Getting Started Project / Home Automation / Zone Heating System

Looking for tutorials or general information for a home automation project that would allow me to mechanically open / close a damper based on temperature in each room.

To simplfy, think of each room having a Temp sensor on the cold air return and I want to shut damper when it reaches the desired temp thus forcing air to the rooms that still need heat Once all rooms are heated, furnace shuts down.

Instead of controlling a physical damper, I was thinking of a “balloon” hooked to each damper grill connected to thin flexible tubing fished back to the furnace from each zone. All Zones could be hooked to a single manifold and some sort of motor could index the switch to the zone being adjusted. An air compressor could supply air (e.g. fill a balloon / close damper) or simply release air (open damper). Perhaps a pressure sensor could detect the degree to witch the damper is open/closed or functioning.

FEZ would issue a commands like, MoveToZone(N), CompressorON(10 sec), MoveToZone(Y), ReleaseAir(5)…InflateTo(20PSI).

Later on, I would add the UI, to individually program room temps, add a schedule, or adjust using WiFi.

I am an absolute newbie to FEZ. I simply seeking code examples of similar projects, links to such products (servo motors/air pumps/manifolds/dampers) that I can buy to control using FEZ, or even home automation modules (wireless sensors/programmable thermostats available).

At this point, I am looking to initially just create a 2 or 3 zone “science fair” type model in perhaps a fish tank to demo concept while learning MF. My thought is to attach the sensor to “metal cups” and drop in ice cubes or hot water to simulate temp changes. Fan could blow room temperature air into each zone or turn on a hair dryer.

Welcome to the forum!

Check codeshare:

and community showcase forum:

Any links to sites that sell hardware that can be controlled such as air pumps, servo motors, mechanical dampers etc…?

I watched the video w/ the garage door. What components / motors are used to open / close door in the mini floor sample. Given I would have 10 or more dampers, I’d like to centralize the motor to open/close and minimize cost / noise etc…

Curious what you would suggest to purchase for a simple demo to physically open/close a dampers.

It all depends on what you have. I would google a lot :wink: to research all options.

I have also a system like this in mind.
Currently one room temperature sensor is damaged per year, and they are not quite cheap.
So I decided to start there with my home automation system.

My current design in mind is like that.
I have 1 or 2 G120(HDR) somewere in the house.
One should be equipped with a CP7 display. This would be the main control panel.
Additionally it should host a webservice to be able to control everything from any PC in the house.

For the temperture sensors I have the following in mind.
The NETMF boards are too expencive here. So I would use an Atmel Tiny (costs less than 2€) processor, attach temperature and, some digital IO and build this into the original temperature sensors, which have a simple but nice design.
The Tiny will alse be quipped with a RS485 interface, because this is an easy to use 2 wire long distance bus system.
Also one of the G120 is connected to the RS485.
To turn on/off the heating circuits i would use also the original actors. If you power them on, they open the valve slowly within 3 minutes. On power off it’s turned off slowly.
I think I will prepare a 230V realy board, controlable by a Tiny over RS485 for this issue.

But here comes my little problem:
I’m quite good and experianced in system design and SW development.
But designing actual circuit boards and build them is something I hardly can do by my self.
So far I thought I ask one of my colleges at work to help me with this.
But may be you could jump in here as well (if you have a similar design in mind).