[ha] Basics

Thu, 15 Oct 1998 11:57:09 +0100

Dear HA List,

Most people are on board the mailing list now, so maybe we can get
going on some basics.

Before we announce the list and web pages to the home automation
newsgroup, are we agreed on the general principles for the project?
Almost by definition, the charter is to discuss the design of a protocol,
hardware and software for a home automation system. Zeb has mentioned
some design goals which seem like a good idea to me. I would summarise
them roughly in order of importance:
public domain (no proprietary protocols)
robust (will cope gracefully with failure)
can be built by a keen hobbyist (needs soldering skills)
modular (will operate without central control)
simple (can be operated by someone who doesn't know the system)
extensible (can accept all kinds of new device ideas)
does not need a PC for normal operation

I would add for myself:
easy to install (no need to run new wiring everywhere)
low cost for simple modules (wall switches and the like that you
probably need lots of should be just a few pounds each)
PC interface (so I can use a net connection to do stuff remotely)

Anything else?

Achieving all these goals simultaneously will probably be impossible,
but with a few compromises here and there we I hope we can get close.


R.M.O'Leary <robin.at.acm.org> +44 7010 7070 44, PO Box 20, Swansea SA2 8YB, UK