General Information
Sunrise07:38
Sunset18:06
Temp. Outside9,2 °C
Temp. Inside22,7 °C

Usages for today
Gas0,00 m3
Power0,2 kWh
Water0 L

HA Statistics
Devices 292
Device values 1723

Hot Projects

Read about them
on my web log:
Smart meter
Opentherm
Ethernet Doorbell
Audio/Video
Mantis CNC Mill
DIY Wireless Sensors
ZigBee
Arduino

Last pages added:

Opentherm Gateway
Smart meter
Nemef Radaris Evolution
Audio Video

Why Home Automation?

Because it's fun !! Why do people collect stamps, grow bonsai trees, buy a new car every 2 years? Just ask them...

Walking into a room and the lights are automatically turned on, monitoring gas and energy usage but not having to write down the meter reading and type it into a Excel sheet, saving energy by turning off lights when no motion is detected in the garage, all those things. Domotica combines almost all of the things i'm interested in. What else do you need as an argument...

I've always been interested in making devices communicate with 'the outside'. This started when i was 9 years old, when i got a "Philips Experimenteer doos" as a birthday present.

You could make a radio with it or a burglar alarm, a light sensitive switch, all kinds of things. I had my own burglar alarm for my bedroom when i was 9 years old.. ;-)






During my schooltime, i once got an assignment to write a program in assembly (Motorola 6809) to control an array of leds connected to it. This must have been somewhere around 1986. I wanted that at home too...but times were very different back then. Limited mobililty, limited funds, no "hobby-shops" nearby that i knew of, so it was difficult to achieve something on your own in this direction. The word "webshop" didn't even exist back then...

However, whenever i had the opportunity, steps were taken. For example, somewhere early 90's i got a hold of instructions on how to make a sound card by using the parallel port of the PC: i still have the board, but most components are stripped along the years:

Medieval Soundcard
You could connect it to the line-in of your stereo and you had sound coming from your PC! Wow...

My first real job was at the Hogeschool Enschede (HTS) at the Energy lab, where i made an installation with which you could do efficiency-calculations on central heating systems. This installation was built from scratch; selecting instruments like gasmeters, flowmeters, temperature meters and ofcourse later on building the whole installation around a central heating and programming the software. Here's a screendump of the software that controlled the whole installation:

Computer controlled measurements on central heating
The software was gathering it's information primarily by means of serial I/O and analog I/O devices from Analog Devices. All incoming data was shown on the screen and the software let you operate the central heating manually (on, off) or automatically by entering a setpoint for a particular temperature.
Meanwhile it calculated all kinds of data needed to do efficiency-calculations and logged them to a file for later analysis.

Here's some more pictures of this installation for efficiency calculations on central heatings:




This was the time i really got interested in connecting all kinds of devices to a PC and communicating with it.

Velleman K-8000

Later on i  bought a Velleman K8000 kit. This kit had several ways of communicating with the outside world: it made digital as well as analog I/O possible. However, how were i to control the lights in my house with it...i would need several K8000's and too much cables running through the house... so this K8000 was nice, but was no solution to my goal.

Years went by where nothing really happened, till the summer of 2005. Someone i know was putting hundreds of temperature sensors in his new house. That's how i got to know 1-Wire. And by googling over the Internet, i found the website of Pieter Knuvers, www.Bwired.nl. Man, this was it!! This guy has built everything i ever wanted but didn't know how to accomplish! From that day on my life changed, it was as if i had found what i'd been looking for all those years... regarding hobby's, i mean...

Need i say more?