I have been attempting to automate my home for some time and I have only just decided to blog about it. So where am I at the moment and what have I achieved so far?
My heating is controlled by a collection of what I will call FHT devices. These appear to be available under a couple of different brand names. The first I bought was from HouseTech and branded HouseHeat. Later I discovered that you could buy the same kit from a German company called Conrad Electronic who have an English website. The first one I bought from there had an ELV logo on it (who I think manufacture the system) and later ones are branded Conrad.
This system consists of a battery operated programmer and separate battery operated actuator which replaces the traditional thermostatic bit on a standard thermostatic radiator valve. I will write more on how this system works later.
Lighting consists of a mix of different types including mains and low voltage Halogens, compact florescent’s (CLF’s or Energy Saving Bulbs) and traditional incandescent light bulbs. Control is via a mix of electronic dimmers and switches. In the case of dimmers, I have a mix of Varilight touch dimmers, a couple of HomeEasy dimmers and my recent foray – LightwaveRF dimmers. Again, I will write more about this journey soon.
Its probably sensible to talk about the computing power available to me. I have a ‘node zero’ in the loft which consists of a wall mounted rack, a couple of wired Ethernet switches, a rack mountable server (not currently rack mounted) and a wireless bridge to connect it to the Wireless network. The server runs VMWare VSphere 5 with a mix of virtual machines including a number running Linux, a token Windows XP installation and a FreeNAS box providing file store. ’Client side’ computing devices consist of a Macbook Pro laptop, a Mac Pro workstation, an iPhone4, an original iPad and the Mrs’ work laptop running Windows 7… oh, and a Nintendo Wii! Internet is provided by a Virgin Media cable connection terminated downstairs and connected to the rest of the infrastructure via WiFi.
Music and Video is served from a home built media server running Plex for visual media to the various Mac and iDevices and Logitech Squeezebox Server to a Logitech Squeezebox Classic.