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HACS - House Access Control System with fun doorbell

This is the video presentation I submitted for round 2 of the Microsoft "Dare To Dream Different" competition. The main functions of the system are: Guard dog barks when guests arrive at the door. Activated by movement detected by a PIR sensor. Doorbell playing different individual tunes, stored as MP3 files on USB memory stick. Using VMUSIC2 MP3 player module. Door access control with electronic door lock and door open/close sensor. Door access can be controlled remote by sending SMS to the system from a mobile phone. Using a GSM modem. Door alarms are sent as SMS to predefined mobile phone number. Guest can write a SMS message which is sent to a predefined mobile phone number. Unfortunately some parts of the video is a little dark, but I hope that you can see it anyway. As the length of the video for the competition could not be more than 10 minutes, I ran out of time to show all features in the system. Maybe I will add more video clips of this later. Peter

Dare To Dream Different video presentation has been submitted

I have just succeeded in uploading my video presentation of my project for the Microsoft competition :-) I was just about to believe that I had problems as in the initial papers about the videofile formats it was stated that we could only submit files less than 50MB! I could not get my video file this small and still keep a good quality of the video. Then I just tried to log in to the upload site, and luckily they had changed the max. filesize to 100MB. OK, I had to try the upload two times, as after 15 minutes of upload, I was notified of an error in one of the text fields on the submission form. I corrected the error and as I didn't know if my first upload was successful, I had to try again. Now 15 minutes later again, I was forwarded to the "success" screen (You can see it here: http://dreamdifferentcontest.com/thanks.aspx ) Now it is time to get some sleep... By the way - my project is titled "House Access Control System" and is as the title states an access control system but it also has a really nice enhanced personal doorbell functionality, playing MP3 tunes. This was great fun, now I just wait and see if I make it to the final. Peter

Dare To Dream Different hardware arrived today

Yihaa, today I received a package with the MF development board and other stuff. The package contains the Tahoo-II development board from Device Solutions, a USB cable, 2 XBee 802.15.4 radio modules from Maxstream and an XBee development board so that one of the radio modules can be connected to a PC on the USB port.  There was no USB cable for the XBee development board and there is no documentation on the XBee stuff at all! I will probably also need a USB driver for that board. - Well I guess that I just have to find it on the Internet... XBee dev. board to the left and Tahoo-II board to the right. Two XBee radio modules on the top.   The backside of the Tahoo-II board - the Meridian MF processor in the lower left corner.   The Meridian processor board is not much bigger than a standard SD memory card!      Close up on the two XBee modules.     The XBee development board.     This just looks nice and I'm looking forward to get started playing with it. Peter

Dare To Dream Different contest - Round 1

Have you heard about the  .NET Micro Framework "Dare To Dream Different" competition? - Of course you have... (Me too). To get started I just had to come up with a great idea for a design to be built with the Micro Framework and Microsoft will give me the necessary hardware to get started (That is if I am selected to go on to round 2). OK, this chance will propably not come again for a very long time, so think, think... What kind of design should I come up with???  I had been circling around this competition for weeks but could not come up with a good design idea. I could see that the deadline came closer and closer, so I had to come up with something and my mind was all blank. This was a chance to get some real hardware to play with and maybe even win some of the other prices in the competition.  The last week before the deadline (December 15th), I managed to brainstorm a list of 14 different designs that I thought could be fun to make. After looking at them for a few days I decided on 3 different contest proposals and submitted these to be part of the "Dare To Dream Different" competition only in the last minutes before the deadline - whew! Now I just wait until January the 15th, where all the submitted design proposals are judged in or out of the competition. Peter