This bit of Home Automation has been on my list for a long time. I usually find out that the home heating oil (kerosene) has run out when an orange light is illuminated on my boiler. At that stage, we’ll probably be without heating in the house for a day or two. So, I was looking at ways to measure the level of home oil in the tank that would give me a constant level indicator, and also not break the bank.
I finally bit the bullet and uninstalled the Nest Thermostat that I got a couple of months ago. I was not happy with it’s ability to keep my house at a stable temperature. There was also the problem of the circulation pump feeding the heated water to the radiators (covered elsewhere on this blog).
I got a Kindle Fire HD6 for a really great price from Amazon.co.uk on Black Friday, which I’m using as a console for my Home Automation system. I though it’d be nice to have it mounted in a convenient location in the house. In this article I describe the design of a 3D-Printed wall mount for it, and I even supply the STL file as an attachment so you can print it yourself!
I got a Nest Thermostat recently and it was installed (for free) by my Electricity Supply company. Initial reactions were good, however as time goes on, I’m less and less happy with it. This article covers my initial attempts at getting around some of it’s shortcomings, and future articles will cover more.
I recently had the need to have a doorbell at the entrance to my property, having recently put in automated gates. I could have run a cable, but I wanted to try out some new 433 MHz transceivers I recently purchased. The entrance would have a push-button switch and the house would have a receiver accepting packets from the entrance. Once it got a packet, it would trigger a relay to ring the doorbell. The doorbell was an old model, driven by 12V AC, so I thought a relay would be the handiest way to triggger it’s chime. Also, attached to the internal Arduino would be the old doorbell, connected to a gpio input which could also trigger the relay, activating the doorbell. Two methods to chime the same doorbell.
I’ve been a user of many Single Board Computers for a while now, and I always like to have the option of plenty of USB ports and and Ethernet port. I recently came across these devices, which combine 3 full-sized USB ports AND an ethernet port in the one device, terminate by a micro USB connector.
IN October 2015, we had the launch event for the “Lightning Dress”, a garment we’ve been working on as a group in the local Fablab for the last 6 months. It’s got approx. 700 RGB leds, all individually addressable, so it gives great flexibility for generating interesting patterns and effects.
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Over the last while I’ve been having a problem with excess humidity in the shower rooms. Imagine that, the builder never put in extractor fans when the house was built! Anyway, I could put in those fancy extractor fans with the built in timers or humidity sensors, but I decided to do things the more interesting way, by using a small computer to read the values from a humidity sensor in each room, and based on the readings, turn on the fan until the humidity was reduced to an acceptable level.
I got myself a new Raspberry Pi 2 Model B this morning. I was intrigued by its quad-core cpu and how it would stack up against the other single board computers that I’ve benchmarked in the past, which were:
- Raspberry Pi Model B+
- Beaglebone Black
- Intel Edison
- Imagination MIPS Creator CI20