Part Home Reno Show
Part Tech Show

SuperHouse gives you detailed instructions for everything from basic renovation tasks to more extreme modifications such as how to fit electronic door locks so you can unlock your front door using your mobile phone, and linking your sprinkler system to the internet so you can control it from anywhere in the world.

Build Your Own Autonomous Vacuum Cleaner

Posted on February 20th, 2017

With this great project from instructables member revrekad you can make a robot which will help you with the cleaning! Revrekad’s vacuum cleaner robot uses an Arduino and a few motors to drive the robot around whilst an old computer fan provides the suction! The great thing about this project is that it is mostly made from easily sourced materials such as cardboard and aluminium cans, so you have no excuse not to get started building your own right away! To find out more about this project check out the following link or the video below.

Robo Vac

Want to keep in the loop about the latest in home automation? Subscribing to SuperHouse Automation on YouTube is the best place to start!

Inspired to start work on this project? Are you working on a project you would like us to feature in this blog? The team at SuperHouse Automation would love to know! Tell us about it in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.


SuperHouse Vlog #52: Automower grass quality

Posted on February 19th, 2017

The main sales pitch for robot lawnmowers like the Husqvarna Automower is that you don’t have to mow your grass, ever again. It always looks neat. But there’s a second claim: that trimming the grass just a tiny amount each day also results in healthier grass. Time for a direct comparison of the main lawn area maintained by the Automower, versus a patch of grass that I have been mowing manually.


Repairing Pinball Machines with Arduino!

Posted on February 17th, 2017

One of the great thing about electronics is that they can be used for millions and millions of different applications. Recently we came across James, a pinball machine repair enthusiast! James has used an Arduino and two freetronics N-Drive Shields to control all of the lights and action on one of his pinball machines.  You can checkout some pictures of James’s projects below.

Pinball

Pinball

Want to keep in the loop about the latest in home automation? Subscribing to SuperHouse Automation on YouTube is the best place to start!

Inspired to start work on this project? Are you working on a project you would like us to feature in this blog? The team at SuperHouse Automation would love to know! Tell us about it in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.


Arduino Pulse Width Modulation

Posted on February 16th, 2017

Using the digitalWrite() function in Arduino it is very simple to turn an output pin on or off. However, what if we want to alter the speed of a motor or dim an LED? This is where Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) can be really useful. By rapidly switching a signal high and low, and varying the proportion of time that the signal is high we can digitally emulate analog results! To find out more about this very useful function checkout the full tutorial or the helpful diagram and video example below.

Diagram - PWM

Want to keep in the loop about the latest in home automation? Subscribing to SuperHouse Automation on YouTube is the best place to start!

Inspired to start work on this project? Are you working on a project you would like us to feature in this blog? The team at SuperHouse Automation would love to know! Tell us about it in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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Tree Climbing Robot

Posted on February 12th, 2017

For someone interested in mechatronics, this tree climbing robot would be a great project to attempt. The tree climbing robot uses two segments, one which attaches to the tree and another which continues to climb upwards after which they swap roles, slowly edging the robot up the tree. The result is surprisingly effective and very satisfying to watch! To find out more check out the following link or the video below.

Tree Climbing Robot

Want to keep in the loop about the latest in home automation? Subscribing to SuperHouse Automation on YouTube is the best place to start!

Inspired to start work on this project? Are you working on a project you would like us to feature in this blog? The team at SuperHouse Automation would love to know! Tell us about it in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.


Impressive N-MOSFET Powered Artwork

Posted on February 11th, 2017

At SuperHouse we always love to see amazing electronics projects that are created around the world. We recently read about a number of Freetronics Addressable Triple N-MOSFET modules being used to easily switch on and off lots of large, high powered LEDs for an art installation named “GRID I” and thought that this was too cool not to share! The art work was created by LOVOT LAB who have provided some impressive pictures and a video of the installation.

GRID I with the projects creators

Want to keep in the loop about the latest in home automation? Subscribing to SuperHouse Automation on YouTube is the best place to start!

Inspired to start work on this project? Are you working on a project you would like us to feature in this blog? The team at SuperHouse Automation would love to know! Tell us about it in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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SuperHouse Vlog #51: Automower blade replacement

Posted on February 11th, 2017

The magic of the Automower is that you hardly ever need to care about it. You can leave it for weeks or months, and it’ll take care of itself. However, there is one piece of maintenance that you need to perform: blade replacement. It’s quite easy and only takes a few minutes, and all you need is a screwdriver.


Back to the Future Inspired Auto Lacing Shoes!

Posted on February 10th, 2017

Instructables member blakebevin has create her own Power Laces! The concept is quite simple, a force sensor detects when your foot is firmly in the shoe and two servo motors apply tension to the laces, tightening the laces. To find out more about this awesome project check out the following link or the video of the shoe in action below.

Power Laces

Want to keep in the loop about the latest in home automation? Subscribing to SuperHouse Automation on YouTube is the best place to start!

Inspired to start work on this project? Are you working on a project you would like us to feature in this blog? The team at SuperHouse Automation would love to know! Tell us about it in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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Power Monitoring with Arduino

Posted on February 7th, 2017

Using a Clipsal Cent-A-Meter you can effectively monitor the power usage of different appliances. This is great, however the built in functionality can be rather limiting. You can not, for example track the power consumption of a device over time. Thankfully, combining this meter with Arduino can allow you to reach the power meter’s full potential!  Specifically, a 433MHz receiver can provide a communication bridge between the power monitoring system and an Ethernet connected Arduino allowing the power meter’s data to be sent into a SQL database for analysis and tracking. To find out more about this hack checkout the following link.

Power Meter

If you’re looking to work with your own RF wireless hardware, but don’t want to make your own receiver circuit – check out the Freetronics range of  315/433 MHz receiver shields:

Receiver

Apart from being idea for working with the various low-cost data links on the market, the shield can also be used to capture wireless weather station data, as described in the book “Practical Arduino“. For more information and ideas, check out the product page.

Want to keep in the loop about the latest in home automation? Subscribing to SuperHouse Automation on YouTube is the best place to start!

Inspired to start work on this project? Are you working on a project you would like us to feature in this blog? The team at SuperHouse Automation would love to know! Tell us about it in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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SuperHouse Vlog #50: The future of SuperHouse

Posted on February 6th, 2017

I have a lot of fun making SuperHouse videos, but recently I’ve been thinking about ways that I can make them better. I have many ideas for different types of videos and a list of about 50 episodes I want to make in the future. Please have your say in the future of SuperHouse!

The Patreon page is at www.patreon.com/superhouse

Below is the original episode plan from the early concept for SuperHouse as a high-tech home renovation TV show. There were still some holes in it, but it gave us a rough outline for what we thought could be structured as a show something like a high-tech version of “This Old House”.

Season 1

#1: Welcome to the SuperHouse

  • SuperHouse introduction
  • Montage of future topics
  • Demo of RFID door
  • Demo of mobile phone control of blinds
  • Field trip: Clipsal training house, Clifton Hill
  • SMS letterbox notification project
  • Tour of the website highlighting detailed instructions for letterbox hack

#2: Wiring Your World

  • Introduction to smart wiring: X10/A10, CeBUS, Dynalite
  • Internet access options: DSL, cable, 3G, wireless
  • Setting up a router / firewall
  • Field trip: Tasmanian house fitted with CeBUS cabling
  • Building a stud wall
  • Installing a LAN/WLAN
  • Community wireless

#3: The Ultimate Garage

  • Building a steel-frame garage
  • Driveway detectors: magnetic and infra-red
  • Painting interior walls and trim
  • Field trip: Dad’s place to talk about building envelope etc
  • Recharge station for EV
  • Extraction fan for exhaust (auto-start car)
  • Hanging plasterboard
  • Wall insulation
  • Low power / efficient lighting options

#4: Front Door and Access Control

  • Hanging a front door
  • Fitting electric striker plates
  • RFID access control
  • Keypad access control
  • Fingerprint scanner access control
  • Facial recognition access control
  • Field trip: Brisbane airport access control system?
  • Doorbell notification / video surveillance

#5: Pets, Sensors, and Storage

  • Building a built-in cupboard
  • Installing an intelligent cat/dog door
  • Field trip: R&D: robotic fish, other robot pets?
  • Using temperature, humidity, smoke, CO, and gas sensors
  • Humidity-controlled bathroom and fans

#6: Walls (this ep is very weak, need to find more)

  • Plasterboard: hanging, finishing, painting
  • Cornices, corners, architraves, skirting boards
  • Field trip: South Korea: grass house and Ubiquitous Dream Hall
  • Introduction to Arduino

#7: The Ultimate Home Office

  • Door, desk, drawers, storage
  • Connecting up your computer and printer
  • Field trip: multi-location, maybe Jason Smith’s home office + another
  • Sharing peripherals (printer, scanner, etc)
  • Multi-line phone, VoIP
  • Video conferencing
  • Home server
  • Online apps: Google docs, etc
  • Mobile devices: smartphones and synchronization

#8: Roofs, Water, and Solar

  • Replacing a tile roof with steel
  • Installing a water tank
  • Connecting tank depth sensors to the HA system
  • Connecting hot water system to the HA system
  • Field trip: R&D: solar cells
  • Installing solar panels and a reverse-reading meter
  • Installing solar hot water boosting
  • Roof insulation options

Season 2

#1: Floors

  • Floor and wall tiling
  • Fixing a squeeky floor
  • Floor polishing
  • ?
  • ?

#2: Fencing

  • Building a picket fence
  • ?
  • ?
  • ?

#3: Saving Water

  • Installing a water tank and rainwater collection system
  • Connecting depth sensors and pumps to the computer
  • Greywater: collection, purification, storage, use (legislation)

#4: Garden irrigation and lighting

  • Computer controlled sprinkler system
  • Installing garden lighting

#5: Video from everywhere

  • CCTV systems
  • Building a deck or verandah
  • Doorbell notification

#6: High-tech driveway

  • Installing electric driveway gates
  • Fitting a car sensor
  • CCTV feed to your car

#7: External walls

  • Replacing weatherboards
  • Rendering a brick wall
  • Exterior painting

#8: Heating and cooling

  • Installing central evaporative cooling
  • Installing central heating
  • Smart thermostat

Season 3

#1: Fireplace

  • Installing a gas fireplace
  • Connecting a gas fireplace to the computer

#2: Security

  • Using the house computer as a security system
  • Installing external security lighting
  • SMS notification
  • Dialler
  • Connecting motion detectors
  • Connecting smoke detectors

#3: Home entertainment

  • Installing a wall-mount flat-screen TV
  • Building a home media PC with MythTV
  • CCTV feeds to MythTV

#4: Control from anywhere

  • Building a house-wide audio system
  • Setting up a web interface for the house computer
  • Using a phone / iPod as a house controller
  • Connecting your house to virtual reality (Second Life?)

#5: Phones

  • Setting up a VoIP phone system with Asterisk
  • Connecting Asterisk to MythTV

#6: Curtains and blinds

  • Installing electric curtains and blinds
  • Linking curtains / blinds to the computer

#7: (Topic to be determined)

  • Linking an endless hot water system to the computer
  • Computer controlled water feature
  • The ultimate cubby house: VoIP
  • Voice control
  • Swimming pool management

#8: Grand Finale

  • “Live” show from the SuperHouse
  • House tour showing everything in place
  • Giveaway / prize draw for the crowd
  • Auction the house live on TV? Mmm, tempting!