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Share your home automation goodies

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garnold
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I’ve just got started into the world of home automation. The more I study the topic the more tools I find! I wanted to share some of the items I’m finding and asking if others might want to share as well.

Here is a quick list of cool software I’m looking into.

Grafana - This is software to analyze and display data

Openhub - A home automation control system

Home Assistant - Another home automation control system

Node-Red - Really cool rules engine

ESP Easy - Firmware for ESP8266 boards that makes setting up IoT devices super easy


   
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DroneBot Workshop
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Posted by: garnold

I’ve just got started into the world of home automation. The more I study the topic the more tools I find! I wanted to share some of the items I’m finding and asking if others might want to share as well.

Here is a quick list of cool software I’m looking into.

Grafana - This is software to analyze and display data

Openhub - A home automation control system

Home Assistant - Another home automation control system

Node-Red - Really cool rules engine

ESP Easy - Firmware for ESP8266 boards that makes setting up IoT devices super easy

Awesome list, I think this is a great thread starter. Thanks for posting it!

I've edited it to make the product names links, hope you don't mind:

Grafana - This is software to analyze and display data

Openhub - A home automation control system

Home Assistant - Another home automation control system

Node-Red - Really cool rules engine

ESP Easy - Firmware for ESP8266 boards that makes setting up IoT devices super easy

 

I also think I'd add If This Then That, if you hook up to their API you have a whole world of IOT integrations open to you.

Again this is great to have a Home Automation topic started, let's keep it going!

?

Bill

 

 

"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak


   
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twobits
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In addition to what technologies people use I am interested in learning what automation fellow nerds have found useful. I have found three of my projects have been genuinely useful -- the rest are just interesting.

1. Lawn irrigation with moisture and rain sensor. Some of the people in my home have green thumbs (I am not one of them) so we have a beautiful lawn with many flower gardens. I was responsible for keeping everything watered.

A few years ago, I put in a programmable home irrigation system. Basically, it waters various zones for various lengths of time. That is pretty normal. I added both a rain sensor which detects if we have had rain recently and a moisture sensor which detect the moisture level in the ground. If we we have had rain recently and the ground moisture is high enough it skips a watering cycle.

2. Zoned HAVC with smart thermostats.  MY mother lives with us and she has a quilting/craft room in the basement. She was always complaining about it being cold down their. So, when the furnace needed replacing I put in a simple two zone system. (upstairs and downstairs) I added two smart thermostats to enable better control over the zones.

3. I put the sump pump and my computer network equipment on a UPS. I don't know it this really counts as automation but it brings a lot of piece of mind. If the power goes out the UPS sends me an email that an outage has occurred. If the power is still out after five minutes the NASes and network storage devices start to gracefully shut down. This leaves plenty of capacity in the UPS to run the sump pump.

I would say the sump pump only runs two or three days per year. Then when I runs, it tends to run about 30 seconds every five minutes until the storm has passed. On average a power outage coincidences with a storm every two or three years.

-----------

Another project which I am looking into is an automatic humidity system. I live in Wisconsin which presents some interesting humidity challenges to do the wide range of temperatures we experience. My house is about 20 years old and was built to be 'green.' As a result it is very tight with little air exchange between the inside and outside

In the summer, I like to keep the basement humidity at about 55%. Between the air conditioner's inherent dehumidifying properties and a portable dehumidifier set to 55% that level is easy to keep.

My challenge is actually keeping the humidity down in the winter.  When It gets cold outside the interior humidity or the windows get a layer of ice which then melts and causes the window casings to rot. The required indoor humidity to prevent freezing depend largely on the type and size of your windows. Through trial and error I have found the follow works for my home:

temp (in Fahrenheit) humidity

-20      15%

-10      20&

0         25%

10        30%

20        35%

40       40&

The interesting bit to this project are:

It can take days or weeks to reduce the humidity. Because everything in the house holds moisture it can take a while for house to reach a new steady humidity.  So, the system would need to look at an online forecast to adjust the humidity rather than just look at the current temperature.

In winter there are two ways to reduce humidity in the home. a) run a dehumidifier and b)run ventilation fans currently located in the bathroom. Dehumidifiers are quite inefficient... and they get much less efficient as the humidity drops. The ventilation fans can be quit efficient depending on the relative humanities and temperatures between the inside and out side.

The goal is to get the correct humidity based on forecast outside temperature. Depending on the current conditions the system would select the most efficient means of reducing the humidity.

Just to keep things interesting. I could also install an air exchanger if the increased efficiency would warrant the upfront cost spread over 20 years of use. 

Just me thinking out loud about my next home automation project. 

Twobits

This post was modified 4 years ago by twobits

   
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Airbrushed
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I work in an office environment.  Since I don't come into the office every day of the week, I share a cubicle in a block of cubicles that were built in a room with several others that also come to the office on different days throughout the week.

The light switch in the room is tied to a motion sensor that will automatically turn out the lights after 20 minutes.  You've probably already guessed that the switch next to the door and the motion sensor are outside of the cubicles, so every 20 minutes, one of us that are present on any given day must then get up to go walk over to the door to let the motion sensor someone is there.

I'm working on a small robotic arm that use a light sensor to activate it to "wave" at the room sensor, something like this:
It is turned on only during business hours when someone is working in the room.
The room lights go out after 20 minutes.
The Arduino device has a light sensor on and will sense the darkness.
It will then wave the robotic arm to let the room sensor know someone is there.
Once the room light comes back on, the sensor on the arduino will stop the motion of the arm.

Oh, sure, it's a lot more healthy for one of us to get up and move once in a while, but it's a lot more fun to create something that can do the job for us.  ? 

Currently, we're testing that it will work by setting up objects that will move by pulling them on a string, but the back and forth movement is working best so far.


   
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twobits
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Sounds fun. Some thing like a Slider Crank with a very low speed, maybe 1 RPM motor would make a great solution.

I once experienced something like that in the Army. It was an S-2 office with 10 people and the motion detector was out side a locked door in the hall. We complained for months with no result. Then one day we we decided that lights out meant 'lights out' so we started taking naps every time the lights went out. The sensor was moved two day later 🙂

--edit

If someone leaves the gadget on when no one is there the building manager might just get mad and throw it away. 

To prevent that you might want to use a remote to trigger the movement.  Whenever someone is in the office they can put the remote on their desk and push the button when the lights go off. 

Depending on the sensor, you can attach a couple of Mylar strips cut from a balloon to a small fan. Whenever the fan comes on, the strips flap around in the breeze enough to trigger the sensor. This is great because  Mylar strips flapping in the breeze highlight the absurdity of the situation 🙂  

This post was modified 4 years ago 2 times by twobits

   
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soumitra
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Hii

 

Am using an ESP32 to turn on AC from the internet anywhere.

What i dis is controlĺing the IR remote by cloning the IR of the Original remote...i learnt from Mr Bills video! So it works fine and triggers the AC! Universal udibots is the IOT site where i configured.

We can clone IR signals of remotes used in various appliances to turn it on or off. Can eliminate use of relay in electrical  line.


   
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garnold
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So here's the making up my two weather stations. These are Wemos D1 Mini boards that will each have a DS18B20 attached to them. For my first run at this I'm running ESP Easy on the boards to get me up and running. At a said time the stations will log their temperature via MQTT back to home base. I printed out the enclosures and the Stevenson screens. 


   
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garnold
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I guess I didn't upload the picture correctly into the post. Trying again....

15613394387765593983093684242077

   
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garnold
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I'm looking for outside safe weather sensors. I'm using a water proof DS18B20 but I'd like something to read humidity as well. Maybe barometric pressure too? Any thoughts?


   
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twobits
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I don't think you are going to find 'weather proof' barometric pressure and humidity sensors at reasonable hobbyist prices. The sensors need physical opening in their housings to read the pressure and humidity of the surrounding air.

The next best thing is to take a standard sensor and put it is a 'weather resistant' box. I like to mount the electronics in the top part of a small project box and drill a few holes in the underside of the box for good airflow. I mount the box in a semi-protected place such as under an eave or porch.

This level of protection seems to be on par with comercial consumer grade weather sensors. 


   
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