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Background

(Written in the start of 2016)
I currently have a "Home Automation" setup consisting of a fanless computer running Linux (running Fedora 17), with the following processes:

  • Logitech Media Server (formerly known as: Squeezebox Music Server) - The music files are stored on a NAS. The music server is controlled from the other parts of the system using the HTTP and CLI interfaces (e.g. turning off all music when I leave for work).
  • A Perl script registering my electric power consumption.
  • A Perl script controlling the heating in the apartment using the following hardware:
  • An Apache web-server hosting the user-interface for the system.
  • A MySQL server for storing data and transferring data between the Perl scripts and the web-site.

The user interface is accessed using a couple of old Compaq iPAQ PDAs with network cards mounted different places in the apartment (e.g. by the front door).

The current setup has some challenges:

  • Using the serial controlled relays and temperature logger requires cables to be run from the computer/boxes to the radiators. And the data cable for the temperature sensors have been repaired several times due to lost connections.
  • Trying to actually control the boxes directly from the web-site can be quite difficult. Using the MySQL database to send "commands" to the Perl scripts introduces delay in controlling the relays.
  • The Linux box requires upgrading. The current version of Fedora is outdated. The graphics card in the computer is no longer supported by most Linux distributions.
I would also like to extend the functionality of the system, with features like using my calendar to control when the heating is on and being able to control the ventilation.

Project

Hardware

So for now I have decided on the following hardware setup:

  • A small quiet computer . For now I have decided on a Intel NUC box with a SSD disk.
  • The thermal actuators are replaced by Danfoss living connect thermostats, which support Z-Wave for wireless communication.
  • A Z-Stick from Aeon Labs to be able control the Z-Wave devices from the computer.

In the future I also plan to add Z-Wave controlled power sockets and switches.

Software

The software will most likely be running on a Windows OS (since I'm working as a software developer writing Windows software)

The software will most likely be a single program running as a service, using a SQL Express database for data storage. The Logitech Media Server will also be installed on the new computer (still with the music files stored on NAS). To be able to control the software I plan to build a web-server into the program (using the HTTP[something]).

If you have comments or questions, feel free to contact me.