Smart home applications - call for ideas

Hi. I am having a serious renovation in my apartment - old floors will be scraped entirely, walls smoothed and painted.

For me this is a chance to fix the old electrical wiring and put multiple cables for future Smart Home projects under floor surface.

I came up with lots of ideas, but I'd really appreciate more.

My basic design would be to install socket box into the wall, and put an end of Ethernet cable there from some central location. I'll install Arduino Pro Mini + compact Ethernet module inside each socket box. I will power all Arduinos with PoE from central AC/DC unit.

My ideas are:

  • lightning control. Initially I'll install regular AC lights switches, but I'll later "upgrade" them to relays/TRIACs (I'll disconnect the switch from mains power and will attach it to Arduino instead).i don't plan to implement any dimming - it is hard with newer LED/CCFL light bulbs.

  • water leaks sensors in kitchen and bathrooms

  • controller for water and heating valves (to stop water from leaking if pipe breaks and to control the temperature of central heating) with buzzer

  • IR transmitters for TV/Home cinema and air conditioners

  • Presence sensors (combination of PIR and microphones, and - in WC - ultrasonic range meter aimed at the toilet bowl from top)

  • ventilation relay (nobody likes to hear the roar of exaust while sitting in the WC, so Arduino should turn it on after the person has left)

  • Reed sensors on windows and doors - to prevent starting air conditioning when windows are open

  • PIR sensor and exhaust pipe for kitty litter box to get rid of the smell but not to scare the sh*t out of the cats while they are sitting inside

  • temperature (outside and internal), lightning and humidity sensors

  • relays to turn contactors on and off in the mains patch panel (to cut off power from parts of mains power networks)

  • window blinds controllers

  • interface for home security alarm system (if it is engaged, my system can assume it is OK to turn off all lights, send "turn off" IR signals to TV, and cut some power lines since everyone is out).

What else have I forgotten?

Please share your ideas, since the next time I'll have the chance to put all the required wiring will be in, maybe, 10+ years! Thanks.

All these home automation you mentioned are implementable, I would recommend you to use Arduino YUN board as with that board you can easily use both Ethernet as well as Wifi. Moreover, you can program it wirelessly.

Hi
I can think of the following

  1. Flame sensors in kitchen and near main power boards. One can think of heat sensors too - prevention better than cure.
  2. LPG (cooking gas) sensor in kitchen to detect leaks with an actuator to cut of supply in case of a leak
  3. heat sensor+tilt sensor on ironing board - to detect iron box left on unintentionally. I remember that once I forgot to switch off the iron box for a few hours. Luckily, there was no mishap
  4. temperature sensors in refrigerator and freezer to detect open door or rise in temperature - One can use a reed switch also.
  5. If you have plants (indoor or outdoor) a sensor to detect the soil moisture level
  6. If you have a pet - then rfid tags on pet door to let them in and out
  7. Electric strike on doors to open and close them remotely or through RFID

puneit:

  1. Flame sensors
  2. LPG (cooking gas) sensor

Thanks for those two - these are relevant use cases for me, will think about 'em.

theenggprojects:
I would recommend you to use Arduino YUN board

Thanks, but no, thanks. Yun is very expensive compared to $2 ProMini & $3 Ethernet module. With an addition of $1 DC-DC step-down module (XM1584) to adjust the current from PoE it makes less than $10 per socket box (and it could fit in a 2'' socket box). Yun costs €52!

Your idea of each node in the wall having an Ethernet port seems not well thought out.

SanjaB wrote:

I'll install Arduino Pro Mini + compact Ethernet module inside each socket box

Do you realise you will then need to run separate CAT5 cables from each of those locations, but worse still, is that you will need to provide a router port to each CAT5 cable.

It seems you will need some rack space for the array of routers you will need.

Please, think about using RS-485 in a multi-drop half duplex network topology, where your main system is the master and it requests data from each of the nodes on the network.

It will end up being more cost effective for you and maybe a lot easier for you to cable one cable running from wall box to wall box or where ever you need.

For the main system, I would suggest you look at using a small ARM based board with GNU/Linux operating system. Especially if you wish to have it act as a HTTP server so you can access it remotely.


Paul

rockwallaby:
Your idea of each node in the wall having an Ethernet port seems not well thought out. Do you realise you will then need to run separate CAT5 cables from each of those locations

1000ft of CAT5 cable is less than $50. I will have all old floors scrapped - I will put Ethernet cables underneath new ones before builders will install new ones, and will need to make just few vertical cuts in walls.

rockwallaby:
but worse still, is that you will need to provide a router port to each CAT5 cable.

Recently I've bought fantastic old Intel (sic!) 16-port hub for less than $10, and can buy one or two more if needed. I have no problems if it runs 24/4 - it is good ol' Intel, after all. Even 3 of them will consume less space than children's shoebox.

rockwallaby:
Please, think about using RS-485 in a multi-drop half duplex network topology, where your main system is the master and it requests data from each of the nodes on the network.

It will end up being more cost effective for you and maybe a lot easier for you to cable one cable running from wall box to wall box or where ever you need.

I really think that Ethernet is simpler and not more expensive at all. After all, it is a very widespread technology that immensely benefitted from economy of scale.

Anyway, at this stage I'll only put Cat5 in floors and walls. I can always re-purpose these wires from Ethernet/PoE to RS-485.

rockwallaby:
For the main system, I would suggest you look at using a small ARM based board with GNU/Linux operating system. Especially if you wish to have it act as a HTTP server so you can access it remotely.

Paul, I already have Windows media server with IIS and other stuff running 24/7 but I thought about using tiny OpenWRT box as dedicated controller already, thanks.