These days, protecting your property is as important as ever. Cheap microcontrollers and tiny components are revolutionizing the way we protect our homes, so why not take advantage of the technological revolution and reconfigure your home security system? By getting out the wire strippers and spending a little of your time you can make your house more secure than it’s ever been. The projects below will provide you with the inspiration you need to produce your very own impregnable system ideally suited to your home’s needs.
Have some fun with a PIR detector, your soldering accessories, and your Arduino board with this great project.
Take apart your unwanted PIR device and get started with your copper wire strippers. After connecting the PIR to your microcontroller, some simple programming using open-source scripts available online, can have it doing your bidding. You could expand upon this project to include a whole array of PIR devices and a master potentiometer connected to the Arduino to control the sensitivity of the system. Why not expand and even further and program the microcontroller to turn off the system with a keypad combination? If you’ve been looking for a great way to alert you to any unwanted intruders, without paying a fortune for an alarm system, this could be just the project for you.
By hooking up an old remote controlled toy to an Arduino board and a web cam you can have your tiny patrol ‘bot roaming your house, capturing images as it goes.
As an added flourish to this project, why not link the bot to your motion detecting network? By creating a wireless interface between the two microcontrollers you can have the robot localize to the source of motion in your house and capture images of whatever it finds. This is great extra addition to your security system, and is a great project to invest some time in. You can even add a computer control interface to allow you the capability of controlling your robot and viewing the web cam images from the comfort of your room!
The pellet gun turret is a great challenge for your engineering and electronics skills, although this is where you might want to invest in some soldering accessories like a flux pen to make it easier to solder neat, strong connections. Any electronics are vulnerable to being shaken and knocked and even the limited recoil on an Airsoft gun, combined with the constant movement of the turret itself means that it is better to strengthen the connections while you are building it.
The alternative is needing to disassemble the turret so you can troubleshoot the break with a digital multimeter. Hooking up a potentiometer allows you to adjust a timing circuit to control the rate of fire, creating a way to switch between single shot mode and a dizzying shower of plastic. An Arduino controlled turret could increase the potential of this device beyond simple static targets, but also vastly increase the complexity of the endeavor. However, as the turret is manually controlled, it means that you have to be awake and alert to use it, something that isn’t a problem with.
The Automated Paintball Sentry Gun
If you would like a mechanically and pneumatically challenging project to keep you occupied over the space of a few weekends, then try hooking a paintball gun up to an Arduino controlled turret and firing mechanism.
Using this device you can have a moving paintball gun fire at a target on command, while adding a web cam and a motion tracking program can allow the gun to fire upon a moving target as soon as it comes into view. The key to this project is the software that is (once again) free and open-source and enables the motion tracking. Of course, it’s best to check the legislation in your area, to see whether installing this particular security device on your property is a good idea.
So by gaining a little familiarity with the Arduino microcontroller system, you could have a security system to rival even those provided by the pros. You really can save a fortune by building the system yourself, and not only this, but designing your own system and constantly upgrading it will be sure to keep you occupied over those rainy weekends!
Written by: With a twinkle of mischief in his eye, Rod Hamilton can usually be found with some solder in his hand and a project on the bench in front of him. It is a welcome change from his job, where he can be found with some probes and a digital multimeter in his hand, troubleshooting other people’s problem electronics.