Introduction: Connected Home

Using a combination of arduinos, web services, wifi switches and an old mac, connecting sensors and information enables environment management and information delivery in a human way.

This isn't a project for the faint of heart, and it is technical.

The Arduino and Blynk piece isn't too hard. The Linux on an old MacBook isn't easy. (cooked one of these already)

If you have an existing screen enabled raspberry pi (plugged into a monitor) then this piece isn't too bad.

Or of you have a running windows machine you can retask with Linux you’ll probable have more luck.

I'm re-tasking the MacBook into a wall hanging mirror, so the well-engineered internals from them are desirable to poke into a frame and mirror.

Step 1: Build Your Arduino Sensor

This link takes you to the core of what I have used.

This uses

Step 2: Extend the Code

With time and tinkering I've added in a web hook interface that allows you to drive switches and devised connected to the platform

So the temp monitoring can be used to control the temperature through the connected switches.

Step 3: Grabbing an Old Mac

Loading LinuxMint and MagicMirror2 on an old Macbook, (2008), I've been able to then present the data from the controllers I'm a way that helps the household many its day.

With added integrations for calendar, weather, transport and the data from the arduinos, I can see at a glance how the day looks...

You need about 15-20Gb of storage. An SSD or booting from a USB Drive is preferable to protect from drops and manage heat.

The MacBook I initially used out of the case cooked the southbridge I/O chip. Not enough airflow and Linux on it booting runs really hot, once booted it cools off.

Note: efi boot on a mac with a dodgy cmos battery, and no onboard battery, will hang the first time power is applied, let it get past the black screen and flashing cursor and power cycle the machine, with power remaining connected, will get you past this issue.

Step 4: Lights, Sun and Moon

Adding to that with the Arduino managing the room lamp with sun rise off and sunset on, means turning lights on and off is less fumbling in the dark.

The Arduino talks to the magic mirror via the same routines as the web hooks functions, making it easy to adapt to the needs of the family.

Task management as I've seen in another thread is the next thing on the list.

IoT Challenge

Participated in the
IoT Challenge