Fun with home automation

electron

Administrator
Staff member
Someone's a little grumpy today ;) The video has been posted all over the net, but it is indeed fun to watch.
 

ChrisWalker

Active Member
It should be easy to put something fun together for the holidays with Z-Wave as well. I'd be willing to donate a few copies of our Z-Wave PC SDK to a few people. And I'd personally give you a 15-minute introduction to the SDK over the phone, to get you up and running immediately.

If any of you have some C# or VB.NET coding skills, this would probably be a weekend project--and you'd get lots of street cred ;)

You could make:
* A web service/webcam combo which let people turn on/off your Christmas lights over the Internet
* A sychronized music/light display (like the one in this thread).
* Well, you all are a creative bunch, so I'll let you throw more ideas out here . . .

Chris

EDIT: We did some speed tests (for which I'll post elsewhere), and I think this is quite doable. We were able to achieve (with no extra performance tweaks) response times of 60ms (i.e. 16 on or off commands a second) with nodes in direct range, and full 2-way acknowledgement. Then, we created a special build which threw out the acknowledgements, and got ~30ms response times, or about 31 on or off commands a second! With some Intermatic HA02 or HA04 plug-in modules, a USB controller, a copy of the PC SDK, and some strands of LED Christmas lights, this is be _very_ doable.
 

jlokanis

Member
Sorry for posting something that you all have seen before. I didn't see it posted already but I suppose I could have done a more through search... :D

I guess I am not at the cutting edge of internet surfers since I was this for the first time today.
;)
 

kwilcox

Active Member
Damn! First time I've ever seen that! I'm living in the dark in more ways than one it would seem...
 

PatA

Member
I think that Z-Wave will be eventually used in synchronized Christmas light displays, but someone will need to develop the software to easily accomplish this. Right now, I use several Intermatic HA03 dimmer modules to turn on and off my Christmas tree and window lights, but it would be nice to eventually use HA02 appliance modules to incorporate them into my computer-controlled outdoor light display.
 

ChrisWalker

Active Member
PatA said:
I think that Z-Wave will be eventually used in synchronized Christmas light displays, but someone will need to develop the software to easily accomplish this. Right now, I use several Intermatic HA03 dimmer modules to turn on and off my Christmas tree and window lights, but it would be nice to eventually use HA02 appliance modules to incorporate them into my computer-controlled outdoor light display.
PatA,

What type of computer-controlled system do you have controlling your outdoor light display? Do you need a programming library you can use to easily control them? Do you need Z-Wave integrated into the current software you use? Do you need new software which uses Z-Wave out of the box?

I'm pretty sure we have something around the lab which either gives us what we need, or makes it possible for one of the many talented people to pull something together quickly.

Also, you'll want the Intermatic HA04 "indoor/outdoor" appliance modules for your outdoor Christmas display. They're marked as suitable for "dry, damp, and wet locations."

What kind of interest is there in a "choreographed Z-Wave" software program? One of the University projects we're working with right now is doing some really cool choreographed Z-Wave stuff with the PC SDK. They're supposed to be posting it on their website soon; I'll have to get the URL and post it here.

So, when do we get photos of your outdoor light display?!? ;)

Chris
 

PatA

Member
Chris,

Right now I'm using a digital I/O board capable of controlling up to 48 circuits. I'm using a software program called "Dasher v2.0" created specifically for the purpose of controlling computer-controlled lighting displays.

I just finished putting up most of the display this past Thanksgiving weekend, four days worth of work! The rain we had here in Chicagoland didn't help much either. I'll see if I can take some photos this weekend, or better yet, maybe some video. ;) I still need to re-synchronize the lights with some Christmas music because late last year, all my previous synch files got lost after a hard drive crash. :D

(BTW, I e-mailed you earlier today. I've been lurking on this board for some time, but couldn't resist the urge to post on these Christmas-display related threads. It's my closet hobby besides messing around with Z-Wave stuff.)
 

rjsmith0

Member
I have been on the road and just came across this thread, but I setup the display in the link below a few days ago. It really isn't ready for prime-time as it was originally intended for friends and family, but when I saw this thread I felt compelled to post it. I am planning on upgrading the crappy q-see camera this weekend, but you can check it out for what its worth. It is a very simple setup using a linux web server with video capture which also relays commands to a back-end HA server. Last night I registered its own domain to make it easier to access. I will be improving the sites look and feel soon and will be adding a few new features. Already the site has been getting quite a bit of attention by word-of-mouth, hence my plans for improvements. Let me know what you think, but go easy on me... It was only supposed to be a simple project I did one afternoon with spare parts... ;)

Here's the site: www.holidayautomation.com

Joey
 

bfisher

Active Member
I watched for hours waiting for someone to walk up to your front door so I could turn off all your lights - but it never happened! (kidding) Cool stuff!
 
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