Monthly Archives: November 2014

Humble Pi

I’ve been using a breadboard on top of my Raspberry Pi for a while now to connect components to the GPIO ports.

Pros:

  • Easy to test
  • Easy to make changes
  • Easy to reset individual components by removing their power supply
  • Not “set in stone”

Cons:

  • Fragile, jump cables can be easily disconnected
  • Not secure, cables, resistors and other components could be pushed against each other, creating short-circuits
  • Not aesthetically pleasing

The not aesthetically pleasing is probably best described by a picture:

Breadboard On Pi

Breadboard On Pi

I’ve decided it was time for me to become confident and stop the try and error approach. I’ve not changed the setup / layout in months now and use many components integrally as part of my home automation system like PIRs to control lighing. I’ve therefore purchased a Humble Pi from HobbyTronics to make everything a little bit less like work in progress in the lab:

Humble Pi Stage 1

Humble Pi Stage 1

the board came as a kit with all parts separated. I’ve already soldered the header socket and made minor, direct connections to some of the GPIO pins in preparation to the upcoming components:

Humble Pi Stage 2

Humble Pi Stage 2

And I’ve checked that it fits in the case. Actually looks pretty cool. Will have to decide how to get the wires to get through though

Humble Pi Stage 3

Humble Pi Stage 3

The other thing I’d like to do is to ensure I can keep the drop cover on to protect the Pi against accidental damages, but I still need all my sensor wires to get in. I’ve therefore sawn a slot off to allow for this:

Pi Case with additional slot

Pi Case with additional slot

Now I need to complete the soldering of all the components. I’ll post a picture when I’ve finished.

[3rd December 2014]

I’ve finally done it! No more messy breadboard, it’s all nice and tidy now 🙂

Humble Pi Completed

Humble Pi Completed

Smart(er) Dehumidifier

So my dehumidifier is already somewhat smart: by using a Cresta TS34C Wireless Temperature & Humidity Sensor, and a HomeEasy Remote Controlled Socket, I can automatically switch the dehumidifier on when the humidity is too high.

Trouble is I’m getting lazy and simply rely on this automation and as a result I tend to forget that the dehumidifier tank will eventually fill up and then stop.

So taking it a step further, I’ve added a home-made Individual Appliance Monitor (IAM) with a spare Current Cost sensor which I plugged between the HomeEasy socket and the dehumidifier.  Check this post for how to make the sensor (same principle as for the Owl one).

Now with a simple event in DomotiGa, if the HomeEasy Socket is on but the power consumption is 0, it means the tank is full and an email is automatically sent.

Isn’t automated life beautiful? 🙂