Build your own state-of-the-art security system using Packt’s new book and eBook

January 2014 | Open Source

Packt is pleased to announce the release of its New Book and eBook Building a Home Security System with BeagleBone, a practical guide to build own state-of-art security system. This book will help readers to build an extremely sophisticated access control, alarm panel, and home automation and network intrusion-detection system. It is now available in print for $29.99and all the popular eBook formats for $15.29

About the author:

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; William Pretty Security Inc. This company 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 [].

BeagleBone is a barebone development board with a Sitara ARM Cortex-A8 processor running at 720 MHz, 256 MB of RAM, two 46-pin expansion connectors, on-chip Ethernet, a microSD slot, and a USB host port and multipurpose device port which includes low-level serial control and JTAG hardware debug connections, so no JTAG emulator is required. The BeagleBone is small even by BeagleBoard standards yet still provides much of the performance and capabilities of the larger BeagleBoards.


Building a Home Security System with BeagleBone will help readers learn everything that is needed to know to develop state-of-the-art security systems, all for less than a year’s worth of monitoring charges from a local alarm company! Readers will start by building and testing hardware and open source software on an experimenter’s prototype board before progressing to more complex systems. This book will help readers to test new creations in a modular fashion. Once the system is built and tested, readers can install some of the professional-grade sensors used in modern alarm systems and learn how to use them. Readers can also discover how to extend their alarm system in a variety of different ways. The only limit will be imagination.


Building a Home Security System with BeagleBone covers the following topics:

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


This book is ideal for anyone who is interested in alarm systems and how they work; for hobbyists and basement tinkerers who love to build things. To build the hardware described in this book, readers 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, one can just run it as-it-is, but if readers need to modify the code, they will need knowledge of Java and IDEs.

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