Home automation etc

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Well, not quite home automation, but SWMBO has decreed that I do  
something about the garage lighting. Here's what I think might make her  
happy:

* Remote control of lighting outside the garage, which can be switched  
on at the back door of the house. I need about 20 Metres of range. I  
don't want to run new wiring, so remote control is the go. For this  
purpose, I want to avoid a wi-fi based system, but a supplementary wi-fi  
based system would be acceptable.

* Remote control of the stair lighting for the first floor. Running new  
wiring for this application would be extremely intrusive and very  
expensive, so remote control would also be the best way to go. Again, no  
wi-fi, but supplementary wi-fi would be a good thing.

* Since I'm doing the above, I thought I might think about running all  
the house lighting from a similar system.

Turks were useless.

TIA for any tips.

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Re: Home automation etc
On 16-May-21 7:23 am, Trevor Wilson wrote:
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Big Clive covered an interesting remote switch that requires no battery  
or wiring.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Pw7U0XFgUM&t10%79s


Similar things can be found online.

Sylvia.

Re: Home automation etc
On 16/05/2021 10:18 am, Sylvia Else wrote:
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**A client presented me with one of those things for repair a couple of  
years back. Interesting, but not quite what I need.

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Re: Home automation etc
Trevor Wilson wrote on 16/5/21 7:23 am:
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When you type "do something about the garage lighting", do you mean  
inside garage or to get you from the house to the garage??

If the later, wouldn't "motion detector" type solar-lights do the job??  
No fixed wiring, etc, to worry about. Or is that what you mean by "Turks"??
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Re: Home automation etc
On Sun, 16 May 2021 19:13:24 +1000, Trevor Wilson scribed:

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Is 600mm the new standard?

If you are going to dig, first plan out all the trenches you need, then  
take a 24 hour hire and go for your life.

When we shifted from single phone line to multi-lines for SOHO, it was  
cheaper for me to hire a digger and do it. Since I had it for 24 hours, I  
also put in a pile of drain lines at the time and a likely 'power to the  
back shed' line.

Re: Home automation etc
On 17/05/2021 10:14 am, News 2021 wrote:
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**Dunno if it is new, but it is the standard.

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**Perhaps I haven't made myself clear. I have ZERO intention of digging  
up my back lawn. I dug a trench about 5 years ago, to run new power to  
the garage in the best, most practical place. Since that time, SWMBO  
planted a row of bushes. Given the constraints of my backyard, I would  
need to dig up her plants to lay more conduit. That ain't gonna happen.

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**See, the problem I have is that I had a concrete pool. It was removed.  
Well, not so much as removed, as demolished and the concrete rubble left  
in place around 300mm below the surface. Digging down 600mm almost  
anywhere in the yard would be a nightmare. I prefer an RF solution.


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Re: Home automation etc
On 16/05/2021 7:23 am, Trevor Wilson wrote:
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**BTW: This appears to be the closest to what I am looking for:

https://www.casetawireless.com/

Not all products are available in Australia.


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Re: Home automation etc
On 17-May-21 11:00 am, Trevor Wilson wrote:
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I rather assumed that even if the light is outside the garage, the  
wiring for it would go inside, so the controls would not need to be  
weather proof.

Sylvia.

Re: Home automation etc
On 17/05/2021 12:42 pm, Sylvia Else wrote:
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**Indeed. In fact, I offered the weather proof outside switch to SWMBO,  
but, when she asked for the option to switch the lights on from the  
house, I ruled that out and sought other, more sophisticated options,  
like RF, Wi-Fi, etc.

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Re: Home automation etc
On 16-May-21 7:23 am, Trevor Wilson wrote:
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Not sure what you mean by "no wi-fi, but supplementary wi-fi would be a  
good thing"

Certainly, one doesn't want a device phoning-home to some unknown web  
site, much less relying on the Internet to work at all.

After some thought, I realised that simple RF solutions have the  
limitation that unless you can see whether changing the switch position  
had any effect, there needs to be two-way communication between the  
remote controller and the local switch, and WiFi makes sense for that.

If I had to implement this from scratch, then on the controller side I'd  
probably go with a microcontroller (something out of the PIC24  
families), a serial-port Wifi module, and a latching relay driven by an  
H-bridge chip. I think all that could be driven via a capacitive dropper  
(charge a capacitor to operate the relay coil).

The quiescent power drain is dominated by the Wifi module. At least some  
such modules can act as an access point.

On the switch side, omit the H-bridge chip and relay. One could design a  
circuit board for both parts, and just not fully populate the switch side.

Sylvia.


Re: Home automation etc
On 17/05/2021 7:28 pm, Sylvia Else wrote:
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**Sorry, I didn't explain it very well. Here goes:

I want a primarily RF system. I do not want a system that relies only on  
a cell 'phone/wi-fi system.

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**Correct.

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**I am confident that there is an off-the-shelf solution available.


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Re: Home automation etc
On 17/05/2021 7:34 pm, Trevor Wilson wrote:
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https://www.banggood.com/Geekcreit-433MHz-DC-12V-10A-Relay-1CH-Channel-Wireless-RF-Remote-Control-Switch-Transmitter-With-Receiver-p-1040721.html?cur_warehouse=USA&rmmds=search

https://www.banggood.com/433Mhz-DC12V-1CH-Wireless-Remote-Control-Switch-Relay-Receiver-Module-+-2-RF-Transmitter-p-1326823.html?cur_warehouse=USA&rmmds=search

Both are rated 240v at 10A although I wouldn't actually try to push 10  
amps through one.

Re: Home automation etc
On 17/05/2021 7:28 pm, Sylvia Else wrote:
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Why use a pic when the ESP32 has both a micro-controller (2 CPUs) and  
built in WiFi.

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Re: Home automation etc
On 18-May-21 4:28 pm, keithr0 wrote:
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Mainly familiarity with programming a PIC24.

Sylvia.

Re: Home automation etc
On 18/05/2021 5:21 pm, Sylvia Else wrote:
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if you program in C or C++ there would be little difference. I use one  
of the Arduino IDEs to program it.

Re: Home automation etc
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There'd be a lot of difference regarding the how the registers
behave, and the custom language extensions recognised by the
compiler.

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That's more the point rather than programming in C or C++. If you
already access everything via Arduino libraries then it might seem
easy to switch platforms. It's not the most efficient way to
program a microcontroller though.

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Re: Home automation etc
On 19/05/2021 8:43 am, Computer Nerd Kev wrote:
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C is C, the only real difference comes with what capabilities a  
processor has and I/O

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How so? Even in microcontrollers efficiency is not as important as it  
used to be unless you are going to produce something in the millions.

Re: Home automation etc
On 19-May-21 3:58 pm, keithr0 wrote:

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It's exactly here that things go wrong. Having interposed third party  
libraries just makes things harder to figure out when the MCU doesn't  
behave as expected.

Sylvia.

Re: Home automation etc
On 19/05/2021 4:03 pm, Sylvia Else wrote:
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Maybe, but I've never had any problems in that regard using a whole  
bunch of different devices.

Re: Home automation etc
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But you need to write different values to different registers
in order to control the I/O and special functions of different
microcontrollers. You may have a library that abstracts all that
for you, but in using that you limit the range and performance of
the hardware's functionality, while also making debugging more
difficult as Sylvia pointed out.

Compilers for many microcontrollers also tend to implement
extensions to the C standard, so C isn't always C either, if
you're used to taking advantage of those extensions.

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If your code accesses the device's registers directly for all
hardware functions, then you know roughly what timing delays will
happen. If you use other libraries, then you don't know for sure
what is going on in the background that might cause unexpected
behaviour. If you're only ever toggling a light on and off, then
that might not be a worry, but if you're actually pushing the
hardware then it becomes important.

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