Friday 4 July 2014

[video] Remote control home electrics with Jolla Sailfish OS app

[interview] [Sailfish OS app] [hw design] 

AutoHome, new interesting DIY project

Bruno Luvizotto shows his Sailfish OS app controlling electrical home equipment. Bruno switches on/off his room lights and ventilator directly from Jolla phone screen. Here's a video, pictures and a short interview with Bruno.

Video review from the developer

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The name of the app shown in the video is "AutoHome". Unfortunately this app is not published, at least not yet - and if it ever will (which I really hope), it'll probably get a more Sailfish like name too. Anyway, at this point this is a personal DIY project of Bruno Luvizotto, Brazil

The project in pictures

First of all, all the coding and the RF receiver equipped switches have been built from the scratch by Bruno. This project is made for his home use, more coding would be needed to configure it for more common use, so at this point Bruno doesn't share this anywhere. Maybe we should get interested enough?

Above is the Beaglebone Black, a codable open source hardware piece which handles the communication between Bruno's home WiFi network and an RF transmitter attached to it. Ground codes for Beagle Board are free to be coded on and can be found at Github, Open Source project page can be found at:

RF receiver working as the power switch, another piece built by Bruno from scratch. It includes the RF antenna receiving the switch signal sent from the Beaglebone, and the power plug connections. This board is very small (smaller than 50 x 50 mm) and can (with some effort) be placed inside the light switch or as you can see on the next photo...

... inside a little black box to be connected to the power sockets at home, like Bruno did with his ventilator. Each board can be programmed with an unique RF signal, enabling controlling of several switches.

The 3rd hardware piece is, of course, Bruno's Jolla phone which wasn't too easy to get delivered to Brazil. Luckily he has some friends in Europe :)

Short email interview of the project

According to Bruno, the Sailfish OS app was simple to code:

- The app itself is very simple - I just have to setup the IP and the port of my beaglebone board. It's possible to choose the gestures of cover page. Unfortunately, it's only in portuguese!
Bruno's app isn't dependent on WLAN only:
- It's possible to turn on the devices (fan and light, in this case) with the switch or with the Jolla Phone. It's also possible to turn on outside my home network, through 2/3/4G
Bruno is, however, more into the hardware designing:
- Also, I'm better hardware developer than software developer - the app is not an elegant solution! :) hahaha
I must disagree, the app looks nice and runs nice on the video too...

- My brother Danilo - nickname Traysh - is much better than me developing software
And has this been a long and expensive project?
- The first board was assembled in april, at that time, all the code was almost finished. I don't have all the time I would like to spend developing this kind of cool projects, so I work on that just some hours a week. There are three programs: my boards, the beaglebone board and Jolla Phone app.
It's possible to buy the beaglebone board for US$ 55.00 (plus US$3.00 of the RF module) and each of the boards I developed costs around US$ 25.00, I think.
You're a true fan - Have you already got any new projects in your mind? 
- I have some ideas, but I'm still thinking about what to do. Any ideas are very welcome - do you have one? :)
Thanks for sharing this Bruno! For ideas for Bruno and other skilled people considering developing for Jolla and Sailfish OS, please leave a comment. 

note: Follow the laws in your country regarding DIY with electric devices
sources: Youtube, email interview
updated: July 4, 2014 at 12:16 UTC

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