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I need a programmer for my home automation project

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  • I need a programmer for my home automation project

    Hi Guys,

    I need a programmer for my home automation project

    I wrote down a little document where I'm throwing ideas of how to do this. Offers, questions and comments are well taken.

    Hope that you understand what Im trying to get to words.
    The system is with 10 zones and as many fusion brain needed (Better more than less for additional options) Maybe is the best if you tell me how many is the best and whether its better the V4 or V6 for this project. Im planning to buying everything what I can use from the Store at unless you know a better place to buy from

    Each zone will have following
    Touch screen with the control panel (probably some usb powered lilleput screen 800x600 what all connect to the main computer )
    Lights (12v volt LED ceiling lights 3 channels each room dim control and 5additional light/gadget (on/off) buttons)
    Shades (With tilt and retract function (Still figuring that a little bit out because I dont have the shades yet. But they are motorized with tilt right/left and retract and close function so (4functions)
    Thermostat (Showing current temp and to adjust temp with a floor heating control)
    Photosensors to be economical with light useage and to save electricity when more bright outside than inside.
    Motion sensors activate lighting and turn off X minutes after no movement.
    Auto/Manual mode button
    Gate button (A pulse button since there is only one button to the gate)

    The zones are following
    1. Bathroom 1st floor
    2. Bathroom 2nd floor
    3. Entrance/Living
    4. Kitchen
    5. Garage
    6. Hallway 2nd floor
    7. Room 1
    8. Room 2
    9. Room 3
    10. Room 4
    11. Technical room where the computer is are no controls for the room itself but in that computer I need to be able to control all zones (this skin needs to be accessible via wifi tablet pc with windows so its possible to control everything from the tablet pc)

    The light function
    The idea itself is based on energy saving and since I will connect solar and wind power to the house the most acceptable voltage is 12v Dc. But I have 220v as well but not used for the automation part unless via relay only to trigger a 220v application.
    AUTO/MANUAL mode button for each room and also one master AUTO button in the entrance/living screen.
    The AUTO mode is thought to compare the light between the shades and the window and the light inside the room. One photo sensor is to the window and one is inside the room. This applies as well to the thermometer. The idea is to use the light/heat from outside and to save lighting/heat blocking if not needed. I need to be able to input a certain amount of light (LUX or whatever is comfortable to use) to define what 100% lighting is. And to have the lights adjustable with 0-20%-40%-60%-80%-100% power. For an example if the screen is in AUTO mode and the 100% light would be 500LUX and I would choose 40% light. The program would check if there would be greater light outside than inside and tilt the shades to reach the 40% light amount required (40% off 500LUX) and turn off the lights. When its darker outside its just applying to reach 40% LUX level.
    In the temperature section it is as well to see if there is hotter between the shades and inside of the room and then to open the shades for the heat to come in. The inside temp sensor is used to control a Solenoid valve what is normally closed but when needed more heat in the room it initiates (relay on/off) the valve and activates the heat in the floor.(this valve is 12v)

    What Im planning to use for this is following.


    Fusion Brain Version 6/4 or 10pcs
    10pack of 25A Relays 10pcs
    Ultrasonic Distance Sensor 10pcs
    Photosensor 20pcs
    Thermometer 20pcs
    Lilliput 7 Inch USB Powered WVGA Touch Screen UM-70/C/T Monitor 10pcs
    Mosfet output board xxpcs

    Thats pretty much the idea. Of course it will adjust to what is possible and not. That is if you are still interested. Like I said earlier I can mess with the xml files like copy and paste create buttons or change values or some simple stuff. But the skins and the real programming Im completely lost in that area.

  • #2
    You're looking at quite the project, what's your budget for programming alone? You know how much this kind of project would cost to pay someone to write you software for?
    "stop with the REINSTALLS, what do you think we got some lame-o installer!!!" - mitchjs
    My Shop


    • #3
      sounds cool!!!


      • #4
        If you are interested in a professional job, I recommend that you hire someone with a background in this kind of work. I also recommend that you own the source code.

        Take a close look at Phidgets too. Fusion Brain products are USB embedded limiting the range of distributed components. Phidgets are network embedded with the use of SBC's; this means you can put them anywhere in the house.

        Be realistic about the project scope. Hire a fixed bid contractor who is not a hobbyist; someone who has experience. Prepare a proper contract with SLA's in place and a project outline.

        Be leary of the "cheapest" bids too.

        David Falkenstein
        Cohesive Technology - seamless is everything


        • #5
          I'm pretty versed in Java, as I'm going to school right now and have a year left. I'd be interested in a project like this because I myself want to put something like this in my house in the near future. If you could educate me a bit more on the specifics I'd be interested in working with you on this. One question though: Is there nothing available on the market that would do something very similar to this?


          • #6
            There are companies that do this kind of automation. For example, take a look at Crestron. They've been doing this kind of stuff for years. But, I hope the OP has a lot of money, because a typical conference room automation upgrade usually starts around $25K. Controlling multiple rooms will definitely add to the cost.

            Of course, it could probably be done by someone that's never done automation before, because there are off the shelf devices that could be put together, but if this is something you want to show off and not constantly be tinkering and fixing bugs, then hire a professional.
            Last edited by kegobeer; 07-25-2011, 08:37 PM. Reason: Typo. Thanks, soundman. lol
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            • #7
              you mean crestron

              i have worked with that a little.. the programming is almost more intensive then the wiring..
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              • #8
                Yep, we've had similar companies do that kind of work in our conference rooms. The wiring I can handle, but the programming is a real beeyatch. If I recall, it can be $5K just to get the guy that programs the devices to come to your business to "finish the job".
                1999 Mercury Grand Marquis GS with: ASRock E350M1 w/4GB RAM, 80GB Intel SSD, Opus DCX3.120, Visteon HD Radio + HDR-USB, PL-18N wifi, OBDLink Scan Tool, BTA6210 BT, BU-353, Win 7 Ultimate, CF 4.0, Alpine MRP-F240 + MRP-T220, RF Punch 1572s, Kicker 8" Comp.


                • #9
                  Glad i'm not being out bid so far . I'm going to respond to you via facebook and give you an honest assessment.
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                  • #10
                    Hi Runar!

                    Based on you name I guess you're from Norway!

                    I've just added automation to parts of my home and is moving forward to include the rest of the house. My system covers heating (water and electrical), lights, outlets, temperature sensors, motion sensors, ambient lighting sensors, access control and a bit more...

                    I have taken a different approach than you; I was redoing my garage and had to redo the electrics in it so I designed a new control cabinet that the electrician installed. This controls everything in the garage, and it's using normal wiring. The house will be controlled with wireless equipment, here I'm using ZWave since it's an open and recognized standard/protocol for homeautomation (And you can get open source code for usb controllers). Schneider electric has some nice ZWave components as well as quite a few other suppliers at

                    My main controller is a softPLC (Computer based plc from Beckhoff; which has interfaces and communication interfaces for just about anything you can dream of) since this is a more scalable and universal approach. I've also included communication interfaces for EnOcean and ZigBee to allow for more wireless equipment.
                    The plc approach also opens up for communication with EIB/KNX equipment and also the use of protocols like BacNet/IP. I also work at a automation company where we use plc's on a daily basis so it was a natural route for me.

                    Programming a plc can be a bit more advanced than a fusion brain but also gives you a few more options.

                    For local screens I was planning on using older SmartPhones like HTC HD2 and so on. This gives me a local screen with wifi and all programming options (plus the added option of local mediaplayers and radios), this phone then talks to my plc via wifi.

                    There are a few important questions to address before embarking on a project like this:

                    - Budget (this can be costly!)
                    - Compatibility with existing equipment (it's smart to keep your system open in case you see something from a supplier that you'd like to incorporate in your system).
                    - future expansions / replacing broken items (In other words: Can the items you've used be replaced in 5 to 10 years time when they no longer work and you don't live there anymore!).
                    - "Openness" (If you're planning on programming / expanding it yourself the systems has to be open).
                    - Future plans
                    - Lifespan/support (in case you move out of the house)

                    Another question: Is this an upgrade to an existing house or a new house? Selecting the correct setup for the two options can have a great impact on cost!
                    Last edited by Borte; 07-30-2011, 05:01 AM.
                    Failure is not an option...
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                    • #11
                      I am a crestron programmer, and from what i can tell you

                      what you think you will save on hardware will kill you in programming for it.

                      Crestron may (will) cost more but in the end, its solid hardware, and you will find all the parts needed to do that job.
                      Especially when you are talking critical systems like lighting and HVAC.

                      Hardware Advice, Crestron does make replacement switches that are wireless, and just swaps over,
                      same with Thermostats.

                      Those are easy, and givens you load level control, and fb, and its quite easy to do what you are looking to do , based on motion and photo sensors.

                      Ditch the lilliputs, use cheap android tablets or ipads or Itouches. They are already capactive and easier to wall mount and come will all the needed hardware, you supply power, and they work wireless. Interface for ipads and android tablets already exist for crestron, control4, amx, so in the end its less figuring and cost effective (~200 for a 7" android tablet)

                      Programming varies, how pretty, how functional etc...but core of it looks like 8-10 hours, and 3-4 to polish the user interface.

                      Just offering advice