Home Automation

I’m working to setup some cool home automation.  Far beyond the simple programmable thermostat, really.

I’ve installed a VeraLite Z-Wave controller, and some other compatible motion sensors, cameras, and wall switches and controllable outlets.  It turns out the home automation systems Comcast sells as cable add-ons use Z-Wave too.  So do the systems ADT sells as security add-ons.  Doing it myself means I can build as large a system as I could want, and there are no fees.  I can even get dry wire contacts interface to my burglar alarm, to maybe turn on all the lights whenever the alarm is triggered.

As soon as they’re all installed, I’ll be able to reprogram the wall switches so the first one always turns on the light, the middle one turns on the ceiling fan, and the third one controls whatever outlet(s) I want turned on.  For certain rooms, at night I can also make the house turn on lights whenever someone walks into any room.

The security of the protocol and implementation is what fascinates me, because this is exactly the type of thing they talk about on the news when they talk about “the internet of things” being hacked.  I don’t want my house to get hacked, of course.

I also have a Raspberry Pi, and bought a Pi hardware attachment that provides a Z-Wave interface. I plan to build three things.

1) A Z-Wave network protocol analyzer.  I’m considering building a z-wave interface capture interface and a decoder for Z-Wave protocols.  Not sure if Wireshark is a good fit here.

2) A Z-Wave controlled infrared universal controller. The possibilities are endless.

3) A Z-Wave base station, to replace the VeraLite. Then I can be totally sure my system is secure, and I’m not relying on a system that may be based on open source software but isn’t getting patched like the source material is.  I already know the Veralite is based on linux, I wonder if the manufacturer is publishing the source code like they’re supposed to?  I really wonder how hardened it is.