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 decided 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 simple 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 trigger 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 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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3 Comments on "My Automated Home: Dan McGrath & the iPhone Gate"

  1. Thanks for the support people!!
    Dan McGrath here (this is my gate), please if you have any questions, don’t hesistate to ask and I’ll try to answer as fully as I can.

  2. Thanks for another great project Dan – keep em coming! 🙂

  3. while it looks really cool and great… wouldn’t it just be simpler to put a keypad on the gate? 🙂

    or, if the gate detected the presence of the persons phone via bluetooth and unlocked 😀

    Not meant in a trolling way, but don’t you think we over complicate things some time… like having to pull up a web page on the phone to enter a passcode……

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