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Thread: Home to Car

  1. #1
    Automated Home Ninja Andrew Millne's Avatar
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    Default Home to Car

    Been thinking about the bridge between home automation and the car. With PCs in cars becoming more and more popular what are the possible implications and applications?

    What about...?

    • Syncing of music
    • Streaming media to the car from the home using a slingbox type device
    • Alerting house occupants that the car has returned/leaving at peculiar hours (possible theft) RFID?
    • Use of the GPS to change the heating profile as you approach home. Maybe only if you specifically select navigate to home in case you're on a drive by?
    • Sharing car diagnostic data with the house so occupants can be alerted about upcoming service intervals, road tax renewals etc.

  2. #2
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    interesting question !

    having a slot in the car for an iPhone (or other such) might do a lot of that - music & synching, and navigation (GPS & map) ... 'though obviously not all ...

    how about a sensor to help with parking - our garage is a tight fit, for example, and if the car doesn't have its own parking sensor it might save a few bumps & buckets ?

    'wonder if it would be possible to tap into a car's diagnostic socket, if there is one - ours uses the multi-function display on the dashboard instead / type-in a code & it gives a direct read-out of car status & servicing needs, so maybe they're going out of fashion again ...
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 16th April 2010 at 01:35 PM.

  3. #3
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    Alpine already do an Ipod/Iphone interface for many of their car systems. Plus I know some have removable hard drives.
    RFID tags are used quite a lot in this area. For doing things like opening gates, switching on lights and doing specific automated tasks related to a certain user.
    A Wifi or bluetooth link could be used to auto sync info. So once in range the car talks to the house. This could be initiated via an RFID tag as an added security log in. After all you don't want strange cars talking to your house now.
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
    www.casatech.eu Renovation Spain Blog

  4. #4
    Automated Home Ninja Andrew Millne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_j_hunter View Post
    'wonder if it would be possible to tap into a car's diagnostic socket, if there is one
    That is what got me started thinking. All modern cars now come with OBD-ii ports and mine gives up info on over 3000 parameters covering everything from engine diagnostics (fuel level, intake temperatures, throttle position etc) to whether the courtesy light is on or not. All available via the serial port on a PC

    Have a look at this for a complete list...

    http://www.palmerperformance.com/sup...d_enhanced.php

    There has to be some very interesting applications for all that data when combined with a home with rich sensory input also.

  5. #5
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    interesting, on the face of it our two CitroŽns would offer the Generic OBD-II parameter list - must check ! Of course, engines are shared a lot between makes these days - with Peugeot & Ford & Jaguar and (ich glaube) VW / Audi too, in our case ...

  6. #6
    Automated Home Guru MichaelD's Avatar
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    The data that's available on the car is astonishing, I use VCDS http://www.ross-tech.com/vcds/tour/main_screen.html on my Audi, it hacks into the network of about 76 modules in the car, they manage data on the engine, doors, windows, heating, entertainment systems, GPS, the volume and quality of data is unbelievable.

    Last time I used it, it told me the car was pointing uphill at an angle of 1.5 degrees, there was an obstacle 7.6m in front of me, the drivers door was open. If I'd looked at the GPS module it would have told me exactly where the car was located and which direction it was pointing.

    There must be some really interesting ways to use all this data, I just wish I could gather as much information in my house, as I already have in my car. Cars cars seem to be miles ahead of where we are with home automation.

  7. #7
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    interesting - as you say, the list of parameters is astonishing, almost as if they just listed everything they could think-of - presumably having full info' has been found to be a good idea, to speed servicing & repairs ... in which case maybe a similar approach should be taken with the house, including appliances (not easy, SFAIK only Siemens offer models with sutable interfaces built-in - and then they're designed for EIB/KNX, of course)

    looks like these people offer an equivalent for CitroŽn cars :

    http://www.auto-diagnostics.info/psa_diagnostics

    their screen shots seem to suggest it's equally comprehensive, and they say to expect an OBD-II socket on all models since '95, with the socket to be found by the steering-wheel (never noticed it, maybe it's with the fuses) ... not sure of pricing, but the software seems to run under 'XP, so we might well be able to link it with the HA in some way ...

    wonder how best to connect the car to the house - car doors closed & without too much fiddle faddle ?

    not sure about the GPS - ours shows location & orientation only when the car's moving, the data freezing when the ignition's turned-off & not coming alive again until the car's travelled a few hundred metres (meaning we usually have to guess which way to start-off, unless we're in a cul-de-sac) ! 'wonder if accessing maps & past-journey data, and setting future destinations & way-points, from the desk in the study, would be possible ?

    cars ahead-of houses - yes, that's very true, and in so many way ... they're fully engineered for a start, and some of them even have a very well thought-out UI !

    hmm, does this mean best place for node-0 would be in the garage, so the PC & its RS232 ports can be near the cars (RS232 cables being best kept short, SFAIK) ?
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 17th April 2010 at 05:48 PM.

  8. #8
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    My node 0 is in the garage.
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
    www.casatech.eu Renovation Spain Blog

  9. #9
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    not unusual, 'though difficult one to call ...

    eg: in study might be more accessible & waste heat will heat the house ... also possibly more practical if garage used also as a workshop (sawdust etc) ... but fan-noise might not be OK !

    OTOH, putting it in a cupboard (in the garage) & tying it into the MVHR system might address those issues ... then again, wonder if having a node per floor could make sense ?
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 19th April 2010 at 01:42 PM.

  10. #10
    Automated Home Sr Member MrFluffy's Avatar
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    many moons ago now i had a dash pc install in my van. I used to park it in the driveway and remotely sync it up to the house data with wifi.
    To that end I fitted some external wifi antennas to the exterior and there are various 12v pc atx psu's if you want to roll your own carputer. For gps service I fitted a gps25 garmin 12v unit to inside the dash and ran a external gps antenna for that too. Its night and day quality to what you get out of some on dash tomtom for coverage. It gave nmea output on the serial into the carputer serial port. For mapping I had gps drive, and I could plot a route in advance and scrape the map off google maps in advance.
    Input is more of a pain, I re-jigged a sony steering wheel remote audio joystick to operate a usb joystick adapter and read it as inputs which mapped to the gui. If I needed to connect for more extensive stuff I had dash mounted usb sockets and could plug a keyboard in ,vnc to it back at base or ssh in. For display I had a old ibm till monitor, and mounted the brackets to the dash. I had the same system in a rangerover at one point too.
    The carputer also automounted usb sticks plugged into the sockets and transfered the contents to onboard storage automatically so i could add stuff easy.

    Never looked at the canbus interfacing, Ive never owned anything new enough to have it owning a diesel van, a landrover 90, a vw type2 camper and a kitcar as my current personal cars
    Still have the remnants of the experiment on a shelf but dont drive enough to bother nowadays. This was all done about 6 years ago. It was quite groundbreaking at the time and all just worked. Ive since found out my screen size was allegedly illegal but nobody ever said anything back at the time...

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