My Automated Home: Dan McGrath & the iphone gate

This month’s ‘My Automated Home’ comes from serial hacker Dan McGrath.  We’ve covered some of Dan’s previous projects and they’re always fascinating .  this one is no different, employing Perl, Apache and a magnetic door release to automate his garden gate release.

“Intro – What’s all this about then? Well, I’ve got loads of home automation, and I love it! Purely for the fun of it, I chose to automate the locking and unlocking of my side gate.

Design – I’ve already got an always on home automation server, an always on Internet connection and several serial to relay devices which control my various systems around the house.

The idea here is simple, use my existing infrastructure to control a magnetic door release catch on my side gate.  The full plan is a easy web page + CGI which can be accessed on my iphone (or other device with a browser).  then just type in a secret PIN code, that will set off the CGI code, write out a file on the webserver, which my home automation system will pick up, then parse and if all is well then switch on a relay which is connected to the door release catch. Simple!!

Here are some extracts/snippets of the code I’ve written and used, you are much more than welcome to use any of it…

Main home Automation Code
Keypad HTML
Keypad CGI
Some Middleware module for controlling lights

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