Home Automation


Over the past year I’ve been implementing home automation using X10 modules and a Windows-based desktop system acting as a server. Eventually, I may move on to Insteon devices but for now the X10 is working fine.

Initially, I was using the software that came bundled with the CM15A. However, I found the X10 software insufficient. I would have settled for it, but getting flags and conditionals to work properly was a major issue. Not long after getting the CM15A I chose to use mControl as my home automation software. So far it as worked out very well but that’s not to say it hasn’t had some challenges.

I was running mControl on Windows XP but moved it over to Windows 7 (same hardware). Again, there were some new issues but installing the latest beta of mControl solved those problems.

To receive event alerts on my phone I use a combination of Growl, growlnotify, and Prowl.

I recently setup macros that will play a specific song each day around the time we typically get home from work. It’s motion triggered and uses Winamp and Clamp (command-line interface to Winamp). Right now I have to define a specific song for each day but when I have more time I’ll get it setup to play a random song from a single playlist for any day of the work week (which will cut my number of “music” macros from five down to one).

Another addition I’m working on is using a command-line text-to-speech program with mControl that will say a custom message.

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