Carleton Physics Electronics Shop Home
Weather Station

For a description of this system go here:  HMS Description


The Home Monitoring System display panel located in the kitchen.  Each indicator glows
a specific color either red, yellow, or green depending on its function.  Some of the
indicators also have a push button capability as some functions require a reset.  The
driveway activity indicator has come in handy to indicate when the paper arrives in
the morning.  I can scan the panel as I'm leaving the house or going to bed to see if
any lights are flashing indicating something that needs attention.  No more leaving the
garage door open all night.

display in kitchen

The display panel is just to the left of the TV near the telephone and wireless rainfall
indicator.  It is visible without being ostentatious.  It is simply part of the house, and
it has become indispensable.

garage display

This is a view as I would drive into the garage.  There is an ultrasonic parking sensor to help get me at the right spot. 
Actually there are two of those, the other is out of view to the right.  The red box higher up displays words using
7-segment LED displays.  When I'm leaving the house by car I can quickly see if there is anything that needs attention
before I go.   In the picture the word 'deck' is spelled out indicating the deck door is unlocked.  The wiring running up
the wall and along the top is for the video cameras and door sensors.

This is the latest iteration of the guts of the HMS.  New is the wireless router and the smaller cable modem.   12/2010


This is the guts of the Home Monitoring System.  There are several sensors located
throughout the house that tie into this panel.  The display panel is then driven by the
interface board located at the bottom right.  The numerical display panels monitor
the solar panel output (4 green meters) and battery powered lawn mower charging system (two green meters).
The white panel contains the 24 volt power supply and digital current meter.  The atomic
clock is at the lower right.   The upper left shows the two dual channel video modulators which
tie in the outdoor cameras to the cable TV signal.  This picture was taken at midnight so the solar
panels aren't reading much.  During the day they can nearly power the system.

pc board
This is a close up of the circuit board that interfaces the many sensors to the display
panel.  The two 24 pin chips on the left are the shift registers that serially send the
sensor data to the display panel.  Along the top are six PIC microcontrollers, each of
which make up a typical sensor circuit. The larger seven boxes are relays that interface
with and isolate the garage door sensors.  The connector on the left is a 15 pin D-sub
that connects to the display panel, and the larger connector on the bottom connects
to the various sensors.


The battery powered lawn mower with attached solar panel
and metering box.  The solar panel provides about 5% of the
power while the mower is running, but over the course of a
week could fully recharge the battery if left in the sun.  The
mower runs for over an hour so if you can cut your lawn in
an hour or less then a battery mower might be an option.
It uses no gas or oil so there is nothing to clean up or
pay for.  I will never buy another gas powered mower.