New Smart Home Projects Blog

A few years back Martyn Wendon showed us his smart home setup complete with its four nodes.  Now he’s launched his own smart home blog, detailing some great projects like this one aimed at monitoring his water butts, complete with example scripts to help you implement your own setup…

I Like Big Butts – Monitoring Water Butts With Visonic, RFXCom, xPL And xAP Floorplan

We currently have 9 water butts with a total capacity of nearly 2000 litres! Last summer was a pretty dry one and the water butts lasted all the way through. It’s amazing how quickly even a large water butt will fill up even when it’s only collecting water off the roof of a small shed!

And this is one of the small problems that has been on the to-do list for quite some time, being alerted in some way when any of the water butts is full. This is important since the large majority of water butts we have are “standalone”, i.e. they don’t connect back to a drain or soak-away. So when they are full up they just overflow, wasting water and making the ground around them sodden and damp, encouraging moss growth. An alert of some description would allow water to be piped off from a full water butt into one that isn’t yet full, or would be a nice prompt to install another water butt.

So this blog post will go into some detail about how I solved this problem using some Visonic Magnetic Contact Switches (MCS) and some cheap “fish-tank water level” sensors I picked up off eBay for about £2 each! I did toy with going the Z-Wave route by using a Fibaro Universal Door & Window Sensor, like I did with the recent stair lighting project. But that would have started to get expensive and I already had some of the Visonic MCS in the spares cupboard…

Read the rest of the post at the link below and check out all Martyn’s other home automation hacks while you’re there.

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