The last post on my website was more then two months ago, but I have some good news. I'm still alive! I just had little to say. So here is a short update about some stuff.
First some big news. I while ago I wrote about my holiday plans for next year. I wanted to join the Velomobile City Challenge, but that is not going to happen anymore. Not because it didn't seem any fun, but I'm doing a more fun ride. The Great Baltic Sea Ride 2014. This ride is being organized by Josef Janning from Germany. The same person who organized the Roll over America two years ago. Below you can see the (preliminary) route. As the site mentions the ride is 3 weeks, 3 wheels and 3,000 kilometers of cycling fun. Together with some old ROAMies I officially signed myself up as you can se on the riders list.
Something else I've been busy with the last couple of weeks is home automation. With this system you can automate different things in your house from a distance. Think of lights that automatically turn on when you get home or walk the hallway, linked smoke alarms, lighting that goes on when you pause the movie you are watching and more of those things. The free software I use for this is called Domoticz and it runs on Windows as well as on Linux. I have it running on my Raspberry Pi (a small mini-computer which runs a form of Linux). Besides the hardware to turn on or of the different components you will also need a transceiver to control all these devices using the software. This is the RFXCOM RFXtrx433 USB. With this little USB box (there is also a network version) it is possible to send and receive different signals from different brands and protocols. The nice thing about this is that you are not tied to a specific brand. My switches are from ClickOnClickOff and the door, motion and dusk sensors are from Marmitek (X10 protocol).
It's a hobby gone out of hand because I currently have eight light switches / dimmers (living room, kitchen, hallway, bedroom overflow and the bedroom), two motion and dusk sensors (hallway and bedroom overflow), two door sensors (front and terrace door), three smoke alarms (living room / kitchen, bedroom overflow and bedroom), a doorbell with two bells and a IP-camera in use. I can probably tell you a lot more, but maybe I'll save that for a separate blogpost. Fact is that I can switch on my lights and such from anywhere in the world and watch what's going on in my house. There are a couple of enhancements I would like to implement like a power meter in the meter box, control over the heating and a camera at the front door so I get e-mailed a picture when someone rings the door. The last two weeks there was someone at the door three times when I wasn't home.