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Security DVR + iNet + X10 = Easy Home Automation (Video) 25

Posted by Roblimo
from the my-home-is-so-smart-it-won't-let-me-in-the-door-unless-I-bring-it-beer dept.
25-year electronics veteran Conrad Lee noticed that commodity multi-channel security DVRs have both more channels than a typical household needs and more capabilities than their makers advertise -- at least, with some creative re-use of their video feeds. With a home-grown controller hooked up to an otherwise unused video channel, a run of the mill security DVR can be used as a command center for household items, like lights, locks, thermostats, cameras, or whatever else you think of) by means of controls both old-fashioned (the ubiquitous X10 devices, some of which you probably have stashed in a drawer) and new (Z-wave). He showed off his system at last month's Maker Faire -- take a look (video below) at what his clever hardware re-use makes possible, and at Lee's controller. It means giving up one (relatively) inexpensive channel, to gain capabilities that would cost quite a bit more in a ready-built system, like smart-phone control and pan/tilt control for cameras. (Alternate Video Link)

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Security DVR + iNet + X10 = Easy Home Automation (Video)

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  • by whyde (123448) on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @05:10PM (#47206463)

    I have to hand it to this individual for definitely thinking outside-the-box and hooking up three types of systems using interfaces you'd not expect to be used in this manner, and coming up with something which is (at least in his case) useful.

    This was very gratifying to watch.

    • by click2005 (921437) *

      I'm sure anything useful will soon be patented by Google, Apple or Microsoft.

    • I have to hand it to this individual for definitely thinking outside-the-box and hooking up three types of systems using interfaces you'd not expect to be used in this manner, and coming up with something which is (at least in his case) useful.

      This was very gratifying to watch.

      I agree. If I had this guy in an interview I'd hire him on the spot. This is what I'd call "real" intelligence. I'm very impressed. I bet in a year he is sending a regular data streem over that same line. You could have a whole I/O stream over that if you were clever.

  • x-10 modules (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Yes, I have lots of those 30 year old x-10 modules, but they don't work with CFL or LED lights. I've tried disabling (trace cutting) the local on feature and using appliance modules. They work a little better that way, but aren't reliable. I finally gave up on them, but I have lots, because they're cheap at garage sales. I can't bring myself to toss them.
  • Hacking (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tokolosh (1256448) on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @05:24PM (#47206555)

    THIS is the real meaning of "hacking"!

    • by rHBa (976986)
      If I had mod points...

      I just sent this to a couple of friends who don't understand what hacking is. Previously I've tried to explain to them that hacking is making something do stuff it wasn't originally designed to do and they've assumed that's just a euphemism for cracking security.
    • And the NSA doesn't even have to pay you for it! Yay!
  • Whenever I try to see videos on /., I get a module error andf that the player can not be downloaded.
    Searching for a solution only gives me articles on /. about video or players (or linux)
    It is the pnly site that gives me any error and I should not download a player as I already have one.

    Oh well. Not missing that much I guess and now waiting for this post to disapear into -20 due to off topic.

  • Neat idea (Score:5, Informative)

    by Change (101897) on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @05:32PM (#47206595)
    I saw this at Maker Faire, he's using an on-screen display generator to produce menus and output that you feed into a video input channel on the DVR, and it intercepts the DVR's RS-485 bus (used for pan-tilt-zoom control of cameras) to receive command input from the user. Pan down is parsed as next menu item down, pan right is "enter", etc. It's quite nifty. The menus are set up for individual X-10 or other commands, and you can even set up multi-event macros.
  • The hard part is getting everyone to agree on a standard.
  • warranty voided? and how long before some kind of lock out is added to the DVR's?

  • I am interest in how this is going....

To thine own self be true. (If not that, at least make some money.)

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