TL;DR

What makes one of my projects a Smart Home one?

  • It has a level of automation involved
  • It connects back to a centralised server (the Smart Home server)
  • It allows remote control and/or provides its status for remote viewing

Below is a list of all the Smart Home projects I have created.

  1. Coopener – The Chicken Coop Automated Door Opener

I knew this day would come. My plan was to one day have all the gadgets and gizmos I have created to make my life easier to talk to each other and be centrally and remotely controlled. The reason why it hasn’t happened yet is because we have been planning to build a new home and any work I put in to a Smart Home would likely be destroyed during that process.

However, now I find myself in a position where:

  1. There is a need
  2. The modules I create for the Smart Home will not be impacted during construction of our house

The need first presented itself when two things happened consecutively.

  1. At night the possums would enter my chicken coop and eat all the chicken feed, costing me $$$ and scaring the chickens
  2. The automatic timer for watering my lawn is dumb and doesn’t know when it shouldn’t water the lawn pending anticipated rainfall. The over-watering resulted in unhealthy patches of lawn.

Both these problems can be solved using some clever devices which would talk to the internet and depending on the information received make decisions for either closing/opening the chicken coop door or watering the lawn.

These are two distinctly separate devices but perform similar functions. These functions should also be able to be controlled manually and the status of these devices should be easy to access. So the need for a central server to provide access to these devices arose and along with it the need to access the server from anywhere (by mobile device).

Because both these devices have nothing to do with the house itself I will not need to worry about wasting my effort on something which will be obsolete after the construction of our new home.

So, the Smart Home project has begun, and earlier than anticipated.

As with any project of broad goals, it is best to start small with scalability in mind and continue to build on what already works. Building it as modular as possible.
With this in mind, I have decided to begin the project with the Chicken Coop door opener/closer.

I have already begun working on this project and will make a new blog post with my progress shortly. Check it out!