Home Automation With HomeGenie

Introduction: Home Automation With HomeGenie

So you want to step up your home automation game? Look no further! A lot of us tried home automating by ad-hoc method, now here is a great open source system that gives reliable foundations for your next project.

HomeGenie gives you a web server for PC / Linux / Mac / Raspberry PI (7W!) / any other that can run Mono middleware. It also has native apps for Android/Windows Phone (smartphones and tablets).

For Android phones/tablets:


For Windows Phone:


The user interface for the browser and in the apps is very slick and responsible (unlike html).

Key features of HomeGenie

  • DLNA/UPnP Control Point
  • Lighting Control and Scenarios
  • IR/RF Remotes and Voice Control
  • Energy Monitor and Statistics
  • Basic alarm
  • And a lot more

For more info visit: http://www.homegenie.it

Currently supported Interfaces:

X10 (CM11, CM15Pro, W800RF32), Z-Wave, Philips Hue, UPnP devices, RS-232/RS-422/RS-485 serial, and external web services.

These modules are supported out of the box, but you can implement any other protocols.

In this tutorial I will show you how to communicate with custom protocol/application/HW through serial port (this should work on every supported platform, even on Raspberry PI).

HomeGenie (HG) is open source (feel free to contribute https://sourceforge.net/projects/homegenie), it’s written in C#, which is productive and fast (even with Mono middleware running on Raspberry).

Inside HG there are various sub processes (programs), typically one mini-program for one module, these are written in C# like script language (easy to use, knowing C# is not necessary).

Response time is really fast (even over Wi-Fi) <100ms (unlike html), so it's wife safe.

HomeGenie is result of hard work of Generoso Martello, so give him big thanks, and don’t forget to donate to keep up the development. (Left side, in the middle http://www.homegenie.it/docs/index.php)

Step 1: Hardware

So let’s get started.

I used the MSP430 Launchpad devboard with MSP430G2553 microcontroller, with Energia IDE (which is very similar to Arduino, so it takes little effort to adopt). http://www.ti.com/tool/msp-exp430g2

Download Energia IDE: http://energia.nu/download

Open the attached firmware: HomeGenie_Tester_Firmware.zip/HomeGenie_Tester.ino

  1. Select the board you are using:
  2. Select the serial port, where you connected the board.
  3. Verify the program:
  4. Upload the program to board:

You may try its functionality by opening serial monitor, press the left button on the Launchpad, Red LED should light up, and you should receive either '0' or '1' character in terminal. Press it again; now expect the other binary value '1' or '0'.

If you send '0' or '1' from the terminal the Green LED should be set to the according value.

Open the serial monitor for testing:

Okay, so now we have a functioning Home Automation node that we can control from HomeGenie.

Next step is setting up HomeGenie to recognize our simple protocol, and assign a simple module for it.

Step 2: HG Software

Here is the script you will need: 132-MCU_Test_program.hgx

Download and install the HomeGenie server: http://www.homegenie.it/download.php

Follow the instructions in: HomeGenie setup for serial port.pdf (we are working on to make this simpler)

Now you will be able to reproduce the function seen on the video.

If you have a good idea/bug post it here: https://sourceforge.net/p/homegenie/tickets

This was a basic project introducing HomeGenie. We encourage you to share your project and use this great open source software. If you need deeper support you are welcome to join the HG forum: http://www.homegenie.it/forum

Next step would be e.g. controlling a simple RF outlet, for hints check out this instruction:


Or would you like to connect a Bus Pirate to it and have bitbang, SPI, I2C, UART, 1-Wire, and raw-wire protocols to control?

Don't reinvent the wheel, rather contribute.

Big thanks to Generoso,

Happy coding,

Arpad Toth


2014. February 15.

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    4 years ago

    In your earlier instructable, this replaces the arduino software only, right? Still gotta do the router thing and RF thing? I'm getting excited to try, getting the pieces in place. Also, that router firmware, can it control relays (3.3v) directly or need to go through board and software like homegenie?


    Reply 4 years ago

    Hi, just try Raspberry pi and openhab, that's the most trendy :



    4 years ago

    I had to salute "it's wife safe"
    Oh man, you get it. Recently she wanted the new super fast phone her friend had and I had her time the difference NOT counting the animations. They were the same, only difference is that when you press a button an animation starts, makes them feel it's more responsive. Saved $800 that day.


    5 years ago

    u have operated the led through the mobile phone how did you get the led details into the mobile app what is the process of connecting to mobile application.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Under the same COM ports, how to control the number of controls, and then send out the COM port


    Reply 6 years ago

    Could you send me the code for arduino - i'm a noob at coding.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    So how would I go about compiling this ino sketch with the arduino IDE I keep getting flags and don't understand. You mentioned that it would take little effort to adopt and am I clear in think the adoption would be from Energia IDE to the Arduino IDE ? thanks


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction