Arduino Control Room

I’ve been working on a few Arduino projects recently that will hopefully result in varying levels of home automation.  The effect so far has  been to stick a box here, plug this in there, and dangle a wire from over there, with a general haphazard (with emphasis on the ‘hazard’ bit in some places!) outcome.

If this is to work with any degree of success, it needs some more permanent infrastructure.  It needs power.  It needs internet connectivity.  It needs to be centralised.  It needs easy access to things I want to monitor and/or control.  It needs to be tidy and out of the way, but easily accessible.  There’s a shelf in my cloak room that meets most of those criteria, so this weekend I started getting it prepared;

Whilst power was a requirement, running a dedicated ring main from the fuse box already there was just a bit overkill for a couple of Arduinos.  Right above that area though was my computer room with power sockets and broadband.  After lifting the floorboards, retrieving the cat, drilling some holes, retrieving the cat, running some CAT5 and power cables, and running after the cat I was half way there.

The wooden window frame going to the porch offered little resistance to a power drill, and in no time I had a magnetic door sensor wired back to the control room.  Thanks CAT5 cable!

On the other side of the control room wall is the garage with gas meter and electric meter.  It is also where I can gain easy access to put an outside air sensor.  A double-skinned brick wall would have been an inconvenient barrier, but luckily the alarm fitters had missed when they drilled the first hole through for the alarm wiring and a small skin of plaster gave me an easy route through.  More CAT5 cable!

At the moment, there is a lonely naked looking Nanode sitting there reading the inside and outside air temperatures , and uploading them to (See previous blogs/tutorials).  Over the upcoming holidays, however, I plan to build a multifunction case to house a couple of Arduinos, add more logging options, give it a Twitter account, make a watchdog monitor and have some ‘at a glance’ status lights.

Keep reading as more is added.