Making home automation modules talk to each other


[Danny] has been working on an RNET to Sonos bridge. These are devices from two different manufacturers used to facility whole-house audio systems. Usually there’s a main controller with a large color screen and then several satellite controllers like the one above which have some of the features but at a lower cost. Normally you’re limited to using hardware from one line of devices in order to get them to talk to each other but [Danny’s] saying ‘no way’ to that restriction.

His latest post has some of the details on how he pulls this off. He used an RS232 serial connection with an Arduino to sniff out the data stream from the RNET base unit. Once he figured out the protocol he used the Arduino to parse all incoming commands, format them for the Sonos controller, and send it over the Ethernet cable to that device. He’s got everything tied together and working. Take a look at the proof in the clip after the break.

12 thoughts on “Making home automation modules talk to each other

  1. thanks for the great hack Danny and Mike for reporting!
    Professor P – thank you as well for that info.

    I was just venturing into this territory again with some new devices to integrate.

  2. When I finally own a house I definitely want to have a system like this. I hope to build the entire thing from scratch though.

  3. Russound is NOT home automation. Nither is Sonos.

    it’s a very limited low end whole house audio setup. Entry level stuff.

    This is audio stuff and has no home automation in it at all. home automation is things like AMX, Vantage, R4, and Crestron.

    you cant get russsound to turn on your lights. you cant get russsound to Open shades or control your home theater… IT is a whole house music system.

  4. Oh I forgot. IF he asked a integrator he could have gotten his hands on the RNET protocol pdf. It’s not a secret.

  5. There are almost always easier or alternative ways to do many of the projects that are posted here, but I think many of us are doing this in the spirit of learning and sport.

    I say good job for stepping out of your comfort zone and trying it.

    Cheers.

  6. For what it’s worth, there are some pretty solid software packages out there that do this same sort of thing. I’ve used HomeSeer in my house for a number of years now, and it integrates with Russound in some pretty neat ways. Not sure if they do Sonos though.

  7. @Professor P

    http://www.bacnet.org/ seems like it would be a better option for a protocol. Seeing as you might have a shot of getting a furnace that supports it, or a AC unit, or any other large piece of mechanical equipment. It’s an open spec. Downside is it does require Ethernet ability, but the ardunino can do that too if it needs to.

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