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Author Topic: my Linux House project  (Read 16079 times)

mattsoftnet

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my Linux House project
« on: September 09, 2007, 11:38:38 PM »

I've always loved home automation projects, custom building all my own hardware and writing the software to use it. I'm buying my first house and moving in 2 weeks. having my own place, you know I'll be hooking it up. I've already started work on the project a few weeks ago. it will be using a centos linux server for the core. it can be controlled by any infra red remote, ati remote wonder, command line over ssh, or by the houses own secured website. it will support X10 with a usb device, and my server will have 8 serial ports on the back for plenty of room to wire things up. check out crystal fontz serial displays. mine has white text with blue backlighting and buttons. that goes on the wall in place of a thermostat. something a little more technical, I'll be using rs232 to rs485 converter adapters. they are amazing. plug one into a serial port on the back of your computer, then with only a single twisted pair wire, daisy-chain up to 31 other adapters anywhere in the house. I'll be using cat-6 cable for this. I am a distributor for serial interface cards now too, if anyone is interested. they are custom programmed to use rs485. each one has it's own id programmed into it. they have 6 input/outputs, and 4 analog to digital converters.

my first home automation project I did way back in 2000. I had my whole bedroom wired to a 486 running dos and wrote software in qbasic. I have to say, that was the best home automation software I've ever done. had a nice simple menu on screen, and supported macro's. worked great. my current project, I will completely amaze myself. I've had a lot of time to think about it. being the geek I am, I've even dreamed about the code.. the past few years I've done a lot of php, professionally and on my own. I've just started learning c a few weeks ago. don't worry, I learn fast. I figured out how to access the serial port just last night. I'm moving on to tcp tomorrow night.

what is everyone's experience with X10? to tell you the truth, I've never used it before. looks simple to set up. ever have reliability issues or anything? I'm not sure if my primary method will be X10 or serial modules on an rs485 bus. there will be a mix of both, but not sure yet what I will use for light switches and everything. X10 should be easy to use. light dimmers would be nice.

I would love to have people join in on my project. it will be open source! mostly c in the core, but there will also be a lot of php for the website and more complex macro's. please email me if you're interested. I'm in eastern pa.
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EdMar

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Re: my Linux House project
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2008, 03:03:53 AM »

Glad someone else is interested in Linux.  Since you say you are a fast learner, there was a project a while ago i.e. a year or two that was written in perl and another I believe in C which was for home automation.  If I can remember the name while typing here I will include it.  The only problem I had with X10 control was that the wall switches didn't last too long. I don't know if they just died or my controller was sick.  The other problem was crossing phases.  I guess part of my house is on phase 1 and another on phase 2 ... well if a module was plugged into the phase 2 but the controller into phase 1 it didn't work.  The Old windows 3.1 app acted like it talked but never returned the ACK. Ahhh haaa!! Scott Cravier's home automation believe the url was (www.x10.cravier.org). If you peep around in there there is a ton of perl source code which should work fine with Linux. Please advise. I am new to Linux but worked with Unix systems for many years including Solaris. Good luck with your project ... hope to hear something from you.  My e-mail is open as far as I know. 
regards _ed_
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HA Dave

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Re: my Linux House project
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2008, 09:19:08 AM »

....... what is everyone's experience with X10? to tell you the truth, I've never used it before. looks simple to set up.

Many forum members have been using X10 for many MANY years. X10 is a standard in Home Automation technology. It is simple to setup and use an X10 system... although X10 is not out-of-the-box ready or plug-n-play.

ever have reliability issues or anything?

Of course.

The biggest issues are phase related... which are easily resolved often with simple phase coupling (although sometimes amplification and repeating are required). RF range is sometimes a problem when using the automation interface (CM15A) or with just larger setups. The basic concept of X10 is a signal sent over the powerline to switches and modules. Because contemporary homes have many devices that can absorb that signal or project large amounts of noise on the powerline.... filters may also be required.

I'm not sure if my primary method will be X10 or serial modules on an rs485 bus. there will be a mix of both, but not sure yet what I will use for light switches and everything. X10 should be easy to use. light dimmers would be nice.

You could spend many years (and dollars) in research and development of automation systems that are already available. Running a home.... or programming a home to run itself... is a hallmark of X10 technology.

I use lots of X10 switches, modules, cameras and other devices... to include Active Home Pro software and the CM15A interface. Some minor hacks of devices and the addition of BVC (Bill's Voice Commander) allows me both computer control as well as Voice Control of my home. BVC is a (forum member) user created software written to work with most current X10-computer interface.

There are several active members/users contributing their time and talents to expand the abilities of Home Automation. You should consider joining them in their efforts.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2009, 03:04:24 AM by -Bill- (of wgjohns.com) »
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New ideas for marketing Smarthomes may alter the Home Automation world completely.... and forever.

Charles Sullivan

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Re: my Linux House project
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2008, 10:03:26 PM »

  <snip>
I would love to have people join in on my project. it will be open source! mostly c in the core, but there will also be a lot of php for the website and more complex macro's. please email me if you're interested. I'm in eastern pa.

Before you go reinventing the wheel, take a look at these two existing programs which run under Linux:
  Heyu  http://www.heyu.org
  Misterhouse   http://misterhouse.sourceforge.net

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Yesterday it worked.
Today it doesn't work.
X10 on Windows is like that.

HEYU - X10 Automation for Linux, Unix, and Mac OS X     http://www.heyu.org
 

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