DIY Home Security and Automation With Raspberry Pi 2

Introduction: DIY Home Security and Automation With Raspberry Pi 2

In this instructable I will detail my methods for creating a fully custom Home Security and Automation System.

This is a work in progress, and as I will be adding to it as I go.

For now I will provide a breakdown of the goals of this project.

1) The system should be fully modular. Each component is self contained and talks to the base unit wirelessly.

2) The base unit I will use is a Raspberry Pi 2 running OpenHAB.

3) The components should be inexpensive (less expensive then Z-Wave units).

4) The components should all be low powered.

Parts List So Far:

1) Raspberry Pi 2 (Base Unit) ~$35

2) Arduino Uno (Prototyping) ~$10

3) RF24 modules x2 (wireless communication) ~$5 for 2

4) Honeywell Siren 12v ~$17

5) 12v Battery (power siren) ~$30

6) PIR sensors (motion detection) ~$5 for 5

7) Arduino Pro Mini (Component controller) ~$7

~$109 so far.

Step 1: Base Unit

This is the unit that does all the heavy lifting.

Currently I have OpenHAB installed and running. I also have hooked up the RF24 module and setup the driver. However unfortunately I have yet to (as of this writing) gotten the pi talking to the arduino wirelessly. I could have a defective module, but I only have 2 RF24 modules to test with right now. I plan to order more to work with. I also noticed a number of projects that used a arduino with an Ethernet shield as the gateway that the pi then connected to, however this is the less Ideal solution since it will bring up cost significantly.


Finish testing communication between RF24 modules.

Finish configuring OpenHAB to begin working with the components.

Step 2: Prototype Component

This is just an Arduino Uno connected to a RF24 module.


I plan to get another Uno to verify that my RF24 modules aren't defective. Currently there are too many variables between the Pi and the Arduino to know for sure that everything is setup properly.

Step 3: Motion Sensor Component

This component uses a PIR (Passive Infrared) sensor to detect motion and report back to the base unit.


After getting the RF24 communication fully working I need to add a 3.3v regulator since I have the 5v model of the Arduino Pro Mini.

Step 4: Siren Component

This component will start a siren connected to a relay and a battery.


I will use another Arduino Pro Mini with RF24 to interface with this component.

1 Person Made This Project!


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4 years ago

Any updates on how to make this more effective? and easier?


Reply 4 years ago

The RF24 modules proved quite fickle to work with. Since beginning this project many other products came on the market that are inexpensive. At least from a cost saving standpoint the project didn't make as much sense. I ended up moving on to other things. If looking at it from a more educational perspective, I would consider finishing using some Raspberry pi zero W units and ESP8266 units since you won't end up spending all your time making power regulator circuits and troubleshooting defective RF24 modules.


Reply 4 years ago

Thank you. I think you saved me a lot of time. :)


6 years ago


The RF24 communication Arduino > Pi is described pretty well here: Following the steps worked perfectly fine for me in getting the temp of my study to the Pi in the livingroom. Cool. To ensure stable communications between the two RF24 modules I had to solder a 100uF capacitor on both modules (very simple, + to VCC, - to GND) after which the wireless comms really improved dramatically. Now I am a bit stuck since I am not a programmer and want to add all kind of sensors through a few Arduinos in the house (light, temp, humidity etc. ) but don't know how to create the messages to the Pi... Help very much appreciated.