ESP-NOW

Intro The wireless sensor modules I built for my smart home are doing fine in terms of battery life without much effort. Typical life is 1-1.5 years for AAA powered and more than double that for AA powered nodes. So I thought I would have a better look at ESP-NOW. That’s because an ideea popped up during discussion with a friend: can he build a simple sensor network, quick and easy, with off the shelf… Continue reading

driving a string of anti parallel LEDs

Intro I have quite a few strings of LEDs with clips for photos. Never thought it was much more than a gimmick when i got the first one, but they do make for nice and personal decor with the photos attached. So naturally the next step is to control them through the home automation system. The first one was easy, there were all LEDs in parallel and an ESP8266 module and a tranzistor was all… Continue reading

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 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

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

10002 Short assembly run

Brief progress It is quite clear that my smart home project is going quite slow. It is not that I spent a lot a time on it, but that I have been pretty busy with other life things. But it is moving again now. Check out another batch of assembly. Motion sensors assembly Once I settled on the type of motion sensor and case, I designed some sensor PCBs . I made a small assembly… Continue reading

10002 Motion sensors?

Motion sensor madness Picking the right one for my smart home project is not trivial. From left to right – Osram Nightlux, Ikea Molgan, Ebay sensors with sensitivity and timing adjusment (BISS001), smaller ebay sensor with no adjustment, another ebay sensor. As you can see I have looked at 2 different options: use a ready made sensor and fit it with a radio, or build my own. Ikea Molgan I hacked one a while ago –… Continue reading