Home Easy -duino

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!

6 thoughts on “Home Easy -duino

  1. Have achieved what you’re trying to do, if it’s the AM-HRR3 and AM-RT4 or similar they work really well, even without a decent aerial. I can send you some sketches I have if you’re interested?

  2. QAM-TX1 and QAM-RX4 look pretty similar so some sketches would be brilliant- are they available on an arduino forum/wiki somewhere? If not, I can drop you an email.


  3. This looks cool, I had planned something similar but using X10 using the Harmony system (since most of my house is wired-up with various X10 units). Let me know how you get on!

  4. Pingback: Another Arduino Oscilloscope « Notes from a small field

  5. James,

    I’ve hacked about with the AM-HRR3 and AM-RT4 in the past. They are fine if you keep the baud rate to 2400. The SAW resonator that they use for frequency control cannot be modulated at much more than 4kHz.
    I’ve even reverse engineered the RT4 circuit and built it into products – you get about 150m usable range outdoors and about 50m in buildings at 4mA.

    Another tip for anyone setting up an RF link – use a standard baud rate – so at least you can use an FTDI serial -> USB cable and a terminal program to debug what’s actually coming out of the receiver. I once worked on a product where the data rate was 2000 baud – doh!

    My central heating uses a Drayton Digistat – a 433MHz wireless thermostat. It was fairly easy to hack the “boiler off” and “boiler on” commands – so you can get an Arduino or similar to give you better control of your home heating.

    On this note I’m also monitoring my gas meter – using an opto-reflective sensor on the silvered zero. The sensor is pretty sensitive – so I can actually see the other digits (1 litre) go past the sensor – as well as the zero.

    I hope to make Homecamp next months with some real time web monitoring of my domestic electricity and gas. I’ve hacked together a serial to ethernet gateway using a PIC18F67J60 – which means that any serial output gadget can get onto your router and beyond for under a tenner. More on this hopefully at Homecamp.


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