Home Automation

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by R!f@@, May 21, 2010.

  1. R!f@@

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
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    Hi there....it's me...again
    This time I like to get a few suggestion from more experienced programmers here.
    I am thinking abt making prototype controller on home automation. I have had a meeting with a software designer or a programmer who is willing to make the GUI a and user interface app for me.
    Now the main question is which type of processor is best suited for this.
    The main facts that we talked abt was the communication between the PC or the user input processor to my hardware processor whose main job is to process the user input command which is fed into the touch panel and activate the necessary IO.
    We decided to go with TCP/IP protocol as this is feasible and can be used over long distance. Distance means the touch panel and hardware controller which drives the necessary power switches.

    Q 1) Is this method more feasible or does any body have any a better idea.
    Since I donno about implementing this I am asking the more experienced ones. I like to know what is better . Ethernet or wifi or blue tooth. Ones a communication method is finalized I am going to study the necessary protocols and it's programming methods. First I like to know which is best suited for this if any body has an idea please let me know.

    Second question is what is the best processor suitable for this.
    I can go for anything, what would you recommend, again studying is not an issue. what should I choose that can do the communication and processing, is it Microchip, ARM, Atmel or propeller.

    Please throw in a suggestion.
     
  2. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
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    Just from my personal experience with home automation, it is usually better to implement one or more communications protocols so it can be more adaptable in the future, and it leaves a lot more options open for different transmission mediums... I have seen a forum where they deal with exactly this kind of stuff (http://forums.homeseer.com/index.php?)...

    I did a partial Home automation for my children's bathroom >> http://www.morse-code.com/id155.htm, I used the ethernet option with mine, but I implemented a few different protocols (BSD,TCP/IP, SNMP, it is also DHCP enabled).... and if you use the Ethernet option, it would be easy to use WiFi with it by connecting it to a wireless router... You can also try another wireless, such as Zigbee, or MiWi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MiWi).....

    I am also in the progress of making another extension of the system using DTMF control (it is the Phone Ring Inhibitor project that is in these forums) so I am adding another way of communication for the system, and I will also be implementing the X-10 protocol since there are a lot of modules for appliances and lights (plus for security such as cameras and motion sensors) so I will be able to use these type of devices with the system I am developing.

    For both of these projects, I used the 32 bit Pic32MX uc from Microchip, since they have a lot of libraries and file stacks ready to use in any project, including some for LCD control with touch screen capabilities, etc.Development modules are cheap compared to others, check out Olimex, they make a $25.00 Development board based on the PIC32, so is the UBW32 (with USB on the go.)

    P.S.
    There is also CAN, some home appliances already have this implemented.

    I also did an HTTP server from the pic, so I can access any of the settings or view status of the system anywhere I have access to the internet :)

    Plus, you can also use a PC to configure settings ....

    [​IMG]


    all this, just in my kids bathroom!!

    My .02
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2010
    R!f@@ likes this.
  3. nsaspook

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    Aug 27, 2009
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    R!f@@ likes this.
  4. R!f@@

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
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    Thanks BMorse. u 2 nsaspook.
    U guys narrowed down my search by a very big margin.
     
  5. R!f@@

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
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    Oh my god BMorse...U are the man..congrats and lots of respect my friend.
     
  6. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
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    Thanks (I guess :confused:) Not sure what I did this time, unless you are talking about the Microchip Design Challenge :D....


    B. Morse
     
  7. R!f@@

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
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    For that.....

    ..where am I ..when I see these things.. I realize I know nothing about the world. So many challenges and so many things to learn..
    I really donno where to start?
     
  8. jamjes

    Member

    May 10, 2010
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    From a standards point of view, its worth looking at which ones have been around the longest. Bluetooth is a baby and could well be never heard from again in 5 years time. WiFi is massively on the up, but you would notice all the different standards being introduced for more bandwidth: 802.11b/g/n etc. WiFi isn't going away, it's being used more and more. Ethernet is tried and tested, completely industrial standard and 10Mb hardware is cheap.

    (Just my 2 cents from a ComputerScientist pov :) )
     
  9. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
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    Well for one, even if blue tooth was not "going" away, it would be useless in home automation unless all your devices are within 30 feet of the controller..... and these are more for networking protocols, for embedded automation, most would use SPI, I2C, CAN, 1 Wire, Zigbee, MiWi etc, for the sensors and other peripherals connecting to the main controller, Zee Wave and X-10 protocols are the most used and pretty much setting a standard in home automation........

    B. Morse
     
  10. R!f@@

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
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    Hmm.. thanks guys. I have enuf info now to start buying things to make a proto.
    Regards
     
  11. rjenkins

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 6, 2005
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    Just for a bit more info, I use:

    HAL2000 (www.automatedliving.com) with an
    Ocelot & SECU I/O modules (www.appdig.com) plus
    XAP800 (www.cleartone.com).
    It also links to a HAI Omnipro security system (www.homeauto.com)

    I have a couple of add-ons on the HAL software, 'Tellme' and 'MyServant'.

    All together it gives full open-mike or telephone voice control and interaction for anything through music, lighting, security, HVAC etc., plus graphical or web control and monitoring of all the same stuff.
     
  12. R!f@@

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
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    thanks rj.
    The thing is that I am trying to cutomise the proto. So My main concern was to find out the best uC for the job which has TCP/IP and a lot of IO's.
     
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