Archive for the Home Automation Category

Torrent Automation

One of the main reasons for buying a server was for the ability to leave a torrent client running 24/7, now I can. With uTorrent ( and all of its advanced options ) I can now download torrents all of the time, one of the drawbacks to this is the drain of bandwidth on the rest of the network. So I’ve set uTorrent to only download at full speed during the night, and then very limited during the daytime, this was I shouldn’t notice any impact on my network.

uTorrent Schedule

Another nice feature of uTorrent is the auto download of torrents when placed in a specific directory, so this means I can quickly add a torrent file to my NAS drive and within a few seconds the torrent is downloading. This and with addition of the RSS feed feature allows me to quickly download TV and films without much effort.

File are then automatically moved to the correct directory, based on the torrents labels, so that my Boxee Box will pick up the media without me intervening.

Another idea I had (well @Bonxy suggested) was to get twitter updates when downloads have finished. I had already dealt with twitter messages when creating my home automation system for my dissertation. So it was just a quick job of copy a bit of code and creating a simple console app that took the tweet params.

Twitter Code

I then edited my uTorrent options to ‘run a program’ when a download completes, I just simply pass the twitter message with the torrent name, and within a few seconds I get a tweet (plus email and free SMS) with my download details. I then added the same call to the status changed option in uTorrent.

tweet Image

Obviously I cancelled the above download as downloading content that isn’t freely available isn’t legal. :)

Home Automation Update #1

Just a small update to log what progress I have made over the last couple of days:

The biggest addition to the system is the inclusion of timers, users can now set daily, weekly or one off timers to turn devices on and off and vice versa. I will look into adding more customisable timers, such as specific days of the week/month, but this will require a rewrite of the timer system. At the moment i’m just trying to keep the feature as simple as possible until all other aspects are completed.

The next step is to create the simple .aspx web page that will allow the users to add or remove timers on the system. The timers are stored in a simple XML file, which when de-serialised turns into a list of timer objects.

James