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2016
The day I had been waiting for is finally here! My challenge kit has arrived. I was feeling a bit nostalgic and thinking about all of those claymation TV shows of my youth, so I decided to make my own. Without further ado:     Sidebar: The Time Lapse Video I tried to produce the video using only the Raspberry Pi, but that turned out to be way too much effort (and distraction). In the end I decided to use the tools I had available or those that I was most familiar with. I shot a numbe ...
This post covers the "final" versions of the code and hardware used for the nodes in the living room, parents and kids´ bedrooms. I say "final" as I expect to require some bugs, the nice thing of prototyping . In the project status update, you can see that in this post I´m wrapping previous features and putting together the detailed workflow of the nodes. The Living Room node - Process flow Let´s start by the Living Room node as the other two will be a subset of this one. As ...
Hello        After playing a little with Adafruit MQTT python client and feeds, I decided to change the data transmission protocol between nodes, from HTTP requests to MQTT, RaspberryPi acting as broker+client and ESP8266 nodes being clients.        Looks like Mosquitto is  a very popular MQTT broker among RaspberryPi users (and not only), installation on RPi side is pretty straightforward, since Mosquitto is included in Raspbian Jessie re ...
The kit for the contest arrived a few days ago and am now sorting through the awesome devices to further understand how to interface with them as well as their use model.  There have been plenty of pics posted of the kit, so I'll just list what was in the box I received:   - Raspberry Pi 3 - Raspberry Pi B+ - Raspberry Pi 7" Touchscreen Display - Raspberry Pi Sense HAT (A.K.A. Astro Pi) - PiFace Digital 2 with Relays, push buttons and such - PiFace Control & Display 2 - Rasp ...
Now we have a working Raspberry Pi 3 with Z-Way it's time to connect it to the backbone of Thuis: MQTT. For this I developed a custom userModule/app. In this post I'll explain what it does, how to use it and how it works.   Goal The app enables Z-Way to send and receive MQTT messages. Whenever the status of one of the selected devices changes it will be published to a topic. Based on these topics some other topics are available to change the status of the devices or request a status update. ...
Sense HAT Sensor Data Temperature, Humidity & Pressure Accelerometer, Gyroscope & Magnetometer Joystick LED Matrix Text Shape Issue ?   As explained in my unboxing post, I wasn't originally planning to use the Sense HAT in my project. Though the more I read about it, the more I wanted to experiment with it anyway. And since all my other electronics gear is in boxes, waiting for next week's house move, now's the perfect time to see what this HAT h ...
Last week I explained how I'm using Chef to provision my Raspberry Pi's and the recipes in my Thuis cookbook. Back then I didn't have a Raspberry Pi 3 yet, so I tested it on an older model. This week the kit arrived, so I'll bring the bootstrapping in practice on the Raspberry Pi 3! Not everything went as expected, so this is a good subject for this blogpost.   The Kit   Installing the Raspberry Pi 3 As mentioned before I'm using raspbian-ua-netinst as a basis for my install, as this ...
In last blog, I discussed how to create dashboards for data monitoring using freeboard. In this post, I will use freeboard to display the data acquired from sense hat. In my PiIoT architecture, I want to create a distributed system, I will be creating a separate script for reading sensor values from sense hat and publish it to an MQTT broker. MQTT is a widely used IoT protocol for communication between the nodes in a network. For more info on MQTT, read this blog. Script handling the dashboard c ...
On past June 23 inside this PiIoT challenge project I have tried a new (and experimental) way for project updates: planned live events shared Twitter with Periscope. After some few troubles on the settings, the first three minutes of this event was lost, then things worked almost well; remain some problem of a bit degraded quality that will be solved easier. In the future other live vents will be scheduled sharing the most important phases and moments of the project and will be published as even ...
Kit Parts Raspberry Pi 3 & B+ Touch Screen Sense HAT Camera Module (Regular + NoIR) PiFace Digital 2 PiRack Accessories   The kit has arrived!   There are a lot of parts in this kit, so I want to take the time to write a little bit about every part and and some thoughts and ideas I have on how to use these during the challenge.   Kit  The kit arrived last week via UPS. At first, the box didn't seem that big for the parts I was expect ...
Just an image of the components I received in the mail today:     SenseHat, Wi-Pi and PiFace digital are missing, but these are no showstoppers for the project. Stay tuned! ...
After receiving my package on Friday evening and unboxing all the Raspberry Pi goodies in the element14 brown box .. And after being overcome by happiness ! looking at the awesome Pi 7" display , I knew the first thing that I had to do was to 3D print a holder/Stand for the screen.   So , here you go !! download the 3 STL files attached and 3D print yourself a stand for your Pi 7" screen. The STL file (PlacardPiIOT.stl) is optional which connects the two legs. And connected at the back o ...
In my last post I explained the basics of Chef, and in the last week I worked on defining the configuration of each node. I selected several cookbooks from the Supermarket and wrote some myself. Using a series of recipes I defined the software and configuration of two of the nodes of Thuis in the Thuis Cookbook. In this post I’ll show you my choices and give some code samples to let you set up your own Chef config.   Let’s start with some of the cookbooks I’m using from t ...
Hardware Software OpenHAB   emonPi is an open-hardware energy monitoring solution based on the Raspberry Pi. It was originally launched as a Kickstarter around April last year and raised almost £25,000 with a £15,000 goal. It comes in different flavours, from board only to fully assembled device with custom aluminium enclosure. I have the board only, and will be using it in a combination with a Raspberry Pi Zero rather than the suggested Raspberry Pi 3. The less energ ...
MuZIEum is a strange compound word - also in Dutch - a wordplay with museum and see (ZIE in Dutch) MuZIEum = ZIE & Museum - museum open your eyes - It is the place where the IoT reading place will be tested and installed thanks to the great MuZIEum team and their open-minded approach to innovation.   A few words about the place and its initiative (For more details please follow the official link: MuZIEum) It is a museum and an interactive place but also a pretty nice event place. The ...
Movement detection and RF comms are the last two components for the minimum setup of a node in DomPi. The RF comms allows each of the remote nodes (Arduino based) to send and receive data from the Command Center (Raspberry Pi 3 based). The movement detection enables the project to build up three additional features: the alarm, determine presence at home and automatic lights. I will start with the easier component, the movement detection, but first, let me share the features I will be developing ...
Hello   In this post I'll show you some more details on wireless nodes schematics and operation and also the code I write so far for nodes and Raspberry web server.   Wireless ESP8266 nodes   At this moment I have two wireless nodes based on ESP8266-201 and built on perf board, which read ambient temperature and send the readings to a server running on RaspberryPi3. From previous hardware build, I changed the Pololu adjustable power regulator with a LM3940 3.3V power regulator ...
EnOceanPi EnOceanSpy Installing Using Interpreting OpenHAB   EnOcean offers a range of wireless, self-powered sensors, measuring: temperature, humidity, contact, etc ... I've been using them in my house ever since the Forget Me Not Design Challenge. After almost two years, I can say that I've never had to perform any maintenance on the sensors and they are truly reliable. The indirect light shining on them from nearby windows has been enough to keep them powered all ...
Inspired by one of the other challengers I started to experiment with Chef. fvan is using Puppet to provision his Raspberry Pi's. To get more knowledge on the several tools out there we decided to both try one. So that's why I started using Chef.   Chef vs Puppet Both tools are open source projects built for automatically provisioning nodes with software and configuration. They both have a fairly similar setup using a server and clients on all nodes. The biggest difference is in how you man ...
In this post I´m covering three components: RF plug control, detecting IR from the TV remote and measuring the node´s environment. This last one I intend to reutilize it in most of the other nodes. The point is that there is lots to cover before the kit arrives, and from what we are reading, this can happen really quick   As suggested by DAB last time, I will add a snapshot with the features I´m discussing in each post. I hope this will make it easier to follow the proje ...
My PiIot Design Challenge project is an (airplane) hangar control system, "Hangar Central". One of the components will be a remotely scheduled and operated engine block heater, which I intend to power using a relay whose low-voltage control circuit is driven by one of the Raspberry Pi GPIO 3.3V on/off pins. I haven't built the remote heater yet as I am still experimenting with various components. On my test bench I have a Raspberry Pi that has jumpers from pin 6 (ground) and pin 11 (set to outpu ...
     First step in implementing the home automation system is the monitoring part. This part consist in remote wireless nodes which send temperature and humidity measurements values to a central node made with RaspberryPi, where this values are recorded and processed.        These nodes will be built around ESP8266 wireless modules and can be configured to be sensors, actuators or both. On first phase, each node will have its role set from firmware l ...
In this entry I discuss the implementation of  MQTT (Message Queue Telemetry Transport) as the connectivity protocol. The Message Queue Telemetry Transport protocol was born as a machine to machine connection protocol for devices where a light implementation is needed. It consumes little bandwidth and its software stack implementation does not require much memory space (perfect for our IoT applications!).   MQTT deploys a publish/subscribe architecture, with a broker in the middle. To ...
Puppet Module Files Manifests Templates OpenHAB Conclusion   In my previous post, I talked about Puppet and how I intend to use this configuration management tool during the challenge. Today, I will be showing you a puppet module I am working on for the automatic installation and configuration of OpenHAB.   Do keep in mind that the module will evolve over the course of the challenge, as I implement new features and functionality.   Puppet Module  T ...
Pi Control Hub is a DIY home automation system which can be extended in the future for more IoT capabilities. The name "Pi Control Hub" , correlates spoke and hub network topology, where Raspberry Pi 3 and the 7'' touch screen are going to act as the HUB aka the command and info center. And the other components as part kit including the EnOcean Sensor kit and some sensor that I already have lying around at home, will act as the SPOKE's, here are the feature - DIY Security Camera Blinds Automat ...
Waiting for the components to arrive, I thought to do something with my RPi B+. As my project revolves around the convergence of people and their things, a dash board to view the data is an inevitable part of the system. This week I'm exploring the software design for such a dash for displaying the information. I'm going to use 'Freeboard' - a damn sexy real time dash board. There is a cloud version of freeboard available, ut I'm going to self host my freeboard with a nodejs server (Yes, I'm a l ...
In order to start developing any of the features in PiIoT - DomPi: Intro there is a need to create the basic system, build the nodes and connect them. In this post I will describe the part of the architecture that should help deploy them.   Project Dashboard The focus this week is on creating a simple project dashboard to track progress on the key developments of the nodes. There will be seven nodes.   Five of them will be Arduino based: kids´room, parents´room, living ro ...
OpenHAB Pi - my home automation center  I've got an idea that's easily divided into smaller parts for easier implementation. First part to be made is a center for home automation. To be exact, I'm automating my room. I've got light switches, power sockets and window blinds to be automated, and I want a security system for my room. Once I'm there, I can throw in more features! However, I'll skip the part about what I'm going to do and tell about how I'm going to do things.     ...
In the introduction of this project, only a brief idea was presented: a smart home which also includes a competition system to get its residents involved. There was also a discussion of the communication among some devices and function that can/should be included, but not much planning or specifics were provided. What is the smart home going to consist of? When do we start having a competition system and how far we go with the games? Is there even enough time in 14 weeks to do so? With this entr ...
To make the Thuis app as flexible and efficient as possible a solid architecture is needed for the system. Different systems have different properties, which are most important, for Thuis it's important to provide the wanted functionality, be reliable, usable and adaptable. Functionality and usability are the most obvious: without the wanted functionality the system doesn't do anything. And when it's not easier in use as the non-automated (old-fashioned) situation, it won't be used at all. Thui ...
Preparation Puppet Master Installation & Configuration Manifests & Modules Puppet Agent Installation Puppet Run Conclusion   Puppet is an open-source configuration management tool that helps automate the deployment and management of files and applications on target hosts. A puppet master contains the definition of the desired configurations in files called manifests or modules. Agents can query the master in order to know which configuration changes ...
OVERVIEW I would like to propose my project for the Pi IoT – Smarter Spaces with Raspberry Pi 3 contest as a Remote Horse Feeder System (a.k.a. Smart Horse Stall) utilizing a Raspberry Pi 3 as the home (main) control unit (gateway) and a Raspberry Pi B+ as the stall (remote) controller for the feeder system and environment monitor unit. This is a system that has sensors located in the horse stall that indicate when a horse is in his stall ready to be fed which will trigger a PIR sensor ...
The "Pi IOT Design Challenge - Smarter Spaces with Raspberry Pi 3" it is a very interesting challenge and I want to present my idea about a possible implementation.        Home automation is aimed to improve life quality in a living space by automating environment control (temperature, humidity, ventilation, air quality, etc.), security and operation of various appliances. But it is hard and sometimes not easy/practical to automate all aspects of a living/working space. ...