Sunday, 25 January 2009

Saving the world ...

Today we had family over and before we know we were talking about the automated lightening, and mormor thought the bathroom lightening was really not working well (there is no obvious off button available), and so we went through a full demo ...

And yes, after a little while the obvious topic of the 21st century popped up when explaining the scenes and events build around sunrise and sunset, and farmor thought all this Home Automation really added to saving energy and thus ... eco-friendly, lowering our carbon footprint, and yes ... saving the world.

I could not resist in taking a little provocative stance on the topic, and maybe the ROI on our budget is not as obvious as one would think, but it is always good to feel good when saving the planet ...

I guess I will add the ECO tag to the mini-projects that have clearly a positive impact on our budget and on the environment ...

Changing our current boat to the more eco friendly types called sailing boats would for sure add to the carbon footprinting, but then ... that is a completly different topic.

Next time I am at the airport I should really get a copy of Friedmans latest.

But ... on a more down to earth side, here is a great link to get you started on some green ideas in using Home Automation.

Romance II

Romance I

Rain ...

It Works ...

Grey weather and plus temperatures make the little snow we had melt and fill up the dike, and resulted pretty often in floods ...
But not this year ... the irrigation Seb and Co has put in the ground is working ...

And the water is nicely transported ...

Always good to see a plan come through ...

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Men in Black

The Previously Unidentified Fleeing Object in Black has now been identified as the Roomba 580.

And you can easily get it here in Sweden ...

Now, this is tempting ... or should we consider the Heavy Duty Roomba 610 instead with all the Mud outside.

The Winter Veranda - Part 2

Friday, 23 January 2009

James ...

OK, I admit, I am breaking all laws against typecasting and stereotyping, but we did call our Home Automation Computer James, actually its "close to FQDN" is hal-001.vanrillaer.home, but using the voice recognistion software of HS, the wake up call is now set to James.

So James it is ... and what is more, actually James is becoming a member of the family ...

Kalle, 7 years old and FQFM (Fully Qualified Family Member) has adopted James completly ...

When our lights bumped on by accident:
" ... Daddy, it was James that just put on the lights, no ... "

When I had to check the computer status ...
" ... Dad, that is James on the TV screen, no ? "

And last but for sure not least, when he is walking into the bathroom, and the motion sensor did not detect his motion directly (I admit, they are not tuned for a 7 year old) and he starts jumping up and down and screaming " Jaaaaammmmesss ..." untill the light goes on ... (and just for the record, we do not have any Voice Rec. in the Bathroom :-)

So James, welcome to the Family ....

Looj ...

Looking at the iRobot website for any updates on the Roomba Series, I bumped into the Looj.

I am pretty sure I would luv one of these next year when we actually have the gutters in place.

For now, ... well lets first take a deeper look at the Roombas.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Hot Tub by Night

Library II

DIY: The Walking Closet Lights

One of our great WAF factors is for sure the Walking Closet and the way the lights are handled there.
You open the door, et voila ... the magic happens.

Offcourse this is not something revolutionary new to have lights going on when you walk in, and you can easily walk into any DIY shop and buy a motion detector aka PIR and have it hooked up to the lights, but if you want to take something that is scalable and reusable for the futher, and can be easily extended and controlled from a central place in the future, then do read on.

So that said, some of our friends were nicely surprised and wanted to do something simular and before they run off and buy a silly aka non scalable solution to control the lightening in the walking closet, we thought to put this DIY together for first time X10 users and hook them up to a wonderfull world of Home Automation with increased WAF Factor.

Project Cost

The total project cost for the lightening controls is less as 100 € aka 1.000 SEK, and is fully reusable if and when you want to increase your Home Automation Projects.

See it is an investment in the future, that is not lost if you don't go ahead as it still controls the lights in the walking closet.

If you already did the initial investements, the cost is even smaller (see breakdown below).

Project Scope

So what do we need to make this work.

A way to detect someone walks in the room (motion detection), turn on the light, and if no motion is detected, turn of the lights again.

Translated into simple X10 Modules, we would need an appliance module to control the light, a receiver to receive the "hey, someone walked in the room, put on the lights signal" and offcourse someone to shout again once the room is empty.

In our case, we will combine the controller and receiver by using the TM13 Module, to receive the RF Signal, and control the lamp status with ON / OFF (the TM13 does not dim, but that is for the next DIY project)-

We just plugged the TM13 in the outlet, and put the IKEA lightening used in the closet in the TM13 outlet.

If this is your very first DIY, make sure everything works with the standard house code A before you change that one to something else. I will make another one on housecodes in X10 later on, for now go ahead with the A code.

Every TM13 controller has as unit code 1 so by putting the controller in the wall socket, we now have a lamp that is called A1.

The second step in our mini project, is making sure that our Lamp A1 is put ON and OFF whenever we walk in the closet.

For this we will use the MS13 Motion Detector, also called Hawkeye. Our wireless motion detector will send a RF signal to our TM13 receiver and says "hey, someone walked in the room, put on the lights" but also keep track whether the lights should go off after a certain time interval and tell the controller to shut down the lights after e.g. 4 (or 8 or 16 or ...) minutes of no motion.

So after you have put two AA sized batteries in the MS13, and tried the ON / OFF buttons and you made sure the lights are going ON and OFF (remember, this is a very easy way to make sure you are set up correctly) the fun starts on getting the right angle for Motion Detection.

Since the receiver and motion detection are two seperate units and the motion detector does not need any wires, you can play with finding the best angle to detect the motion, without false positives.

My experience is to wait at least a few days / weeks before even considering using the screws on the motion detector to put it firmly in place, and when that time comes, actually use the velcro approach instead.

In our little walking closet project is the SM13 still sitting nicely in the window, as that just works like a charm.

Shopping List

OK, first things first, we are in now getting any money or so from the below guys, and actually to be honest you even can find cheaper providers if you are living in the Netherlands, or surf around. However with intellihome we have had very good experience and good customer service, plus the shipping cost is for free, and the 5+1 package make the prices competitive again.

The TM13 Controller: 25 €
The SM13 Motion Detector: 40 €

Total cost: 65 €

However, if and when you want to do this little project, I surely suggest to add a little extra, so you can get much more value for money.

If you buy the SM13 Starter Pack for 75 € and add the SS13 slim controller to it for 35 € you meet the free shipping condition, and you can actually make quite some really nice variations to the theme or just do a little extra.


So Anneli, I would really recommend you to buy the above for Bernt for your walking closet and get him started.

He may want to go for the Computer Starter Kit directly though, which allows to do exactly the same, and much more, but here the price is above 100 € and that will be for the second DIY and shows we did not loose any money :-)

Saturday, 17 January 2009


Wiveka acceptance factor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "The Wiveka Acceptance Factor (WAF) – sometimes referred to as Woman Approval Factor, Wife Acceptance Factor or Woman Acceptance Factor – is the playful estimation of the acceptance or refusal of a new acquisition or project by the significant other, also referred to as Wiveka or the Resident Project Manager. It relies on the cliché that men are driven by a certain geekiness when it comes to acquisitions like home automation gadgets ... "

The Winter Veranda in Process ...

The New Room ...

aka Novo Room has arrived ... in bits and pieces :-)

The Library I

Bwired ....

Looking for some additional stuff in Europe to get our home automation project going I bumped into the Bwired House in the Netherlands ...

Now that is what I would call Xtreem Home Automation :-)

Not sure Wivi would want to go this far ...

Sunday, 11 January 2009

The Future ...

Well, we are making good progress and are getting to get a house feeling.

While I am writing this, I am sitting in our new "library" aka "atelier" aka "art room" aka ... no longer rebuilding and making dust, but being creative, and so it becomes to time to think what we will be doing with this one little blog called xhm.

Shall we end it once the real xhm is over ?

Nope, as we do still have a few phases ahead for us in 2009 and 2010, but one constant in the progress will be the increase of home automation in our little house in the Skärgård.

So, while we started this adventure in the stone age and moved ahead to the modern ways of building in wood, the future will be more and more focused around eXtreme Home autoMation and the wonderfull world of using homeseer , X10, Z-Wave and other stuff to make life easy.

Jakob Sand, another Nordic Homeseer user even kickstarted a facebook group which I happily joined.

So the future will be more around making life easy by letting technology do the work ...

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Walk-in Closet

The Bedroom

a.k.a. the Master Bedroom, a.k.a the White Room :-)

My Xmas Present ...

The Hallway ...

The blue dressoir is waiting to be painted white.
The floor is waiting to get "luted" aka "white washed".
The curtains are waiting to be replaced with a sliding door.
The walls are waiting for a final layer of white.

But overall we are moving towards a house feeling.

Find the difference ?!?

Hint: it is not the trashed sofa :-)

Bubbles ...

Starting 2009 with some bubbles is always a good idea, but our PM took it to the next level when trying the bubbles with the foam in the new bath ...

Design: Simon and Tomas

While removing some build-in cupboards of the 5o'ties in what was our bedroom and is gonna become our library we discovered this wonderfull Simon and Tomas Wallpaper ...

We have decided it will not be preserved for future generations.