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DIY Home Automation using microcontrollers (and more!)

It's 02014; Where's my Jetsons house? I was promised flying cars and a personal robot assistant! We may not be there yet, but we're getting there and home automation is one major step forward.

There are all sorts of products out there now that will allow you to control your coffee maker or garage door from the other side of the globe. There are security systems you can check in on via your smart phone. Smart thermostats and smoke alarms that adapt to you. The list goes on and on, but these are just products. Enter the world of Do-It-Yourself and you can dive much much deeper. It can also be easier on the wallet.

Do-It-Yourself Home Automation comes with huge benefits and we're going to talk about some of the hardware, software and communities you want to pay attention to in order to get started with your own automations. Home automation isn't a particular technology or product--It's a way of thinking.

Me? I want things like sidewalk lighting that follows me (and turns off behind me). A weather-aware 'hands free' furnace. A garage door that opens up for my car (and my car only!). A voice authenticated beer kegerator. My list goes on! Whats on yours?

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  • Jody P.

    Sorry I missed this. I had a raucous cough that would've disturbed everyone. I'll try to catch the next go round.

    1 · March 28, 2014

  • Chris F.

    Hello everyone. Sorry that I missed out last night. This came to my attention. Pretty good deals on Arduino Boards this Saturday. https://www.sparkfun.com/arduinoday

    1 · March 27, 2014

    • Ben K.

      Wow. Wish I had more time to prepare. Those prices are awesome too. Sorry you couldn't make it but there is always next time! We started talking about the idea of doing backyard bbqs meetups where they were family friendly. maybe get kids working on cool projects while we geek out over grilling methods (another device maybe worth adding automation to?). Anyway, thought of you and the other dads from nciw . I think that'd be pretty cool. Who wants to signup their backyard to be on the bbq meetup tour series? :D

      1 · March 27, 2014

    • Chris F.

      This sounds like a great idea. I will check the calendar.

      March 27, 2014

  • Steven O.

    It was very interesting and thought provoking.

    1 · March 27, 2014

    • Ben K.

      Thanks for coming, Steven! WordPress is up next. :)

      March 27, 2014

  • Ben K.

    Sounds like several of us will bring some projects, or parts to show & tell and/or pass around. I'll be brining some sensors... Please feel free to bring anything that may be related. Even if it's something that isn't tech, but something you want to automate /with/ tech. Excited!

    March 26, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Here is a great 8 hour class for anyone who wants to get started with microcontrollers, the Arduino in this case...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRqLFn9rDJs&hd=1&t=570

    1 · March 25, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great intro video on Breadboarding a circuit from a simple schematic.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYMF-NcBCBE

    March 26, 2014

  • Ben K.

    I bought some books to share with the club. All of which are on the topic of BeagleBone. It's a system similiar and even compatible with the Arduino but instead of it being just a microcontroller, it's an embedded linux system. If you're comfortable working with GNU/Linux, you're going to feel right at home. The clubs very own Eric Meaney brought BeagleBone to my attention. Thanks Eric ;)

    Building a Home Security System with BeagleBone

    BeagleBone Robotic Projects

    BeagleBone Home Automation

    And here they are: http://bpk-disk.s3.amazonaws.com/BeagleBooks.zip

    March 24, 2014

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