Network Controlled Outlet

A very interesting project showing you how to turn on and off the power from your mains outlet through computer network. It is very well documented and very useful. Basically you could turn on or off any device from any location as long as you can connect to your network.

The on/off switching will be done by an Olimex AVR/IO board. This board is equipped with an ATmega16 microcontroller (with no initial software loaded), four low-voltage inputs, a serial interface and four 5A/250V SPDT relays. These relays can be controlled by serial, by the four inputs or both depending on the code you will write for the microcontroller. So it is a very versatile board and only your imagination is the boundary of it’s utility.

The four low-voltage inputs are optocoupler isolated so this input can accept signals with different ground. Also these inputs are very helpful if you want to use a wireless module like the XBee. A PNP transistor is used to drive these inputs without any trouble.

Each relay provides connections for both normally open and normally closed positions. The relay will be placed between the hot wire that comes from wall and the hot wire that goes into the outlet. This way it will open or close the circuit on your command. Be careful however of the power consumption of the device you plug in the outlet. The relays are rated at 5A but they can be changed if your requirements ask for it.

The network controller is the Atmel NGW100 and will allow you to control the Olimex board through the network. It has two ethernet ports, lots of GPIO ports and Linux with TCP/IP installed. Control of the GPIO ports can be a little tricky with the NGW100 but you will find the scripts in the project.

The next thing is to connect the NGW100 to the network. Once that is done you can access the NGW100 through the network and execute the scripts according to your desired action.

Controlling Mains Power Through Network: [Link][Via]

July 2nd, 2008

The Home Linux Robot

The Home Linux Robot

This robot doesn’t look too good, but it servers its purpose, it proves that it can be done at home. The bot its based on Qwerk, a robot processor board very popular these days. The Qwerk is made to control myriad robots; it can control up to four motors and sixteen servos, while interfacing to sensors with eight analog ports, sixteen digital I/O, and an i2c bus. It also has two USB sockets so that robots may include a USB webcam and a wireless 802.11 network adapter.

The home linux robot its built mostly of what was around a computer webcam taken apart and modified to see infrared light, some wheels from a toy airplane, etc.

The Home Linux Robot: [Link]

 ATmega32 Wake On Lan Server

This Atmega32 based WOL Server allows WOL packets to be sent over the internet to a target computer. WOL basically is a system that allows sending of a special type of packet to a computer to power it on (to wake it). Read more about WOL on Wikipedia. The system is password protected so you wont have any security issues.

ATmega32 Wake On Lan Server: [Download Project][View Project PDF]

Install SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) on Debian     This is an update to a previous post regarding the change of mac address in Debian. In the previous tutorial I told you can change it by ifconfig from a root account. Now I’m going to teach you how to set an interface mac address using /etc/network/interfaces . This is a better way to set your mac address because the mac you set in /etc/network/interfaces will always load when the interfaces are loaded so you don’t have to worry about the mac after reboot for example. Let’s start by looking at my /etc/network/interfaces it looks like this:

#This file describes the network interfaces available on your system
# and how to activate them. For more information, see interfaces(5).

# The loopback network interface
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

# The primary network interface
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static
dns-search .com
hwaddress ether 00:01:04:1b:2C:1F

Open this file in your favorite editor. I use nano. You can see that my ip address is and my gateway is instead of these in your file you will see your network settings. Now, under the last line of the interfaces file you have to add the following

hwaddress ether 00:01:04:1b:2C:1F

replacing 00:01:04:1b:2C:1F with the mac you want to assign to the interface where you are adding the line. Now save the file with ctrl+x then y to confirm and restart the network service with
/etc/init.d/networking restart
Now type ifconfig and there it is you should see the mac you entered earlier assigned to eth0 (if you choused eth0). You’re done the mac will now load every time the network load’s.

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