Hey guys, first of all I'd like to introduce myself to everyone. My name is Jack, commonly known as Jackk or JackkTutorials over on YouTube where I do technology tutorials but mainly cover Hacking & Security and other useful things that you wouldn't normally know about.
For this competition I decided I would make a completely universal Home Automation control panel using a Raspberry Pi 2, Relay Channels and some other cheap products. This is a very cheap home automation system!
For my example, the home automation controls my Desk LED's, Bedside Lamp and Lava Lamp. It also displays the current time and current weather forecast for my area (Which I chose to remove in the picture because it shows my exact location). It can also switch my Media Center PC and Workstation PC on using a Wake on Lan feature. The camera section will also redirect to a live IP Camera feed from my old HTC One M7 with the IP Camera application on which runs 24/7. Under the miscellaneous sections was supposed to be an Alarm Clock which I could set a time for all the lights to turn on and an alarm sound to play through speakers, that'll be sure to wake me up! But I never got round to implementing that part - but there's no reason why it wouldn't work!
I'd like to mention that this project isn't for the faint of heart and some basic knowledge electronics will help you such a Soldering, Wire Striping, GPIO and Relay Switches; however everything will be explained. Also remember that messing around with electricity that comes directly from your wall socket is very dangerous and can result in a serious injury so please be careful!
Also basic knowledge of Web Servers, Python, PHP and GPIO will help you out a lot!
Finally, I will only be showing you guys how to make one lamp turn on and off from a Web GUI. As everything else if very easy to setup. Such as the World Clock being a HTML Widget and the IP Camera being a hyperlink to a IP Server.
Anyway, lets get started!
Time to talk about what we are going to need. For everyone's convenience I have made links to both Amazon/eBAY UK and Amazon/eBAY US to help out my International readers. So below is a parts list with links to all the products.
Raspberry Pi Model 2 - I'll admit, you could use a Model B or B+ (Or maybe even A) but I'd just go all out and buy the best one on the market. For £30/$41 you have a tiny power house that you can use for this project and many more!
Amazon.co.uk - Link
Amazon.com - Link
Make sure you also pick up the SD Card (MicroSD), Power Supply and a case (Case not nessessory but will keep the Raspberry Pi safer!). Also the Raspberry Pi will need an internet connection for this project as the whole user interface is web-powered!
Relay Channel Module Boards - These relay switches are used only for the lights (In my example). They are what are going to be capable of switching things on or off from our Home Automation system. Now these come as modules that have so many relays. I personally bought an 8 Channel relay board for other future projects however you can get 1/2/4/8/16 so just pick which one you want. An 8 Channel relay board cost me £5.64 or $8.38 (Cheaper from China but longer shipping time!)
eBAY.co.uk - Link
eBAY.com - Link
If you want to buy a different size one, for example 2 channel or 4 channel just search "x channel relay module board" x being the number of channels you want. Each channel can control one function.
Raspberry Pi Jumper Cables - These are used to connect the Raspberry Pi to the Relay Module Board so we can communicate with it. They are very cheap, very reusable and come in a variety of different colours! They cost around £4 or $5 for around 40 of them. It also means we don't need to solder!
eBAY.co.uk - Link
eBAY.com - Link
Additional Tools you may already have!
Now for tools most of us will already have lying around. I won't bother posting purchase pages for these just because most of us have these tools at hand!
Philips/Crosshead Screwdriver (PH0/PH1 works best)
Flat Head Screwdriver
Craft Knife/Stanley Knife/Any Sharp Knife
Soldering Iron/Cable Crimps/Cable Blocks
Cable Flex (For extending our original wires to our lamps, ideal to keep everything in it's original place, most lamps use 2 core flex)
That should be all the tools we need for this project!