I recently discovered that someone has created a useful looking Home Easy Hacking Wiki to pull together what information there currently is about hacking a range or related home automation hardware. Unfortunately it doesn’t yet answer Jerd’s question about the automatic protocol, so if you’ve got something working, it would be fantastic if you could add a few more details to the wiki.
So I’ve done a bit of playing with the Freeduino and I can see why people like Arduinos so much: they really are simple to get working. It might only start with a blinking LED but it’s nice to feel you’ve achieved something so quickly. I wish more software was like that!
The reason for getting an arduino was to experiment with some more home automation, so I’ve ordered 433MHz AM transmitter and receiver modules which look (to the untrained eye) like they should work with my Home Easy sockets. Hopefully they’ll also be simple to wire up to the arduino as well! I’ve found a couple of projects which look like they might help get me started with the code:
In fact, combining infrared with Home Easy, to turn off a couple of sockets when putting the TV on standbye for example, might be interesting. The first thing I want to try (assuming I get it working at all!) is forwarding commands via the arduino. So, for example, the arduino could relay an on command to the living room lamp, but only if the CurrentCost reading is low enough (i.e. the kitchen lights aren’t still on)!
I’ve been using the simple oscilloscope hack to do some prototyping while I wait for the AM modules to arrive, and I’ve managed to ‘send’ a sample signal that looks about right. I’m not so sure about how good the timing is going to be though, and I’m still pondering about receiving Home Easy commands. Any suggestions about the best way to do this kind of thing would be most welcome!
I recently gave in to the temptation to get an arduino. I managed to put off buying one long enough for tinker.it to run out of the useful looking starter kits so I decided go for a bit of variety and ordered a Freeduino SB instead. It arrived ahead of schedule today and it looks like a really nice part assembled kit- I dug out my soldering iron at the weekend, and I’ve got a fresh reel of solder, so I’m all set to put it together as soon as I get a chance:
Assuming it works when I’ve finished with it, and I can get an LED to flash, I’m hoping to try and get it communicating with my Home Easy sockets (getting an LED to come on using the Home Easy transmitter might be the first step).
Being a complete arduino novice, I think I’m going to need some help to get that working! My plan so far is to get a 433MHz AM transmitter and receiver module (there’s an RS Trade Counter near me) and try getting the arduino to understand the Domia Lite specification. So that’s more of a vague idea than an actual plan really! If you can help, either with what not to do when connecting an arduino to those modules, or how to program the darn thing, that’d be great- please leave a comment below!
Update: Just soldered the last few parts on the freeduino, and it blinks! (27 Jan 2009)
(I’m going to stop watching the blue flashing light any minute now…)
Update: now with spinning green thing! (28 Jan 2009)