I was thinking about a case design that most anyone could build that would be cheap, easy to fabricate, and reasonably attractive. (I also didn’t think the family could put up with another gadget box in the living room.) Well, people have been stashing stuff in books for years, so why not?
Most of the advantages of using a “hollowed out” book are obvious - you can get various sizes at a second hand store and you can even “skin” them with a dust jacket! (The “original skin” so to speak.)
Rather than actually cutting the pages, it’s easier to remove them all and make a simple wood frame for the sides of the book. (Since frame will not show, even a “wood butcher” can build one.)
The project described below is the “X10 Book”. I use X10 to schedule house lighting, detect motion, etc. There is an Arduino library that allows you to transmit X10 signals, and I wrote a driver that allows you to receive X10 signals. (http://www.arduino.cc/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1238610818)
Together, this allows the X10 book to do the following:
- Display any X10 signal on the line using an LED matrix. Friendly names for relevant House + Unit codes are stored in EEPROM “profile records”.
- Set one or more of 8 LEDs and 4 relays based on the “profile” of the command received. (via TPIC6B595N - 8 bit shift register)
- Create “macros” - i.e. if command ‘X’ received, transmit commands ‘Y’ and ‘Z’, or if garage door open > 5min. display a warning.
- Use a TV IR remote to send X10 commands for a preset house code.
- Send commands based on a schedule stored in EEPROM - i.e turn on light ‘X’ at 7PM and off at 11PM.
- (near future) Log X10 commands received to an SD memory card.
A tilt switch reorients the display so the book can be vertical or horizontal.