WAP Controlled Home Automation


[Josh] sent in a home automation project he did a little while ago. It has a total of eight switched outlets. The main focus of the project was WAP access for remote control from any cellphone. The control box is based on a design by [Ashley Roll] for controlling eight servos using a PIC microcontroller. A listener app written in Java monitors the control web page and sends signals to the board via serial port. He used opto-isolated 240V solid state relays for each of the outlets. All the pieces are available on the site and he might even do a custom control board design if there is enough interest.

8 thoughts on “WAP Controlled Home Automation

  1. Job well done Josh. Although this strikes me as being more of an appliance control system, turn the lamp on and off remotely, that kind of thing. An automated system does things without user interaction.

  2. What’s the advantage to this rather than running X10 switches, an inexpensive pc x10 gateway ($5-$30 depending on flavor), and the same front end? The SSRs are expensive, not to mention the need for the custom board — and what requires that many amps that is to be remote controlled? Microwave, perhaps, but what else?

    I’m being critical as I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this field, and feel that you need to deploy a custom, simple, data over power (ala X10, but not X10) interface to send commands to smaller boards. And a FET + relay is a lot cheaper than an SSR — why the SSR? Anyhow…


  3. Amk; thanks! The system is definately extendible to play around with scheduling systems. From the PHP codebase you could even control switches based on Twitter or RSS feeds!

    Reza; my rationale for implementing everything from scratch was to leave it open to extensions and further customization. A ready-made web interface is great for purpose, but the server/listener setup is useful for any web-to-serial project you might want. (I’ve just included the java source, so it can be extended)

    There are PIC-to-x10 wireless hacks out there if you want to intergrate x10 into the system.

    I used SSRs I love the opto-isolation, and didn’t want to have to step TTL level voltages up to 12v to drive a relay, and deal with mitigating the relay discharge spike.


  4. Idea: brilliant!
    Execution: do yourself a favor and put at least cable straps tightly around the mains-cables inside, so none could be easily pulled out. Thats the least you should do, even if the whole thing makes me cringe. Don’t fear mains, but respect it.

  5. Ragnar; it’s not completely obvious from the picture, but the lip of the project box actually clamps the cables down when it is screwed shut. I will add your suggestion to the how-to though, thanks.


  6. Hi, I’m trying to build something like your project however the issue is that I dont know how to interface microcontroller with JAVA application. so I would be very grateful if you could send me all Java and microcontroller interfacing materials related to the project.My e-mail is koradiya.niral@gmail.com

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