Home Archive

Scroll down to see all posts. You can also checkout the Roadmap posts and Other posts.

DNS server on my NAS

synology-dns-icon_small

For quite some time I wanted to run a local DNS server so I don’t have to remember IP addresses. Yes, there’s many, it’s not my memory. In the huge amount of instructions I was unable to find exactly what I needed. Therefore I will post my configuration that might be helpful … read more…

Update: Worldpopulation Script v0.5

counter_logo

An updated version of the Worldpopulation script is now available. about 2 weeks ago I noticed that the old script did not work anymore. The problem turned out to be the source website (www.census.gov) which had changed the URL.       I have updated the script to version 0.5, supporting … read more…

Added plugwise Stealth

plugwise_stealth

In an attempt to move away from the few X10 modules I have left in my house I ordered a Plugwise Stealth. This is an ‘appliance’ version of the Plugwise Circle. The Stealth is smaller than the Circle but I expected it to be way smaller. It’s not that small … read more…

Philips Hue Lamps

logo_philipshue_small

Yes, on a rainy Saturday afternoon I took my family to the Amsterdam Apple-store where I bought the Philips Hue starter kit. YES it is not cheap but I really wanted to experience these new LED technologies and integrate them into my home automation system. The system uses Zigbee for … read more…

Twitter script supporting new API !

twitter-bird-2

Twitter stopped supporting their v1.0 API in favour of the v1.1 API. Unfortunately I was using this in my Twitter script. Fortunately my friend JW pointed out the (pretty easy) fix. On the Twitter script page you will find the updated script.     Changes – version history – varVersion … read more…

The Ubi – voice control

image_ubi_small

“Always-on, always ready, voice-activated. Ubi is an ubiquitous computer. Just plug it in, talk to it and it’ll help you connect to your world.” Interesting.. Such a small device that does voice-recognition, text-to-speech and a lot more.. It runs Android and appears to have a fairly open architecture. It only … read more…

New Drive-space script – 0.8

icon-drivespace

All Today I have updated my Drive space script. The main difference with the old script is that the configuration is now gone from the script itself (mostly). Instead you call the script for each drive you want to monitor. The Database write component has also been removed. For DB … read more…

New GPS Tracker arrived

xexun_tk102-2

Finally, my new Xexun TK102-2 tracker arrived. It’s a small and portable GPS tracking unit that you can either carry or put in a car. Note that fake trackers are being sold. You can check the IMEI on the Xexun website. Package contents 1x Xexun TK102-2 1x Power supply with … read more…

Next Gen Lightbulbs

Lifx Wifi Led bulb

“LIFX is a WiFi enabled, multi-color, energy efficient LED light bulb that you control with your iPhone or Android.” First reaction: I want this ;-) By the time I wanted to order one they were all sold out. :-( Fortunately a (good!) friend of mine ordered more and I can … read more…

Holiday – what should your house do?

image_holiday

After getting back from our summer holiday I figured that I should share some experiences on how my home automation should work during my holiday. What do you have to do when you’re going on a holiday or away for more than a couple of days? Lights IP camera (recordings) … read more…

Old Homeseer Events

Check Events featured image

After running Homeseer for a while the number of events grows and grows. It is not easy to see how old events are. When checking there might be a lot of events that have not ran for a year. You could probably remove them, or something is wrong!   Check … read more…

Developer problem for future Homeseer 3?

logo_homeseer-new

A couple of weeks ago I ran into an article and survey on the Homeseer message board. It was about the programming language support for Homeseer 3. August 2012: The survey is now closed Major changes Linux is supported using MONO to allow .NET code to run. It should also run … read more…

Control your Philips TV with Homeseer?

logo_Jointspace

With the 2010 and later Philips TV models you can control the TV’s via the network interface (Wifi or wired). This works through the open source Joint Space interface. (see press-release) So I created some code and a Homeseer script to control your TV through Homeseer. Guess what. Homeseer uses … read more…

Nextgen sensors & Bluetooth 4?

tod_smartcoin

Last weekend I ran into two nice projects on Kickstarter. Tōd and the Sensordrone. The one thing that these sensors have in common is Bluetooth 4. Low power, long range Bluetooth that allows devices to be connected to each other. It’s a technology that could replace some NFC (Near Field … read more…

New virtualization platform?

Virtualbox logo

For a long time I have been running Homeseer in a Virtual Machine under VMware Server 2.0. VMware server 2.0 however was end-of-support >1 year ago. The last software update I believe was from 2009/2010. Plus the fact that I had big problems getting it to work on a Windows … read more…

How to add special IR signals

Philips_xxPFL9606_remote

After receiving my new TV (Philips, 9000 series) I found that to open “Net TV” you have to go into a menu, select Net TV and click.. Horrible. So I wanted to program this under an unused key on my cable decoder remote (more info here). Requirements – Homeseer – … read more…

Use Alfred to control your Home

logo_Alfredapp

You’re sitting on the couch with your laptop – working, when your wife asks: could you switch on lamp 8? Now there’s a couple of things you can do Completely ignore her NOOOO !!   Walk to that lamp and switch it on Well that’s an old world way of doing … read more…

New RFXCOM transceiver

logo_rfxcom

Here’s some nice news from our friends at RFXCOM. They just released the USB RFX Transceiver 433Mhz (EU). If you want a USB RFXCOM module, this is it!  € 95,20 (excl. shipping) is a fair price for the huge amount of functionality that you get. Nice Low cost Nice packaging … read more…

…”A day made of Glass”…

Screen Shot 2012-02-23 at 13.16.48

Last weekend I ran into this fantastic video of a company called Corning. They show how displays & glass can and will change the (near?) future. The video shows how our future might look like. To be honest, I hope we’re getting there sooner rather than later. How realistic is … read more…

Geofence integration Homeseer

GeoFence_image

On my Car Integration page you can see how I have setup a tracking system that integrates with Homeseer. What I really wanted is Geofences. This results in a couple of HS devices that tell me where my car is. Example: When my car enters a geofence I get a … read more…

Homeseer Email Integration

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Homeseer can send emails but you cannot send emails to Homeseer. Using Jon00‘s Email plugin you can do this. Jon00′s plugin support forum:  board.homeseer.com Functionality: Using email to trigger events and switch devices, integrated web-mail interface, announcements, etc. I use this script for a couple of things of which the Geo-fence GPS … read more…

Homeseer admin userinterface plugins

Logo_HomeseerUIenhancementsJon00

There’s a couple of plugins that can make your life in Homeseer a lot easier. – Account Links (by Jon00) – Webpage Builder (by Jon00) Account Links What? This allows you to change the look & feel of the Homeseer admin user interface. The most important functionality for me is … read more…

Updated Webcam script 0.3

project_Doorbellcam

Finally – being triggered by Jaybee’s discussion on Domoticaforum.eu I wanted to simplify my webcam script, taking away the need of running 1 script on the HS web server and 1 script on a generic IIS web server. It worked! On the WebCam script page you will find more details … read more…

Xexun TK-103 GPS Tracker

xexun-tk103

One of the most popular trackers are the Xexun 102 and 103 trackers. There’s imitation devices being sold so be careful. I have never seen a product where the documentation is so bad, the amount of documentation versions is so huge (each saying something different) and where there is NOT … read more…

Update GPS Tracking script 0.2

hs_track_gpstrace

After my tracker being down I had not noticed that the GPS-trace website format changed a bit breaking my script. Version 0.2! Therefore I have updated the script so it will work again. Updates and details are available on the Car Tracking project page. m4s0n501 … read more…

KAKU wireless LED light

ALED-003__68898_thumb

Here’s an interesting new product from Klik-aan-klik-uit. The ALED-003 is a battery powered wireless LED light. The  price is between € 15-17. What is it? A small box with 3 LEDs. The little box could be smaller but it houses 3x AAA batteries. A friend of mine bought one and … read more…

TV remote: controlling lights

humax_remote_small

  My current TV setup consists of an LCD TV and a cable decoder. Every time I want to watch TV I had to grab both remotes: - Philips TV remote - Humax Decoder remote (which btw is the best and intuitive remote I have ever seen!) Challenge: get rid of the … read more…

Sleeping

icon_Sleep

What do you do when you’re going to sleep? Switch off TV & Cable decoder / TiVo / etc Switch off Lights Check door locks Switch off other devices Why not automate this? In the mean time you can use this automation to keep track of when you go to … read more…

TV everywhere

MegaVideo_55

Note: “TV everywhere” could mean a lot more than what I have implemented. Goal: Watching TV in my bedroom with all functionality available through my cable decoder downstairs. How The Marmitek MegaVideo 55 splits the Cable decoder output to a Coax cable. The second TV at the other end of … read more…

Update: Worldpopulation Script

counter_logo

An updated version of the Worldpopulation script is now available. about 2 weeks ago I noticed that the old script did not work anymore. The problem turned out to be the source website (www.census.gov) which had changed the URL. I have updated the script and after a message from esschenk … read more…

Fujitsu Document scanner

S1500_closed_s

Last week I received my Document scanner. In an attempt to make my home paperless this is the first step. I’m currently working on a Project Page, trying to capture some of the lessons-learned. This post is more about the scanner itself and the choices I had to make. Note … read more…

New HS Plugwise script

logo_plugwise

At the end of last year I saw the light and realized that my Plugwise script was functional but old and programmed in a bad way. The result was >350 lines of code now becoming <100 lines of code. I just realized that I should publish what I wrote. Here … read more…

Document Management

icon_documents

It would be great if you could help me think about the following: Something that I would love to automate: every piece of paper in my house     [stextbox id="alert" caption="Update!"] My Fujitsu S1500 scanner has arrived. More information can be found on the  Project page. [/stextbox] Goal Scan … read more…

Cisco invests in home automator

logo-MyHome-app

My First thought: What would this give me in terms of employee discount: nothing. Plus they don’t have products that integrate with the software I use  (#Homeseer). This however, is an interesting development that show how serious large companies start taking home automation. A good article on this subject can … read more…

New KAKU transmitter

kaku_awmt230

Klik aan klik uit has released a new transmitter. You can use this transmitter to turn an existing switch into a remote. That means that an existing switch can now transmit a signal that turn on/off (multiple) existing KAKU lights/devices. Another KAKU product that has been on the market for … read more…

Garden update: Fast!

image_garden

2 weeks ago a gardener was going to completely remodel our garden. First assignment: take out everything. After that they were going to setup the garden according to our design. Just after they started I thought about my Garden- and Attic-camera. It would be funny if these take a picture … read more…

How to start (cheap?)

icon-dollar

ere’s an overview of the steps you can take to start with Home Automation Main components Homeseer ($ 199) This is the core software that controls everything. You need this. RFXCOM (€ 100 – € 330) This allows you to send and receive almost every RF signal. I use this … read more…

New website live!

logo_wordpress

Finally, after quite a lot of work my new website is live. My old website was running on PmWiki which was Ok at the time but to add features it took a lot of manual coding. So I decided to move to WordPress. Why? WordPress has a lively community and … read more…

New Prowl features

logo_prowl

  I have tested new features in the Prowl app on the iPhone. It can now launch custom URLs based on the Prowl Application name. Interesting. If HomeSeer sends application name “doorbell” the app can launch a URL that shows me the last doorbell press image..     Challenge: You … read more…

Ventilation system

mechanische_ventilatie

During Christmas I realized that I never documented the automation of the Central ventilation system in our home. The new page shows how it has been integrated in HomeSeer. No more switches in the Kitchen! The system will also automatically switch on when the bathroom humidity is > 65%. More … read more…

New 24/7 Server

image_asrock

Just received my new home Server. The current (old) server is running 24/7, consuming 180W. The new server consumes 24W. Calculating the business case for this new ‘server’ was pretty easy. There is that moment where you suddenly realize that this is an investment that’s going to earn itself. So … read more…

Smarthomes 2011

logo_smarthomes

On November 17-18th the SmartHomes event will start in the Evoluon (Eindhoven). This is a great event to see what’s going on in the Home Automation world. Even though it’s primarily focused at Health care it’s probably the best way to network with your Home Automation peers from domoticaforum.eu. You … read more…

Audio integration

image_audio

STATUS: project dead. Because of the fact that you have to run iTunes or WMP on your HomeSeer server I stopped this project. Currently I use the iRemote on my iPad to control iTunes directly. The only annoying thing is that you can’t see Album artwork for music that’s stored … read more…

My QNAP NAS

logo_qnap_219

After talking about buying a NAS for almost 32 years I have finally ordered one. Which model? The QNAP 219P. Why this model? 2-drive to keep the cost low. I’ll use it with non-redundant drives to get the max capacity of 2×1.5TB. Here’s an excel spreadsheet to compare features and … read more…

Twitter authentication

logo_twitter_small

It has been talked about before. Twitter will STOP supporting Basic Authentication (see post June 23rd below). With help of a friend I was able to find, test and document this workaround which is really easy to implement. See the Twitter project page. m4s0n501 … read more…

Car Tracking

project_BMWengine

Goal Integrate Car location in HomeSeer to enable location/presence based services (heating, security, power consumption) More information is added on the Car Tracking page. How Using Xexun TK-102/TK-103 GPS tracker Application that receives and processes the received data HS acts based on defined rules Cost €80-120 Tracker €0 Software (just … read more…

GPS Tracking

hs_track_gpstrace

Even though I have not been using it because it takes time, I still wanted to post the script that’s working. Based on the Orange GPS trace service I created a script that allows you to put your car location & speed in HomeSeer devices. More info is available on … read more…

Update: Database script

logo_Access

I have updated the Database Write script with a new feature. You can now write a device VALUE or STRING to the Database. Examples of how you could use this: Write the temperature to a DB Write free diskspace to a DB Write security status to a DB More info … read more…

After 30 hrs: iPad

logo_ipad

30 hours after the official availability of the iPad in the Netherlands I couldn’t take it anymore. I found an excuse to go near an iCenter and bought the iPad. 6 hours later the Homeseer Touch client was up and running. It is a great device! Now I need TIME … read more…

Twitter Authentication going to break..

logo_twitter_small

Twitter announced that they will stop supporting basic authentication starting June 30th. This will break my Twitter script! With the basic authentication that is currently being used you send a password to authenticate. Having multiple applications/websites talking to Twitter you almost need password management ;-) As an alternative they want … read more…

Homeseer Device Monitoring

image_systemstatus

Battery Low? Communication failure? There’s a good chance you have devices with this status. How do you know about it? These devices don’t talk. So to solve this issue I wrote a script allows you to see if there’s issues with your devices. Once configured, this script will put the … read more…

World population

logo_worldpopulation

Looking at my counter scripts I noticed that the world population script wasn’t posted on this website. Now it is! You can find it in the left menu in the “Plugins/Scripts” section (‘Counters‘). It’s extremely easy to install and it will give you a HS device that contains the current … read more…

RF technologies – need more?

logo_kaku

Currently I’m using X10, Zigbee (Plugwise), X10 RF, Oregon and Visonic devices.  I figured that I should one extra RF technology: Klik-aan-klik-uit. Just ordered KAKU remotes, switches, lamp & device modules at Eshop.nl. Let’s see how that works. The good thing: They’re incredible cheap and wireless. So no slow X10 … read more…

Homeseer server crash

logo_brokenwindows

When my remotes (lights), TV and other devices stopped working I found that my HomeSeer was not accessible. It turned out that the operating system, Windows crashed. Fortunately my HomeSeer is running in a Virtual machine. So after re-installing Windows, Homseer was back up & running relatively fast. Here’s my … read more…

Homeseer management

maintenance

Don’t have enough time to manage your Homeseer system? Same here ;-) I found that a lot of time spend was to monitor and maintain the HomeSeer system. The first question is: what do you have to do? Are you overlooking something like the system running out of disk-space? I … read more…

NAS, what to buy?

logo_qnap_439s

It would be great to have centralized storage in my house. What to buy? Looking at features QNAP and Synology offer many features per $. For QNAP I have created a spreadsheet (Excel 2007) to help you making a choice (model, costs, capacity, etc). The spreadsheet has 2 tabs: Create … read more…

Blue-ray player?

logo_bluray

I have received my first Blu-Ray DVD’s. So where’s the Blu-Ray player? There isn’t. I don’t want ANOTHER device under my TV that plays ‘old world’ media. So I bought a Blu-Ray PC drive just to RIP DVD’s to MKV files. These can then be viewed through the Media Center. … read more…

Car Monitoring

iphone_rev2

Today I received my Kiwi Wifi . This is an ODB2 interface that uses Wifi to talk to OBD2 applications. There’s a couple of iPhone apps that support the Kiwi Wifi. Now I have to find a way to link it to HomeSeer ;-) It’s all about integration and getting … read more…

Live home data

blog_domoticaworld

You can now see the live (outside) temperature at my house. This is displayed in the box on the right side. Currently the way to do this is pretty complicated and not easy to configure. To simplify and make it easy for everybody to use I will need to spend … read more…

Doorcamera broken

project_Doorbellcam

I wish you all a healthy and happy 2010. My door-camera did not have a good start. It’s broken :-( Need to order a new one as replacing it under warranty (ordered in Hong Kong) would probably cost more than buying a new one. A new camera was ordered. When … read more…

Mac Mini

mac-mini

Yeah! Just received my new computer: Mac Mini! Yes, this is my first (personal) Apple computer. It’s a great little device with low power consumption that will play a central role in home entertainment. How? One of the things I want to use this for is: Music (through iTunes) Digital … read more…

Heating (CV) Control

project_CV_therm

Something that was on my to do list for a long time: document one of my older projects: Heating Control. This project allows you to control your Central Heating system (actually, the thermostat). I have to define “control” because you don’t have full control. What can you do: Switch a … read more…

Homeseer Twitter: Push Notifications

logo_twitter_small

  Today I have updated my Homeseer Twitter script. It includes a couple of bug fixes but the main new features is support for Apple’s Push Notification Service (APNS). This is kind of a ultra-fast free SMS to your iPhone / iPad / iPod Touch. VIDEO: understand Apple’s Push Notification … read more…

Switched to Macbook Pro

macbook-pro-2009_s

Can you believe it? Today I switched from an IBM laptop with Windows XP to an Apple Macbook Pro with OSX. is a big change. I love the Apple hardware: it looks great feels great but OSX is something you have to get used to!! Everything can be done using … read more…

Secret project arrived: Niels!

P1050278_babyborn_small

After nearly 9 months it looks like the first release of our project has been completed. Right now I’m in London Heathrow, but I’m about to fly back to Amsterdam. Unfortunately we haven’t received the manual! We’ll trust our instinct and Google. More details will follow soon! Update: Now I’m … read more…

iPhone broken

image_iphone

Today my iPhone Wifi completely stopped working. Last week the phone suddenly became REALLY HOT and Wifi got worse and worse. Now Wifi is completely gone. T-Mobile: “Talk to Apple, we did not supply the phone” Apple: “Talk to T-Mobile, they are the only provider selling iPhones in the Netherlands” … read more…

Apple Push Notifications

icon_prowl

Updated my Twitter script to support APNS (Apple Push Notification Service) using Prowl. Instead of sending an SMS or a Tweet, the house now pushes a notification to the phone. Advantages: It takes about 5 seconds to get a message Cost of a notification = € 0 Prowl for the … read more…

Homeseer Twittering!

logo_twitter_small

Twittering all day? Now have HomeSeer send tweets based on events. Example: Car is gone but front door opens energy usage high temperature etc. It’s an easy to use script that gives you a lot of flexibility in sending tweets. You can create a separate account for your home and … read more…

Traffic information

bord_file

Today I posted my HomeSeer Traffic script that I have been using for a while now. What does it do? It puts traffic jam information for the roads that are important to me in HomeSeer devices. 1 device shows the ‘country totals’ (length of traffic jams) and one device shows … read more…

Doorbell monitoring stopped?

image_SM10

Today I found out that the Marmitek SM10, used to monitor doorbell activity stopped working. Looking at my trace-files it stopped around August 18th. :-(   This is pretty annoying as I don’t get camera images when the doorbell rings etc. After a fast and easy process to return the SM10 … read more…

Secret Project

question

Almost 7 months I have been working on my next major project. Think it will turn out to be more complex than I could have ever imagined. However, the good news is that the estimated release date is still early November. Sorry for not updating the website very frequent. Need … read more…

New cable modem

icon_internetspeed

Just got a new cable modem for my home internet connection. Do I need a connection this fast? Installing the modem was easy (it came without a manual!). Upspeed: 5Mbps! In 3-4 months time they will upgrade to 80Mb and next year to 120Mb (with DOCSYS 3.0 max of >200Mb) … read more…

Monitor shower water usage

shower_small

Today I finished my shower monitoring project. To monitor the water usage each time we take a shower we need to do one thing: weigh ourselves. When we step on the scale it will know who takes a shower based on the weight. Then it will measure and capture the … read more…

Infrared integration

irtrans

Just received my discounted IRTrans module, ordered with a group of Domoticaforum.eu members. It’s a small ethernet connected device that can receive and send IR signals. This allows me to control every device near my TV using HomeSeer!     Detailed information of the installation, Homeseer integration and configuration tips … read more…

Touchscreen design

icon_Touchscreen

Today I have posted a couple of screenshots that show how my touch-screen user interface looks like. One challenge that I encountered was: Where do you start designing the screens? What goes where? What do you want to include and what not? The result is that I designed the screens … read more…

Wind and Rain Monitoring

image_Oregon_wind

Goal Monitor wind (direction), rain and baromatic pressure How Using Oregon Scientific sensors that can be received by the RFXCOM receiver. The RFXCOM has a connection to HomeSeer. Cost €150 Oregon WMR200 weather station with all sensors, or: €50 Oregon rain monitor €100 Oregon wind monitor Optional: Solar panel power … read more…

Secret Project

question

For a while now I have been working on the biggest, most complex project EVER. It’s a long-term project with an estimated official release date early November. Currently I cannot really give you more information. Fortunately I will be able to provide more details very soon! I might even setup … read more…

RFXCOM upgrade

RFX Receiver module

My RFXCOM LAN device had an old transmitter which was unable to handle the new generation of KAKU (Click on click off) devices. One visit to the RFXCOM headquarters solved the problem. Now I have the new RFXmitter.  Now I can start doing tests with the new KAKU devices. The … read more…

Weight monitoring

image_BWR102

Today I was able to deploy my new weighing scale. This scale is built by Oregon Scientific, also known from weather stations and sensors. What does it do? When you step on the scale, a wireless signal is send to my server. The RFXCOM receiver picks up the signal and … read more…

Weight Monitoring

image_BWR102

DONE: will add project page later Goal: Monitor weight. Awareness is key for losing weight. How: Using Oregon Scientific weighing scale that can be received by the RFXCOM receiver. The RFXCOM has a connection to HomeSeer. Cost: €40 Oregon BWR102 Todo: Order, setup, configure & document (last item not done … read more…

Rain sensor

image_watersensor

Today I received my rain sensor. No time to test/implement the device, that will have to wait until Sunday ;-). The rain sensor will be integrated in Homeseer. This enables integration with Twitter, statistics and to notify me if doors or windows are open when it starts raining. More details … read more…

Garden camera

vogelhuisje-aanschuur-s

Today I placed a webcam in my garden. A normal camera would never last more than 2 hours before my wife would remove it ;-). The WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) of a PTZ camera in the garden is close to ZERO. Therefore I had to think of something. The result … read more…

Everybody online?

blog_domoticaworld

Who is ‘sharing’ their live home data? Pieter ‘Bwired’ created a website that makes it easy to share certain data. You decide what information you want to share. Generally people share temperature/humidity information and possibly energy consumption.   Look at the Domoticaworld setup by BWired. We all run a script … read more…

Albatron Touchscreen

image_TeePC

Today I have picked up my Albatron 7″ Touch Screen after a combined purchase order organized by Chak (thank you!). Albatron is not a known touch-screen manufacturer but they did offer a good deal on this Windows CE based (YUCK!) device. More information is available on the Touchscreen project page. … read more…

Car presence

icon_homeaway

I just finished my project to see if my car is home or not. HomeSeer now has a device that tells me if the car is there. To see if the car is home I’m using a cheap Oregon Scientific Temperature sensor. Combined with the RFXCOM plugin Homeseer can see … read more…

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