Smart House. Long history of development

It so happened that the topic “Smart Home” has interested me for a long time, I don’t know the reasons, maybe just a professional ego, like I am able to automate anything, maybe just this is cool. I don’t remember much when I first heard the term “Smart Home”, but it happened, a lot of time has passed since then, but there’s no clear understanding of what it really is. Why do I write all this, well, I just want to share what was in fact done, how much “it is necessary”, and maybe comments will be made to share something useful, although I think it is absolutely useless, and I’m really I tried, well, an unreal set, I will try to briefly describe at least something here ...

If you google it, it turns out that “smart home” is something to automate something ... in principle, the same as IoT, i.e. something to automate something. It looks nice and tempting in principle, but ... let's start in order.

History 1. Kettle

It so happened that in our office there was a cheap Chinese kettle for 3+ liters with auto-temperature maintenance, which for some reason (the cable burned out, well, it became clear later) stopped boiling water. Considering that at least 6 engineers of the automated process control system worked in the office, and they needed a kettle to make instant coffee (i.e., when it broke down, the work stupidly got up), they repaired it ... Anything, but the thought cleared up, the warehouse was not particularly controlled; as a result, a teapot appeared in the office, which monitored the water level, maintained the temperature with an accuracy of 0.1 degrees, sent reports by e-mail when the water level fell below a predetermined threshold, had a SCADA with access via WEB, kept a log and water temperatures with the ability to retrospectively of view, he could start by SMS to heat water. In short, the kettle was really "advanced." And everyone liked him, even the big bosses from Moscow itself. But then, quite by chance, the management learned that the components of Siemens, Dell, Moxa, which were saved on one of the projects, were taken out of the warehouse for an amount of about 100 kilobaksov ... and the kettle was dismantled, well, we just got reprimanded in principle, for “you in general, perhaps, about @ eaten, you have nothing to do ???”.

And this was the first lesson , the selling price is key and can lead to disastrous consequences.

History 2. Sewage

It so happened that I moved to live in a private household, the lack of a central sewage system and a high level of groundwater forced me to build a septic tank with infiltrates and a pump that pumped sewage into infiltrates. As a result, the control of the fluid level in the infiltrates reservoirs was implemented, as they are hidden under the ground and it will not be possible to glance, the control of the fluid level in the pump shaft, automatic pump control, diagnostics of the pump operation with the ability to automatically enter the reserve. All these data were happily written to the database, the SMS notification about critical deviations in the drainage system was working. As an additional service, equipment usage statistics was implemented. All this was implemented on a fairly cheap MK, a fairly cheap single board PC was used as a server. Automation equipment, sensors, actuators, MK boards, single-board PC cost about USD 400, i.e. Pretty cheap and affordable. In fact, the price of automation equipment was about 10-20% of the cost of the main "technological" equipment, which included a septic tank, infiltrates, pumps and construction costs (one dry mixture took almost 3 tons).

However, in the first spring, it became clear that when the rain showers charged for a week, the system stopped coping with the volume of water, and the first question arose, “Well, did you know that your water does not go away, what’s the emergency level?”. And if you think logically, the question was correct, the available amount of information was not needed, i.e. not needed at all.

And it was the second lesson , the system should be useful , and something to do, and not just shout about the problems that can not be solved at the moment (well, if it is certainly not a fire alarm).

After almost a year from the start of operation, everything became even worse, it turned out that the environment in which the sensors are located is aggressive and the level sensors simply stopped working, and they needed to be completely replaced, with the equipment being excavated and other difficulties. Six months later, it became clear that the sensors were losing a lot in accuracy, there were a lot of errors and several cases of pumping shaft overflow due to an inoperative level sensor were recorded, to say the pump did not turn on. After that, the pump control automation was simplified by installing a pump with a float sensor. And this was the key point, then the system degraded and only the pump with the float switch remained in the system, and this is already the fourth year without fail.

And it was the third lessonThe system for a smart home should be as simple and reliable as a bucket and not require maintenance.

Although the implementation of this automation system and statistics collected from the place of operation, helped me to learn more about how it all works from a technological point of view, what problems are possible and how to avoid them with “little blood”, and this was the first plus from the operation of “smart” things in personal economy.

History 3. Thermometer

When you gather children for a walk, especially in the autumn-spring period, it is important to understand what is happening outside, in particular warm / cold. And in fact, for these purposes, the thermometer is very convenient, which is mounted on the outer side of the window. In general, either my hands are crooked, or the “crepe” on these thermometers is bad, these gadish things fell off regularly for me, and they needed to be fixed again, well, if after the next crash they did not go off into another world. And just after the next “crash” of a high-precision device, the idea came to replace it, besides, the wind sensor, realized by observing the trees through the window, had too much response time constant. And since KIT based on a microcontroller with an integrated BLE was lying around, it was decided to build its own weather station. Said and done after a week on the street prisobachil box, which measured temperature and humidity (yes, yes, the cheapest DHT22), and measured wind speed and direction (with a weather vane and two encoders, I had to struggle with calibration). In fact, the whole family installed and configured an application that knocked stupidly into the box via Bluetooth and gave information about the average temperature, humidity and wind in the last hour, and the current temperature value. And it all worked quite well, well, until the battery is dead ... and current temperature value. And it all worked quite well, well, until the battery is dead ... and current temperature value. And it all worked quite well, well, until the battery is dead ...

However, after about a week, they demanded that I put a thermometer on the glass. Attempts to object, saying that you have everything you need in your phone crashed about the operating logic: “I don’t understand the digits, I need an arrow and how the trees are swaying”, attempts to take countermeasures and to display analog indicator scales in the application did not lead to a positive result. And as they say, the history of the thermometer ended with the charge of the battery, i.e. the thing is certainly cool, but useless, and when it stopped working no one noticed (well, except the author), and I hang a thermometer on the glass about once every six months ...

And this was the fourth lesson : operation is a very conservative thing, and get rid of the habits almost impossible .

History 4. Chandelier

Since the set of equipment with BLE was released (I nevertheless disassembled the thermometer) I decided to assemble a “smart” chandelier. It was important to achieve the following functions: LED backlight control - setting color, brightness, lighting control on / off, intelligent backlight control (turning on “neutral” green lighting when motion is detected in the dark), and the implementation of “BIO alarm clock”, etc. e. the ability to program the inclusion of various lighting on the clock. For a couple of weeks I “pumped” the Chinese chandelier in an adult way, i.e. Replaced all LEDs with ultra-bright RGB, put power supplies, assembled PWM controllers, light and motion sensors, just in case hooked a temperature sensor, in general achieved all the goals.

However, the practice of operation has shown that in fact the nightly illumination is not particularly needed, turning on / off the lighting is easier and faster with a switch than through the phone, well, BIO-Alarm, if you go to bed in the morning, whatever alarm clock you wake up, you will be painfully resurrected ...

And this was the fifth lesson : reality is always different from expectations, and as a result, the “ necessity ” of automation functions is too exaggerated .


This is only a part of the stories of real implementations of the components of a smart home, there were a lot of them, they were necessary and not very much, there was even a media center . However, the result is almost always the same: a beautiful, but unnecessary thing . Those. if a person wants, he does it, and even convinces himself and those around him that this is important and very convenient, but this is not true . The lifetime of the components depends on the owner, if he is a fanatic of these "devices", then they will live, and if not, they will get rid of them at the first failures, and they will surely fail.

Also popular now: