I know there has been some mumbling about our current fob system, but I’m not sure there has been any convergence. So, I’d like to throw some things out there:
Our current system looks like homebrew connected to serial ports. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I think that expanding it is going to be a lot of work simply to figure it out again unless the person who built it is still around.
So, the question is: what direction do we want to go given how much we want to spend?
- If we want to replace stuff with a system that is sort of “turnkey”, I have used systems from Uhppote before:
They’re … okay. It’s an old Motorola Coldfire board driving some relays with standard Weigand RFID reading. It’s mostly rebadged cheap stuff from China. It works. That’s about all that can be said for it. The software is clunky and requires Windows somewhere.
The upside is that they have lots of accessories like strike locks that can lock without power but still allow exit: https://www.amazon.com/UHPPOTE-Electric-Strike-Device-Emergency/dp/B00W3HRMMM?ref_=ast_sto_dp&th=1&psc=1
- We can go with an adhoc system that would be more like what we have. Unfortunately, it seems like most of the ESP8266 home automation projects have dried up. Personally, I suspect that you can attach a PocketBeagle or RPi Zero W to a solid-state relay module and it would be a lot easier to deal with than the ESP8266 since you would then be running full Linux. This would also let us expand the security areas far more easily since everything would just be a node on the network (either wireless or on straight ethernet) rather than requiring point-to-point hard wiring of the relay control pins. You also wouldn’t be particularly limited in number of channels.
The downside, of course, is that this requires programming unless there is an open source project that already pulls these bits together. It isn’t hard, but it’s tedious and bespoke unless you have a Django/Ruby-on-Rails/etc. person floating around. Oddly, the hardware is the easy part–I can build the relay boards you need probably in a weekend. The software takes WAAAAAY longer.
Of course, it’s a really good public project if you want to spend the time documenting it and sharing it with other hackerspaces. You also get the joy of being an open source project maintainer.
- Anything anybody else want to suggest?