is simple reed switches. On my test bench, I have an arduino connected to an off-brand rain tipping bucket for measuring rainfall. Each bucket tip is .01 / inch.

I want to get into water usage monitoring - again with reed switch counters into the Arduino.

You can also use simple reed switches for garage doors, entry doors, etc.

All of this data would then be fed into HomeSeer so it can be counted, displayed, etc.

#14 linuxha

linuxha

    Dedicated Cocooner

  • Registered
  • PipPipPip
  • 234 posts
  • Location:NJ, USA
  • Software:Mister House, Custom
  • Hardware:Elk M1, ISY-99, Ocelot, Custom
  • Tech:X10-PLC, X10-RF, INSTEON, ZigBee, Custom
  • Video:Custom
  • CCTV:ip

Posted 22 March 2012 - 12:44 PM

I agree with Mason, but not just read switches, anything that would require more 'real-time processing' would be a good choice for a remote (an Arduino, though I also have other processors for this). Here's a message I posted to another message on Cocoontech:

At the moment I'm starting work with node.js, some Arduinos and a lot more. Very cool stuff but I have a ways to go before I can make anything useful. I also don't know what it can and can not do yet.

Okay this should have been posted with the Arduino stuff (sorry too many monitors). But the Node.js stuff does make it easy to toss together a web server and some AJAX to pull together disparate technologies. Right now I'm working with dynamic updates and HTML & SVG. I'm also pulling in data from web service (SOAP) and I hope to be able to display it all on the web page.

#15 radengr

radengr

    Cocooner

  • Registered
  • PipPip
  • 52 posts
  • Hardware:Mi Casa Verde Vera
  • Tech:X10-PLC, X10-RF, Z-Wave
  • CCTV:ip

Posted 23 March 2012 - 03:45 PM

I think it would be great if you set up a dedicated subforum for Arduino based home automation! Actually, you might want to make it a bit broader and have it be "microcontroller" based home automation because some people are doing very cool things with the Texas Instruments MSP430 eval board ("Launchpad") as well.

I am planning on trying a bit with this myself. I have an Uno and a Mega on order, and a bunch of plain ATmega328P chips on order so I can make my own cheap Arduino clones if I get a design I like. Right now I'm looking at using the $6.50 ENC28J60 Ethernet boards to interface my Arduinos. I prefer wired it I can manage it.

Most of my parts have come in with the exception of the Arduinos themselves, but I am looking at using 8 ttl level relay boards to control some things, and optoisolators for a few devices that are lower power. Some people are interfacing X10 RF and PLC with the Arduinos as well.

I think there is a lot of promise in using inexpensive microcontrollers for automation!




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users