ever because I was a youngster as well as saw my very first remote managed light, I got it in my head that this was something that I had to have.  I have always been fascinated by computers, robotics as well as all things electronic, as well as house automation fits completely in the middle of all of that.  So right here I am going to outline my house automation configuration from exactly how I started with just a few controllers as well as remotes, to the configuration I am running today utilizing an open source automation software application bundle ironically named open source Automation (OSA).

To me, a great automation configuration is one that you barely understand is there. The system ought to work with bit interaction from the user. It ought to be in location to not only make the individuals life easier, however to assist save money.

I currently have a 3 bedroom 1 1/2 bath ranch house as well as my goal because I purchased it was to automate as much of it as I could.  My objective was to have the home work for me.  before purchasing the home I had dabbled a bit in X10 stuff, so I had a few things laying around in my parts boxes. starting out in my old home that I rented, I didn’t have the requirement for the huge computer controller, so I started little with a firecracker module as well as a few X10 remotes. now that I had my own home though, I understood I wished to do a great deal more.  I figured that this would be something that I would develop on over time.

So to begin with the bit bit of hardware I had,  I bought the X10 ActiveHome pro bundle as well as started working on some lighting.  I had a few lights in the home that I had set some routines for, which was great as well as all, however I understood I wished to do more.  I purchased a bit much more gear as well as hooked up my garage door.  I had a movement sensor that would at specific times close the garage door for me automatically, like when I would leave for work.

Then I chose that I desired a computer managed thermostat.  I figured what is an automation system if you cannot control your thermostat.  I scoured ebay as well as discovered one made by a business called Residential manage Systems (RCS).  The RCS TR40 is a serial RS485 managed thermostat that appeared like it had a great deal of features.  I put the quote as well as won the auction at $56.00.

After getting the thing home, I got to thinking, exactly how am I going to make this work with my X10 hardware?  ActiveHome pro definitely didn’t have any type of method of operating a serial thermostat.  That stirred up the concern of software.  Do I keep utilizing ActiveHome Pro, as well as discover some outside software application or script for controlling the thermostat?  exactly how then do I get the two speaking together?  having a bit of programming understanding of PHP, I chose to try composing some web enabled code to enable me to fit together the two together.  I called it RemoteWatch X10.  I was able to put up a floor plan of my home with the capability to click on objects as well as manage things.  trying to keep up with the programming myself was a challenge, so I inspected the web to see what else was out there.

I then stumbled on a piece of software application called vCrib.  seeing a Youtube video of it’s capabilities, I understood I desired it. A bit much more browsing on vCrib told me that the name of the software application had changed. The new name for the software application was open source Automation (OSA).  Seeing the videos as well as reading about the abilities the software application had, I was hooked.

It was plugin driven making it expandable which made it a ideal choice. Not to mention it already had the plugin suport for my X10 hardware. though OSA did not necessarily have a plugin for running my thermostat, they did have an open API. Being that I have a programming background as well as that I already had some understanding of the programming required to manage the thermostat, I set out to compose a plugin for it. Within a couple weeks I had the plugin established as well as working. now I had all of my present hardware working with a single piece of software.

After utilizing the software application for a bit I recognised its flexibility. OSA had plugins for the major house Automation brands on the market, such as X10, Insteon, Z-wave, as well as a whole slew of other kinds of hardware. OSA is essentially the bridge that brings almost any type of type of house automation gear together in one piece of software.

On top of my RCS thermostat plugin I have written 2 other plugins for OSA. The very first is the Lightswitch server plugin which works with the Android as well as iOS Lightswitch apps written by a business called Melloware. It enables you to manage your automation configuration from your wise phone. The other plugin I composed was for utilizing my computer’s old parallel printer port as aninput for reading closed get in touch with switch sensors.

My present automation configuration consists of a number of different technologies such as X10, RS485, parallel port control, as well as 1-Wire. whatever runs on an older Compaq computer running Windows XP. My X10 hardware controls the lights as well as ceiling fans in my house, my garage door opener as well as the illumination for my outside pond/water garden. I likewise have a few X10 movement sensors around the house. The RS485 serial connection is utilized to manage my RCS thermostat/HVAC setup. The parallel port interface is utilized for reading a number of different magnetic door switches including my garage door. I have a 1-Wire bus that currently reads temperature from 6 different temperature sensors in my home as well as one outdoors. The outside temp sensor is integrated into my RCS thermostat plugin for OSA to provide it the outside temperature that screens on the wall keypad mounted in my living room.

In my automation setup, I sometimes develop my own pieces of hardware to get the performance that I need. right here are a few examples of my customized developed pieces utilized in my setup.

Parallel port interface board

1-Wire power injector

1-wire temp sensor set up.


Some future plans that I have for the system are:

Installing microphones in the home to execute voice manage of the system. I have started getting ready for this by buying a Shure SCM-810 automixer for dealing with the microphones that will be put throughout the house.

Implementing a system to find whether my wife’s as well as my cars and trucks are house or gone. This will be a step towards much better occupancy sensing.

integrating some kind of bed occupancy sensors. The concept is to utilize it to location the home in sleep mode when we both have gone to bed for the night.

Implementing some method of tracking my outside solar panel configuration that will be utilized to manage different things in my outside water garden.

Integration of OSA to my house movie theater setup.

Possibly setting up RFID visitors for automating door locks.

My setup, in my opinion, will never be completely complete. I will always discover new things to automate as well as different methods to much better use the devices that I currently have in place. OSA is a huge part of my HA configuration now, as well as it will be for many years to come.

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