|Modular||Functionality is separated over different modules.|
|Extendable||Anyone can design modules to extend the system.|
|Comprehensible||Hard and software are kept as simple as possible.|
|Low Cost||Design is done with costs in mind.|
|Wired||Communication and power supply is done by one cable.|
|Distributed control||Intelligence is distributed over the net.|
|Circuits online||All circuits are published with Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license.|
|Cooperative buying||Reduce costs by joining forces.|
The system is set up in a modular way. You add actuators and sensors just as needed. Or you can change between capacitive and rotary sensors without much cost, keep the SenseController untouched. You can use the SwitchNode to switch a light on and off. But if you decide that the light must be dimmable later on, just change one node and starting to dim light up to 400W. You can keep the ActController untouched.
This is possible because there are separate PCB's for network control and actually switching some load. This also is handy when you have to fit it into a small housing. The sensor PCB's fit into the wall casing.
Access control and power supply are separate units too. Place the access controller in the neighbourhood of your PC or an internet switch. Place the power supply there where it is best in terms of power distribution. For very large networks (gardens) it is even be possible to place two power supplies.
Without having to understand the details of the network protocol, you can add several devices of your own design. Design your own sensor and connect it to the SenseController. You can then instruct the SenseController to act upon the values from the sensor. For example, detect if your cat is coming home. Design your own actuator node and connect it to the ActController. For example, activate a coffee machine. Within this project we already have some ideas, put probably you have a few of your own.
This system is designed in such a way that it can be fully understood. No black box technology. Protocols, soft- and hardware are not any complexer than needed. But in most cases you do not even need to bother with that. On the under hand, if you want to implement your own message handling, it is perfectly possible. Nothing hidden.
Electronics is expensive, especially when you make circuits yourself. Normally, when you make stuff yourself, you save money (clothes for example). But for electronic equipment this is not so easy since you must compete with mass production. Therefore the designs are kept as simple as possible. The less components the less the costs. Further we make use (as much as possible) of components used in other mass production products. Finally we combine forces and buy the parts together, thus making use of large quantity orders.
In this system every controller is intelligent; (not the nodes themselves, but they are always closely coupled to a controller). Controllers directly communicate with each other. No need for a central PC or intelligence being activated all the time. Every controller has its own operating system and shell. You can log into the shell and talk to the node about the status and actions.
Everytime we have a new node of an update circuit diagram that will be published on the site. You can discuss these if you like, and make your own modifications.
In order to keep the costs low we buy parts and produce PCB's together. If you are interested you can email me, and when we have enough people collected I will order the parts. This certainly reduces costs by a factor of two or three.
|Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org||CC-BY-NC-SA License: Ruud Vlaming.|