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Box: Ir, Serial, I/o - Ideas?


Mr-Protocol
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Basically I'm hitting the community trying to see what kind of ideas people can come up with for a box that has I/O ports, 2x Serial, and an IR port. I was thinking possibly using the I/O ports with occupancy sensors to have it trigger things on the IR or serial ports. But that's about all I can think of. So let's here what you got for ideas?

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Basically I'm hitting the community trying to see what kind of ideas people can come up with for a box that has I/O ports, 2x Serial, and an IR port. I was thinking possibly using the I/O ports with occupancy sensors to have it trigger things on the IR or serial ports. But that's about all I can think of. So let's here what you got for ideas?

http://www.digi.com/products/serialservers/

Poke around on their website, as they have tens of thousands of SKUs and almost all of their devices run off linux and almost all have python support. I use their cellular routers daily for work and am very very pleased with the company as a whole.

telot

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Let me be a little more clear. I am thinking of buying an AMX Integrated controller. It has 4 I/Os, 1 IR, and 2 serial. Just not sure what to do with it if I decide to buy it lol.

Ahh I thought you were hitting up the community looking for such a box. I'd use it for home automation :) With one IR blast turn on your tv, receiver, xbox, and some lights?

OR you could use it with a pineapple magnet mod - its high up on some pole looking all inconspicuous, you don't want to mess up its inconspicuousness now do you? But at the same time you want to trigger another set of scripts. Set the scripts to trigger off the wps button and wire up the IR to it.

telot

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I'm thinking using arduino vs an AMX Controller. Although AMX has a nice proprietary programming language with tons of features, the boxes are very expensive. I'm thinking maybe arduino with some IO, occupancy sensors, relay for garage door, and maybe IR for zone-based music to follow me when I play music from room to room. But that would be a lot of copper to add in the walls but it would be sweet.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello,

Have a look at Bitwise Controls. They are a great inexpensive alternative to AMX, Extron, Crestron. They do not have many drivers, but for the most part they are quite easy to build. They also will build most drivers for free. They use either iPhones or Androids for control. The others are very good and all perform great and have more integration options, but also cost an arm a leg and a left you know what. :blink: I use my ipod touch to control my BC4x1.

http://bitwisecontrols.com/

--m3thod

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey Mr-Protocol,

I've actually done a similar project, control an extractor fan and some lights, through an arduino and a web-based front end using asp.net ... it turned out quite cool ,though after finishing it I found out ALOT of ways of how it could have been improved(as with any project once its finished :-P ). Also you don't necessarily need to hook up everything through wires, there are several cheap wireless modules one can use with the arduino platform have a look at ebay :-) .

The arduino could be interesting to use with regards to the garage relay and maybe the ir controller, but i would have a look at the x10 home automation stuff as they are also pretty cheap to buy and through use of some small device (like the raspberry pi) you could skip the need of a micro controller altogether. As far as I know you could send commands to separate modules over Ethernet(using the home powerline) etc.

Regards,

Entity

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I too have/had the same preferences as yourself ... BUT ... it takes a lot of effort to make something with direct copper robust enough to ensure it has maximum up time.

For example it will take some time (and money) to modify a power cord lets say, so that every plug: a) uses a relay instead of a switch and b ) provides feedback mechanisms, that verify, that what you command the system to do, is indeed obeyed so that if you want to switch some appliance on when you're not at home you wown't be working blindly, saying ... "ok i turned on the washing machine lets hope it worked."

Also a lot more effort would be needed to, for example, design a hardware module to be able to control a microwave directly through a custom built interface, wiring relays (or something of that sort) to each button available. In the project I did I too hard wired everything but a bulb is something very simple to control, where as an appliance like the previously mentioned microwave would be a bit nightmarish to wire (as i myself an no engineer).

On another note think the IR Blaster idea is extremely cool, having 1 module to control all you ir remote based devices. Any thoughts on how you intend to implement that and what language/s you might use ? I myself usually control the arduino through Java and the RxTx library, though as soon as some free time crops up I intend to try and migrate everything to C.

Edited by entity
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I too have/had the same preferences as yourself ... BUT ... it takes a lot of effort to make something with direct copper robust enough to ensure it has maximum up time.

For example it will take some time (and money) to modify a power cord lets say, so that every plug: a) uses a relay instead of a switch and b ) provides feedback mechanisms, that verify, that what you command the system to do, is indeed obeyed so that if you want to switch some appliance on when you're not at home you wown't be working blindly, saying ... "ok i turned on the washing machine lets hope it worked."

Not sure what you are getting at here, Power cords shouldn't be modified, a relay is a switch essentially. Also you have to do more to a washing machine than just say "go" lol

Also a lot more effort would be needed to, for example, design a hardware module to be able to control a microwave directly through a custom built interface, wiring relays (or something of that sort) to each button available. In the project I did I too hard wired everything but a bulb is something very simple to control, where as an appliance like the previously mentioned microwave would be a bit nightmarish to wire (as i myself an no engineer).

Who would microwave stuff remotely? lol. I have lots of experience with AMX control systems, a little with Crestron as well. There are tons of possibilities you can do with those systems. But they are WAY expensive for general home hobbyists.

On another note think the IR Blaster idea is extremely cool, having 1 module to control all you ir remote based devices. Any thoughts on how you intend to implement that and what language/s you might use ? I myself usually control the arduino through Java and the RxTx library, though as soon as some free time crops up I intend to try and migrate everything to C.

IR is horrible fyi. There is no feedback, commands may be a toggle for say power on/off and if you send too fast bad things will happen. Professional AV solutions will avoid IR in almost all circumstances.

Ideally this "box" was a small AMX controller I was looking to buy off of ebay, but I have no practical use for it right now.

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Damn that AMX stuff looks interesting ... and also expensive :-P ! Lets say you had to design an extremely cheap home automation system. How would you go about lets say controlling a TV (sound etc) would IR still be out of the question ?

Regards,

Entity

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I see ... I wonder if something like that could be achieved through the samsung usb service port my tv has, this will require some research >.< thanks for the idea though !

Regards,

Entity

Update: the 40" Tvs have the rs232 port ! :) the 24" doesn't though hehe

Edited by entity
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