The basil speaks to me – Part 2

This is highly experimental But of course, once the soil moisture is read out, it’s only a matter of time before automatic watering has to happen. Add one beefy (..ish) MOSFET and a small pump You get one basil with automatic watering. The setup now looks like this The watering algorithm Is very simple: I wait until the moisture level drops under a low threshold. Then I go into water mode: as long as the… Continue reading

10002 Server

Intro In my initial thoughts about the smart home system architecture, the server was most likely a raspberry pi: At that time it seemed the PI was apt for it. And a raspberry pi 2 served me well for a while, and then I moved to a pi 3 and everything was good. Until it was not enough… What happened? I had mosquitto and node-red as the main things running. And I added some simple… Continue reading

10002 I2C connectors

Intro In my first iteration of sensors I relied on wire connections between sensors and the actual node board. The result for a motion sensor and a temperature and humidity sensor looks like this The problem with that is that during sensor modules assembly run I spend quite a bit of time on the wiring. On top of that, the result is a mess of small wires inside a box. It makes it hard to… Continue reading

10002 Screens and controls

Intro There is no point in having a smart home if you don’t see interesting information or control things. The traditional way, ever since the concept of smart home came to be, is to have some sort of central control panel for everything. In today’s world, that would be a tablet. In my attempt to do that, I ran into the control panel horror. What else? In parallel to this, I thought about the idea… Continue reading

10002 Zen

Zen At some point I though about building the smallest PCB for a sensor node that I could. Hence, the ZEN was born. The PCB is small enough to fit on a holder of 2 AA batteries. Where I have only build a few of these. Here is one reading the soil moisture sensor on basil. Here is another one chilling in the fridge, reading a temperature sensor. And here is one replacing the alarm… Continue reading

10002 Short assembly run no 2

Intro It is quite clear that my smart home project is going quite slow and erratic. Following the other assembly, I made another batch of 5 sensor nodes. These are meant to use the new soil sensors, once they arrive. Since plants will be both outside and inside and we are talking about rain and water, the sensors will go into waterproof boxes, with the soil sensor connected via a cable. So, this assembly is due… Continue reading

The basil speaks to me

Check out part 2, where the basil is watered automatically. Intro Part of my home automation system is monitoring the well-being of various other non-human species around the house. So i started with the plants. Since they are mostly fixed creatures and generally require only water input from humans, monitoring the soil humidity is a good start. How There are quite a few ways to measure how much water is in the soil, some of… Continue reading

GPP-4323 power supply review

Intro I spent quite a bit of time trying to design a digitally controlled power supply. I even have some prototypes and three articles, Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. One day it hit me: across the years, I built multiple prototypes, spent a lot of time on it and never ended up anywhere. Why? because I did not really need one and I did not have any pressure to build one. So this… Continue reading

New 3D printer

Intro My first 3D printer was a Prusa i3 clone, which I got as a kit, installed and made some changes to reduce noise. It proven to be full of problems. I could never print ABS with it, there were consistent extrusion problems. The glass bed and glue for adhesion took a while to get going, was time consuming and dirty. Some of the 3D printed extruder parts were constantly failing and I had to… Continue reading

10002 Control panel horror

Intro I have been making some slow progress with my smart home project. I have completed a small assembly run of motion sensors, there are plenty of things that are working and I shifted some focus on making a control panel. What I normally want is a control interface that works well from both a PC and a phone. Bonus if it can look nice on a tablet to have one real control panel on… Continue reading