Posts Tagged ‘wireless automation’

Wirelessly Automate Your Home

Sunday, November 14th, 2010


I’ve stumbled across this quite simple idea of home automation using Wifi. [Mrx23] combined OpenWRT, a microcontroller, and a set of RF controlled outlet switches to add automation to his plug-in devices. An RF remote that controls the switched outlets has been connected to an Arduino. The router communicates with the Arduino via a serial connection. And the router is controlled by a web interface which means you can use a smartphone or other web device to control the outlets.

The best thing about this system is the power that the router wields. Since it has an underlying Linux kernel you have the option of setting CRON jobs to turn lighting on and off, and group settings can be established to set up a room’s lighting level for watching movies, hosting guests, etc. Combine this with the fact that OpenWRT can use port forwarding for Internet control and the possibilities really start to open up.

Courtesy Mrx23 at

Cell phone based car starter, another take

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010


Dave Had been working on a cell phone activated remote start for his car for a while when we posted the GSM car starter. While both do carry out the same job, we feel that there is enough good information here to share. He’s gone a pretty simple way, by connecting the vibrator motor leads to a headphone jack. He’s using that signal to then activate the remote start by setting off an extra fob. Though it is amazingly simple, this version does have an advantage. As he points out, his cell phone has several features which could be utilized to automate some of his car starts. He can set alarms as well as recurring calendar events to get his car started without his interaction. Lets just hope he doesn’t forget and let his car run too long unattended, especially if it is in a garage attached to his house.

Source: Dave Hacks

GSM Car Starter

Saturday, January 16th, 2010


It’s just starting to warm up around here but it was very cold for a long time. We’re not fond of going anywhere when it’s way below freezing but those professional hermit opportunities never panned out so we’re stuck freezing our butts off. Fed up with his frigid auto, [Aaron] installed a remote starter to warm the car up before he got to it. This didn’t help at work because of the distance from his office to the sizable parking lot is too far for the key fob’s signal to carry. He decided to make his starter work with GSM so he could start the car with a phone call.

The first attempt involved a pre-paid cell phone for $30. The problem is that anyone who called the phone would end up starting the car. After a bit of looking he found a GSM switch that just needs an activated SIM to work. When called, it reads the incoming phone number for authentication but never picks up the phone so there’s no minutes used. He cracked open an extra key-fob and wired up the lock and start buttons to the relays in the GSM switch. Bam! A phone call starts (and locks) his car.

Maybe this isn’t as hardcore as body implants but it’s a fairly clean solution. He uses the car’s 12v system to power the switch and pays $10 every three months to keep the SIM card active. There’s an underwhelming demonstration video after the break showing a cellphone call and a car starting.

Courtesy of Hack A Day

Crop farmers going high-tech

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: Mimos Bhd believes its wireless sensor network (WSN) for precision agriculture can help the local industry to produce quality crops.

“The sensors monitor micro-climate changes and soil nutrients within a specific area very effectively,” said Yusri Alias, head of technology portfolio management at Mimos.

WSN is a wireless network consisting of spatially distributed devices that use sensors to monitor environmental conditions.

Although it is a generic technology that can be applied in many fields — such as the monitoring of infrastructure, slope management, and environment watch — Mimos is focusing in the area of precision agriculture.

Source: The Star

ZigBee modules mesh for Russian metering

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

Telegesis UK has won a major order to supply its advanced Zigbee module products to TBN Energoservice of Russia TBN Energoservice specialises in the development of automatic meter reading (AMR) and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) systems using the latest technical developments.

TBN is implementing a major wireless water AMR system based on ZigBee radio technology.The system uses ZigBee mesh networking software and silicon delivered in module form via the ETRX2 module produced by Telegesis.In Russia, domestic water has traditionally been preheated in dedicated power plants and pumped directly to consumer’s apartments.

TBN is implementing a major wireless water AMR system based on ZigBee radio technology. The system uses ZigBee mesh networking software and silicon delivered in module form via the ETRX2 module produced by Telegesis. In Russia, domestic water has traditionally been preheated in dedicated power plants and pumped directly to consumer’s apartments. Read more on this article…

Gizmo Project – a network truck

Thursday, June 5th, 2008

Gizmo is a remote-controlled toy monster truck which has been tricked out by Calit2 UCSD researchers. At just 20″x14″x11″ in size, it is tiny when compared to regular trucks, but it can deliver something that they cannot: an adaptable and reliable research platform which is reconfigurable for the task at hand.

Gizmo’s “tricks” are treats for researchers. Each truck has a Calit2 CalMesh ad-hoc network board which is equipped with both wireless local area network (WLAN) and global positioning system (GPS) cards. Basic features currently include full motor capabilities (forward, reverse, braking), an override circuit for manual remote control and a web-enabled camera.

The underlying motivation of the Gizmo project is to create an autonomous multi-radio platform that can be controlled by many kinds of interfaces and can be used for a wide variety of applications, such as, disaster response environments, radio frequency (RF) mapping, data gathering and educational purposes, as well as others.

Source: Calit2

The idea of this technology is to develop collision free traffic in the future where cars are control by centralized traffic controller, following the successful of fly-by-wire technology that have been applied in aviation field for years. In the future where most areas are covered by WLAN or WIMAX wireless signals, all vehicles are controlled by central traffic controller where passengers only need to key in their destinations into the cockpit control panel.

Unplugged: Developing Standards for Wireless Automation

Thursday, June 5th, 2008

To build the most robust and secure wireless devices, suppliers build according to an approved standard. Wireless Internet communications, for example, all comply to the familiar IEEE 802.11 (b, g, and n) standards. Currently, both the HART Communication Foundation (HCF, Austin, TX) and ISA (Research Triangle Park, NC) are involved in putting forth an industrial wireless standard at the basic “bits and bytes” level (i.e., sensors) (see sidebar, “Which wireless?”). HCF released its standard, WirelessHART (HART generation 7), in September 2007. To date, ISA is continuing to develop a draft of its standard, officially noted as ISA 100.11a (often referred to as SP 100).

Both organizations aim for global acceptance, including by the pharmaceutical industry, which thanks to the move toward quality by design, is preparing for increased in-process monitoring. Both HCF and ISA agree that a wireless standard is the right step to advance process automation and communication. Both are aware they are competing to achieve the same objective. And of course both would argue that their standard is the most beneficial, robust, and secure. Read more on this article.