21. November 2004 18:33
I was looking for a camera that was waterproof (although I am installing it under the front porch), has motion detection, IR Leds for night vision and works well during the day. I found something that seemed to fit the requirements at the local Radio Shack. The Radio Shack Indoor/Outdoor B&W Camera was only $60 and also had two way audio.
The first time I gave the camera a test run was at night on the front porch and I was amazed at the clarity that the camera produced. With the front porch light on I could easily see 20 ft into the front yard. I never relized that incandescent lights give off infrared light. Well I was very pleased with the results so I planned to install the camera into my whole house video system on the next weekend.
The integration took a little hacking because I had RG6, CAT-5, and power going out to the front porch and the camera came with a PS2 connector. So I purchase a 6ft PS2 keyboard/mouse extension cable to canabalize for the camera to whole house video integration. The camera had signals as follows: GND, 15 vdc, Video, Mic Audio, Speaker Audio, and Motion Sense. After all was hooked up and I added an RF Modulator to brodcast the video into my whole house. This was about 1pm and the sun had gone down in my front yard. Well the picture that came from the camera was very washed out. I pointed the camera indoors and the image came quickly into view. Obviously the sun's IR was causing the camera to be blinded. Even though the sun was not directly in view with the camera. So the end result is this camera did not fit by "Works well in Daylight" requirement.
Back to Radio Shack to return the camera. I hope I can find a new one to take it's place. Even if I have to purchase a seperate motion detector and infrared flood lamp I would be statisfied. As long as the camera video quality is good during the day and night.
21. November 2004 07:50
I have been wondering how fesible it would be to use the Compact Framework on a Pocket PC with WiFi to control a Home Automation system. Seems like it would be a handy device to use around the house. I have seen a number of aftermarket remotes that work over radio frequencies to control media devices in remote rooms. These devices seem like they would work (although I have not tried one) but they seem expensive and I could imagine that they would fall short on expandability. So I did a quick search on the Compact Framework and WiFi.
26. January 2004 23:08
I stumbled across an X10 .Net Library
today. Looks like this will be a great start for my HomeAutomation
16. January 2004 07:48
Started to look at the first piece of development for my HomeAutomation
system. I decided to work on the scheduling functionality
since a majority of my tasks will require to be scheduled.
11. January 2004 18:55
It came to me today that my ideas on a Multimedia PC really falls under Home Automation. I think a lot of things I want to do with this PC are directly related to Home Automation and the media player portion of the tasks are a subset of the Home Automation device. So I am going to change the Namespace on my Wiki from Multimedia to HomeAutomation once I get a chance. This will make the wiki a little broader in it's content. I Think I will also change the Multimedia Blog category to Home Automation.
9. January 2004 21:49
I have an old PC that isn't really doing anything so I decided to make it into a multimedia PC for my home entertainment center. I looked around a little bit to see if there are any freeware applications that will handle this application. I found Freevo and MythTV. Both of these applications are Linux based which is ok for some people but I am a .Net developer so I wanted a Windows .Net solution. I haven't found anything that is written in C# so I decided to start my own for now to see how far I could take it.
Here are some things I want to do
- Play MP3
- Play My Home Videos
- Slideshow pictures
- X10 Home control
- Speech and Voice recognition
- Record TV Shows
- Monitor Home Security
- Get News feed with speech
- Weather reports
- RSS Aggregator
- Internet Radio
- Home Wiki
- Audio/Text Message center
- Allarm clock
- Play Games
I started a Home Automation Wiki Wiki to keep notes on my progress.