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DomotiGa - First impressions

DomotiGa is written in Basic, more precisely Gambas. There comes the name DomotiGa in. Gambas is a Visual Basic look-alike for Linux. 

Since I run DomotiGa on a Raspberry Pi to which I connect using VNC I don't get the "full experience" of how the desktop interface looks like. The fonts are very small, and due to the fact that Raspberry Pi's desktop don't exactly look great, I have to accept how it looks. Hey, I'm only using DomotiGa's desktop client to set it up and forget it. You may also install the Domotiyii web interface to control and set up DomotiGa, but this lack some of the features found in the desktop client. 

Tellstick Duo out - RFXtrx433E in

Tellstick DuoAfter nearly a year running my home automation with Tellstick Duo I decided to upgrade to RFXCOM. I say upgrade because Tellstick has too few options apart from it's own simple interface where you can switch on/off and dim devices. I used Switch King and EventGhost (Windows), one of the few good programs that works with Tellstick. If you own a Tellstick and don't want to ditch it, I highly recommend the software mentioned.

Fixing WIFI dropout on Raspberry Pi

I have noticed that my wifi gets degraded, and becomes useless, over time on the Raspberry Pi. I use a tiny wifi dongle without any extra power connected to it. It may run for weeks without problems, but suddenly I'm not able to connect to it, nor is the Raspberry able to connect to the outside world. When this happens, I have no choice but to unplug the power and reboot it.

Wireless Environmental Sensor

After about 100 days using the Moteino to log temperatures and humidity I have started a new project. Actually the batteries are still going after 100 days (Well, almost). The new project will again use Moteinos, but this time I will upgrade the whole thing. In addition to temperature and humidity logging, I will add a display and a barometric pressure sensor. I will write the code so it's easy to add other sensors, like rain, flood, plant humidity, light conditions etc.

Radio interference

Last night my wireless temperature sensors suddenly stopped working. Since all of them stopped at the same time, I thought it was the receiver connected to my server. Then I discovered that the Nexa remote switches didn't work either... They run on the same frequency as my temperature sensors. They worked if I held the remote very close to the receivers. That can only mean there is severe RF noise on 433MHz.

From ThingSpeak to ThingTweet

I have been using ThingSpeak for a while now and I decided to create my own API for logging IoT readings. The main reason for this is that ThingSpeak require me to manually set it up for each thing I want to log. I think this is tiresome and not as easy as I want it to be. Also I need one api key for each of my connected things. Last, but not least, I don't know how long my data is my data. They may "pull the plug" at any time and have me pay for the service (something I can easily understand).

Tellstick and Switch King

Creating a smart home takes more than just reading off some temperature sensors. My home should be able to switch/dim lights, heating, fans etc. based on environmental conditions. I should also be able to remotely control everything from a smart phone and a web page and react upon scenarios. As I have mentioned before, I don't want to buy a ready to use commercial system. I want to be able to add my own made devices to the system. I had a few criteria for selecting a system, listed below.

Perl or Python?

After discovering Arduino it looks like I have to learn at least one new programming language. And I'm not talking about the language used to program the Arduino, which is (based on) C/C++. What I need to learn is to connect the Arduino to a PC, via the USB cable, and from there to The Internet. The point is that I already have a Linux server running and I don't need (or want) to connect the Arduino via Ethernet or WiFi. Also using the server I already have I don't need an external power supply for the connected Arduino.

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