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Two projects, is there a commercially available option for these or home made?

Two projects, is there a commercially available option for these or home made?


Old 05-03-12, 12:15 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Canada
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Two projects, is there a commercially available option for these or home made?

I have two projects I will be working on sometime in the furture (probably during the winter months).
I have no problems constructing these as my educational background and current work does involve this type of stuff.

The question is, is there a commercially available option available to do either project (in full or part) or am I looking at a whole DIY project?

Both projects are wifi based controls via smart phone (internet browser) or PC/laptop. The wifi coverage at the house covers my entire house (~4100sqft of living space including basement), yard and driveway.

Lights on, we're home

A fairly simple system where as any device on the home network can turn on the porch light and driveway lights.
With small kids and generally stuff to carry in, I would like to be able to use my phone to turn on the outside lights so I don't kill myself getting to the door.
Basically, if the device (cell phone) is on the LAN, it can load a bookmarked web page. On load, lights on. If lights are on, on load, lights off.

LAN controlled Net Radio to FM station

This one will have wow factor!!
Basically, we listen to a lot of net radio stations. The problem being, very large house makes hardwiring stereos or speakers in what ever room or deck we're in/on could be a pain, and changing the station more so.
The goal would be to use a centralized PC to broadcast a selected net-radio station over a low powered FM transmitter (same as you use in your car, but a bit stronger). The radio stations would be listed on a LAN accessable webpage that could be accessed via PC or smartphone.
Long story short, using your smart phone, select a net-radio station, then tune a near by radio (portable or large stereo) to the required FM station.
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Old 05-04-12, 02:33 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Near Buffalo, NY
Posts: 4,239
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Have you considered good ol' motion sensors for the lights? Simple & easy, but lacks the remote control functions.

The easiest way to do a basic control system from the smart phone is use a PC to control the devices, and use the smart phone to control the PC via LogMeIn or Splashtop.

For specific devices, have a look at Smarthome.

More robust whole-house controllers from Crestron and AMX can be found used for pennies on the dollar if you don't mind not having the latest & greatest.

For FM transmitters, check out the kits from Ramsey Electronics.

Controlling several tuners strewn through the house may be a challenge. An infra-red (IR) repeater system is one option although it would require additional wiring.
Old 05-04-12, 03:53 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,744
Received 18 Votes on 16 Posts
Rick Johnston, thanks for the info.

I have considered motion sensors for a few things (i.e lights in hallways, etc) but find they are a pain because they are either too short of a time, angled wrong, or don't place nicely with CF lights. In the case of our driveway porch, the one period would be a pain (specially if we're sitting out there), plus cats and other animals will be tripping the light all night long (had this issue at my previous house with the back yard light).
The picture below should give you an idea of the light coverage area. The driveway extends another ~30ft to the right of the photo. Most of the time we unload the kids and stuff where the black SRT4 is parked, but if it's stuff for the kitchen, I'll generally drive around to the back enterence which is closer for haulling food.
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As for the FM transmitter, really only looking to broadcast one station at a time. The house is big, but not big enough that different channels being audiable wouldn't drive me nuts.
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