Home Automation

Online since 1999… But automated way before then…

I have been into Home Automation or more recently called “SmartHomes” waaaayyy before they were even considered smart homes or automated homes. I’m talking back in the 1980’s. Back when you didn’t have embedded controllers, cloud solutions, edge computing, and the Internet. You had X10 or better yet the real deal Radio Shack BSR control modules.

You could have SIXTEEN of these devices in each “house code” so you could technically have 255 devices controlling your house. Not that one could really afford to buy 255 of those devices back then but technically you could. They even came in at least two types: Lamp Modules that could turn you lights on, off or to one of 16 different dim levels, and Appliance Modules that were just on or off but could handle much more current.

I used X10 modules from the 1980’s all the way up until 2019 actually when I finally moved my big garage air compressor off a vintage 220v X10 module to an ESPHome version of my own making. That is how good those all devices actually were. I still have some brown BSR modules that work.

Time changes however and I have watched (and made) my house change over the years from the early dedicated VIC20 “controller”, that really just turned lights on and off on a schedule, to my current virtualized Hassio deployment.

Here you will find the three major versions of my “SmartHome” as of 2019. I have no pictures or details of the very first house but again, it was simply scheduled modules and remote control keypads. Was still cool for the time though.

The ProtoHome version as listed below and linked to their detailed description pages.

2017 – ProtoHome Home Assistant (HA) Version
ProtoHome HA is based on the Home Assistant (Hassio) open source platform. Home Assistant continues to be improved and expanded and is a leading DIY SmartHome solution as of 2019

2000 – ProtoHome V2 – When we moved into our current home
ProtoHome V2 was deployed and used from 2000 to mid 2017 before the migration to Hassio began. The description page is pretty much a copy/paste of the running description from back then so it may be a little hard to read.

1996 – ProtoHome Original – The first truly automated ProtoHome
The original “ProtoHome” that was in service from 1989 to 2000 and includes the migration from a CP290 to a JDS TimeCommander+ system along with many unique applications for the time it was in use.

Other Adventures

Talking to the House – Alexa Implementation – 12/2016
NOTE: This is an OLD implementation prior to Hassio
Some of the information and processes may no longer be applicable.

Mobile Phone Access – 2002 Version
The house has been online since 1999, but with the mobile phone and Wireless Markup Language capabilities in the early 2000’s a whole new remote access world opened up.

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