Home Automation for the Rest of Us

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Presented at Macworld 2005 (Boston)

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Home Automation for the Rest of Us

  1. 1. Gordon Meyer MacWorld Expo Boston July 2005 Automation For The Rest of Us
  2. 2. Welcome to my automated home
  3. 3. House, wake me at 6AM. If I’m not up by 6:05, try again. OK
  4. 4. If my wife isn’t out of town, wake her at 6:30.
  5. 5. Unless it’s a weekend, then let us both sleep until 8:00.
  6. 6. Start the coffee pot before I go downstairs, and turn on some lights if it’s still dark.
  7. 7. Turn everything off after the last person leaves for work. Bye
  8. 8. Send me an email if anything happens while I’m gone.
  9. 9. Turn on the yard lights a few minutes after sunset.
  10. 10. And if nobody is home yet, make the house look occupied.
  11. 11. When I arrive, tell me how many email messages I have from friends.
  12. 12. And remind me that it’s garbage night.
  13. 13. If the phone rings during dinner, tell me who is calling.
  14. 14. Dim the lights for me while I watch a DVD.
  15. 15. It’s time for bed. Tell me tomorrow’s weather.
  16. 16. Tell me that I left the garage door open. Close it for me.
  17. 17. Turn off the lights. Adjust the thermostat. Be quiet until morning. G’nite
  18. 18. The home of tomorrow, today.
  19. 19. Getting Connected
  20. 20. Your house as the ultimate peripheral Your computer needs to talk to your house. To do this you need to make your house smarter. But you don’t need a new house. You don’t need new lamps. What you need is…
  21. 21. Your house as the ultimate peripheral Your computer needs to talk to your house. To do this you need to make your house smarter. But you don’t need a new house. You don’t need new lamps. What you need is…
  22. 22. X Your house as the ultimate peripheral Your computer needs to talk to your house. To do this you need to make your house smarter. But you don’t need a new house. You don’t need new lamps. What you need is…
  23. 23. X10
  24. 24. Powerline Carrier (PLC) Sends data over household AC Since 1978, now public domain Dozens of brand names Hundreds of devices X10 Technology
  25. 25. • Serialized commands sent over the AC power line • X10 modules are connected to power line and listen for commands • All modules are always listening for commands • Modules respond when they see a command with their X10 address – House codes: A-P – Unit codes: 1-16 – Example X10 address: B5 X10 Details
  26. 26. X-10 Powerhouse The BSR System X-10 Magnavox Leviton Manufacturing Co. HomePro Advanced Control Technologies Stanley GE Homeminder PCS Safety First IBM Heath Kit - Zenith Wesclox NuTone RCA HomeLink SmartLinc Universal Electronics One-For-All Sears Radio Shack Plug 'n Power A rose by any other name... PLC (x10) label names
  27. 27. Devices
  28. 28. Lamp & Appliance Modules • Modules let you control: – Lamps – Fans – Coffee Pots – Radios
  29. 29. Motion Detectors • Passive Infrared Detection • Battery-operated • Sends wireless signal to a nearby transceiver • Transceiver relays signal to the power line • Not exactly instantaneous
  30. 30. Sending X10 Commands • Mini-controllers let you manually send X10 commands • Turn lights on or off • Dim lights • Trigger a macro in your home automation software
  31. 31. Can’t I just turn on a light like a normal person? Common non-geek reaction to home automation
  32. 32. control is not automation
  33. 33. Control Just a trick
  34. 34. is magic Automation
  35. 35. Makes your house a peripheral • USB device • Plugs into wall socket • Receives all X10 commands • Sends X10 commands • ActiveHome Pro CM15A - $50 • SmartHome PowerLinc 1132U - $40 X10 to Computer Interface
  36. 36. The Brains (software)
  37. 37. Indigo www.perceptiveautomation.com FREE COPY!
  38. 38. XTension www.shed.com
  39. 39. Misterhouse www.misterhouse.com
  40. 40. www.shotton.com/muscle MUSCLE A port of Unix’s heyu & xtend /* If it's after 10PM and Unit B2 is off, then dim A7 by 20%, wait five minutes, then turn A7 off. /* % [ `date +%H` -ge 20 ] && [ $(($X10_B2)) -lt 128 ] && heyu turn a7 bright 5; sleep 300 ; heyu turn a7 off
  41. 41. The Zen of X10
  42. 42. X10 is less than perfect • Transmission timing means it takes 1.5 seconds to send commands. – Longer if you’re using wireless devices, like motion detectors • Electrical noise can block commands – Power supplies, electric toothbrushes, fluorescent lights • Normalize your electrical environment – Filters & signal boosters – www.smarthome.com/x10troubleshoot.html • Relax, take a deep breath – Do you drop AirPort because the microwave knocks you offline?
  43. 43. Three Fun Hacks SMART HOME HACKSTM 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools Gordon Meyer FREE COPY!
  44. 44. Detect a Beer Thief
  45. 45. What it does Keep an eye on the babysitter, or your teenagers, while you’re away from home. Courtesy of Michael Ferguson
  46. 46. Motion detector • Mounted on inside of the door • Opening door sends two signals: – motion – dusk-to-light • Silently write message to log • Say“You’re busted!” • Sound an alarm
  47. 47. In the liquor cabinet • Mounted on inside of the door • Opening door sends two signals: – motion – dusk-to-light • Silently write message to log • Say“You’re busted!” • Sound an alarm
  48. 48. In the liquor cabinet • Mounted on inside of the door • Opening door sends two signals: – motion – dusk-to-light • Silently write message to log • Say“You’re busted!” • Sound an alarm
  49. 49. Hacking the hack • Use this technique to monitor: – The fridge, for dieters. – The gun cabinet. – Your car, parked in the garage. – The furnace closet, to log when you last changed the air filter.
  50. 50. Simulate a Sunrise
  51. 51. What it does Gently brightens the bedroom lights so you wake up naturally. Starting 15 minutes before the time that you want to wake up, raise the light level in the room.
  52. 52. SunRise clock http://www.dreamessentials.com/a_clocks_sunrise.aspx $110.
  53. 53. XTension script Scheduled to begin 15 minutes before your wake-up time dim "Bedroom Lamp" to 10 dim "Bedroom Lamp" to 20 in 3 * minutes dim "Bedroom Lamp" to 30 in 5 * minutes dim "Bedroom Lamp" to 50 in 7 * minutes dim "Bedroom Lamp" to 75 in 9 * minutes dim "Bedroom Lamp" to 80 in 11 * minutes dim "Bedroom Lamp" to 100 in 14 * minutes
  54. 54. XTension repeating event Monday—Friday, 15 minutes Early
  55. 55. Hacking the hack Make it smarter • If you’re not at home, because you’ve left earlier or are on vacation, skip the whole process. if (status of "Gordon Home”) is true then dim "Bedroom Lamp" to 10 dim "Bedroom Lamp" to 20 in 3 * minutes [...] end if • Reverse the technique to dim the lights when you go to bed.
  56. 56. Hamster-Powered Night Light
  57. 57. What it does Harness your hamster’s nocturnal running to power a night light. Courtesy of Dan Fink
  58. 58. The specifications • A visit to the pet store showed that most rodents achieve between 40 and 60 RPM on their exercise wheels. • Cheap exercise wheels are noisy, which means they’re wasting energy. Use a ball-bearing mount instead. (Scavenged from a skateboard.)
  59. 59. The specifications • Build an alternator into the exercise wheel – mount the wheel on stand – add a circle of magnets around the outside perimeter – wind two coils of enamled magnet wire (connected in series)
  60. 60. The light • Two bright red LEDs. • Wired backwards to each other, so one is lit, depending on which direction the wheel is spinning. • Plenty bright for lighting the way to the bathroom during the night.
  61. 61. Why stop there? • Calibrate the bicycle computer to the circumference of the exercise wheel. • Skippy regularly achieved 2 to 3 MPH. • The computer keeps track of peak speeds, elapsed time, and how many Hamster-Miles (hM) are run each night.
  62. 62. Skippy the Hamster In memoriam
  63. 63. Resources
  64. 64. Where to turn for help and information XTension website and Discussion List • A treasure-trove of ideas, scripts, and an excellent mailing list – www.shed.com Indigo website and forum • Sample scripts and helpful users – www.perceptiveautomation.com Books • Home Hacking Projects for Geeks • Smart Home Hacks
  65. 65. Best Deals Hardware Package Active Home Pro Starter Kit - $99 Includes computer interface and modules Interface supports both wireless and power-line commands Works with XTension and Indigo
  66. 66. Best Deals Discounted version of XTension if you buy Smart Home Hacks Like getting the book for free! ($25 off) contact: michael@shed.com SMART HOME HACKSTM 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools Gordon Meyer +
  67. 67. www.gordonmeyer.com Thank You Booth 433 -“Meet the Speakers”- 1:00 to 2:00 Today

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