First post, so...
I am currently undertaking a 'Systems Engineering' course at VCE (Australian High School Grade) and as the majority of the course is project based I've decided to design a sort of home automation system, using the arduino (ha..)
So, this course is generally fairly easy to pass (not taken to seriously ( past projects have included model houses, and infra red 'alarm systems')..
I've developed an 'understanding' of the arduino, and grasped programming...
I was hoping to operate doors, windows and blinds using the project... however I'd love to be able to do this wirelessly..
I've been able to operate power boards via relays using the computer...
Any other ideas would be much appreciated...
Sounds like a fun project. For wireless communication in the home, you should look into Xbee, it is a Zigbee protocol that is used a lot with the arduino. If you search for Xbee either here or on the arduino homepage you will find a lot of usefull information. The only drawback is that it could get a little expensive. Your probably looking at $20-50 per module just for the Xbee chip.
If you can live with one-way communications, you should look into the low-cost (on the order of US$5 apiece) transmitters and receivers being sold on ebay.
I've looked into the X-bee modules, and for this project they do seem to be overkill, and a bit costly..
Ran, any more details on those tx/rx.. oNe way communication is all I need..
I can't offer a real recommendation, because I haven't bought from them yet, but this is a seller I came across and bookmarked as a "likely future vendor":
I was thinking about that "pocket remote" as a way to send signals to an Arduino, but they also sell transmitter and receiver modules more suited to sending data.
I found a project in Silicon Chip utilising similar modules designed to switch relays to replace garage door remotes....
Uses 'ask' encoding, however this kit form sort of eliminates me having to learn any of this, unfortunately...
I'll probably be purchasing some of these and breadboarding some designs with the arduino.. which i'll post, eventually..
I have just finished practicly the same thing. A sort of home automation system - well actualy it is a room automation. I will post details in a few days when I finish tweeking the code. My system controls the light and blinds + LCD with control panel. The idea was to control the HTPC in the room and a projector, and have a temperature sensing but I ran out of pins (I burned one >:(). I will be making a software for a computer for monitoring and in the future I will probably give "brains" to other rooms in the house too. But for now this is it. Arduino Mega seems a great thing for such a project. So just wait for details! ;D