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Author Topic: Tis the season... Home Automation Season. New ideas?  (Read 3543 times)

petera

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Re: Tis the season... Home Automation Season. New ideas?
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2018, 08:25:24 AM »

You have to try a Raspberry Pi HA DAVE. it's become an x10 haven for me. A single board computer drawing 2.5 amp operating on 5 vdc. Believe me once you get one, load up Raspbian on a micro SD you'll never look back. Guaranteed to extend your life tinkering around with all the different options you can run x10 under. Plug it in, walk away and you'll forget it was even there. -:)
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HA Dave

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Re: Tis the season... Home Automation Season. New ideas?
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2018, 08:44:07 AM »

You have to try a Raspberry Pi ....... all the different options you can run x10 under.

Tell me more.
I am a Raspberry Pi believer (Hometroller owner) already. What software is readily available (other than Homeseer)? Is there a HeyU or something that can run a CM15A like my Hometroller does? Names or links would be awesome.
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Modern automation is much more than turning things on and off.
The use of Home Automation is limited... only by our imaginations.

petera

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Re: Tis the season... Home Automation Season. New ideas?
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2018, 10:10:37 AM »

You have to try a Raspberry Pi ....... all the different options you can run x10 under.

Tell me more.
I am a Raspberry Pi believer (Hometroller owner) already. What software is readily available (other than Homeseer)? Is there a HeyU or something that can run a CM15A like my Hometroller does? Names or links would be awesome.

Heyu for the CM11 and Mochad for the CM15.

To get you started HomeGenie mentioned above will more than fulfill your x10 needs and any other automation  needs you may have.

Here's the download link http://www.homegenie.it/

Domoticz is another one for later once you get familiar with HomeGenie. We can fill you in more as you progress.

Main thing is you get your Raspberry Pi3 and download and install Raspbian Stretch first. Again no shortage of gurus to help you on your way here. This will definitely keep you busy in the long winter months and well into spring and summer.

There's plenty of other users on this site to give you a helping hand along with myself. All you have to do is ask.

Just plug in the Pi and get busy >!
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HA Dave

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Re: Tis the season... Home Automation Season. New ideas?
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2018, 01:35:19 PM »

....... Main thing is you get your Raspberry Pi3 and download and install Raspbian Stretch first. Again no shortage of gurus to help you on your way here. This will definitely keep you busy in the long winter months and well into spring and summer.

So would this be a good device to get?

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0778CZ97B/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=A30ZYR2W3VAJ0A&psc=1

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Modern automation is much more than turning things on and off.
The use of Home Automation is limited... only by our imaginations.

petera

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Re: Tis the season... Home Automation Season. New ideas?
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2018, 03:09:33 PM »

....... Main thing is you get your Raspberry Pi3 and download and install Raspbian Stretch first. Again no shortage of gurus to help you on your way here. This will definitely keep you busy in the long winter months and well into spring and summer.

So would this be a good device to get?

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0778CZ97B/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=A30ZYR2W3VAJ0A&psc=1

Perfect starter kit. You have everything you need there to get the Raspberry Pi up and running.

Once you've purchased it it's just a case of downloading the Raspbian Stretch zip file, making an image of the Raspbian OS on the micro SD card using the Diskimage utility , pop it into the SD card slot on the Raspberry Pi and you're good to go.

You can achieve all this either by attaching a keyboard, mouse and monitor directly to the Raspberry Pi or do it on a Windows machine remotely by logging into the Pi via SSH.

As I said, get the kit first and we can take it from there. :)%

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toasterking

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Re: Tis the season... Home Automation Season. New ideas?
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2018, 04:49:40 PM »

I recently heard from a fellow forum member who is using geofencing with his HA setup. Maybe because I am retired and I don't get out much (except to walk the pretend dog) I haven't figured out how to exploit this great new technology for my setup. Any ideas on how to exploit this newer HA tool.... would be greatly welcome.
Since you asked...  I have some pretty insane expectations for geofencing inside the home.  :o

I've had this dream of adding an accurate means of per-room occupancy detection and people counting for some time now.  The idea is for the HA computer to track where multiple occupants are in the house at all times.  If a person enters a room occupied by 0 people, the lights magically turn on to light their way and, provided the room they exited now has 0 occupants, the lights turn off behind them.  If music is playing on the overhead speakers in the room they exited, it is switched to the room they enter, and the same goes for voice guidance.  If a room is empty for an hour and the TV is still on, automatically shut that thing off.  If someone spends some time at the far end of the bathroom and exits the room without flushing the toilet, flush it automatically.  If it's late and people are asleep (pressure pads in the beds), lights come on at a dimmer level and voice feedback is kept at a minimum.  If all occupants exit all rooms and do not reenter for a timeout period, the last occupant to leave is sent a text message and asked if the house should be locked up.  If the user clicks the "Yes" link, the exterior doors are locked and the security system armed.  The possibilities are nearly endless.

As far as actually scripting all this mess, I have the necessary framework figured out.  The real question has been how to implement the means of detection.  I've researched and theorized with lots of options, including BTLE keyfobs, infrared transmitters, infrared beams, motion detectors, and ultrasonic sensors.  And I'd finally settled on a solution that involves using four VL53L0X time-of-flight sensors (two on each side because the cone of sensitivity is fairly narrow) plus one Arduino board per doorway.  The two sensors would be mounted next to each other on the ceiling just in front of each side of the doorway.  The idea is that a person walking through any doorway would be detected first on one side and then the other.  The software can use this to determine the direction of travel and adjust the occupancy count for each room accordingly, then take actions based on the numbers.  The time-of-flight sensor can also detect distance, so pets, small children, and the door itself opening and closing can be ignored or handled differently.  The Arduino would handle all the data coming from the sensors, identify events and condense them to one piece of data (e.g. "zone a-->b, height 5'8""), and send it to the HA computer via RS232 or Ethernet, and the HA computer would adjust the counts and take actions.  I've read enough spec sheets and played with the scripts enough to put together a plan to make this work.  After enough begging, Adafruit even updated their library for us to handle multiple sensors at once.  The only problem I hadn't figured out was how to figure out which person was where.  That would allow each person to have different preferences.  The other issue is that if the logic misses just a single room transition, it would be dealing with inaccurate data for every move unless there are other sensors in the rooms providing enough information to trigger the logic to invalidate the counts and correct the numbers.  This was also going to require a huge amount of effort -- installing, wiring, coding, tweaking, head-banging -- on my part, so I'd been putting it off until other projects are out of the way and I can truly devote the time.

But now, I'm again rethinking the whole thing because... [cue trumpet fanfare]
Superaccurate GPS Chips Coming to Smartphones in 2018
Broadcom has a GPS sensor out that supposedly reports its location with an accuracy of 30 cm (11.8 inches).  With virtually everyone carrying smartphones now, I ought to be able to leverage this tech, at least for the house's typical occupants, to solve all of the above problems with very little effort and expense.  I imagine I would have to write a smartphone app to get location updates securely to my web server/HA computer without going through a third-party service, but if I can do that, map the latitude/longitude coordinates in all the rooms, and the GPS signals are able permeate the roof and ceiling without issue, the rest should be a breeze, and with no additional hardware needed (other than updated smartphones, which happens on a regular basis anyway).

Good thing it's a single-story house, or I'd need to track the phone's z-axis (elevation) also!
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HA Dave

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Re: Tis the season... Home Automation Season. New ideas?
« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2018, 05:41:59 PM »

Since you asked...  I have some pretty insane expectations for geofencing inside the home.  :o

I've had this dream of adding an accurate means of per-room occupancy detection and people counting ................

My God man..... I share your dream. However... I am not smart enough.... or even ambitious enough. A few years ago... Tuicemen even wrote a Bluetooth program (BlueWatch) that would allow my HA PC to know when a phone arrived and/or left the home. Since home is only my wife and myself.... my problem seemed limited. I thought [maybe] security motion sensors might narrow down the rooms.

I already had BVC (a Microsoft based voice command software for X10). So I could use X10 to control my X10 using a crude microphone setup I had then. Switching ON the only needed area/microphone. However.... my efforts failed. I eventually gave-up and waited for the technology to progress. But keep in mind.... this was years ago. Amazon was still... just a book seller.

With the addition of Alexa in the last year or so.... WAF for my automation has increased greatly. Once the wife became accustomed to asking the device for music.... turning off a forgotten basement light by voice command became a welcome pleasure. :)%

I think the time for your automation dream has come!  #:)

 
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Modern automation is much more than turning things on and off.
The use of Home Automation is limited... only by our imaginations.

HA Dave

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Re: Tis the season... Home Automation Season. New ideas?
« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2018, 05:46:00 PM »

Perfect starter kit......... Once you've purchased it it's just a case of downloading the Raspbian Stretch zip file, making an image of the Raspbian OS on the micro SD card using the Diskimage utility , pop it into the SD card slot on the Raspberry Pi and you're good to go.

Very cool... I am so stoked... I am going to pretend I know what all that means.
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Modern automation is much more than turning things on and off.
The use of Home Automation is limited... only by our imaginations.

toasterking

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Re: Tis the season... Home Automation Season. New ideas?
« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2018, 06:20:12 PM »

I thought [maybe] security motion sensors might narrow down the rooms.
I thought so too, initially.  Motion detectors are a decent means of occupancy detection in theory.  In practice, they suck.  When they work, they can report that something is moving in the room.  But they have a limited field of detection, so they can't accommodate all areas of the room at once; they can't be used to determine how many people enter the room; they can't detect when a person leaves the room; they don't detect subtle motions (Is the room vacant, or is someone in there reading a book or sleeping?).  And even worse, when they don't work, they are easily fooled by pets and sometimes even air currents that cause a temperature differential (speaking strictly of PIR in this case).  Really all they can do is detect that someone or something is probably in the room for a brief instant.  Not good enough!  All of these reasons convinced me that I need to be checking the actual doorways rather than just watching for something inside the room, and that no existing X10 gear is good enough.  And even at that point, it's more of a game of rigging a "trap" for my sensor of choice so that it gets exploited only in the way I want it to.  Sadly, that's pretty much the state of the art for most consumer security tech.  Perhaps someday, I can just place a camera in the room and software can decipher the live feed and be adept enough to follow the human bodies in the video frames and "understand" where they are going and what they are doing, and maybe even determine which person it is.  Truly, that day may not be too far in the future.  But if we now have a sensor that can tell us where it is located with a precision of less than a foot, and the occupants will be carrying this sensor anyway, it all becomes moot, because there is no longer a problem to solve!

(When the fictitious software watching the camera feed is also able to determine what the person is doing (sitting down to watch a movie? stealing something?) and their mood or intention by body language (such that the "system" can play a particular kind of music, lock the doors, call the EMS, etc.) then we can revisit that as a separate project.  And that's when things could get very fun and very scary!)
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petera

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Re: Tis the season... Home Automation Season. New ideas?
« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2018, 12:25:54 AM »

Perfect starter kit......... Once you've purchased it it's just a case of downloading the Raspbian Stretch zip file, making an image of the Raspbian OS on the micro SD card using the Diskimage utility , pop it into the SD card slot on the Raspberry Pi and you're good to go.

Very cool... I am so stoked... I am going to pretend I know what all that means.


You won't believe how easy it is once you get started. As I said plenty here to help you on your way too. :)%
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Tuicemen

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Re: Tis the season... Home Automation Season. New ideas?
« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2018, 01:00:35 AM »

toasterking
What your looking to do with a camera can be done.
it requires a special 3d camera like the Xbox 360 it can tell where in a room a person is how far in and to which side it can also detect if the person is sitting or standing.
Several years ago Nitrogen logic created something like this, Kenrad added several to his setup.

http://www.nitrogenlogic.com

I've mostly experimented with the microphone array in this which in its self is awesome as it to can tell from where in the room a voice is coming from.
I did however play a bit with the camera side as well and can get it to detect me if I'm sitting or standing.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 01:54:44 AM by Tuicemen »
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HA Dave

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Re: Tis the season... Home Automation Season. New ideas?
« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2018, 03:10:04 AM »

....... Motion detectors are a decent means of occupancy detection in theory.  In practice, they suck.

True.

There are Facial Recognition cameras now.... even kinda cheap. But we may yet still be just slightly short of technologically... "there".

That is what makes Home Automation the perfect hobby/interest for dreamers and visionarys. We will never be "there". We may be able to live on the bleeding edge of technology.... as many on this forum has had "smart homes"..... many years before the term was even invented. But our dreams of what we can be will always be further ahead of the available technology. But the challange is always, IMHO, finding ways to exploit what affordable technologies are available.

 
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Modern automation is much more than turning things on and off.
The use of Home Automation is limited... only by our imaginations.

toasterking

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Re: Tis the season... Home Automation Season. New ideas?
« Reply #27 on: January 11, 2018, 10:56:24 AM »

What your looking to do with a camera can be done.
it requires a special 3d camera like the Xbox 360...
That is completely rad.  I really had done no research into this and just assumed the thought was too ahead of the technology.  I still expect that a more precise GPS fix will be more reliable for determining an occupant's position, but I may start playing with this also to see what else can currently be done with it.  I even have a spare Kinect camera I'm not using.  Thanks, Tuice!  ;D
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toasterking

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Re: Tis the season... Home Automation Season. New ideas?
« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2018, 11:21:11 AM »

We will never be "there". [...] the challange is always, IMHO, finding ways to exploit what affordable technologies are available.
Completely agree.  And I think you demonstrate an understanding of this that few consumers do.  But then again, many consumers are not visionaries, don't want to tinker, and would just rather throw money at problems and hope they go away!

However... I am not smart enough.... or even ambitious enough.
While I cannot confirm either, I am of the opinion that the ambition is way more important than the smarts.  Even complete imbeciles develop skills for things they are interested in.  ;)

BTW, some cursory investigation reveals that should I have access to an early Android device this year with the new BCM47755 chip, I should be able to use Tasker to do some experimenting without actually writing any code.  With a plugin, it can detect movement of the device and trigger execution of a script I "write" (build with a touchscreen GUI).  The script can capture the current GPS location and send it to my web server via HTTPS POST.  Theoretically, I could also package the script as a regular Android app once I get it perfected.  How well this works and how much it drains the battery remains to be seen.  I am good on the back end to process the POST data with AutoIt and send X10 commands via X10nets (AHSDK) and my XTB-232, because I already put all of that together for my cloud-free voice response experiment

I haven't played with any ideas on iOS yet.
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Tuicemen

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Re: Tis the season... Home Automation Season. New ideas?
« Reply #29 on: January 11, 2018, 11:38:00 AM »

Depending on which Kinects your using there are Kinects SDKs available for Windows as well there is some open source code if you look hard enough.  ;)

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