Thursday, November 20, 2014

The bigger picture

Tonight I will try to list the hardware components I plan to include in the system, and try to figure out how to connect them all.
  • Input/output devices outside the door, controlled by an Arduino-like microcontroller:
  • Sensors and actuators in the door and door frame, controlled by a Raspberry Pi:
    • Ruko/Abloy EL582 solenoid lock.
      1 output to control the solenoid (through a MOSFET).
      2 inputs for position of bolt and handle.
    • A reed contact and a recessed magnet mounted in door and frame to detect if the door is really closed.
      1 input.
    • A microswitch in back of the strike plate to detect if the dead bolt is in place.
      1 input.
  • Power supply - supplied by 230VAC mains.
    • A 12V 7.2Ah lead acid battery so the access control system can keep running during power failures.
    • A battery charger (230VAC => 12VDC).
    • 12V => 5V and/or 3.3V regulators for the electronics.
    • Perhaps use an analog input to monitor the voltage of the 12V battery.
  • Wild ideas:
    • A PIR-sensor to detect unathorized entry.
    • Monitor my Kibbi-sensors for open windows.
    • A 12V sirene - if unauthorized entry is detected.
      1 output (through a MOSFET).
    • A laser-grid in front of the door - to signal "armed" status ;-)
And now it is late, and the connections must wait for another time. SPI, I²C, serial, RS485 - who knows.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Reboot! Join a hacker space.

How time flies!

It has been a year since my last post. The project has been at a complete standstill while other things happened in my life - like repapering the kids' rooms and restoring the front of a rotting caravan.

All the while I have longed to continue the project but continually failed to actually *do* something. Eventually I decided to join our local hacker space Hal9k. I get around-the-clock access to the facilities, and - more importantly - club night every Thursday. Tonight is the third time I attend - and I love it. The other members are doing all kind of great (and weird) things, and are ready to tell about their projects. I have added a repeating weekly appointment to my calendar, so from now on Thursday night is dedicated to the AccessThing project. Great!

So far I have spent the time remembering where I left the project a year ago, assembling my HDMIPi screen, and finally tonight made an LED blink when connected to the GPIOs of the Raspberry Pi. I really like that the pins can be manipulated by writing to device files under /sys/class/gpio/.
My HDMIPi connected to a breadboard - and my first LED connected to GPIO25.

Two weeks ago I also decided to order another kind of MOSFET. The IRL540N I had bought last summer needs a higher gate-source voltage than 3.3V (from the GPIOs of the Raspberry Pi). So I ordered a roll of 50 low voltage IRL2502 MOSFETs from eBay. When they arrived today I had to pull out my magnifier - they are kind of tiny: 2.9mm x 2.3mm including the legs! Max ratings are 20V Drain-Source and 4.2A (at a higher Gate-Source voltage), so they should easily handle the 12V/220mA I need to drive the Ruko/Abloy EL582 solenoid lock. But it might take a little practice to solder them.
IRL540N and IRL2502.