House Monitor

Discussion in 'Community' started by jamesW135, May 14, 2005.

  1. jamesW135 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 30, 2005
    Hi, my father is in the prosses of building a new house but it will only be for vacations so he want some software and equipment to monitor the house change the heat and turn lights on and off he is aware this software will be a-lot of money. We are just interested to hear about anything like this or that will do it.

    Thanks! James Senzer
  2. redeye be macrumors 65816

    redeye be

    Jan 27, 2005
    One of my father's colleagues did this. He used on old PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) and wrote his own software. The guy's a wiz, he can control everything. He even connected every window to the PLC making sure he can check they're properly closed.
    I think the hardware (and its implementation) will be the more expensive part.

    Good luck.
    If you found some info on another site, please keep us updated. I to would love playing 1984 in my home ;).
  3. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    A very interesting concept. This seems to be the wave of the future in new home construction. I believe that "This Old House" on WGBH did something similar. Will also be interested if someone finds the actual working product. Would prefer that it would be Mac, but I'm realistic.
  4. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    He may want to visit a home automation store, a technician could put together a package sized to his needs within a certain budget. If I were going to do it, I would get a few thermal (motion) detectors around (for a few hundred more, you could put a couple of infrared cameras around, to peek in via a secure web interface, even in the dark), install a computerized HVAC controller (depending on the model, controllable via web, or phone, or directly connected to the main system described below). Then maybe put a couple of X-10 boxes (X-10 is a home-automation networking system that runs over the power lines) on lamps throughout the home. You'll need a main controller to drive the X-10 system, something to run programs to turn lights on and off at different times. Or you could just put timers on the lamps, but a good burglar/squatter can easily see through that. A computer could also control the X-10 system, a Mac Mini might work nicely :) Toss on a couple of water sensors, near the waterheater and in the basement, and you've got a nicely monitored house.

    Of course, all of those systems are designed to expand, you could have multiple HVAC zones on automation to save on utilities, and computerize the whole lighting system, but that's way more than you want to do. Even what I described might be way too much. As I said, it's worthwhile to speak to a technician about your particular needs, even companies like ADT have branched into home automation, and they could probably create a cheaper package, with less hassle.

    If you did want to create a BIG system, today it's easily possible to control most details of a home electronically... From your curtains opening in the morning, to drawing a bath while you're on the way home, checking your mailbox, lowering the lights and dropping down a projector screen, closing the patio door if it gets too cold... it's quite amazing. Go high-tech with keypads or thumbscanners (or iris scanners!) connected to the door locks, or use remote fobs like cars to disarm the system. And yes, most of it can be done with a Mac! The hardware does get pricey, $10-20k to get a really great automation system in a large house, but it can be less if you have a skilled technician.

    Everything described above can be purchased at Smarthome, an online store which carries most of the mainstream products available for this type of thing. Of course i'm not trying to give them a plug, but I am sort of a home automation junkie... if you have any specific questions feel free to private message me!

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