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A project log for Home automation using RF mesh network and arduino

Creating home automation sensors and controllers that can be used around the house forming a mesh network for communication

LewisLewis 01/16/2016 at 14:060 Comments

This is my first log of 2016, yet again life has got in the way of this project. Over the last few months I have been gathering equipment for Smart home control and home automation and things are finally starting to take shape.

TV Distribution:

A few days ago my new 4x4 HDMI Matrix arrived. This allows four HDMI inputs to be distributed to four televisions around the house with two-way IR remote control all through a single cat6 cable.

Audio distribution:

Last year I bought an audio matrix - XAP800 to handle the multi room audio, I have also added a Sonos connect as an input for the matrix. This will allow internet radio and apple music to be streamed around the house. I went with Sonos because of the capabilities of the system and compatibility of the app with many different internet radio and music sources.

Lighting

Last year I bought a Philips Hue starter kit. It is very expensive at around £50 per LED bulb and there is no way I could change every bulb at that price. Philips also make Livingwhites bulbs which integrate with the Hue controller. They have also recently released white LED Hue bulbs at about £15 each. The colours are great to have in some rooms and the white bulbs can be used in all the other rooms. I also have a few LIFX bulbs around, these have Wi-Fi built in and are great to start with as there is no expensive controller.

Heating

I have upgraded my existing wireless Hive thermostat to a nest thermostat. The nest uses smart controls such as presence sensors and learns how you like the heating. This is a true home automation product and I am amazed how easy it was for it to learn our heating patterns while it also saved energy by not heating an empty house. My only issue with nest is that it goes into auto away mode if you do not enter the room with the thermostat for a while. I aim to overcome this by integrating it into my automation system which will have more presence sensors around the house.

Appliance control

I bought a few smart plugs which with an online tutorial I managed to hack and connect them to my openHAB server. So instead of them sending a signal through the internet to a server somewhere and waiting for it to send a signal to the switch, it is now instant and does not rely on a working internet connection.

Home automation software

The raspberry pi 2 is fully setup and running openHAB 24/7. It currently does not control much as I have one sensor and one smart plug connected to it. I am going to expand this system over the next few months to control TV, Audio, Lighting, Heating and appliances around the house. More logs will come soon with more detail but if you are looking for a place to start out I really recommend the Home Automation for geeks website. http://homeautomationforgeeks.com/

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