Keith C. Perry on 1 Aug 2016 18:17:10 -0700

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: [PLUG] FOSS Home Automation?

I guess I'm more old school on this.  For home automation, I lean more towards doing it myself.  So for me this is all about components and controllers.  As an example...


For switching tasks, you really just need a bank of relays (more for analog stuff) or opto-isolators (more for digital and TTL work).

(another example)

Obviously this is just one type of component.  At this point, it doesn't matter whether you want to go Arduino or full SBC (RPi, BeagleBone, etc).  Most components come in 3.3V and 5V variants so you should be covered either way you proceed.   There are converged products like the Arduino Yun (I have this one- pricey but I like that fact I have both an MPC and a MIPS proc running Linux) and the UDOO.  I will confess that I do have a hydroponics project in mind that I'm leaning towards Arduino for but the proliferation of cheap ARM SBCs has me slanted towards SBCs generally.  I can do all the I/O work, processing plus build and deploy the user interface (lets face it, that means HTML5 these days which implies a web server of some sort) on one device.

Plus an SBC would allow you do something cool like processing voice commands with Sphinx...


and for you Python folks...

(cut to the scene from Star Trek, where Scotty is trying to talk to a computer from the early 80's)

For message passing or I/O and some light logic at a distance, microcontrollers over Zigbee are probably going to give you more mileage.

If you have a specific project in might want to start there and see what bit you need and then work up to what would be best to implement the system.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
Keith C. Perry, MS E.E. 
Owner, DAO Technologies LLC 
(O) +1.215.525.4165 x2033 
(M) +1.215.432.5167

----- Original Message -----
From: "Rich Freeman" <>
To: "Philadelphia Linux User's Group Discussion List" <>
Sent: Monday, August 1, 2016 3:56:06 PM
Subject: Re: [PLUG] FOSS Home Automation?

On Mon, Aug 1, 2016 at 2:47 PM, Jason Plum <> wrote:
> Have you heard of openHAB?
> I don't know that it will fit all of your needs, but I would suggest having
> a glance over at their site ( for docs and
> functionality.

This actually looks promising.  I think I had glossed over it because
I saw Java in a description somewhere, but I'm sure somebody has a
distro bundled around it.

I like that they seem to integrate with everybody else's APIs
(including the proprietary stuff).  It even supports Plex and my
Ecobee thermostat.  By being more of a bridge and less of a direct
implementation it seems to sidestep some of the compatibility issues,
which means I can pick the right tool for the job.

Maybe I'll see if I can get it running on a Pi controller (though once
I'm sure I like it I'll probably switch to something like an ODroid
for this).

Philadelphia Linux Users Group         --
Announcements -
General Discussion  --
Philadelphia Linux Users Group         --
Announcements -
General Discussion  --