Kevin's Home Automation System



I started my home automation system with MisterHouse , a pentium 3 computer, and relay switches controled via serial port from Electronic Energy Control, Inc.

So, Why did I spend all this time building a home automation system. For a couple of reasons:

  1. My existing alarm, sprinkler, and heating/AC system had a number of limitations that irritated me. For example, my sprinkler system would not allow me to start a program manually, could not pause/resume, and pause sprinklers for a specified number of hours.
  2. I wanted to control my home through web pages via HTML, both at home and remotely from work/cell phone/PDA.
  3. I did not want to buy an HA system because I wanted to be able to totally configure the system and run it on a PC.
  4. Its a hobby of mine.
  5. I was out of work during the time and wanted to keep my programming skills sharp.

Once I installed the sprinkler system and alarm code, I found that Mister House (Mh) software, which is written in perl was not handling threads correctly for the alarm code. Mh has a web server coded in the software, but does not have functionality, like SSL. So, I looked at other web server products and found that Jakarta-Tomcat was the best. Jakarta-Tomcat has all the functionality I need, plus supports both JSP and Java Servlets. So, I rewrote the sprinkler and alarm system code in Java based upon JSP and Servlets. I have been very happy with my choice.