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Topic: Home Automation Using Powerline Communication (Read 8 times) previous topic - next topic


I'm getting ready to start a project of my own using arduino and powerline communication to create a smarter house.  I was just curious if anybody else had tried this already and if you had any success with it.  Powerline technology has been around for close to a hundred years now.  What drew me to this idea was the fact that it would allow me to transmit instructions to every outlet and switch in my house without any additional wiring or wireless networks.  I could modify (pretty extensively) an electrical outlet purchased at a hardware store and then simply go around the house replacing all of my outlets.  They would all receive the same data over the wiring already in the house, however, they would only carry out the commands associated with their id.  Even cooler, is the fact that I can also transfer large amounts of data very quickly with this home "network".  I'm really excited for the opportunities this presents!  If you guys have any other ideas that you think I should implement please let me know.  I hope to get this system up and running from my computer within the next couple weeks and then onto a mobile app for android.  I have a lot of work cut out for me though as I first have to convince my parents to let me mess with their house a little  XD


So you are going to reinvent the X10 system of AC control over power wire?  Been around for decades. Do play safe around household AC power, it can shorten your lifespan considerably.




This is a great project and I believe you should look into it deeply.  However, your timescale is a bit optimistic.  There are many factors to consider besides the technical aspects of it.  Things that will grab you later like making your circuitry fit inside the outlet box without creating too much heat; remember there's no ventilation in there.  

I don't want to discourage you, but think about automating one outlet or a plug strip or something else simple first to get your feet wet.  Then read about the pitfalls of this like noisy appliances and split phases in some countries.  

Have fun.
Trying to keep my house under control http://www.desert-home.com/


Lefty, I have a great deal of experience with household wiring.  Not only have I installed the wiring in new houses, but I have also had to correct all the jerry-rigging that the tenants at my father's mobile home park have worked up in an attempt to steal power.  I am also well aware of how the x10 system works.  Quite frankly, it is ugly and the software it comes with is a real pain.  My goal with this project is to create something a little more eloquent and possibly even cheaper.  Further down the road it is my intention to add voice control and automated computer tasks.  So yes, I do plan on reinventing the x10 system.  However, I posted this on here so that I could gain some insights from my fellow modders.  I am sure many of you have had experience with home automation, as I have, and have learned through experience exactly what you do and do not want in such a system.  I am not satisfied with what the market offers now so I have decided to change that.  In the future try to respond under the assumption that the person you are speaking to has some knowledge and has done a little research.  You will come off as a much nicer and considerate person that way.

Draythomp, thank you very much for the encouragement and the pointers.  I have worked with computers for quite some time now and have definitely killed my fair share of equipment in the past due to oversights on my part.  I will be sure to consider the ventilation aspect when installing the boxes.  My goal is to have one fully functional and tested outlet box and switch prior to creating or installing any others.  However, once that step is complete, I don't imagine that it will take me much time at all to recreate the process with other boxes.  Also, I am currently using several powerline ethernet adapters to extend the network at my workplace.  My workplace is an engineering firm (I'm the IT guy) and has an unbelievable amount of noise due to the fact that they not only design, but also fabricate.  So I already have a little experience with powerline networks, but I do plan on several long nights and lots of research.  I'm glad I have this forum as a resource!

Keep the responses coming!  My goal is cheap, invisible, and easy for technophobes to learn.
As I said in my original post... this is going in my parents house  XD


I have used devolo ethernet over powerline (85 Mbit version) in a project and I was quite happy with it. An Arduino could log its data over the powerline to a server on a different location. Worked out of the box !  Think I want the new ones (1Gig over powerline IIRC ) for Xmas :)
Rob Tillaart

Nederlandse sectie - http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/board,77.0.html -
(Please do not PM for private consultancy)

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