A never-ending fight for TV-time. How to cut your kid’s TV-time without saying a word, the geek-way. My kid is three and a half years old now and I got to tell you, he is smart! He keeps my home automation system on its toes. Here’s my story… As most parents, we have a never-ending fight with our kid, trying to limit his TV-time. I had brains to install TV and a DVD player in his bedroom, and now I have to find ways to tame his TV-appetite. At first, my kid just couldn’t reach the power button on a […]
It has been a little quiet in my blog lately. But it’s not because I was lazy (well, maybe just a little). I’ve been busy celebrating many many birthdays in July (including my own) and also I spent a lot of my time learning new technologies (namely HTML5, CSS3 and C# languages) and coding my own home automation project called KitchenTouch. That last thing is what I want to tell you about.
It’s no secret that professionally installed home automation touch panels are very expensive. Could we make a panel that will be useful, easily customizable and relatively cheap? You bet we can! Check for example this New Zealander’s home project that, with a little more polished GUI, could rival the better professional models. With the total cost of roughly $1200 US dollars (though it could be easily downgraded to $500-600) this project will allow you to control your home automation set-up, listen to locally stored music and Internet radio, play photo slide-shows, surf the web, watch online video and even automate creation […]
I’ve been using Panasonic network cameras for quite some time now, and they are great! Though some configuration settings are rather murky and sometimes it takes a lot of “trial and error” to get it right. But thanks to a brilliant tutorial from HandymanHowTo.com now you can do it right the first time. The 4-part tutorial provides plenty of screenshots, so you might see what you are getting yourself into even before actually buying a camera – how cool it that! I wish I’d found that article earlier! The tutorial focuses on the BB-HCM511A Network Camera with Two-Way Audio installation, but most of the […]
Don’t get me wrong, the Wii is lots of fun! But if you will ever get tired of doing Pilates or playing a fake guitar on your Wii console, you can find a new and exciting application for it by following this DIY automation project from Wii Hacks blog. All you’ll need is a few INSTEON-enabled lights in your home, and a ControlLinc connected to a LAMPbox. For a more advanced set-up you can throw in a Proliphix thermostat, a few AXIS IP cameras and a control system from Aurora Multimedia to drive your TV, DVR, DVD, etc. See the demo video of this project after […]
The Idea/Problem: Use motion sensors to turn lights on when someone approaches the staircase, therefore making it safer and more convenient to use at night. Use existing light fixture instead of mounting step lights to save on wiring and hardware costs. The Components: Here is what we will need: Motion sensor(s): Two X10 ActiveEye (MS16A) or EagleEye(MS14A) sensors. If you want to go all-Insteon the Wireless INSTEON Motion/Occupancy Sensor (#2420M) will do. Light switches: Smarthome.com sells a pre-configured SwitchLinc 3-Way Dimmer Kit (#2494M3). If your light fixture cannot be dimmed consider using two SwitchLinc Relay (#2476S) switches. Wireless bridges: To translate wireless signals from motion sensors […]
This is the first in a series of posts describing some of the automated tasks that run in my house. The Problem/Idea: I have a 2-year-old that goes to bed every day around the same time. He likes the night light to be on at night. Need to make the lights to turn ON and OFF on a schedule (preferably with an ability to override/cancel the entire schedule or a single event remotely). The Solution: I thought that having a regular night light is too boring for an automated home and came up with a following idea… Why not install a crown moulding with some lights […]