Home Automation Weeder Board
After installing Misterhouse on my laptop I started to get my head around how it worked and what I needed to do to get my sprinklers to turn on. There are several different ways of actually getting something to turn on, it is really easy if you are just turning something that uses AC. All you need it a X10 appliance module and away you go, you don't really even need Misterhouse for that. But when you start controlling other stuff like 12v or 24v stuff you need to take a different approach. After doing some reading I ordered one of these things. http://www.weedtech.com/wtdio-m.html
This is a great little board, out of the box it will accept inputs (ie. switches, door contacts, etc..) anything that is on or off (open or closed). All ports are both input or output, but if you want to control something it needs to be 5v. If you want to control something more than 5v then you need to build an interface board. All the instructions you will need come with the board. Here is a picture of the one that I built.
Ok so the soldering job isn't that great. I usually make things a little nicer than that, I was in a hurry. You get the basic idea of what I was trying to do. The original schematic didn't include the LEDs, I am really glad I added them in, it makes it way easier to trouble shoot. All this device does is allow me to convert the 5v output from the serial weederboard to 12v. Enough to be able to control a 12v relay, these are cheap and easy to get. I am going to rebuild this board with enough channels to switch two weeder boards' outputs and I also want to add snap on connectors instead of screw terminals. Something like an IDE or floppy drive connection would work well, as you can see I am already using a hard drive cable between the boards. These are short runs and don't use alot of current, so the lite gauge shouldn't be an issue. Here are some more pictures of my serial board and relay board. I picked up two of these relay boards at a surplus store.
More to come....