Home automation controller with Ethernet access

There are so many things you could automate at your house. Lights are one of the first things that come to the list. But there are more you can do. For instance, heater control, ventilation, security or even coffee making. The list can go on and on. Jonathan shares the tips on how to build a home automation controller that could be used for most of these purposes. The hardware is based on Arduino with Ethernet shield and 8-channel relay driver shield. It doesn’t have relays on, but have all circuit that can drive most of relays by using only two Arduino I/O pins. Sheld is driven by I2C interface meaning that you can stack more than one shield to get more relays. Another neat feature is that Arduino is powered through PoE (Power over Ethernet). The software is rather simple – Arduino runs a Web server where each relay can be controlled through web interface. If you need more specific control options or different interface, you just have to work on that code part. Continue reading

Sending Arduino data to Google Docs spreadsheet

With Arduino shields and libraries it is really easy to connect device to internet. Probably many of you have already tried Pachube service for publishing data online. The downside of Pachube that it is fairly hard to extract data from it to spreadsheet that could be analyzed in our way. Boris have shared his method of sending data from Arduino to Google Docs spreadsheet. The idea to access spreadsheet is to use Form from Google Docs which boxes are associated with spreadsheet fields. Then by using simple POST routine you can collect nicely arranged data table is spreadsheet which can be for your own needs. Continue reading

Nanode-Arduino web board

When ever we need a network connectivity for Arduino we simply take a standard Arduino board and attach Ethernet shield to it. This is universal way to get what you want. There is another great alternative to reach similar goal – use Nanode board. This is an Arduino like board that already has a web connectivity built in. so you don’t need to use additional shields for simple network connections. It uses an ENC28J60 ethernet controller along with Magjack. This is an open source project so get it for your next project. Continue reading

Versatile and open home energy monitor

Energy cost money, so it is good idea to keep track on usage of it. Following project is dedicated to monitoring of whole house energy consumption. It has plenty features that enable do various fun stuff like seeing real power usage, apparent power, power factor, RMS voltage/current, frequency and cumulative kWh. The values can be viewed on four 7 segment LED panel or via web interface that allows graphing energy usage. Energy measurement and Ethernet interfacing is done by Arduino boards. So there is not much of board making than wiring and burning sketches. And once again, be careful when dealing with mains. Continue reading

Start your computer from anywhere

Did you find yourself in situation when you are far away from your computer and need remote access to it. The only thing is to regret that you turned it off before leave or grab phone and hope that someone is home and will turn it on. Leaving PC on for a long time will consume power that leads to bigger electric bills. Second option won’t work if you live alone. So you can enable wake on LAN functionality and let everyone in the world to turn your computer or design something much smarter that would listen only you. Blake Foster has assembled a stack of Arduino shields to do this task. These include Arduino Duemilanove base + Ethernet shield + custom shield to connect PC power switch. To make things more secure there are couple security layer implemented that allows identification the real owner. These include 64 binary string to which Arduino will respond and second is cryptographic protocol that encrypts message with secret key ensuring that same message won’t be repeated in future. Arduino also detects if computer… Continue reading

Water your garden whenever you want with Arduino watering controller

dr113j from Instructables has decided that the commercial garden watering controller didn’t give him enough flexibility to select time and operation modes, so he decided to build one.  As a base, he has chosen an Arduino along with his made Ethernet controller. What the controller has to do is to drive 12V watering solenoids. So simple transistor circuit is enough on the power side of the board. There is also a DS1302 RTC chip used to track time. The rest is left for software where limits are your own imagination what, how and when you want to water your garden. And of course, it is more fun when you can do this via the web interface. For garden maintenance and cleaning, milwaukee leaf blower can be a great choice, though. Continue reading