Sunday, May 22, 2011


Well I got so into the concept of designing my very own prototype, that I got sidetracked from the original task. I just now realized this. On the other hand, I managed to get very far in the design process of the next phase of the prototype (the custom boards). So when I actually get to that stage, I wont have to work very hard. ^_^" 

Back to work on the testing phase of things. I still have to setup the Arduino with the Gas sensors to send data to the LAMP server. If I can get that to work, it'll be a major step. Sadly, Im working alone on this, so things just have to run their course. Being sick doesnt help either. 

Just to keep you folks updated on what I've been working on, I've made the conclusion that the system will contain 3 different power and communications protocols:
  1. Hard power & hard-line communications (ethernet)
  2. Hard power & WiFi communications
  3. Self-Sustained power & WiFi communications
So these 3 protocols are what I'll be using for the various systems. If a module is closer to the outdoors, it'll have a solar panel, and WiFi. If its somewhere indoors, but you cant get to it for cable management, then WiFi and a power adapter from where it is (Hard power).

I've decided that I'll make this entire system open source and open hardware. What that means is that developers who want to build on my system are free to do so to their hearts' content. Users who arent tech-saavy will probably not care that it is open source (other than security, but its offline so no worries yet). Source code however wont be plastered all over the internet, so that shouldnt be a problem. There will be extra features (plugins) that will expand on the base system that will give users and developers alike expanded options. Those will be for sale. For example, a system in a two-story house has 2 modules per room, 4 bedrooms, 3 sitting rooms, and a kitchen. Thats a total of 16 modules in a home. That gives you the fire detection system, and the smart lighting system. Since I've discussed home security as well, the system would include a base of say 4 camera's around that 2-story home. Thats the base package. Say you want to detect an intruder before they enter your home, thats an extra feature. 

I've got lots to do, and this is just a vague explanation of what you can expect to see out of this, but dont hold me to it. Things can change, and this plugin concept is all very new to me. 

Of course, this is all assuming that an Arduino Uno boards are used in combination with custom shields (I'll be selling those). For space requirements, I'll have to resize things and use the prototypes I was designing to make some custom microcontroller boards that have a small footprint. Arduino's are made for hobbyists who want to fiddle around, or amateurs who want to create prototypes (like me). So, I dont really want to come across to consumers that the hardware protecting their homes (and keeping them energy efficient) is hobby hardware. Creating my own is the key. Thats Phase II.

While I had intended this to be an update post, it has sort of turned into a "relieve-yourself-and-get-it-all-out-there" post. Haha \(^o^)/ I do that at times. Im just excited that I got a board sent off to the Fab Shop, because that one is the Teensy DC Relay board I was working on. The AC Arduino Relay shield has been completed, but I have to wait a few weeks until after Memorial day to get it sent to the shop. Once I get that shield, I can start fiddling with switching a light on and off based on a person being in a room.


I've ranted long enough. Take care till next time. Ѡ

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