Dorm room automation

Posted: April 19, 2012 in Electronic, Mechanical, Microcontroller, Programming
Tags: , , ,

Since almost everybody doesn’t like to wake up (early) in the morning I thought I had to do something to get me out of bed with more ease… A few years a purchased a wake-up light which just wakes you with a lamp that shines brighter and brighter until it is a 100% of brightness over a period of a half a hour. The idea is that you wake up earlier and rested. This worked for me for about a month and after that it waked me but I was very slumbered.

So I had to think of another thing to wake up easier… I came up with the idea of making the motivation of getting out of bed higher. This, I thought for me, can be done by fresh baked baguette and eggs.

Since I now live in a dorm room for my graduation I have curtains so I thought it might be cool to also use those in the automation and pull the curtains. So the plan was to use an oven and a kettle to make the bread and boiled eggs.

But first things first, I bought an oven and used the kettle I already had, and for pulling the curtain I used a (geared) motor with a wire to the curtain. Here’s what I had to automate;

So here was my approach; Use a motor to pull the curtains and use a remote set to control the kettle and oven. For controlling all these things, I had to use some kind of alarm which would go just before my normal alarm clock rings. So I bought a cheap little clock on ebay with alarm function and battery powered. Then I designed a circuit to control the remote boxes wireless and a motor controller due a simple mosfet. Here’s the circuit I came up with.

And the associated board:

I milled the pcb, but I also had to make a motor mount to mount the motor onto the wall so some mechanics had to be designed too. Here’s a movie of making the pcb and the motor mount;

Here are the results, I reflowed the board in my oven (not the same as used for the bread 😉 ) and had to start programming and testing… but in the meantime I also had to make  a motor mounting for the motor I got. This is how it all turned out.


Oh and yeah that’s a laser cutter 🙂 I purchased one a few months ago and it is super awesome!! It makes building things so much faster!! Normally milling the motor mount would take about 3 hour or something, now it only took about 5 minutes to laser!

So here’s the system I made;

Now the idea was to read in the alarm with the microcontroller and control the devices with that. To get this signal I had to open the clock and read in the signal. For this I had to amplify this signal so I used a mosfet for this (as seen in the schematic). The remote switching boxes are controlled by a 433MHz radio module and the remote set boxes library I wrote some time ago. And a mosfet for the controlling of the motor.

Here’s a look inside of the clock.

In the schematic I used a lot of in and outputs for the clock but the only one I needed where the buzzer as input, and an output for “pushing” a button in the lock to turn off the alarm. The clock I bought was one with 4 functions; time, alarm, temperature and timer. At the start I thought about making use of these functions, the clock just for being clock, the alarm for the triggering and the timer for timing of the oven and kettle. But after I thought about it, it is way more easy to do the timing with the microcontroller. (although this might be less precise..) but this is not that much of a precise application.

My idea for the programming was to make it really configurable, so that one can decide which devices to turn on. So I made some defines in the beginning of my code. But then I came across this cool tip. It’s about the use of the 6 pins ISP programming header as 2 jumper inputs. Something I never thought of! But it is really handy since I did not have any additional jumpers or switches (beside reset). So I used this trick to define the menu for the next morning: 😉

So after a few spare time hours the programming was done as well. Then I mounted the motor on the wall and connected it to the pcb. I also screwed the clock to the wall next to the pcb. Here is how the system is now 🙂

And off course a demonstration:

If you would like to see the design files of the mechanics, electronics and code, they are here.

Hope you like it 😉

  1. Haha, JJ you’re the good kind of crazy.

      • Shwetha says:

        Please help me . I have an upcoming science exhibition coming up in my school. i am struggling for a topic . Your robotic is very interesting but can u please explain me deatail i understood how to make the gripper but the stand and circuit is confusing . I do not know what all material to get . Please help me . !

  2. jon says:

    Nice. What motor did you use?

  3. mancevd says:

    What lasercut did you purchased?

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