Use Linux and X-10 to control your Home

Have you ever wanted to automate things around your home? Thanks to Linux and opensource software and with a small expenditure for some hardware, you can automate lights water sprinklers or anything else you can imagine. And if your'e hesitant because of cost, never fear, because you can do it on a shoestring budget if your'e frugal. If you search on the internet for home automation, you will be shown an immense array of solutions. Some are plug and play while others may require professional installation. If your'e like me, then you are probably going to opt for the frugal, let's roll our own way and that's what I'm going to focus on with this article.

To get started you will need the follwing things:

  • A computer running a version of Linux
  • Some hand tools and supplies like screwdrivers, wirecutters, wire splicers and electrical tape (if using modules that need installation)
  • Some X-10 modules and a controller to conrol what you have in mind
  • Download, compile and install the 'Heyu' application ( see Article Resources Below )

This should be enough to get the do it yourselfer going. Later, I will post how to configure and use the Heyu application along with troubleshooting stuff.

  1. Configure and install Heyu on your Linux box and connect your Linux box to your wireless network
  2. Connect the X-10 controller from the serial port on the Linux box to the controller module and then plug that into a wall outlet
  3. Install your X-10 modules, some plug directly into an outlet while others like light switches must be installed using your tools (or have someone else do it)
  4. Set the X-10 code on the module making sure you dont use exisitng codes on other modules
  5. Use Heyu to control the modules from your cell phone, tablet or Desktop
  6. Have fun!

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