25 Home Automation Projects For The Evil Genius



Your home may be your castle-but can it cook your dinner? Well, with the help of 25 Home Automation Projects for the Evil Genius, you can teach it to do just that, along with dozens of other affordable, enjoyable things that will transform your humble abode into a wickedly automated living environment.

But fear not-you don't need an engineering degree to complete the projects in...

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Your home may be your castle-but can it cook your dinner? Well, with the help of 25 Home Automation Projects for the Evil Genius, you can teach it to do just that, along with dozens of other affordable, enjoyable things that will transform your humble abode into a wickedly automated living environment.

But fear not-you don't need an engineering degree to complete the projects in this book. That's because technology maven Jerri L. Ledford skillfully provides you with a firm understanding of the basic wiring, networking, and equipment demands for home automation. She then leads you step by step through each application, offering clearly worded and heavily diagramed guidance that will truly satisfy your inner Evil Genius.

With the help of just a few household tools, you'll be able to bring info-age automation to:

  • Indoor and outdoor lighting
  • Security and surveillance
  • Climate regulation
  • Entertainment systems
  • Personal reminders
  • Plant care
  • Remote monitoring of kids and pets
  • Keyless entry
  • Wireless TV
  • And many more!

Plus, you'll gain access to discounts from a variety of home automation product manufacturers, to make your projects even more economical. With 25 Home Automation Projects for the Evil Genius, easy living is now automatic!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780071477574
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
  • Publication date: 12/20/2006
  • Series: Evil Genius Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 0.36 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 8.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Jerri Ledford (Magee, MS) is a freelance writer with more than 10 years experience. She’s had more than 700 articles appear in publications such as Intelligent Enterprise, Network World, Information Security Magazine, TechNet Magazine, and others.

In addition to covering all aspects of business technology, Jerri writes and teaches technology courses for consumers at both Hewlett-Packard and CNET, and has written several consumer books, including The Rational Guide to Preventing Identity Theft (Rational Press, 2005), Cut the Cord! The Consumer’s Guide to VoIP (Course Technology – a division of PTR, 2005), and The Personal Cybersecurity Bible (Course Technology, 2005.)

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Table of Contents

Introduction to Home Automation     1
Lights Please: Indoor Lighting     5
Equipment Needed     5
Understand Lighting Control     5
Terminology     6
The Equipment     6
Installation Instructions     7
Troubleshooting     9
Selecting the Right Switch     10
Intruder Alert: Outdoor Lighting     13
Equipment Needed     13
Installing Motion Sensor Lighting Indoors     13
Troubleshooting     15
Additional Security Monitoring Sensors     15
Moving On
Whole House Automation: Installing an X-10 System     19
Equipment Needed     19
Installing an X-10 Computer Interface     19
Understanding the X-10 System     23
Moving On     25
It's Getting Hot in Here: Control Your Climate     27
Equipment Needed     27
Installing the Thermostat     28
Choosing the Right Thermostat     32
Moving On     33
Speak Up! Installing Voice Controls     35
Equipment Needed     35
Installing HAL     35
Installing the Hardware     37
InstallingHAL     37
How HAL Works     40
Moving On     41
What's at the Door? Installing a Surveillance Camera     43
Equipment Needed     43
Installing the Home Monitoring System     43
Planning Camera Layout     46
Moving On     47
Shhh...I'm on the Phone     49
Equipment Needed     49
Caller ID Configuration     49
Configuring Other Settings     50
Home Entertainment Servers     50
Moving On     51
Music Everywhere: Audio Controls     53
Equipment Needed     53
Connecting the Hi-Fi Link     53
Installing the Digital Music Center     53
Choosing an Automation Installer     56
Moving On     57
Is Anyone There? Installing an Occupancy Sensor     59
Equipment Needed     59
Installing the Wireless Receiver     59
Installing the Wireless Occupancy Sensor     60
Setting the Seene     60
Choosing the Right Browser Controls     62
Moving On     63
Today Is Trash Day: Automating Reminders     65
Equipment Needed      65
Setting Up Reminders     65
Calendaring Applications     66
Moving On     67
No More Dead Lawns: Automating Watering Systems     69
Equipment Needed     69
Installing the Automatic Yard Watering System     69
Programming the Automatic Watering System     69
Alternatives to Windows-based Automation     71
Moving On     72
Watching from Afar: Monitoring Kids and Pets from Work     73
Equipment Needed     73
Installing the Hardware     73
Installing the Webcam Software     73
Accessing the Webcam from the Internet     75
Choosing the Best Webcam     76
Moving On     76
Hot and Ready: Preheat the Oven from Your Cell Phone     77
Equipment Needed     77
Installing the Oven     77
Programming the Oven     77
You May Already Have X-10 Enabled Devices     78
Moving On     78
Who Let the Dogs Out: Creating Your Own Robo-Dog     79
Equipment Needed     79
Programming Your "Dog"     79
Should You Network Your Home and Computer     81
Moving On     82
For the Birds: Installing a Bird Feeder Cam     83
Equipment Needed     83
Installing the Camera     83
Configuring the Receiver     85
Protecting Outdoor Cameras     86
Moving On     86
No Keys Necessary: Installing a Keyless Entry     87
Equipment Needed     87
Installing the Lock and Knob     87
Programming the Lock and Remotes     88
Understanding Remote Controls     89
Moving On     90
Romantic Settings: Creating Grouped Tasks to Control Your Environment     91
Equipment Needed     91
Speech Recognition     91
Setting the Sc{uml}ne for Romance     91
Adding Action to Your Group     92
Running the Action Group     93
Know Your X-10 Address     93
Moving On     94
Hello Dave: Creating Automation Personalization     95
Equipment Needed     95
How It Works     95
Creating a House Mode     95
Consideration for Whole House Audio     98
Moving On     98
TV Anywhere: Wireless Television throughout Your House     99
Equipment Needed      99
Installing the Software     99
Connecting the Base Station     100
Activating the Viewer     100
Setting Up Channels     101
Putting Location Free TV on Your PSP     101
TV Anywhere. Literally     102
Moving On     103
Adding Sound Effects to Your Home Automation     105
Equipment Needed     105
What's a WAV File?     105
Creating Sound Effects     105
Putting Voice Activation to Work     107
Moving On     107
Did I Close That Door? Installing an Automatic Garage Door Closer     109
Equipment Needed     109
Installing the Autocloser     109
Common X-10 Problems     110
Moving On     111
Automating Your Hot Tub     113
Equipment Needed     113
Installing the Switch     113
Automating the Tub     114
Controlling Appliances with X-10     115
Moving On     115
Add a Little Humor to Your House     117
Equipment Needed     117
Choosing a Motion Detector     117
Somebody Let Me Out of Here     117
More About Text-to- Speech      118
Moving On     119
Connecting to Your Favorite Entertainment     121
Equipment Needed     121
Hooking HAL Up     121
Windows, Mac, and Linux     122
Moving On     123
Creating an Illusion of Occupancy: Vacation Controls     125
Equipment Needed     125
Setting Up a Schedule     125
Other Safety Tips for When You're Traveling     127
Moving On     127
Automation Checklist     129
Home Automation Resources     135
Glossary     143
Index     147
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