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Hacking a PIR motion sensor for use as a triggering device. If this is a used or surplus device you should check the operation before using.

Hacking a PIR motion sensor for use as a triggering device.

Remove the top cover and examine your sensor. My sensor uses a 12 V DC supply for operation. The power terminals of the device should show the proper voltage and connection. I used this power requirement to select a relay that was also triggered with 12 V DC. Connect power, wait for the light to go off then test for motion activation using your hand. This model worked but the relay connection next to the power connection would not activate so a second method will be needed. Berkeley Ridiculously Automated Dorm (BRAD) Control Windows Media Center with Your Voice. I don't know if you've noticed, but a lot of Lifehacker's articles (Gawker in general really), typically re-publish a lot of articles (in full or in part), and there's always a link at the bottom of the article.

Control Windows Media Center with Your Voice

I think most Lifehacker readers know where to find this information if they're interested. I'm basically talking the reverse. Let's say the author of the original article knows nothing of Lifehacker. DIY Voice Activated Home Automation. Voice recognition is no longer in infancy – You’ve got Siri on the iPhone and Google Now on Android (plus other Android apps too).

DIY Voice Activated Home Automation

This project shows you how to use it to automate your home without spending big bucks. The core of this project is a VRBot speech recognition module. Next, the project creator used some low-cost wireless light switches (you could also use relays). The VRBot speech recognition module recognizes 32 custom voice commands. Once a command is recognized, a wireless switch is activated via a radio receiver. Voice Controlled Home Automation.

Who wouldn’t want a home controlled by your voice commands? If Tony Stark can have it, why can’t you? The JARVIS system is a digital life-assistant/home automation system that does everything from dimming the lights to starting up the George Forman grill. JARVIS is alive and doing well inside an stand alone computer and receives commands via email, Twitter, or through voice recognition software. JARVIS can keep track of his creator via Google Latitude. Additionally, it can track your friends and your dog via RFID so JARVIS knows when they’re in the apartment. Home automation server with router. Install the Linux based OpenWRT firmware on the router.

Home automation server with router

The TL-WR741ND instructions can be found here: If you are stuck, start here: After you have a working SSH connection you can proceed. Because of the router (by default) runs the web admin page on the port 80, we need to add a secondary port to serve our custom web site. For that, we need to configure the uhttpd (web server application) configuration file. Download WinSCP, to simply do this through SSH.

Set up a new connection: Host name: normally (by default) Port: 22 User name: root Password: what you gave after installation File protocol: SCP. Transform Your Digs into a Home of the Future, DIY-Style. For door locks, I went with the medium-tech approach: electronic keypad locks.

Transform Your Digs into a Home of the Future, DIY-Style

Schlage, for example, makes a line of electronic keypad locks that can generally fit into existing door lock holes. For me, it was a simple matter of unscrew/remove old lock, screw in/install new lock, and program new lock. Clever fellow sends text messages to start his car. Stop it, Spiegel.

Clever fellow sends text messages to start his car

You're bringing back repressed memories of earning my 5-year EE degree. Arduino has its place. Turn a Cheap Router into a Home Automation Server. I would just love to get into the home automation thing, and was quite excited about this article.

Turn a Cheap Router into a Home Automation Server

Unfortunately it's a bit too hard core for the likes of me. I am sure many techies who are good with DIY and electronics will be able to do this, but not me. Also I don't have an iPhone. Is there an easy way to automate my home (switching lights on/off, changing thermostat, measuring temperature and humidity etc) using a PC and some software? Make Your Own Star Trek/Supermarket Automatic Pneumatic Door. Beware of the legal requirements.

Make Your Own Star Trek/Supermarket Automatic Pneumatic Door

I don't know what can be the regulations in the USA, but here in France there are strict norms on automatic doors, included inside private buildings like your home, so strict that I'm not quite sure that any homemade solution could possibly be acceptable. Should there be any accident with the door, or worse someone getting trapped by the door refusing to open during a fire or any kind of accident, and you would get in big problems...

First of which, your home insurance would probably refuse to pay for the resulting damages. Indeed, there are plenty of factory-build automatic doors for home, which are quite pricey, but some of which can be (partially...) paid by public welfare programs (if someone living there has physical disabilities that could require an automatic door to increase his movement freedom for example).