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Quick update 19-8

Still awaiting delivery of the RFID unit and power supply for the electronic lock so haven’t been able to make much progress on it other than running cables to the lock and position for the RFID reader. Hopefully should be here in the next few days.

In the mean time I have been playing with home automation software and think I have found the one I’ll use as it can interface not only with Insteon and X10 but any serial or IP connected device which will allow me to pull temperature, humidity, voltage and all sorts of other data into the system on which to make decisions from.

eg: turning the bathroom fan on when the humidity rises, cooling fan in the rack when the temp rises, email/sms notification of power outages, etc.

The software is called Home Control Assistant and is around $160.

I have ordered a USB/serial connect 4 relay board that I will interface with it to allow low voltage switching for things like the Kitchen amplifier, cooling fan in the rack and also to be able to unlock the door from the automation interface.  The unit is also capable of bluetooth or WiFi with a module but will be connected via USB. Picked it up for $35 on eBay.

 

Have also ordered a pair of DHT22 temperature and humidity sensors and a 5 pack of DS18B20 water proof temperature sensors.

DHT22 Temp & Humidity
DS18B20 Temp Sensor

DHT22’s will be mounted in the bathroom and laundry to allow automatic fan control when humidity rises.

DS18B20’s will be used mostly for data collection and also to trigger cooling fan for the rack.

More coming when the post man gets here 🙂

uRADMonitor

I recently read about the uRADMonitor project and contacted Radu who runs the project to get on board and get a unit up and running here in Australia.

You can read about that building of the board here which in it’s self is amazing to see.

Bit over three weeks in the mail and here it is 🙂

All the way from Romania
All nicely packaged.
Package contents. uRADMonitor, USB cable, CAT5 cable, USB power

The unit is to be mounted outside under my veranda which means getting both network and power out to the unit. I opted to do a somewhat DIY POE method to save running multiple cables.

This involves splitting out the two unused pairs in the CAT5 cable (Brown & Blue) at both the switch end and the unit end to allow power to be “injected” at the switch and extracted again at the unit end.

In my setup I have only connected the data wires to the patch panel and the power wires are connected to a length of wiring running off to the power supply as shown below:

Cable is split at the rear of the patch panel with the unused pairs being connect to a 5V PSU.

Then at the unit end the data wires are terminated and the power wires split away for a power jack to be soldered onto.

uRADMonitor POE end
POE Voltage at uRAD unit

Next came mounting…

All mounted up.

Connected up the power and is now transmitting away 🙂

USB “Charger Doctor”

Just a quick post today, received this in the mail from China today. A USB voltage and current tester for a whole $2

Nice simple setup plug one end into a USB port and connect the device you want to the other end and the display changes back and forth from current to voltage every few seconds.

Measures 3.5-7V and 0-3A.

Lets connect it up:

Unloaded USB port voltage.
4.91v
4GB USB stick connected.
0.08amp.
Connect to a USB 2.5″ HDD. 0.45amp

Nice simple device that does what it says on the box and quite useful for diagnosing USB devices, well worth the $2 to have around for the odd time you even just want to know how much current you’re getting out of a charger.

 

Front Door Electric Lock Part 1

Started on the installation of the electronic lock for the front door today.

Eventually the plan is to have RFID control as well as integrate it with the Insteon system for control from the smart phones, computers, etc.

Is pretty rough around the edges atm but it will have to come out for cables to be run to the back soon so I’ll file the edges and put some paint on make it a little prettier but for now it’s in and functional ready for the next lot of parts to arrive 😀

Electric Strike Lock
Of course had to open it and see how it work 🙂
Removed the old lock part and start making the hole bigger
Hole expanded
Installed
Installed and closed

Chumby One

First read about the Chumby a few years ago but at the time it was quite expensive to get one here in Australia and so mostly forgot about it until I read an article the other week mentioning that the Chumby was back!

The Chumby is a bedside clock replacement with over 1000 apps you can cycle through from clocks, weather, Facebook, picture slide show, etc.

Shipped from the USA on Tuesday and arrived Friday morning, time to unpack it 🙂

What do we have here? All the way from the USA
All wrapped up
Chumby One Front
Chumby One Back
Chumby up and running

Now time to load some “apps” up and have a play.

Eventually hope to write an app to integrate into my Insteon system allowing bedside table control of the whole house.

The Insteon Hub allows HTTP requests to be used to control devices and the Chumby uses Flash Lite so shouldn’t be too hard.

SockITz

Ordered 2:20pm yesterday and on my desk 9am today, can’t complain with that 🙂

First one I thought I’d change is the power point on the Kitchen bench, nice central location to access and have phones out of the reach of little ones.

Installation took less than 10 minutes only hampered by having to cut a bit more plaster away to fit the SockIT back into the wall.

Will be sure to report back after a few months of use but so far loving them 🙂

You can find out more about SockITz here.

What have we got here?
Pair of Sockitz with 3.5amp USB charging.
Old power point in Kitchen
Old power point in Kitchen
Sockiz wired up
Sockiz installed

Sockiz installed and in use

Lounge TV Mounted

After having the TV sitting on a coffee table for months I thought it about time to get it up on the wall.

Network and aerial were already running down the wall so they were just pulled back up from the wall plate and re-terminated.

Power is being run down with an extension cord in the wall currently until I organize something better.

Network, aerial and power cables in wall.
TV mounted up and power routed through face plate on the wall.

Cupboard Rack Build

When the house was getting built I made sure to get power and a phone jack run into the top of the linen cupboard in anticipation of networking, storage and home automation requirements .

It quickly became quite a mess with cables hanging everywhere so it was decided it was time to clean it up and get it into a rack.

From top to bottom:

24 port patch panel

Linksys 24 port smart switch

3RU case containing Netgear ADSl modem, Router Station Pro and PSU’s

1RU blanking plate with 3x 20w per channel class D amps.

(To Drive Bathroom, kitchen and deck speakers)

 

Still a bit more to do on cable tidying and I’m going to get some blanking plates to cover the bottom up and then possibly build a second rack next to it to house the NAS and drives.

Before the rack/tidy up
All cleared out
Racking the amps into a 1U face plate
First parts racked up
Everything racked up
Everything racked up and powered up

Spa TV Install

After the speakers were installed it was quickly decided that we best have a screen as well.

I had a spare 17″ lcd lying around which I paired with a Raspberry Pi running XBMC.

12v and VGA run from the back of the screen back to the main rack keeping all the mains voltage well away from the bathroom.

The wall before we began
Hole all cut out
Bracket, cables and plaster in place
Raspberry Pi to drive both the screen and ceiling speakers. Screen is via a HDMI -> VGA converter through the roof.
Initial testing
Tinted glass and tiles in place

All Finished including chocolate stains from the kids…

 

And Youtube video of it up and running: