Home ControllerHome Server

This project has evolved over time. The original idea was to have a Linux server which could control as many aspects of the house as possible. Example – light, temperature, phones etc. Due to cost restrictions, it has turned into a general purpose server. This $300 machine currently serves the following functions -

  1. Gateway to the Internet
  2. Wireless Access Point
  3. Network Switch
  4. File Server
  5. Print Server
  6. Telephony Exchange
  7. Media Server
  8. Environmental Data Collection

RJ45/coax outletStructured Wiring

When I bought a house, I wanted to have RJ45 and coaxial outlets in all rooms. I also wanted to have a central patch panel which could route signals from one room to another. This project took a while to complete, but was worth the effort. I have a tidy infrastructure for my other projects now. It is currently being used to network 2 laptops, a server, media center, 3 analog phones and to route signal from an antenna to the TV.

Indash PCscreenshot of CarPC

The goal of this projects was to implement an in-dash computing platform in my car. Its job is to display GPS maps, play mp3 and do onboard diagnostics of the car’s systems. I was able to successfully build an embedded computer and associated software to display maps, play mp3′s and radio. A chassis was built using cardboard. Here is a video of the device which I never installed in my car. It works, but it isn’t pretty.

Watch video: Flash Video

Amateur Astronomy

telescopeI have had some great views of the planets with my celestron 4.5″ reflector telescope. My next goal is to try to spot some deep space objects. I am also looking to purchase a computer controlled, 8 inch telescope in the future. Any advice is welcome.

Home Automation

While I was living the student life, I set up a computer controlled home automation system that allowed me to control lights, access my voice messages, log caller-id and monitor temperature in my apartment. All this was accessible through a web interface running on a linux server.

Customized LinuxTux

The goal is to create a very lean embedded linux system that will run without the need for a hard drive. This reduces the power requirements and is less prone to errors. Ideally, this system would be very compact and have no moving parts making it very robust. Learning to use linux is a difficult process, but once you have climbed the steep learning curve, you will have a very powerful tool at your hands!

 

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