Welcome to the home page of the Arduino Projects web site. I am a hobbyist who has been using Arduinos as sensors and controllers in my home. In an effort to help others similarly interested I decided to start up a web site that would provide detailed wiring and coding examples. More than just Arduinos, I’ve been using a commercial home automation program (Home Control Assistant, or HCA) to tie all these Arduinos together – gathering, recording and reporting the conditions in my home. While just the Arduino projects might be of use in and of themselves, if you are willing to use HCA I think the information on this site will be extremely valuable to you.
The number of sensors that can be attached to an Arduino is quite large and I’ve programmed the Arduinos to transfer that information into HCA. I can sense temperatures and humidity. I can sense when a device (like a sump pump or a pump in a well) is running. I can detect high or low water, wet or dry soil, levels of hydrocarbons in the basement, motion, vibration, proximity, fire alarms, doors opened and closed, damn near anything.
In addition to sensing the environment I can use HCA and the Arduinos to control stuff – like motors, furnaces, lights, fire alarms, burglar alarms, anything electrical.
I’ll get into the gory details later but as an overview the following components serve as the basis for my system:
- Arduino, both Unos and Leonardos (which I prefer). They are all equipped with an ethernet shield, of the W5100 variety.
- Home Control Assistant, running on a dedicated Windows 7 pc. I’m currently running the “Plus” version 12 program.
- ActivePerl software, the free community version
I’m assuming you have some electrical and computer skills. Some of the projects I’ll describe have dangers associated with them, mainly electrical shock and fires. These risks are pretty low but they do exist, and every year some number of people die due to these causes. So be careful, especially when working with house voltages. I am not an electrical engineer and none of these designs have a UL approval, so anything you do is at your own risk.
I’ve also been messing around with a Venstar T5800 programmable thermostat and have a series of postings on how I’ve managed to use HCA and Perl to control that thermostat and extract the current and historical data from it.
Still, for those of us who enjoy building things these projects are useful, fun and educational. I’m cheap and these projects can be put together pretty reasonably.