(Mis)adventures of converting a stone barn to a dwelling

Home Automation

Now we have a real mains supply I can concentrate on automating various electrics. Im a long term electrical tinkerer, and have done professional network installs in datacentres in my past and work every day with unix and networks so I’m no stranger to cabling and computers.

First we had to have certain elements to pass consuel inspection to get our first electrical connection. So I was forced to fit the square “media” panel at the top left, which was basically a RJ11, a small crap patch panel for telecoms cables and a Satelite distribution splitter. Ditto on the top of the right side, we had to have a EDF supplied meter box at a set height. The consuel process is documented elsewhere, so I won’t revisit that nightmare here.


Once EDF arrived, their meter didn’t fit their approved meter box, and the meter was higher than the regulations permit. I don’t care if they ignore their own regs, so it went in above the approved area, even though if I had of done this, I would have failed inspection….

On the left just under the ISP’s router, is a small box containing the house computer, a raspberry pi in a custom case and below the media patching panels, is a 12v POE injector setup, so any cables routed via this rail carry +12v down the ethernet cable, where it is seperated back out at the other end by a POE splitter.


A close up of the PI, it has power, network and video cabled up, if I need a keyboard for emergency maintenance I can just plug a usb one in for the duration.



The video output from the PI is fed into the composite video switcher which carries all the console video to the projector, so the image can be displayed on screen. Here is the desktop running the Freedomotic home automation framework



Meanwhile in the newly built woodstore, is this denkovi DAEnetIP ethernet relay and data aquisition board. This allows authenticated devices to change the relay state, and read the status of various devices connected to it. At the moment, only 3 devices are connected for relay control. Also can be seen is the POE power deconcentrator, as the device is fed off +12v via the ethernet cable to it. Wired to the digital inputs is a single momentary light switch intended for blinds, and on recieving a keypress, the PI polls this by snmp every second, and detects keypresses then switches the relay controling the light relay for that room. Voilla a light under computer control, with manual light switches, or controlled by automation, android client, html interface, or anything else you can dream up.



The enclosure has a natty smoked plastic cover to keep any elements carrying voltages covered. Yes, its the approved EDF meter cabinet that we had to remove from the wiring closet to fit the too big meter. Came in useful after all.


So thats where I am, at the moment there is too much latency in the system to have a good wife acceptance factor (WAF), but I am going to write a trap handler daemon which should improve response time considerably.


September 26, 2013 This post was written by Categories: home automationUncategorized No comments yet

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