James Dziadulewicz B.S. Eng. Mech & electronics engineer has built a one of a kind home on his property in Malibu, California. His incredible home is situated on 10 acres of land in a high fire risk zone. Knowing that his home is susceptible to bushfires, James wanted to install a system that would protect his home from any impending danger. As a result of the potential threat of fires, he created the Hot Shot system – an automated, off the grid fire prevention system.
He installed a solar system with a backup generator and, using their own water supply, trenched irrigation lines and setup 12 high-pressure sprinklers around the perimeter of the home and their powerhouse trailer. He connected it all up to a 2.0 HP irrigation pump and electronic solenoid. He also used Arduino components to take transmitted messages and use them to turn the pump and solenoid on and off at will.
Knowing that he lived in an area that could potentially be completely cut off from cell phone reception and power if the towers were disabled during a fire, James decided that he needed a 100% reliable communication system so that he could receive and send messages to enable his system. He discovered the RockBLOCK and, realising it ran off of the Iridium Satellite Network, installed one to be used as the transmitter. Paired with an external helical antenna, this guaranteed that any messages sent to or from the RockBLOCK would be transmitted reliably.
With an app created by his friend, Matthew Jenks B.S. Eng. software & M.S. Eng. electrical engineer, James was able to activate the system 54 miles away from his home using his phone, when he received from the sensors attached to the system that the fire was getting closer. He activated the system 35 minutes before the fires hit the area. This was more than enough time for the high-pressure sprinklers to activate and douse his home and the surrounding area, effectively making the area impervious to the fires. His home was left completely unscathed.
While the RockBLOCK is small, it’s a vital part of the system. It worked so well it is now patent pending, and we’re thrilled that we played a part in saving James’ beautiful home. We’re hoping that this system will start to roll out over areas with high fire risk, with one large home in Thousand Oaks, California, already signing up for one.