Log of Changes
My UK HAL Project
My US HAL Project
Current Devices
Useful Links

HAL Project (2001-2010)

In 2001 we moved to a small rented apartment in Manhattan NY so the automation took a slightly different direction, although I kept the automation on my UK home. The focus in the US became more webcam related to allow friends and family to see us and our US views (see ). Then in 2004 we purchased a house and the fun started again :)

I started with some X10 units I was using in the apartment but quickly moved to Insteon which is more flexible and reliable than X10 and solves the one way nature/design of X10.

Orignially I was using BDLCAM to track and allow me to control the Insteon devices remotely but now I'm using a great little device from Universal Devices

So what is currecty automated and controllable both locally and via the web:

  • It the morning when I turn off the alarm clock I turn on the electric kettle so that it's boiled by the time I get downstairs in the morning.
  • I'm using BDLCAM to monitor the outside of my house and the cameras are intergated with everything else. So if movement is sensed still images are taken/recorded. Something else I can do is have the camera move to a certain position based on a trigger (like pointing at the garage door when it is opened)
  • A wireless motion detectors automatically turns on the light in the powder room and the light is then automatically turned off two minutes after motion stops. When the batteries are running low the Universal Devices ISY99 will send me an email to advice me they need changing.
  • The Garage door is connected to an Insteon IO Linc, monitoring the status of garage door (Open or Closed) and allowing Insteon control of the door
  • Automated sprinker system using a Rain8 device and some custom coding with BDLCAM
  • Web enabled thermostats for upstairs and downstairs - Great for keeping the climate in the house just right and checking on the house when travelling.
  • Virtually every room has a web enabled xbox running XBMC
  • All of my local and remote storage needs (CIFS, HTTPS, SFTP etc) are taken care of by a Infrant (now Netgear) 6TB X-Raid NAS server
  • Control of whole house audio and outside speakers via HACS ESS and BDLCAM
  • Rovio for monitoring the basement and taking remote tours
  • Sipura (now owned by Linksys) SPA3000 giving us multple telephone numbers including a UK number making it easy for friends and family in the UK to call us. I can monitor all call logs via the web and listen to voicemails.
  • Motorized drapes, sheers and skylight lightblock shades from Velux and Hunter Douglas
  • Tracking of whole house power consumption using TED Energy detective
  • ELK M1 Gold web enabled alarm system
  • Slingbox to allow me to watch tivo on the road
  • Violet Nabaztag ("Internet Rabbit") is my latest addition to report status and announce things like the garage door being open or to communicate status of certain events with its ears and status LEDs. Next I what to use the RFID reader in the Rabbit to communicated to the rest of my system. So perhaps when I leave the house and just pass the keys (with an RFID attached) pass the Rabbit the house will know to open the garage door, turn lights off, arm the alarm etc.