Home automation recommendation

Hello everyone,
As the years passed and the need to create my own home automation system started to get slimmer by the day due to lack of time and the tcpip issues with netmf.

I think it is time for me to start shopping for a cool affordable system.

So to save my self the countless hours of research I’m hoping I can tap on your knowledge and get some recommendations.

What I would like to do?

Open, close blinds and curtains (still trying to find more info on how the curtain part should be built)
Must have triggers, so when it’s dawn the blind starts to open.
When a direct sun is on a window and the AC is cooling the room the blond should close…

Doors, Cameras…

Ah must be controllable form a Windows Tablet, phone…


By “the blond” Do you refer to a beer or a woman :whistle:

Joke aside: I would be interested too.
Have s lot of hardware for room temperature control lying around, but since I need some custom PCP’s and modified cases. It’s lying there for 2 years now.

If someone were to create a simple Alljoyn enabled board with WiFi & a relay on-board, 90% of my home automation needs would be complete… Build it and you will be rich.

I evaluated Enocean components. Although not very cheap, most of them don’t need batteries. They take energy from the environment…

Protocol is well documented, too. But takes some efforts to start… Should be possible to control with NetMF without problems, because all you need is UART…

lol, hey if there is a system that offers a BLOND that can the job why not :slight_smile:

@ Alex111: I’ve looked into Enocean a while back, and they are expensive… as for power my idea is simple and cheap. run the wire to all sensors, equip the sensors with Wireless QI receivers and voila they will appear as not connected while the power runs hidden inside the wall… QI receivers and sender are cheap now a days :wink: this would work until the technology gives us greater distance between charger and receiver!

i’m hoping someone will be able to suggest a system pretty quick…

thanks guys.

@ Jay Jay - If you run a DC power wire through the walls, you also could consider running a single twisted pair wire as well.
By this you could run RS485, where quite cheap chips are available.
RS485 runs for several 100 meters and allows side ways up to 5 meters (normally it’s just a straight line).
At the end of the line you could put a WIFI or Ethernet gateway.
As protocol you could use Modbus RTU. The Network gateway can be some kind of intelligent or a simple Modbus TCP to RTU gateway.
As for the RS485 (Modbus) slaves on the line you can use anything from cheap cerbs to Arduino or even plain Atmel Tinys (not the super tiny ones, the don’t hve enough flash to implement Modbus on them :wink:
This is how I planned it for my room temperature sensors which should use a Medusa Mini + TempHumidity+N18+RS484.
My gateway will be a Cobra II.
In codeshare you can find my Modbus implementation for NETMF, Windows and Gadgeteering (Arduino). Even the TCP-RTU gateway is included.

Why not ESP8266’s with custom firmware (plain HTTP rest service + some UDP for announcements). All you would need is a small thin client with linux/windows/mono/node.js/whatever_you_like that acts as a server and coordinates things via scripts (if this then that) also providing some web interface bootstrap/jquery mobile accessible from any device.
I actually plan of doing this exact thing. Just ordered 20 esp8266 (Esp-03) modules. Will use node.js for fast development and cross platform support.

I agree with Reinhard: If there is a cable then Modbus RTU is a good solution. Very reliable and easy protocol…

I did not know the ESP8266 so far. But the chips are really very cheap. Only thing is what do you do, if the WLAN password changes?

I’m just asking myself if it would be possible to port NetMF on this chip?

If the wlan password changes… you could make the module enter in AP mode if it can’t connect to the WLAN. This way you would connect to each module to enter the new ssid/password. Time consuming if there are a lot of modules. But how often do you change the wi-fi password. You could also design a way to broadcast the new password to the modules before changing it…

1st you should change your password in a regular manor. (hourly or so :whistle:
2nd: I’m no expert, but if you have many many WiFi clients: Could this get a problem? Bandwidth, client limitation, send collisions, …?
3rd: At the last corner, where you absolutely must place a module, you get no WiFi signal ::slight_smile:

  1. :smiley: Really? Hourly password change? Do you really do this on the wireless network from your home? If you have a strong password (>12 chars, lower, upper case, numeric and special chars), WPS disabled and of course WPA2 (not WEP!), there is no way of cracking it any time soon. See http://calc.opensecurityresearch.com/. For 12 chars, mixalpha-numberic-symbol14-space on a WPA preshared key (3100 keys/sec):
  1. It could but this kind of clients just sit idle 99% of the time (sensors wouldn’t even be connected only when they send new data). It’s not like they need to stream 20 Mbps constantly.

  2. This is a general problem for all wireless networks. Still, ESP8266 seems to have a very good signal in direct line of sight (http://youtu.be/7BYdZ_24yg0?t=1m45s). I’m sure a single router will cover my small home apartment. If you have a big house, I’m sure there’s more than one router, anyway.

For the light bulbs:


For the blinds (if it ever comes out)