Home automation

ATtiny85 PIR sensor

This is my second project using the ATtiny85. I have previously made, and use, these PIR sensors with "power hungry" Arduino Pro Minis. I usually have to replace the batteries in these devices every 2 months. It depends on how much we move in the rooms they are located. They use 1000mAh CR2477 coin cells. These batteries are quite "big", compared with other coin cell batteries.

A better RFXCOM RFXtrx433E antenna

I have been using the RFXCOM RFXtrx433E USB 433.92MHz Transceiver for a while now and I have noticed that the reception range is sometimes bad. Even without moving it I have found that the weather have a lot to say about how the reception range is. After some experimentation I found that the best placement of the device is high up, of course, but also so the antenna goes parallel with the ceiling. I taped it close to the ceiling so that the antenna pointed out into the room.

Domotiga on Raspberry Pi 2

I have been running Domotiga on the new Raspberry Pi 2 for a few weeks now after the initial months using the "old" Raspberry Pi. And I have to say the performance is very noticeable. I'm controlling Domotiga with the desktop client using VNC. I also control Domotiga with the web interface, but I find it faster to use VNC. Compared to the "old" Raspberry Pi, the response is almost instant, and the CPU usage is never over 25% compared to the the "old" one that used 100% every time Domotiga had work to do. That's the beauty of quad core CPU.

X10 PIR sensor for RFXCOM transceiver

After a lot of experimentation, research and prototyping, I finally have all the parts I need to finish my PIR sensors. I plan to have one in each room, well almost.

They will have two functions. Primarily they will be used to track us and switch lights and heating (Nexa remote switches) as appropriate when we are home. The switching will follow certain rules, like time of day, who is home, weekday, weekend etc. When no one is home, they will be part of the security system and notify us, using Pushbullet, if they sense movement while we are not home. Both functions will be controlled by DomotiGa running on a Raspberry Pi, using a RFXCOM rfxtrx433e USB transceiver.

DomotiGa - First impressions

DomotiGa is written in Basic, more precisely Gambas. There comes the name DomotiGa in. Gambas is a Visual Basic look-alike for Linux. 

Since I run DomotiGa on a Raspberry Pi to which I connect using VNC I don't get the "full experience" of how the desktop interface looks like. The fonts are very small, and due to the fact that Raspberry Pi's desktop don't exactly look great, I have to accept how it looks. Hey, I'm only using DomotiGa's desktop client to set it up and forget it. You may also install the Domotiyii web interface to control and set up DomotiGa, but this lack some of the features found in the desktop client. 

Tellstick Duo out - RFXtrx433E in

Tellstick DuoAfter nearly a year running my home automation with Tellstick Duo I decided to upgrade to RFXCOM. I say upgrade because Tellstick has too few options apart from it's own simple interface where you can switch on/off and dim devices. I used Switch King and EventGhost (Windows), one of the few good programs that works with Tellstick. If you own a Tellstick and don't want to ditch it, I highly recommend the software mentioned.


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