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Home Control over the Internet Part 2

If you’re read my previous article – you’ll know I’m interested in home control DIY. The original home control article is here.

Petes Radio Controlled BoardsMy first attempts at remote control over here in Spain are coming together. Having had remote access to cameras for 3 or 4 years now with reasonable reliability, I’m ready to extend this to temperature and humidity monitoring and remote control of lighting.

If you look at my previous articles on home control you’ll know that I’m using NETIO on Android phones, via WEBSOCKET drivers on Arduino-type boards using the WIZ Internet controller at the master end and low-cost RF24NETWORK-driven radio-controlled boards for remotes.

I recently had some boards made to comprise the Atmel 328 chip and associated components along with monitoring LEDS and the NRF24L01 low-cost radio boards as daughter-boards. Here is the first of the units, in a case top – alongside a single RELAY board. This board needs USB power only (pretty standard low cost plug-in-the-wall power) and communicates with the master (and hence the remote Android or iPhone) to allow monitoring and control.

The board you see here also has a DHT11 unit attached to provide temperature and humidity readings. These are not stunningly accurate but I have calibration offsets available in EEPROM on the controller to compensate.

The plan is to leave the main board attached to the router here and the small control board will monitor downstairs temperature and humidity – if time permits a second board will monitor the same upstairs – as humidity is an issue in caves – even modern ones such as ours – too wet and clearly this causes damp issues, too dry and the underlying cave material gets brittle and you get bits dropping off! Breezeblock is so much easier but then also so much more ugly.

More on this later, the basic boards are working a treat, I’ve yet to do range testing for the radio.

This all sprang up from my original article on a cottage thermostat in which I envisaged a very simple controller. Then came the UberBareBoard article about an Atmega328-based Arduino clone, initial attempts to master the NRF24L01 radio. The next article was the first item entitled home control and after this – the winter update.

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