Sunday, 30 September 2012

Hackberry A10 - Home Alarm Interfacing

After setting up the Access Point, I'd thought I would devote some time on integrating the Nano alarm panel with the Hackberry. The end goal was to arm/disarm from my Andriod phone within the vicinity of my home by connecting to the access point.

For those that don't know the Nano alarm panel was my attempt to interface with my wireless home alarm system. The Nano is based on Ciesco's underrated XRF module and uses the TI CC1110 chipset. The CC1110 combines RF with an 8051 mcu and offers an number of features including gpio, spi, ic2, a12 bit-adc and uarts. As a side note the XRF has reportedly reached a range of over 1Km over 868Mhz. I've written custom firmware that is deployed on the XFR to decode the wireless alarm protocol and to communicate with the Hackberry. As the CC1110 has no usb interface (unlike the CC1111) I decided to interface using the CC1110's uart interface. The Hackberry is easily interfaced to the XRF using a serial ttl-usb adapter (in my case a CP1202). Later on I might explore the possibility of using the hackerry's on-board serial port because it is voltage compatible. The added advantage of the serial ttl-usb adapter is that I can also power the XFR through adapter as the CC1110 is a very low power device.

The Hackberry is deployed with lighttpd along with some custom php scripts and c code to read/write commands via the serial port to the XRF. To test the stability of the Lubuntu build I've also deployed mysql and included addition code to capture all alarm sensor triggers and periodically record (every 5 mintues) the ambient temperature as reported by the CC1110. The plan is to leave this running 24x7. As side note I found that minicom fails to work with the usb serial adapter (/dev/ttyUSB0) but I found a replacement microcom (apt-get install microcom) that works fine.

Currently lighttpd presents a simple page which can be viewed in the phones web browser displaying the 3 buttons to arm (red) , part-arm (yellow) or disarm (green). Longer term the intention is to develop an android app to by-pass lighttpd. Here's a badly made video showing it in action next to the alarm panel.


  1. Any way to get in touch with you, over email ? You could get in touch with me via my Google+ link, which should hopefully show-up as the poster. Else, use my firstname dot lastname @ g mail.

    1. I sent you am email hopefully you've got it.

  2. Hi,
    It's very interesting what you're doing with hackboard. I've got mine week ago and has some troubles with compiling c programs on it. Please advice me, how to compile c programs for Allwinner A10.
    If I install gcc on board (under Linaro or Debbian), will it be enough.
    Will be very greatfull for your help :)
    My email: wojtlub @



    1. Hi,

      If you are compiling on x86 then you need to get a cross compiler gcc-arm-linux-gnueabihf. If you are compiling native on the A10 then gcc should get the right packages. Its also worth getting package build-essential.

  3. Interesting article! Then there is a need for the type of site of the character, I love it. Has a information about this topic. that a useful information of the next generation.
    Thank you. . . .
    Adt Alarm System

  4. Hi there,

    Im looking for someone to work on a project with.

    I was wondering if it would be up your alley, I run a security company and wanting to take something like the HackBerry A10 and use it in home security systems.

    If your interested will make it worth your time.

    Email me