Category Archives: HomeAutomation

Home Automation

Finally, a Working Caller ID Solution: Whozz Calling 2

I’m still paying for a POTS telephone (land) line.  Whether it’s just basic paranoia or a product of growing up in the 70s, I just can’t bring myself to get rid of my land line.  For some reason, this cold war era technology gives me a certain degree of comfort.  Not that it’s entirely without merit; during the last appreciable crisis in the pacific northwest (the 2001 Nisqually earthquake, a magnitude 6.8 roller), cell phones were virtually useless; all circuits were busy.

One of my (admittedly numerous) goals in developing my own HA solution is to track all inbound and outbound calls on my land line.  This would allow me to actually measure usage to see if I’m actually getting my money’s worth, and opens the door to lots of potential features – automatically hanging up on known pesky callers, flashing caller ID on computers in the house, call frequency analysis, etc.   Continue reading

Hacking Eaton HomeHeartbeat Part 5: Ack! No Time!

Between one daughter’s wedding and another daughter’s surgery I haven’t had any time to play with this stuff this week.  I did, however, clean out my friendly Ebay vendor’s supply of $5 sensors for my collection, adding a few more motion detectors, a couple door/window sensors, and some other miscellaneous stuff.  Plenty of devices to tear apart and experiment with.  More information to come…

Hacking Eaton HomeHeartbeat Part 4: Why Bother?

It’s been asked. Why bother? Seriously? HomeHeartbeat was hot sh*t back in 2005, but isn’t it showing it’s age now?

All valid questions. Consider this, however – let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you were just now getting into home automation. You really like the idea of building up a dataset of what’s happening in your house – how often doors are left open, lights are left on, etc. You want to make sure that lights are never left on in unoccupied rooms; you have a feeling that this happens a lot, but you really don’t have any proof. Say you want to know just how hot your attic gets in the summer, and whether or not that is a contributing factor to why the upstairs of your house feels like a bloody toaster in August. Continue reading