Finished the picture frame that shows my upcoming travel! It shows my current location and local time, the dates of my next trip, and my departing or arriving flight information! Let's call this v1 tho, because I need to get a better matte for the frame, not just the cheap cardboard that came with it that i tore while cutting it. I might spring for a bigger display next time too! But overall I'm pretty happy with it!
I made more progress on the cat feeder tonight! I attached the motor to the back, and the shaft now goes thru and connects to the original (modified) plastic shaft from the dispenser. The lid has an ultrasonic distance sensor pointing down at the food to be able to tell how much is left in the chute. There's a button on top to be able to manually dispense a dose. Lastly, I added a terminal block to connect the wires from the scale for easier mounting to the processor later. Next up, I need to start connecting all the components to the circuitry! The load cell amplifier, stepper motor driver, and finally the esp32 controller. Then it'll be time to write some software! #homeautomation#esp32#arduino#catfeeder#hackyourcat#cathacks
Adding a couple new sensors tonight. Attempting a sound level sensor (should report roughly how noisy it is inside), and a color temperature sensor, which I'm hoping can tell me how cloudy it is outside and how much sun is coming in the window.
So far out of all the home automation devices I've connected to this Raspberry Pi, the most reliable ones have been 433mhz transmitters and ESP32s on wifi. I've been getting spotty performance of Bluetooth and Z-wave devices. Could be that the Pi isn't powerful enough, or could be because simpler is just better.
I just installed this neat motor which can drive the chain on my blinds! Now I'm brainstorming various rules to cause the blinds to open and close. So far:
• Close the blinds once the sun is high enough to start shining into the room • Open the blinds when the sun goes down in the evening • Close the blinds when the TV turns on • Close the blinds when I get in bed
Over the past few weekends I've been overhauling my home automation systems. At the core, as I decide what to buy and how to configure it, there are three primary principles:
• Manual override: Everything automated has to still have the ability to be controlled manually • Keep it at home: No "cloud" services unless absolutely necessary (e.g. push notifications to a phone) • Open: Avoid vendor lock-in, use open source and open protocols where possible
So far, I've removed my Dropcam (acquired by Google/Nest), removed SmartThings (acquired by Samsung), and replaced everything with the best alternatives I can find, and making a few sensors myself as well.
It's been a fun experience for sure! Not something I would recommend as an "out of the box" solution, but I've learned a lot, and have a lot more ideas still! I'm planning on doing a full writeup once I get a few more things hooked up.
Made some good progress on building my automatic cat feeder today! Tore apart a kitchen scale to extract the load sensor and platform. Built a stand out of some MDF board. Attached the scale to the base, mounted the dispenser to the back. Tomorrow I get the motor and can mount that to the back as well as wire up all the circuitry! In the end, this will be able to drop food into the bowl only if the bowl isn't already full. It'll also track how much is left in the dispenser, as well as hopefully be able to tell when she actually eats by measuring the weight of the bowl! #homeautomation #internetofthings#automaticcatfeeder#smartfeeder#diy#arduino