Building a Home Security System with BeagleBone

Building a Home Security System with BeagleBone
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Table of Contents
Sample Chapters
  • Build your own state-of-the-art security system
  • Monitor your system from anywhere you can receive e-mail
  • Add control of other systems such as sprinklers and gates
  • Save thousands on monitoring and rental fees

Book Details

Language : English
Paperback : 120 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]
Release Date : December 2013
ISBN : 1783559608
ISBN 13 : 9781783559602
Author(s) : Bill Pretty
Topics and Technologies : All Books, Other

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Alarm Systems 101
Chapter 2: Our Very First Alarm System
Chapter 3: Bigger and Better
Chapter 4: Building the Hardware
Chapter 5: Testing the Hardware
Chapter 6: Automating Stuff
Chapter 7: Protecting Your Network
Chapter 8: Keeping an Eye on Things
Chapter 9: Going Further
  • Chapter 1: Alarm Systems 101
    • Door and window switches
      • The PIR – passive infrared sensor
      • Glass break sensors
      • The temperature rise sensor
    • Summary
  • Chapter 3: Bigger and Better
    • The planning phase
      • Step 1 – the walkabout
        • Your dream home
      • Step 2 – the layered-defense technique
      • Step 3 – the installation
        • Switch contact wiring
        • Window and door contact wiring
        • Active sensor wiring
      • The software
        • Adding more outputs
        • Adding more inputs
    • BeagleBone I/O pins
    • Summary
  • Chapter 4: Building the Hardware
    • Zone monitor PCB
    • Isolated output PCB
      • Connecting devices to the board
      • BeagleBone adapter PCB
      • Mechanical PCB assembly
      • Wiring harness assembly
      • Test harness
    • Summary
  • Chapter 5: Testing the Hardware
    • The test equipment
      • Visual check
    • The zone input board
      • Power check
        • Troubleshooting power problems
      • Zone input tests
      • Alarm output board tests
      • Testing
    • Summary

Bill Pretty

Bill Pretty began his career in electronics in the early 80s with a small telecom startup company that eventually became a large multinational. He left there to pursue a career in commercial aviation in North Canada. From there he joined the Ontario Center for Microelectronics, a provincially funded research and development center. He left there for a career in the military as a civilian contractor at what was then called the Defense Research Establishment, Ottawa. That began a career that was to span the next 25 years, and continues today. Over the years, Bill has acquired extensive knowledge in the field of technical security and started his own company in 2010. That company is called William Pretty Security Inc. and provides support in the form of research and development to various law enforcement and private security agencies. While this is Bill's first book, he has published and presented a number of white papers on the subject of technical security. Bill was also a guest presenter for a number of years at the Western Canada Technical Conference, a law-enforcement-only conference held every year in Western Canada. A selection of these papers is available for download on his website.

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Sample chapters

You can view our sample chapters and prefaces of this title on PacktLib or download sample chapters in PDF format.

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What you will learn from this book

  • Understand the components of an alarm system
  • Build a basic zone 1 alarm system
  • Modify your alarm system to perform complex tasks
  • Build the actual hardware onto BeagleBone
  • Integrate home automation into your security system
  • Protect your network from intruders
  • Keep an eye on your system from anywhere in the world
  • Install and use a range of sensor equipment

In Detail

One of the best kept secrets of the security industry is just how simple the monitoring hardware actually is - BeagleBone has all the computing power you need to build yourself an extremely sophisticated access control, alarm panel, and home automation and network intrusion-detection system. Security companies make a fortune each year by charging exorbitant fees to their customers. You will learn how easy it is to make an alarm system with Beaglebone.

A company-maintained-and-monitored alarm system has its place - your dear old mum is probably not going to be creating her own system any time soon. But if you are reading this book, you are probably a builder or a hobbyist with all the skills required to do it yourself. With Building a Home Security System with BeagleBone, you will learn everything you need to know to develop your own state-of-the-art security system, all for less than a year’s worth of monitoring charges from your local alarm company!

You will start by building and testing your hardware and open source software on an experimenter’s prototype board before progressing to more complex systems. You will then learn how to test your new creations in a modular fashion and begin to utilize BeagleBone. Once your system is built and tested, you will install some of the professional-grade sensors used in modern alarm systems and learn how to use them. You will also discover how to extend your alarm system in a variety of different ways. The only limit will be your imagination.


Building a Home Security System with BeagleBone is a practical, hands-on guide for practical, hands-on people. The book includes step-by-step instructions for assembling your own hardware on professionally manufactured PCB’s and setting up the software on your system.

Who this book is for

This book is for anyone who is interested in alarm systems and how they work; for hobbyists and basement tinkerers who love to build things. If you want to build the hardware described in this book, you will need some basic soldering skills, but all the parts are of the thru-hole variety and are very easy to put together. When it comes to software, you can just run it as-is, but if you want to modify the code, you will need knowledge of Java and IDEs.

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