Home Automation

My ongoing project to instrument and automate my home

Introduction

Last updated: 2019-December-30

My long-term project to add some home automation and home instrumentation to my home was born out of a very simple idea.  We have an alarm system.  Unlike many others who have such a system, we use it whenever we leave the house.  In the winter, we also set our thermostat back at the same time so as to save money heating the house while we are not occupying it.  The thought:

“Why couldn’t the thermostat know that we have set the alarm and automatically perform the setback functionality?”

To skip to the chase on this one … NO, I have not answered this initial question.  Primarily because our alarm system is reasonably old and none of the documentation or solutions I’ve researched will work.  I will get back to this later.  For now, I’ve dabbled in other, tangential ideas.

Note that there is no master plan for all of this.  I go where new ideas lead me.

Note also that I do not have any delusions that any of this will save enough energy to actually pay for the materials involved.  Each of these projects was begun with the idea that I would learn new things and have some fun doing it.  If we end up saving a few pennies along the way, so much the better.

Again, this is a long-term project.  Stay tuned.

Update #1:

My alarm system installer says he can install a relay that will be activated when the alarm is armed.  I am in his queue to do this.  I have a Raspberry Pi Zero W project completed that will connect to his relay and control the thermostat upon alarm system arming/disarming.
I will create a new post about this project when it is actually connected to the alarm panel and working.

Update #2:

The relay has been installed and the AlarmPi is in place and working.  For further details, see: http://homeautomation.geiserweb.com/index.php/2019/12/30/alarmpi-using-a-raspberry-pi-zero-w-to-control-a-setback-thermostat-when-an-alarm-system-is-armed-disarmed/

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