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#3: Power-over-Ethernet for Arduino home automation

I’m using Ethernet extensively in my Arduino home automation system for communication with devices distributed around the house, so being able to also provide power to those devices over the same network cable is a big time saver. Until now I’ve been using a “DIY” approach to Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) with midspan injectors sending about 10-12V down the wire, but I’m now converting it all over to use Netgear switches with 802.3af (48V) PoE support built in.

This episode covers some of the options for PoE with Arduino, and demonstrates how you can do it both in a cheap DIY method and using commercial PoE switches.

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#2: Arduino-controlled home automation switchboard

The automation switchboards in my house have Ethernet interfaces thanks to an EtherTen (just like an Arduino Uno, but with built-in Ethernet and PoE) mounted inside. This episode shows the switchboard internals, including how the EtherTens switch output loads around the house. It also shows the termination of the house network that starts out as a bit of a mess, but is much neater by the end of the video.

Links for this ep:

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#1: Home automation system architecture

A basic introduction to the approach I’m taking with linking high-voltage devices in my house to the automation system, and how logical inputs are associated with outputs using MQTT.

Apology: The “threat” I attribute to Andy in the video is not something he’s ever said, or something I’d expect him to say. He’s a peaceful soul, and it was purely hyperbole on my part when I was recording the video!

Links for this ep:

Music credits: the track used in the intro and ending is “Interface” by ElectroLatrine, www.electrolatrine.net. Used with permission.

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No dominant Open Source home automation projects?

If you’re just getting into home automation and go searching for Open Source HA projects, you’ll discover there aren’t any obviously dominant players – more a mix of partly-developed personal projects that aren’t very portable. Why is that?

Links for this ep:

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Water and electricity don’t mix

Early this year my family was flooded out of our house when water came through the ceiling during renovations, and we’ve been living in the recently built workshop at the back of the garage ever since. Well, last night the garage flooded as well. Oh joy. And to make it even more interesting, I learned a lesson never to leave running electrical equipment on the floor. Or to stand next to it, in water, while it’s running.