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Thread: X10 Interface for Car Detection

  1. #1
    Maximum Bitrate skippy76's Avatar
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    X10 Interface for Car Detection

    Dear all,

    Synopsys

    When I get home in my car, I would like the outside lights to come on and also the hall lights. I only want this to happen when dark, and for the hall and outside lights to turn off after a set period of time. I also want a solution that could be used to open a garrage door at a later date.

    Possible Solutions

    I could install a movement sensor, but then that would also turn on for my neighbours, and well, they need to figure things out for themselves. Also, a movement sensor is way to easy and does not leverage the use of my Car PC.

    Therefore, the solution I propose is to make use of my CarPC, wireless LAN and automated home (X10).

    The Solution

    When my car pulls into the drive way, it automatically connects to my wireless LAN. An app (which I shall write) which will reside on my home PC, will detect the CarPC on the network.

    Using the SDK for a piece of software called Home Control Assistant (HCA, check out http://www.hcatech.com), I can control X10 devices in my home (with asstiance of an X10 USB power adapter, check http://www.hnausa.com or http://www.smarthome.com).

    On detecting the car, the software will use the SDK to run a script in HCA. This script will turn on the outside lights and hall lights, weight for a specified time and then turn them off.

    So how does that sound? Anyone else interested? Anyone have any further thoughts?

    Thanks guys,

    Andrew
    06 Volvo XC90
    Use to have installed MII 10000/512Mb/40GB, Lilliput 7", OPUS 90W, Wifi-G PCMCIA, Head Unit Aux adapter, Delorme GPS, XM PCR, Audigy NX, RR
    Car PC downloads: http://carpc.harteveldt.com/

  2. #2
    Low Bitrate Goofus's Avatar
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    Wow, that sounds pretty cool to me. I'll be looking in to doing this also.

  3. #3
    Raw Wave shotgunefx's Avatar
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    Seems like a pretty good idea. Nice and simple.

    I was thinking something similar but for different reasons. I park in a lot behind my house which adjoins a much larger lot. Usually, I'm in the same spot. I'd like two things.

    If the alarm goes off, to pulse an alarm input on my security vcr. So it will..
    1. Beep an alert
    2. Mark the alarm on the tape so I can just press a button to find it on the tape.

    Occasionally, I have to park in a different area. My camera has pretty good coverage, but I'd love for it to always aim at my car.

    The first is pretty easy. I was going to do a varient of this.

    The second, is more suited to you're idea using GPS, depending on the resolution here. (Don't have my GPS yet, so don't know)

    Another thought is modding an X10 RF remote. Like these

    Set up a 555 timer to "press" a button every 15 seconds. This would work with or without a PC.

    I'm glad you brought this up. I have a couple of those remotes and I didn't consider it before.

  4. #4
    What can I say? I like serial. Curiosity's Avatar
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    I use a little credit card controller in my doorbell. It used to use a reed switch, but switched to a relay. You could use one of those or any other one and pulse it when you turn the ignition off, plus connect another button to the alarm.

  5. #5
    FLAC
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    http://www.x10.com/automation/firecracker.htm

    I have this.

    Its a simple (passthrough I believe) that will control lighting from a PC.
    There is some software available for it. Not sure if there is an SDK avail or not. If so, this would be a cool way to control your house lights from your car.
    2011 Nissan Frontier SL
    AMD X3 2.2 | M4-ATX | 16Gb SSD | 2GB DDR3-1333 | MSI GF615M-P33 MB
    OBDPROS USB | BU-303 GPS l LILLIPUT TS | Car2PC adapter | XM Direct | USB Dual band N with custom mag-mount antenna.

  6. #6
    Maximum Bitrate skippy76's Avatar
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    A version is available now...

    Ok guys,

    So I wrote the software yesterday... Yes, it's a BETA but it works..

    So I tried initially to provide a server piece of software that ran on your HOME PC. The idea was that the utility would detect the CAR PC when it arrived home. It checks at a configurable interval, default to 1000 mssecs.

    Problem was that my CAR PC using DHCP client, thus the host name could not be derrived and I could not guarantee what the IP address would be. D'oh, so I left PING as an option for those that may have a static IP in their car...

    I think implemented a second detection mechanism which is a client / server method. When configured to, the server listens on a configured port. The THIN client then attempts to connect to the server at a configurable interval (default 1000 msecs). The port in which the client / server use is configurable. The Server (your home PC) needs to have a static IP though, or at least it can be dynamic but not change too often. Obviously the IP that you configure in the client can't be a public IP as when you are driving around and get online on a hotspot you'll have your lights comming on at home (or what ever you have configured it to do).

    So, once the car is detected, the software runs a Home Control Assitant program (part of HCA, see http://www.hcatech.com). I did this first as it met my requirements. I guess I could add more stuff to the server app to do other things when the car is detected.

    Let me know what you think, and remember it's a BETA... comments or thoughts....

    Andrew

    Update:

    I've created a website to put these updates on:

    http://carpc.harteveldt.com
    Attached Files Attached Files
    06 Volvo XC90
    Use to have installed MII 10000/512Mb/40GB, Lilliput 7", OPUS 90W, Wifi-G PCMCIA, Head Unit Aux adapter, Delorme GPS, XM PCR, Audigy NX, RR
    Car PC downloads: http://carpc.harteveldt.com/

  7. #7
    Variable Bitrate rgardjr's Avatar
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    I've used the X10 stuff in the past and it worked great for what I was doing-controlling my outside lights & Christmas lights. I recently put a Control4 system in and it does exactly what you are talking about. When I open my garage door after dark it turns on my garage light and entry hall light on. I also have it set up to turn those lights off after 10 minutes if I forget. Good luck, I wanted to get in on this thread so I can track you progress.
    '03 Sierra Denali

  8. #8
    What can I say? I like serial. Curiosity's Avatar
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    It may have been easier just to check for your car on the LAN using the cumputer name. In C it's just if( PathFileExists( "\\\\MyCarPC\\" ) ) it's there. (Each \\ = 1 real \) I do that from the car to detect when I'm home. Well, different name.

  9. #9
    Maximum Bitrate skippy76's Avatar
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    I'll add that detection mechanism as an option. Doing the Microsoft networking derivation each time is a bit more overhead, but hey... they more options the better right...
    06 Volvo XC90
    Use to have installed MII 10000/512Mb/40GB, Lilliput 7", OPUS 90W, Wifi-G PCMCIA, Head Unit Aux adapter, Delorme GPS, XM PCR, Audigy NX, RR
    Car PC downloads: http://carpc.harteveldt.com/

  10. #10
    FLAC Chuck's Avatar
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    Years ago before car-pcs I used an old garage door opener remote and hooked it up to my dome light witch had a 5-minute delay and that would turn my outside lights on.


    Come to think of it that was before computers Period .
    2001 S10 ZR2

    Chucks Skin - to old

  11. #11
    Maximum Bitrate skippy76's Avatar
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    So would anyone find it useful if I added the option of being able to execute some application(s) when the car is detected? I was thinking originally just using this in the X10 world, but figured that someone may want to execute some app instead, like opening an email client.
    06 Volvo XC90
    Use to have installed MII 10000/512Mb/40GB, Lilliput 7", OPUS 90W, Wifi-G PCMCIA, Head Unit Aux adapter, Delorme GPS, XM PCR, Audigy NX, RR
    Car PC downloads: http://carpc.harteveldt.com/

  12. #12
    Maximum Bitrate skippy76's Avatar
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    Ok, version 0.2 released and available at: http://carpc.harteveldt.com

    I've added the ability to detect the car using a //Host/share combination.
    06 Volvo XC90
    Use to have installed MII 10000/512Mb/40GB, Lilliput 7", OPUS 90W, Wifi-G PCMCIA, Head Unit Aux adapter, Delorme GPS, XM PCR, Audigy NX, RR
    Car PC downloads: http://carpc.harteveldt.com/

  13. #13
    Maximum Bitrate skippy76's Avatar
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    Ok... so that's good for the moment, well, at least for today!

    I've now released Verion 0.3. It can be downloaded at: http://carpc.harteveldt.com

    The latest version provides the ability to turn on and off the HCA usage and also allows the user to configure up to 4 windows apps that can be launched on detection of the car.
    06 Volvo XC90
    Use to have installed MII 10000/512Mb/40GB, Lilliput 7", OPUS 90W, Wifi-G PCMCIA, Head Unit Aux adapter, Delorme GPS, XM PCR, Audigy NX, RR
    Car PC downloads: http://carpc.harteveldt.com/

  14. #14
    Constant Bitrate gizak's Avatar
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    Hmm, this sounds pretty cool. I already got a few ideas for it (mostly for fun) - when you pull in, have your server play a wav announcement, "Honey, I'm home!" Lol. Or more useful, if you have PC's you keep off during the day, when you pull it have the server execute wake on lan to boot up those PC's. Hmm, maybe I should get some of that x10 stuff.
    -GiZak-
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  15. #15
    Low Bitrate widower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skippy76
    So would anyone find it useful if I added the option of being able to execute some application(s) when the car is detected? I was thinking originally just using this in the X10 world, but figured that someone may want to execute some app instead, like opening an email client.
    For my x10 controller, I'm able to run dos commands to turn things on/off. No need for any additional software. If your network detection software could run any dos command/s, then I would be laughing.

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