Raspberry Pi Home Automation with Arduino

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Packt Publishing, 2013 - Computers - 176 pages
Low-cost and high-performing, with a massively diverse range of uses and applications, the Raspberry Pi is set to revolutionize the way we think about computing and programming. By combining the Raspberry Pi with an Arduino board you'll be able to revolutionize the way you interact with your home and become part of a rapidly growing group of hobbyists and enthusiasts.

This essential reference will guide you through a series of exciting projects that will allow you to automate your very own home. With easy-to-follow, step-by-step examples, diagrams, and explanations you will not only find it incredibly productive but also highly engaging and informative.

Assuming no prior knowledge, our detailed practical examples will guide you through building hardware and software solutions using the Raspberry Pi and Arduino. You will learn how you can use thermistors and relays to keep cool and stay in the shade whilst also utilizing electrical motors and photoresistors. These meticulously designed tutorials will form the basis of automating your entire home and getting you started with dozens of potential projects.

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Excellent book, it changed my thinking...
Let me start by saying that I'm a 'hardware guy' and an Arduino devotee, I find the 'coding method' of the Arduino IDE simple and more than capable enough
for my limited competence with software. Raspberry Pi coding, on the other hand, baffles the heck out of me and for that reason I've tended to avoid it, despite its undoubted usefulness...
This book may well get me using the Pi – and, believe me, that's no mean feat!!!
Setting up the Pi and the required Arduino Bridge Shield is explained clearly and, seemingly, effortlessly and, in true Arduino fashion, there's the confidence-building 'Blink' example to kick things off.
Progressing onwards we get a thermometer. I'd rather have seen a TMP36, DS18B20 or (ideally) a DTH11/22 rather than a thermistor, but I can live with that as, for me, this is step by step into the world of Raspberry Pi.
From the basic thermometer, the next step is to use a relay to turn on a fan when the temperature hits a certain threshold – completely logical, useful and progresive learning.
Next comes what for me is a quantum leap – building a MySQL database to store the temperature readings. That's followed by an Apache web server to make the data available – ah, that requires WSGI (Web Server Gateway Interface) to talk to Python (who knew snakes were into all this?). Then comes the ability to view the data from a web browser using HTSQL – that's a new one on me, but everything is clearly explained.
Then there's the first real (and, sadly, only) 'Home Automation' task – open and close the curtains based upon the ambient light. Do I want to do that? No, but the principle of 'control something based on a sensor input value' holds good for things that I do want to do and have been doing with Arduino on its own. Maybe it's my lack of understanding, but I'm not sure why I'd want the Pi involved for this – though, of course I could always log the open and close times in a database...
Then comes 'Wrapping Up', the final chapter, which recaps, introduces the 'Gertboard' and offers ideas for 'next step projects' that range from 'expanding the curtain automation to include temperature sensing' (now that I would find useful, my house gets cold quickly) to RFID and EEG headset control to 'think' the curtains closed – hmmm...........
This book was over far too quickly for me, but it has genuinely affected my aversion to the Raspberry Pi.
Excellent, well done Andrew K.Dennis.

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About the author (2013)

Andrew K Dennis is an R&D software developer at Prometheus Research. Prometheus Research is leading provider of integrated data management for research and the home of HTSQL, an open source navigational query language for RDMS. Andrew has a Diploma in Computing and a BS in Software Engineering and is currently studying a second BS in Creative Computing in his spare time. He has over 10 years' experience working in the software industry in the UK, Canada, and USA. This experience includes e-Learning courseware development, custom CMS and LMS development, SCORM consultancy, web development in a variety of languages, open source application development, blogging about the integration of web technologies with electronics for home automation, and punching lots of Cat5 cables. His interests include web development, e-Learning, 3D printing, Linux, the Raspberry Pi and Arduino, open source projects, home automation and the use of web technology in this sphere, amateur electronics, home networking, and software engineering.

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