Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 36

Thread: Looking At Home Automation

  1. #1
    FLAC
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    1,718

    Looking At Home Automation

    I'm looking into writing a front end for a home automation system and am looking for your opinions on my approach. I'll be buying a house next year and would like to know what the higher powers think before ripping out all the gyprock to run wires!

    So I've got the home theatre, surround sound, projector, game systems all that stuff and everything is set up for all digital video/sound. What I want to do is to run speakers in every room of the house so when I move between rooms the music is playing everywhere. Will your average Sony home theatre amplifier accomodate this? I see mine has a few extra speaker inputs and a setup for speakers A and speakers B and you can turn A and B on/off independently but I'm thinking this won't provide all the inputs I need to put a speaker in the ceiling of every room. Would I need a special amplifier or multiple? This one is 6.1 channel, 700 watts or so.

    I also want a screen fixed to the wall that will show a picture slideshow like many picture frames do now. Only I want it hooked to the computer so that when a guest touches it during a party, the pictures go away and they have a RoadRunner type interface where they can scroll through all my songs and choose one like a jukebox. Then the main music is now the song they chose from the list and guests can change it all night at will on this screen on the wall. I'm thinking a screen from a busted laptop (roommate has a broken Dell) and a cheapo touchscreen overlay from Ebay. Issues? This will require a long *** VGA cable and USB cable in the walls from the computer. I'd like a wireless screen for this but don't want to think what that will cost.

    I also want the screen to have access to a camera monitoring system so I can see the driveway, public rooms, backyard, and also an interface where I can turn on lights/appliances in each room. Fusion Brain? X10?

    Thoughts? It'll likely be run off an Ubuntu box I'm using as my main desktop right now and I'll probably throw Apache on it for serving web requests. I'll also be able to go to the screen, choose a movie, touch the curtain option to close the curtains and dim the lights for theatre mode, then go back to the couch for the awesomeness that is the movie I chose.
    Ampie Case
    2.5" Hard Drive 80GB Samsung 5400RPM
    256 MB DDR2 PC5400
    Xenarc 700TSV - VGA Monitor
    Intel D945GCLF Motherboard
    M2-ATX-HV

    2005 Honda Civic

  2. #2
    Low Bitrate
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    San Antonio Texas
    Posts
    64
    I really don't know anything of value but I'll bump it for bad assed-ness.
    I have heard some good things about the touchscreen kits but unless you have a screen you want to use, I've heard it's better to save up the coin and get an actual touchscreen.

  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate RyanB95's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Wallkill, NY
    Posts
    128
    I like the idea... and I believe I've stumbled across a company that actually mass-produces/installs these kinds of systems. It's a system that controls basically the entire house. Locks doors, is a thermostat, controls lights, music, etc. I don't know the name of it but it looked pretty cool.

    As far as doing it yourself - I think it's very doable but a Fusion Brain is 100% required to close curtains, control lights and things like that. I believe if your receiver for the home theater system has enough speaker outs then you can have speakers in every room.

    I think there's been some good deals posted here a about large touchscreens from Sharp.. keep an eye open for for them.

    VGA cables can go a pretty long distance without losing signal. I'd imagine you won't have a problem with that. VGA cables are really not that expensive as long as you buy them from the right place (cablesforless.com, cablestogo.com). As for USB, you can only go a certain length before the signal drops and power needs to be introduced in order to boost the signal over long lengths. That's pretty easy as well.

    Can't wait to see the progress!
    1995 AWD Tsi Talon

    Intel D945GCLF
    M2-ATX
    2GB Corsair
    30GB OCZ SSD
    BU-353
    Lilliput EBY-701
    Logitech DiNovo Mini
    LSX VOID 3.3

  4. #4
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Colorado, but Canadian!
    Posts
    10,045
    Quote Originally Posted by RyanB95 View Post
    I like the idea... and I believe I've stumbled across a company that actually mass-produces/installs these kinds of systems. It's a system that controls basically the entire house. Locks doors, is a thermostat, controls lights, music, etc. I don't know the name of it but it looked pretty cool.

    As far as doing it yourself - I think it's very doable but a Fusion Brain is 100% required to close curtains, control lights and things like that. I believe if your receiver for the home theater system has enough speaker outs then you can have speakers in every room.

    I think there's been some good deals posted here a about large touchscreens from Sharp.. keep an eye open for for them.

    VGA cables can go a pretty long distance without losing signal. I'd imagine you won't have a problem with that. VGA cables are really not that expensive as long as you buy them from the right place (cablesforless.com, cablestogo.com). As for USB, you can only go a certain length before the signal drops and power needs to be introduced in order to boost the signal over long lengths. That's pretty easy as well.

    Can't wait to see the progress!
    Yup a Fusion Brain is a good idea, but I have a sort of bias on these things .

    I read you are getting into .NET and you want your own interface, so the programming should be pretty easy for you. All of our software is open source and in .NET.

    And for USB, you can get active extenders, but they wont go forever. USB has a built in timeout. So if data isnt received back in X uS, then it assumes data is lost, and USB wont work. So active extensions will work to point, then no more because of the latency. But the actual control wires (like the relay triggers) are analogue and can go forever (if you keep boosting it for very very long runs).
    Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
    1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
    30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
    15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
    Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

  5. #5
    The Last Good Gremlin GizmoQ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    St Louis
    Posts
    2,347
    Start researching SMARTHOME and X-10.

    If you thought CarComputers were a never-ending, expensive hobby, get ready to be blown away! Smarthome covers everything from AV distribution to automation of everything that can be plugged into your home electrical system to security systems. But it ain't cheap. I haven't lookd into the latest technology for a few years since I sold my last house, but I believe everything you've listed so far can be accomplished through them. I don't know how seamless the organization of it would be but like I said its all there.
    HARDWARE: Fujitsu Stylistic ST5111w/WiFi and dock, internal Hitachi 500G HD, external 1TB HD, Sierra Wireless Aircard 550, DVD-RW, BoomzBox HD radio, XM Commander, Delorme GPS, Saitek X-52 Pro joystick, BluSoleil Bluetooth, TPMS, FB, Elm327

  6. #6
    Confusion Master
    Auto Apps:loading...
    Enforcer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    If you go down to the woods today, You're sure of
    Posts
    14,585
    Speak to JohnWPB, he has his home hooked up, although I think he uses RR to control it (with x10) I think.

  7. #7
    FLAC
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    1,718
    Thanks guys, I've already been all over the Smarthome and X10 websites a year ago preparing myself for this. And there's a guy at my work who wired his house up for X10 back in 1998 and still has most of the hardware he's going to sell me for cheap. I'll play with that and see what I come up with. But I don't think it'll be very expensive because I can do the software myself. Instead of buying a X10 camera setup for $100, I pay $10 for a webcam and write some .NET to incorporate it into a front end.....done. I can even do motion detection by using checksum values. So it'll end up being pretty cheap.
    Ampie Case
    2.5" Hard Drive 80GB Samsung 5400RPM
    256 MB DDR2 PC5400
    Xenarc 700TSV - VGA Monitor
    Intel D945GCLF Motherboard
    M2-ATX-HV

    2005 Honda Civic

  8. #8
    licensed to kill - FKA kev000
    Auto Apps:loading...
    tripzero's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    16.40618, 120.61106
    Posts
    2,494
    Is there any reason you wouldn't go with an already existing system? I've got control4 gear in my place. They have wireless speaker points that you can put audio everywhere without having to run wires, wireless touchscreens, thermostats wireless lights/dimmers and a bunch of other cool stuff. The interface is pretty similar to what you would see in a carPC frontend. They even have an interface for rhapsody.

    The one downfall I have experienced with them is that it doesn't really tailor to the hacker community. The "dealer" that installs it will have ultimate control of the programming of the system.

    So if you really want to tinker (and have the time for it) then maybe grabbing a bunch of fusion brains and wiring up your house is the best solution for you...

    just my 2 cents
    Former author of LinuxICE, nghost, nobdy.
    Current author of Automotive Message Broker (AMB).
    Works on Tizen IVI. Does not represent anyone or anything but himself.

  9. #9
    Constant Bitrate txspazz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    TEXAS
    Posts
    142
    Don't reinvent the wheel.

    http://www.cocoontech.com/

  10. #10
    Confusion Master
    Auto Apps:loading...
    Enforcer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    If you go down to the woods today, You're sure of
    Posts
    14,585
    Quote Originally Posted by txspazz View Post
    Don't reinvent the wheel.

    http://www.cocoontech.com/

    Why not, I think we have come along way from those stone circles.

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-08-2005, 03:01 PM
  2. Nearing the home stretch... Advice? *LONG*
    By Sound of Silence in forum Software & Software Development
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 01-15-2001, 12:45 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •