Category Archives: Automation

2011-09-10-18.37.29

Wireless Garage Door Opener

Xbee Home Automation

Yet another XBee based home automation device: A wireless garage door opener.

This is exactly the same as the sprinkler controller, except I am using an old cell phone charger as the power supply and I’ve added some limit switches to detect the door state.

Just like the sprinkler controller, my home automation server sends AT commands to control the XBee line states.

A very minimal web interface completes the project for now.

Wireless Garage Door Opener
Connected to the normal garage door opener
Limit Switch Detects Door State

Home Automation Web Interface

2011-08-06-17.48.20

Sprinkler Controller

4Channel Xbee Sprinkler Controller

I built this simple XBee based sprinkler controller for my home automation system.  Its so basic there is no schematic.

The digital IO lines on the XBee to drive a few TIP120 darlington transistors I had in my parts box.  No extra logic or firmware required.

A salvaged power switch and IDC connector bring power into the box.  The large transformer and bridge rectifier are all it takes to power the solenoids.  A linear regulator and some caps feed the XBee.

Software wise, I’m just using a cron job to trigger a script that sets the XBee IO line state.

Closeup of the Circuit Board

Ready to close up

Finished Sprinkler Controller

IMG_20130728_224214

Preschool Gate Controller


Use Cases

Entering the Main Gate

A.      A valid code is inputted via the keypad.
1.       Press “Start” on the keypad.
2.       Type in the 4digit code on the keypad.
3.       Press the “OK” button.
4.       Door unlocks for 30seconds.
5.       Door relocks.
B.      An invalid code is inputted via the keypad.
1.       Press Start on the keypad.
2.       Type in a wrong code on the keypad
3.       Press the “OK” button.
4.       Door remains locked.
5.       The doorbell chime rings to let the office staff know someone is having trouble.
C.      Office staff buzzes someone in manually. Note: This is the existing use case
1.       Guest presses “Doorbell” button on the keypad.  The doorbell chime rings.
2.       Office staff visually authenticates the guest.
3.       Office staff presses one of the red buttons at their desk.
4.       Door unlocks for 30seconds.
5.       Door relocks.
D.      Fire authority uses key to disarm the gate in the event of an emergency.
1.       Fire authority turns key
2.       Door unlocks
3.       Alarm goes off in office.
4.       Door remains unlocked until the key is used to rearm the gate.

Exiting the Main Gate

A.      Authorized Exit
1.       User presses the green button.
2.       Door unlocks for 30seconds.
3.       Door relocks.
B.      Unauthorized Exit
1.       User presses the touch-bar. Note: The touch-bar contains a touch sensor.  This is a safety feature to allow people to escape in the event of an emergency.
2.       Door unlocks.
3.       Alarm goes off in office.
4.       When the door is closed, the alarm goes off.
5.       Door immediately relocks.

Entering the Far Gate

A.      Key is used to unlock gate
1.       User unlocks the gate with the key
2.       Door unlocks (mechanically).
3.       Alarm goes off in office.
4.       When the door is closed, the alarm goes off.
5.       Door immediately relocks (mechanically).

Exiting the Far Gate

B.      Unauthorized Exit
1.       User presses the push-bar.
2.       Door unlocks (mechanically).
3.       Alarm goes off in office.
4.       When the door is closed, the alarm goes off.
5.       Door immediately relocks (mechanically).

Arming/Disarming the Gate

Arming/Disarming the gate is done via the toggle switch on the right side of the gate control box in the preschool Front Office closet.

System Components

The Gate System consists of several components

  1. Door-Open Sensors
  2. Procare KEIS Entry Keypad
  3. Securitron Touch Bar
  4. Securitron Electromagnetic lock
  5. Alarm
  6. Door Bell Chime
  7. Brainbox Network RS232 Adapter
  8. Doorbell transformers
  9. Exit button
  10. Entry “buzz” style buttons
  11. 555 timer
Gate Controller System

The wiring for all these components are brought to a secured electrical box.   Most of the components are connected in wired AND/OR configurations that allow different parts of the system to deactivate the magnetic lock or activate the alarm.

Assembled PCB

Originally I was using screw terminal strips and doing all the wiring with jumpers, but this got pretty messy with all the connections.  To clean things up I designed a simple PCB.