Welcome to Smarthab

Fig.1 - LCARS GUI

This project started when I first saw Eureka on SyFy Channel. Jack Carter the sheriff lived in a Self Actuated Residential Automated Habitat or SARAH for short. I am not going to bore you with the contents of the show or anything else. So lets get down to business.

The main control panel for SARAH is a GUI called LCARS©.

You might recognize it from Star Trek©. You don't have to buy a high dollar Touch Screen monitor, We can modify one, by adding photo diodes, and LEDs into the bezel.


Wiring and Control. You have two choices.

Fig.2 - This is a mess!Fig.3 - Local Control

Lets start with normal house wiring. Main -> Circuit Breaker -> Outlet(s)

So now we have this: Main -> Circuit Breaker -> Relay(s) -> Outlet(s)

What ever you do you don't want to end up with a mess like this See Fig.2.
That why I like "smart wiring" but more on that later.
And one last thing "Structured Cabling does not equal "Smart House" .
Wiring Systems you will need

  1. Power 115vac
  2. Lighting LEDs
  3. Home Network TCP/IP
  4. VOIP Network TCP/IP
  5. Smart Wiring Infrastructure
  6. Security Network
  7. Coax Cable for you TVs set-top box(optional)

My original work was to build a better thermostat.

Fig.4 - Current Thermometer

Even the Nest® is kind of stupid. So lets start with the Thermostat requirements:

  1. It should control the temperature inside the house with out regard to heating or cooling modes
  2. It should control the fan, ie air quality or how many times do we turn over the air in the house per hour.
  3. It should tell you when to change the air filters. Not by time but buy filter efficiency.
  4. If there is a de-humidifier or humidifier it should control them as well.
    I got tired of emptying the de-humidifier tank, so with some ultra-sonics and a pump it now empties itself.
  5. A normal display would be nice
  6. Web Services? - Why not.
  7. The thermostat should know what room you are in, or not in the house at all.
  8. Standard Client/Server Protocol
  9. Standard TCP/IP Ethernet Connection
  10. Wireless connectivity by the use of Zig-Bee Mesh Network.

Home Security System

Fig.5 - Electric Strike

It should be layered and planed in not added in.
Anything you can buy in your box store, labeled smart will most likely not work. So called smart locks are worthless!Aas the power to open the door is in the lock!
We will use powered strikes with remote power. Even the local code pad does not control the strike solenoid. One more benefit is that you can get strikes with monitoring capabilities built in as well.

Smart Wiring

Smart Wiring embraces the power of networking and IOT.
This is a distributed system. Try to think about it this way; Each room has a local smart controller, with relays, network interface, sensor inputs, etc.
This means there are less wires to "home-run" (this is called a sub-panel) back to a central location, and the control is nothing more than a chunk of cat5 Ehernet cable back to the main switch.