I have been attempting to learn about the world of Arduino (well a Chinese copy) and I have been working my way through a series of projects from blinking an LED to a lie detector. I know very little about computer code and electronics and so ithas been both interesting and brain frying.


I have two projects that I want to eventually tackle, the first will control our home central heating boiler, I’m unsure how complex it will be but at the moment we don’t have a room thermostat and so heating is controlled from a panel on the front of the combi boiler itself and so an arduino powered thermostat or thermostat and timer will be very handy, I also would like to combine the ability to control the unit via my android tablet.

The second project will involve building a new transmitter and receiver for my weather station, currently my weather station drops signal several times a day and its so frustrating. Luckily someone has already done itand called it weatherduino or something like that and so its just a case of building it and downloading his code, it is however a complex build and so I will wait until I am a bit more (a lot more) experienced.

Home automation will help disabled people more than its inventors imagine, at the moment it’s just a cool gadget for those who have the finances and the current price of this technology stops those who would really benefit from it from being able to buy it or be supplied with it.
When my wife goes to the shops she makes sure I have everything I need, but if I need to I can still get up and turn on or off the heating or the lights and answer the door but imagine a quadriplegic who is left for a period of time. Wifi doorbell with electronic door latch, lights, heating, television, music all controlled by eye movement, obviously the music and television are extra benefits but the heating, lights and door entry would be invaluable and yet it’s very costly at the moment.

Even for me having to get up and into my wheelchair when someone knocks at the door on a bad day is a pain in the butt, but an arduino powered door bell and entry system would be heavenly, the ability to see who is at the door and speak to them and then allow them entry would quite a simple project. To purchase an off the shelf system is very expensive and yet an electronic door latch is only £18 and the other parts from China would bring the project to around £40 at the most, the only snag is I’m unsure how to fit such a system to a double glazed door with the multi point lock system, on a wooden door it’s very straight forward.

Anyway I’m far from that stage, but I am enjoying learning how to build and programme simple projects. The future could hold the key to many disability related problems, unfortunately its no good having a remote door entry system and wifi controlled heating system if the government has made it impossible for us to have a roof over our heads, but that’s another topic for another time.

Until next time!

By Zechariah Richardson

Over 50, disabled, husband, father and gramps who reviews products and writes blog posts about his life, beekeeping, gardening and whatever pops into his brain!

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