Home Automation – Good Progress This Week

The article header image is courtesy of Open Energy Monitor – why not check them out as this is one of the main components in my Home Automation and Power Management System. http://openenergymonitor.org/emon/

Just a quick update on this week’s progress on the Home Automation and Power Management System (HAPMaS). Progress is going well. There have been a few key moments worth mentioning. Firstly I have now integrated the Mosquitto MQTT broker on the emonBase with the Mosquitto on the openHAB Hyper-V virtual machine. I have set up a bridge on the openHAB machine to subscribe to the emonhub topics published on the emonBase. This is quite a step forward in that it now gives openHAB full access to all messages published by the emonBase. I just love MQTT messaging. Once you have the messages available so it totally opens up a world of possibilities.

This should allow modules to be powered for months on a pair of AA batteries

3.3V Step-Up Voltage Regulator U1V10F3 from Hobby Electronics
3.3V Step-Up Voltage Regulator U1V10F3 from Hobby Electronics
The Arduino Temperature and Humidity module is ready to build now. I have found a supply of ready built voltage regulators that can output 3.3V/250mA from a 0.8V input. This should allow modules to be powered for months on a pair of AA batteries. They should arrive this week and hopefully I will find time to build it this week between packing up for my house move. Talking of the house move… I found out this week that there may be a huge cut in the solar Feed in Tariff in January 2016 so we will need to get a move on getting solar installed at the new house. More on that in a week or two no doubt.

People often say that professionals never take their own advice at home and I am a classic example of that.

Not quite Home Automation related but I rationalised the IP addresses on my home network and installed DNS and DHCP on my Windows Server 2012 last week all in preparation for the move and preparing the network for integration of Home Automation. Although comms between devices will be by 868MHz RF communication between Open Energy Monitor, openHAB and the MQTT brokers will be via WiFi and my network was a mess. People often say that professionals never take their own advice at home and I am a classic example of that. However, it is all tidy now and looking good.
Copper-strip board - the tradition way to mount hobby electronic projects
Copper-strip board – the tradition way to mount hobby electronic projects
I investigated designing my own PCB to hold a Arduino Mini or Nano and an RFM69CW RF module. The JeeNode is a similar concept but I didn’t want the 4 ports and instead just wanted to breakout the pins. I started to use Egle PCB Designer but decided that it would be a bit pricey for the small numbers I would want and I didn’t want to get into making it a commercial project so I have knocked the idea on the head… at least for now. So I will build my modules using the traditional copper-strip veroboard. It works and it keeps it flexible. So expect a quiet week or two now as I shift fully into house-moving mode. We move on Tuesday 8th September… just a week to go.

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