“Smart home” saves one of the most important resources – time! The systems relieve users of everyday routine management and control of equipment and equipment, make the house comfortable.
Therefore, “Smart House” is a completely different level of life, a different level of interaction with residential space. “Smart House” systems are chosen by people who care about comfort for themselves and their loved ones and prefer to use in their present technology of the future.
In this article, we will understand how technically the functioning of all systems of providing a smart home is carried out. We will try to describe the general features. First of all, the smart house is controlled by its “brain” – the core of the system. This is a separate and independent device, which should be located in some place isolated from the tenants, and what, in fact, is the nucleus itself from the hardware point of view? Of course the server. Yes, yes, the server, not Arduino, not Raspberry Pi, not the router with OpenWrt, namely the server. Why? Because productivity is important, because other devices are not originally designed to deploy a full-fledged and stable solution.
But the word “server” should not mean a rack as in the Data Center, filled with blades, but some small server. Such a server can be a small mini-ITX computer with a dual-core processor such as D525 and 2GB of RAM. This decision will cost about $ 200.
It’s such a small beautiful solution. If you want to deploy media-storage on this server, you can stick an external USB drive with a capacity of ~ 3TB by USB.
If there is more money for the server, then you can take HP microserver, like this:
he has the potential for growth, but someone can not arrange the dimensions.
The price is about $ 280 for the starter kit (dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM and one SATA disk for 250GB)
To install something more and more powerful than special sense is not present, since. this iron will be enough with a head.
It will also be a plus if you use an SSD drive as the system drive. This will give a good boost to the speed of loading the core of a smart home.
To configure the server, you will temporarily need a keyboard and a monitor (to deploy the OS, the rest of the configuration will be done remotely).
We must not forget about the network. By the ability to all fixed network devices (computers, media players, network printers and cameras) it is better to lay a twisted pair in advance. For switching, it is better to use switches (switches) with Gigabit Ethernet ports.
To connect to the network provider can use any router with Wi-Fi, but to its internal ports, nothing but the above switch / -y better not to connect.
Generally, do not try to count on Wi-Fi, especially when it comes to transferring a stream of media data (video / audio) – there can be delays and dips.
In general, the connection scheme should be something like this:
Wire from the provider, you connect to the WAN-port of your router, and to the LAN port you connect your switch.
In turn, you connect all other network devices to the switch.
Why is that? To exclude the “fall” of the entire network, if, for example, the router suddenly hangs. When the router restarts, all the devices connected to it will lose connection, and if you looked at the media player from the network storage connected to the router, the viewer will stop.
If your house is large, then perhaps a repeater signal is needed to completely cover the entire wireless home network. Even the most expensive and powerful router can not pierce with a signal all available walls, it is better to take a router and to it a pair / three repeaters.
We recommend that the server be deployed as a system OS of Debian Linux without a graphics system. Why him, not, say, Ubuntu? Ubuntu is mostly put by those who need the X-window system, and why do we need a headless-server graphics? But if you are used to something else (for example, the family RedHat, or Slackware), then do on what is closer and clearer to you. In the end, you all need to tune it.
From the software advise to install Samba correctly (most household players with a network on board can work with this) and Network File System. NFS is useful if you use MacOS or Linux on your computers / players at home. It seems that even they say that NFS is less likely to load the processor than Samba, but personally it seems to me that it’s hardly possible to create a large load on the scale of the house.
If you have a so-called. Smart-TV, it is possible to deploy UPnP- and DNLA-servers, because most “smart TVs” do not understand either Samba or NFS.
To deploy the DNLA / UPnP bindings, it is recommended to pay attention to the PMS project (PlayStation3 Media Server), which once grew out of a media server deployed on the platform of the hacked PlayStation3 game console. The project has grown and mutated into UMS. It is installed quite simply, the actual information on the installation is posted on the project site.
There is another UPnP server: PlexMediaServer is very powerful and functional, it may even seem to some to be redundantly functional, but Smart-TVs work and nobody seems to complain.
If you like to download video from torrents, then on the core of a smart house you can put Transmission – an application for downloading from torrent-trackers. Transmission can work without a graphics system and can be controlled via the web interface or by using the Transmission-remote (application for remote download management). It is put from linux distribution repositories.
If you do video surveillance, it is recommended to use non-analog cameras, and network (IP-cameras) with power supply via Ethernet (PoE). These cameras give a good picture (often HD / FullHD) and with them it is easier to build an archiving system. In addition to cameras, you may need NVR (Network Video Recorder) – this is a drive that is responsible for receiving and saving images from cameras.
In the matter of organizing NVR, just one more advantage will be if you build the core of your smart home on a Linux server. All NVR functionality can be deployed directly on it. But if the core is Arduino, Rasbury or similar controllers, then they will not work for the NVR, because they simply do not have enough performance.
If you want to do not a NVR, but a motion recording system, then select cameras that support MJPG (also MotionJPEG), they solve this task very simply: installing and correctly setting the “Motion” application from the repository of linux distributions.
Everything described above can be built on a dual-core Atom processor with 4 Gigabytes of RAM, such projects have already been successfully implemented and are functioning successfully.
What is the purpose of the Smart House system? 9 “For”
- Using “smart” technology saves you extra time, which you no longer spend every day on switching on / off lighting, opening / closing curtains, adjusting the temperature of the radiators.
- A new look at entertainment. Family leisure becomes more exciting. Access to multimedia from anywhere in the house.
- A nanny who does not require a salary. You are calm for the children, all electrical points and electrical circuits are turned off.
- Your house is an all-seeing eye. You observe what happens at home WHERE and WHEN you like.
- 100% effective watchman of your home. And you do not need to pay a salary. Security systems are always on the alert.
- Smart House technology will allow you to save on lighting and heating up to 35%.
- Take a new look at your home! Smart House is not only convenient and economical, but also very stylish! Now your house is a trendy trend of recent years.
- The safety of your children. You know what your children are looking at without going into their room.
- Energy and strength for decision-making. Activate the “Holiday” mode and the house takes care of itself.