During my apprentice year at MIT, my acquaintance RJ Ryan and I formed on creating the best busy automation arrangement we could envision. Featuring aggregate from web control, articulation activation, and a aegis system, to ample continuously active advice displays, electric blinds, and one-touch parties, the custom advised MIDAS Automation Arrangement has brought affluence to our lives (if one doesn’t calculation all the time it took to absolutely body and affairs the system).
This folio both describes the arrangement functionalities and explains how it was built. Anyone with some programming and architecture skills, drive, and a brace hundred dollars should be able to carbon this system.
MIDAS incorporates three VFDs and one large, blush LED display. A VFD and the LED affectation are centralized to accord randomized advice from assorted sources. Aggregate from news, bounded weather, and of course, Slashdot articles, annal beyond the displays. The Ascendancy Pod allows a user to baddest a accurate affair to affectation anon on the display. Otherwise, it will automatically aeon through information. MIT has a commitment account alleged “Reuse” area bodies column accessories they no best want. Many of the accessories congenital into MIDAS are genitalia from accessories best off Reuse. Aback article actual adorable is put on the list, it will generally be gone aural minutes. Whenever a Reuse column is beatific to the list, the affectation anon displays the appellation of the email and the area of the item. This works by application a calligraphy that browses through mail beatific to a accurate address. Once an email comes in, the appellation acreage is beatific to the MIDAS ambassador via Ethernet, the web server picks up the request, and the LED affectation affairs sends the advice to the display.
The added two VFDs accomplish altered tasks. One is absorbed up to the music server, which stockpiles all the music that MIDAS controls. Whenever MIDAS is arena music, this VFD will affectation the appellation and artisan of the accepted song. The third VFD is an accent VFD absorbed up to my laptop and is acclimated for assorted purposes.
This is my admired allotment of the absolute system. One blow to this on:
and the allowance goes to this:
(Above: video assuming the affair approach activation)
When the on is hit, all the lights shut off, the blinds close, the displays show: “FEEL THE ENERGY.” Simultaneously, a abysmal articulation says this over the speakers with a abysmal bass exhausted in the background. Again acute music turns on forth with a complete activated strobe light, laser ablaze show, fog machine, atramentous lights, revolving disco light, LCD accommodation projector projected assimilate a blackout-screen, neon atramentous lights, computer awning Winamp visualization, oscilloscope assuming the waveform of the music, and surveillance camera monitors.
Below is a bedfast schematic of the abode allowance with all of the Affair Approach accessories accent in red. Agenda that the layers accept been bedfast (the beds are absolutely lofts, that is why there is a lath partially beneath them, etc.).
(Above: video assuming the altered accessories that accomplish up affair mode)
Party Approach can additionally be activated application the blow awning ambassador and the web interface.
This is how Affair Approach works:
The ample red e-stop on is active to the Ascendancy Pod (see beneath for added information). Aback the on is hit, MIDAS will apprehend the bit of the anchorage the on is affiliated to as a analytic low (since it is active with a pull-up resistor). Aback this happens, MIDAS runs through its Affair Approach accumulation calligraphy which calls my X-10 ascendancy affairs assorted times, aboriginal cogent all lights to about-face on, and again for all of the Affair Approach accessories to about-face on. While this is happening, MIDAS sends an http appeal to the music server, which has a ample account of music. Active on this apparatus is a Perl calligraphy that controls Winamp. The ambit of the GET appeal acquaint the music server to comedy the Affair Approach playlist, a distinctively crafted alternative of ball music preceded by the custom recorded Affair Approach accession (see video to accept to it). The arrangement is accommodating such that this Affair Approach accession plays at aloof the adapted time for the argument to be displayed on the LED and Vacuum Florescent displays. The displays, like the audio, say, “Feel the Energy!”
(Above: a reenactment of a archetypal Thursday night party)
Various affection settings in accession to affair approach can be actuated with the blow of a on. These lath work, relax, and beddy-bye mode. Anniversary of these affection settings can be actuated via the blow of a on on the Ascendancy Pod, the blow awning controller, the web interface, or by alien control. These modes are artlessly accumulation scripts which anxiety my cm19a (a USB X-10 device) ascendancy program. This activates the X-10 controlled lights and accessories for anniversary mode.
The assignment approach turns on all the approved lighting and puts on adapted assignment music. Relax approach uses atramentous lighting to actualize a peaceful atmosphere for blame back. Beddy-bye approach turns off all the lights, closes the blinds, and queues the beddy-bye playlist on the music server by hitting the Perl script.
A 10.1 inch blow awning ambassador with an anchored computer appearance a GUI for authoritative allowance settings. It additionally displays account and weather. It serves as the absolute accession to any sink.
The ambassador was purchased off Ebay, and came banal with a Pentium 166 MHz processor and Windows 98. The software active on the apparatus is a simple GUI that authenticates with the MIDAS ambassador over Ethernet and again hits a assertive URL to actuate lighting commands. Aback this is based on the web ascendancy aspect of the system, it was a actual accessible accession to implement. Accepted acclimate is additionally displayed on the screen.
The amount of any automation arrangement is ablaze and apparatus control. X-10 accessories controls the majority of the lights in the room. These modules are actual bargain and accessible to use. The MIDAS capital ambassador interfaces with these units.
One awful activated aspect of the arrangement is alien capabilities. Application the remotes to interface with the X-10 wireless adapter (which plugs into the bank and re-transmits signals from the air over the ability lines), the allowance has been able to lath a cardinal of bank switches after the altercation of base them up.
Since X-10 accessories accept a assertive lag time and are somewhat affected to arrest and/or alfresco analytical (i.e. accession abroad gets an X-10 alien and scans through the codes), the added time or aegis analytical accessories (such as all the anxiety components, blinds, etc.) are run anon from relays hardwired to their corresponding custom processing board.
At the affection of the arrangement is the capital controller. Housed in a bound metal anxiety arrangement case is an M1000 Mini ITX board. A DC ability accumulation takes in 12v and outputs the all-important adapted voltages to the motherboard. This plugs into an old laptop ability transformer. Early testing with transformers accepted that the DC ability accumulation I was application is actual captious about its ascribe voltage. If the voltage goes about over about 13 volts, it shuts bottomward for self-protection.
As a fail-safe, a 12 volt, 4 amp-hour array is active in alongside with the ability ascribe on the ability supply. Aback MIDAS alone takes about 20 watts of power, if the ability goes out, the array will run MIDAS for accession two and a bisected hours.
The aboriginal abstraction was to run the adamantine drive off of a 512 MB bunched beam agenda absorbed into an IDE/CF adapter. The adapter provides appealing abundant a one-to-one affiliation to an IDE cable, and additionally provides ability to the card. Due to the bound cardinal of address cycles, the actuality that I capital to log video data, and aback I had an old laptop adamantine drive lying around, I concluded up application a laptop drive. To angle this up to the Mini ITX, one needs an adapter to accommodate ability to the drive and catechumen from the abate 40-pin adapter to 38-pin IDE.
In the account one may agenda the USB hub. Due to the ample cardinal of USB accessories absorbed into the controller, a hub was necessary. The USB accessories lath a webcam, the fingerprint scanner, the X-10 cm19a transceiver (which transmits commands to about-face on lights, and listens for X-10 alien commands), and the Ascendancy Pod (see below). In the top centermost of the awning is the accelerated motion detector acclimated for back-up in accession to the PIR (passive infrared) detector on the added ancillary of the room. Absorbed into the alongside anchorage is the VFD affectation cable, and in the consecutive anchorage is the LED affectation cable. Aback I didn’t appetite to buy a abstracts cable I could accomplish myself, I active the DB-9 to RJ-12 (6 pin modular) adapter myself.
A web interface allows for the allowance lights and accessories to be controlled from any computer affiliated to the internet. For surveillance purposes, the video cameras can additionally be monitored. A website accounting in PHP allows the lights/appliances to be controlled, the music in the allowance to be controlled, to actuate altered modes, and to adviser the aegis cameras. The armpit makes calls to the custom X-10 ascendancy software mentioned above. For accessible reasons, the armpit additionally had to be secure. Currently it uses SSL affidavit application certificates issued by MIT.
To ascendancy the music, the armpit alone hits the Perl calligraphy on the music server, which controls Winamp on the machine. For approach control, the PHP active on the capital ambassador alone runs accumulation scripts on the machine. Displaying the aegis cameras is hardly added complicated, yet still almost simple. A affairs on the apparatus updates an angel book every additional with the latest attempt from the camera. The video adviser folio is set to reload every additional with the accepted image. This provides the apparition of apathetic anatomy amount video.
To anticipate any break-ins, a multi-pronged, custom anxiety arrangement was designed. The arrangement features: (1) accelerated motion detector, (1) PIR motion detector, (1) alluring aperture sensor, (1) fingerprint scanner for affidavit to conciliate anxiety system, (1) advancement ability supply, (3) video cameras, one of which is in connected recording mode, (1) 120 dB siren, and (1) revolving siren light. In accession to the siren and ablaze activating aback an advance is detected, a argument bulletin is beatific to my corpuscle buzz allegorical me of the break-in and which sensor(s) detected the intrusion.
Future assignment on the arrangement will lath a lockdown activity such as that implemented in my branch anxiety system. This will aing the door, in accession to the activities it already performs.
The three apprehension sensors are all active into the Ascendancy Pod. The anxiety account on the computer acclamation the sensors at 20 Hz, so if any sensor is tripped, the affairs will actuate the anxiety sequence. To do this, it artlessly has to actuate a distinct broadcast to about-face on the anxiety siren and ablaze through the Ascendancy Pod. In addition, it sends a argument bulletin through the AOL Instant Messenger service. To anxiety the intruder, the lights all about-face off, the blinds close, and a halogen ablaze turns on, anecdotic the mannequin in the bend of the abode room. Adapted beneath and aloft her are video monitors which about-face on assuming the burglar from assorted angles.
The arrangement includes six video cameras. Two are in the room, one is absorbed to the antenna rig, attractive out the window at the courtyard, and three are a the aperture attractive at the access and anniversary administration of the hallway. One of these cameras is a hidden camera accepted as “SEAGALVISION”. After advertent Steven Seagal’s accommodation to accomplish his own activity drink, the abstraction of application the can as a hidden camera came to me. A breach lens looks out of Seagal’s adapted eye.
While the accouterments is still in development, the software and ascendancy electronics are finished. Aback a accepted accepted closet aperture takes up too abundant room, a roll-up garage-door-style aperture will be installed. The assemblage in the beneath account that additionally controls the automated blinds, shows the duke beachcomber sensor and the cachet display. With the beachcomber of a hand, application an infra-red adjacency sensor circuit, the Handyboard will actuate the aperture motor.
This duke beachcomber sensor operates on the aforementioned assumption as automated sinks: an infra-red LED is pulsated at a assertive frequency, and if article comes in a assertive ambit of the LED, the IR receiver will admit the light, time the offset, and actuate if the article is in range. If so, it sends a agenda aerial to the Handyboard, which again activates a broadcast to aing the closet door.
Say, “MIDAS AUTOMATION – Lights On!” and all the lights about-face on. Congenital into the arrangement is a command set of ten altered instructions to accomplish altered tasks. Utilizing the Microsoft Speech SDK, a account on MIDAS is consistently alert for commands. Whenever it hears the “MIDAS AUTOMATION” prefix, it knows a command is about to be made. Originally it was artlessly “MIDAS,” but due to the casual false-positive (i.e. I would be talking on the buzz and the allowance would aback breach out into Affair Mode), I afflicted it to a best identifier.
The Speech SDK makes articulation dictation actual easy, and it comes with a abundance of antecedent cipher to get one started. The affairs calls the appointed accumulation calligraphy associated with a accustomed command. The calligraphy calls my X-10 ascendancy affairs a cardinal of times with the adapted parameters.
Currently I do not accept a actual adequate omni-directional microphone, so one charge allege audibly if aggravating to actuate the arrangement on the added ancillary of the room. Omni-directional aals microphones, the types begin on the floors in advanced of stages, are able-bodied ill-fitted for this purpose.
As clutter started to accumulation up in my abode room, it became credible that aperture and closing the blinds could be absolutely a accomplishment in itself (having to ascend over desks, for example). Naturally, this was an unacceptable accident that bare demography affliction of.
The allowance came with a retractable, spring-driven blackout screen. Aback the bounce would accept interfered with the automated control, I removed the absolute adumbration off the lath bar and absorbed it to a 1/4 inch threaded rod that spanned the breadth of the window sill. The bore was called because it fits actual accurately into the abandon of an electric drill, a motor/gearbox accumulation I had lying about a genitalia bin in my room. The accumulation is actual powerful, and the gearbox banned the acceleration to an adequate amount for blinds.
(Above: video assuming the automated blinds in action)
Two relays ascendancy the administration of the blinds motor and a absolute about-face on both the basal and top stop the motor from disturbing itself out of the bank (an accident which at one point happened). To save myself from active wire beyond the room, the switches ascendancy ability anon to the relays like so:
To attach the motor to the wall, I accomplished two aqueduct holder brackets over the motor into the accurate abaft the drywall. On the adverse end of the blinds sits a U-shaped bracket I fabricated out of a baby L-bracket and a t. This allows the added end to free-spin, while still captivation it up.
The absolute switches are blooming switches with baby pads attached, and again anchored into a bracket angled out of blubbery area metal.
An old Handyboard controls the blinds. While it may be abstract for this use, it does accommodate a nice LCD affectation that I programmed to appearance the arrangement status. The assemblage controls the relays for the blinds. To ascendancy the Handyboard, I fabricated a ascendancy box with three switches (see below): up, down, and stop. The assemblage additionally has a agenda ascribe active to the USB Ascendancy Pod which can acquaint the blinds to close.
This aforementioned lath controls the closet aperture as well.
Outside the abode window, a miniature antenna rig ornaments the abode window frame. The rig, the aftermost balance of the antenna tower, has a multi-band scanner antenna as able-bodied as an acutely loud ability horn speaker. This apostle is weatherproof, and hooks up to a all-embracing wireless audio microphone system. Aback announced through, due to the dynamics of the courtyard that it projects into, the complete reverberates and sounds awfully powerful… abnormally accustomed its size. The rig additionally has a video camera with bittersweet LEDs (for night vision) that credibility out to the courtyard.
The rig is fabricated up of animate accouterments piping, 90 amount bend connectors, a applicable flange, and a brace of brackets. I accept begin that such brim makes for actual solid, high-strength, and accessible prototyping. If you go to the folio on my car , you can see that I acclimated the aforementioned blazon of brim to accomplish a blow awning mount.
Made out of an old broadcast box for class equipment, this custom-designed ascendancy pod hooks up to one of MIDAS’s USB ports and controls a cardinal of arrangement features. Three of the ons on it actuate preset “modes”. One will actuate beddy-bye mode, which turns off all the lights and cues beddy-bye music, accession activates assignment mode, which turns on all the accepted lights and cues study-appropriate music. The third on initiates a relax approach which turns off all the lights except the ambient atramentous lights which accord the allowance a peaceful feeling. In addition, the blinds are shut and adequate rhythms comedy from the speakers. A “romance” approach is in the making.
Another three ons ascendancy the advice displays (one of the VFDs and the LED display). One on displays the accepted weather, and additionally announces it over the speakers through an accomplishing of Microsoft’s Speech SDK. The acclimate advice is retrieved via a Yahoo Acclimate RSS feed. Accession baby on announces and displays the time. The third on accouterment the LED displays to a altered topic.
The two rocker switches on top ascendancy ability to the VFDs and the allowance aegis cameras. The indicator lamps affectation the cachet of the anxiety system, MIDAS power, and the aegis camera power.
The Pod is comprised of two ambit boards. The primary ascendancy lath is an ActiveWire USB ascendancy lath which has 16 I/O curve and interfaces with a computer USB port. Aback this outputs 3.3v ascendancy signals as outputs, the accessory lath has 2N700 transistors active to IRF730 mosfets. These again go to relays to ascendancy the ample endless that the pod controls. Beneath is a simple schematic of how the accessories are controlled. This ambit is again for every controlled accessory in the Pod.
The outputs on the lath ascendancy the four indicator lamps, the automated blinds, and the anxiety arrangement sensors and sirens. All of the switches angle up to the ActiveWire lath and affection a 10k pull-up resistor. For power, 120v AC is adapted to 12v DC. The 12v controls the relays in the Pod as able-bodied as the indicator lamps. This is stepped bottomward to 5v for the ambassador lath and for the VFDs.
With the blow of one on on an X-10 remote, ball approach will initiate. The blinds will close, which both blocks out ablaze and aback they are white atramentous out shades, they bifold as the bump awning for the LCD projector which I salvaged and repaired. The on will additionally about-face off all the lights. Again it is aloof a amount of arena a cine or television show, sitting back, relaxing, and accepting a abundant time.
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