How to build a raspberry pi picture frame media pc

Happy PI Day!!!

A few years back… ok… like 9 years ago. I built an interesting piece of functional art in my living room. It was my media center pc, mounted in a double picture frame on my wall. This thing served me well for a long time. But now it’s time to upgrade it.

After all this time the ATOM board in there has gotten a little sluggish, the distro isn’t supported, the black lights have gone bad, I think there’s a demon in there. It’s legit struggling.

So how are we going to upgrade it now??!?

Oh good you, you have it under control…

Oh man… I thought you were gone…

You are not a meme…. Let me finish…

Where was I? Oh Yeah. What we are doing to upgrade… So here is the checklist.

  1. Replace old ATOM board with new raspberry pi
  2. Replace black light bulbs with RBG led strip.
  3. Add simple to use RF remote
  4. Flash PI with OSMC for a distro that will keep updated on a regular basis.
  5. Add wemos D1 Mini to control LED in frame lighting
  6. Flash wemos with WLED project for simple easy lighting control
  7. Add wemos to home automation system to turn on/off lights on schedule

Not a ton of work, but there is some work to be done.. So lets get to it!

Woo do work fool!!!

Not helpful…

Materials List

2 Ribba Picture frameshttps://amzn.to/30IWvE4
or
https://amzn.to/2OPuaco
Misc wire / perf boardhttps://amzn.to/3lfiWtS
RBG led striphttps://amzn.to/3rQ7gA8
Hingeshttps://amzn.to/2PXjx7P
1 3 port keystone wall platehttps://amzn.to/3vkwXuW
1 hdmi keystone jack pass throughhttps://amzn.to/2Owwmph
1 rj45 keystone jack pass throughhttps://amzn.to/3eyVgiH
1 keystone jack blankhttps://amzn.to/3tuqf3Z
1 5v 10amp power supply (barrel plug)https://amzn.to/30EYidj
1 barrel plughttps://amzn.to/3qMx6nw
1 usb adapterhttps://amzn.to/2PYoJbD
1 small pc fanhttps://amzn.to/3rOgOvw
1 raspberry pi 3/4pi3 – https://amzn.to/30FX7KH
pi4 – https://amzn.to/2OoklCy
1 usb cablehttps://amzn.to/3cx8ycP
1 wemos d1 minihttps://amzn.to/3qLjkl1
LED ribbon cablehttps://amzn.to/30JQ5EK
motherboard stand offshttps://amzn.to/3lh4phl
LED connectorshttps://amzn.to/3rHbfix
OSMC Remotehttps://osmc.tv/store/product/osmc-remote-control/

So, those picture frames don’t look like what you have….

Yes, I know, remember, I am upgrading from an older build. The goal of the picture frame is to be tall/wide enough to house your board and deep enough (why I suggest 2) that you can mount said board inside it with stand offs. The second important piece with the picture frames is to make sure that you have some matting to hide things behind.

How to create a wall mounted pi media player

Ok. So lets get started.

Lets take the 2 picture frames, and stack them, and add some hinges so we have a nice box to work with.

Take the 3 keystone plate and put the hdmi and network pass through it. Take the blank and drill out a hole to fit the barrel plug.

Arrange them however you best see fit. Now with a rotary tool cut around the keystone jacks so that what’s remaining can fit on the side of the frame. I cut around the existing screw holes so they could be reused to fasten to the frame.

As you can see from the first build you mount the board in the middle and start taking care of the wiring.

You take care of wiring.

*sigh*

Then add some lighting.

Here are few shots of the build back in the day.

So now, we move to the upgrades. We are removing the board and and replacing with a Raspberry Pi.

Upgrades to move to Raspberry Pi

Now since I have some LED strip, a wemos d1 and a raspberry pi to power, I am going to create a power distribution board.

Wire up our new LED strip instead of the old blacklights.

Ok. So now we have this beautiful beast all built out. Lets make it do a trick.

hehe… what kind of trick?

Are you 12? Seriously, what’s wrong with you?

Me? Im not the one talk to… you know what, nevermind. Continue.

Thank you.

So we have WLED installed on the Wemos D1 Mini. If you don’t know what WLED is, it is a beautifully written program for the d1 mini to do LED light control. HUGE shoutout to Aircookie for such a great piece of software! https://github.com/Aircoookie/WLED

Supports most LED light strip, but also give you some really awesome control over the LEDS. I have worked with it on some other projects including my neo-pixel LED christmas tree decoration I did this past christmas.

Aside from the really cool effects, the mobile apps (ios / android) but WLED also has support with tons of Home Automation Systems. I am currently using OpenHab so I will add a scheduled integration so it’s added as a “living room” light, in the group gLivingroomLights. This will automatically add it to the automation to turn on the LED’s with the rest of my living room lights which turn on 15 minutes after sunset each day. If we leave and turn off the lights, when we arrive back home, the lights automatically turn on when we pull in. The picture frame is now part of that. When it’s bedtime and the living room lights all turn off, so does the picture frame lights.

Since this is also a full color/dimmable type of light, it will automatically following follow the rest of the dimming controls for the livingroom lights, including integration into Kodi for the Cinema Vision home automation integration.

For Openhab you can integrate using the build in binding. Or via MQTT, http rest call.

For HomeAssistant you can integrate like this.

The Results

There we go. An upgraded picture frame art PC on the wall. We have added some nicely controlled LED lighting and have integrated in with the home automation system.

So what else does it do?

What do you mean what else does it do? It’s a Kodi Media player integrated in to plex with plexkodiconnect to sync everything up. It can play back all the media on the network, receive casted data and airplay.. what do you mean what else can it do?!

Yeah, what else can it do?

Home automation on screen notices and surveillance camera pop ups on motion?

Ok… that’s pretty good.

TLDR

First Attempt at Christmas Light Show! (part 1)

A while back a co-worker hit me up over the weekend and said “hey! I found this thing you want it?!?”

Once finding out what “it” was I said sure..

Haha.. you know what “it” was, and you wanted it.

Really?  That’s how we are going to start this?

After getting through hurricane irma and halloween season I was able to start looking into this a little more.

It’s this!  A Light-o-Rama 16 channel light sequencer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So it came with software and everything right?  Worked out of the box?  Sweet

Why?  Seriously…

No, it did not come with software.

 

 

But I was able to do some digging and figured out it will work with an RS485 to RJ45 serial connection and using the DMX protocol.

 

 

DMX protocol?  That ^&*% sounds scary.

For once Im gonna agree with you.  Not sure what his “protocol” is but I agree.

So anyways.  I hook it up and …. nothing.  No signal.  Hmmmm.

Time to hit the forums!  www.doityourselfchristmas.com to the rescue.  I found a post that mentioned that LOR (light-o-rama) decided to swap 2 pins.

That’s some dumb shit stuff there..

I know.  But that got it working.  So I have my laptop able to turn some christmas lights on and off via a testing app.  Cool.  But not cool enough.

Next step fool!

So we need to sequence this thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Different kind of sequence.  Time for Vixen3!!

No! Vixen 3!!!

 

 

Are you for real with this?

Sorry, Christmas.  I forgot.

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

*smh*

 

Anyways.  Vixen 3 is a nice piece of software for doing light sequencing to music.   So I start playing with that and get a few little tests together and run it from my laptop and the LIGHTS ARE WORKING!!!

Enter the raspberry pi!

Ok tons of fun haven’t you had enough pie?

Not that…. it’s a…. shut up.

So with a RASPBERRY PI COMPUTER!!! I load up an image for something called “falcon pi player“.  Configure up my connection to the LOR and click the “test” check box.  ALL THE LIGHTS TURN ON!!!!!  Awesome.  We are SO CLOSE.  So export the sequence from Vixen 3 and upload all the assets (sequence file, media) and create a playlist.  Now lets run it!

Oh man… it’s working.  This is too cool.

I drove past your house, you don’t have any lights up yet.

*deep breath*  Ignore him, he doesn’t exist.

You don’t exist.

You are right.  My lights aren’t up.  But I got everything working and even created a preview!

So next step is the wife has started putting up some lights and we should finish over the weekend!!

Time lapse in new printer enclosure

surprised-rainbow-face

So awhile back I came across an instructables article regarding using some ikea lack tables to make a 3dprinter enclosure…..

I love ikea….

So this was the project.  http://www.instructables.com/id/3d-Printer-Enclosure-from-Upcycled-Furniture/

I went to ikea.  Got 2 lack tables and put them together…. I want my printer higher up.  ELEVATE TO THE LEVEL OF THE GODS!!! no.  just high enough I can watch it cause I like to watch it go back and forth while I make printer noises.

So I ordered a 3rd table.  Put it on top.  Sweet.  Much better.  I moved the printer into the enclosure this weekend (no sides put on it yet) and decided I needed to get the lighting in place.  So I took some neopixel strips I had laying around and hooked them up to an arduino.

13694706_1455593267790887_1215760066_nOk, so that’s now how I am leaving it 🙂  but it did look cool.   Now I can set the colors.  Plain white for printing.  I am trying to figure out how in octoprint to get a hook in to detect when it’s heating up.  That way I can turn the lights orange or red to indicate heating phase.

 

 

So I did a timelapse and a vid.   The vid of the whole rig setup

Here is the timelapse test print

 

I am working more on trying to get some good photo and video in with these projects too.  If you like the videos give a thumbs up and a subscribe.

Who’s That? What’s That? CCTV setup

Hello Hello again.   Recently I was chiming in on a thread on reddit regarding CCTV.  I mentioned how my cameras/cctv is setup.  Then I thought.

light-bulb-moment

Hey, you know would like to know this?

EVERYONE!!!!

 

 

Really.  Conversation totally happened in my head.  Told you Doctors it’s not too crowded up there.

Let’s begin!!

This all really started because of my 3dprinter…..

“How…. Huh…. But you…..”  I hear you saying it.  It makes no sense.  But Ill fix that little red wagon.

Aerial_Vista_Security_Camera_preview_featuredI love searching around on thingiverse.com it’s actually part of my daily sites to check.   So I came across this thing.   It’s a security enclosure for a raspberry pi and pi camera… WHAT?!?!?!

I know.  I thought the same thing.  I need that…..   So I started printing the parts.

2016-03-18 07.09.022016-03-18 07.48.26

Once I had it printed, I threw in my pi camera (NOIR).  The NOIR made it even better for being a security camera.  Ok, so cool.  How about software?

I was looking for some super simple camera software as there are tons of “security” camera projects out there for the pi.  I came across this one “MotionEyeOS.”   58732063Being built off the program Motion I decided to get in and test it out.  Flash the SD card and boot it up, gets an IP.   I just checked my dhcp leases on the router to find the ip, then gave it a static IP.

 

Once you have the IP just throw that ish in the browser!!  Configure your network settings ect.  But in the expert settings there is a switch.  Turn it on.

 

No seriously.  Turn it on.

2016-06-16 15_38_25-iseeall.noip.me - Remote Desktop Connection Manager v2.7

Yes I know.  The fast network camera page on the wiki looks like it kills alot of stuff.

 

The Differences

When you have Fast Network Camera enabled, you’ll notice that:

  • your motionEyeOS-based camera can reach a significantly higher frame rate, at a higher resolution
  • you can tweak many CSI camera-specific parameters directly from the UI
  • your browser will eat up less CPU at the same frame rate/resolution (it uses a pure MJPEG stream, rather than triggering every refresh from JavaScript)

On the other hand, this doesn’t come without some disadvantages:

  • no more motion detection
  • no more motion notifications
  • no more pictures or movies
  • no more overlaid text (date/time, camera name)
  • a significantly higher network bandwidth usage
  • you’ll need to forward port 8081 as well, if you want to access your camera from the Internet

 

No motion detection!?!?!   Are you crazy that’s why I am even reading this stupid page!!!!!!

 

EcstaticTightBuckeyebutterfly-size_restrictedCalm down.   Please calm down.  Can you even use that as a weapon?!?!   

Just let me finish before you use that thing!!!

So you enable fast network camera.  This lets you get some faster higher quality out of the camera.  Now here is the fun part.

I setup a VM of ubuntu and installed MotionEye.  Not MotionEyeOS but MotionEye.

BeQZIS7CEAAemgwOnce you have it running hit your motioneye server (http://<motioneyeserverip:8765)  and you will get another nice web interface.

In here, you will add a new camera, and set it up to point to your raspberry pi camera.

camsettingNow what is really cool here is you can setup a few cameras.  When I first set it up, I had 1 camera and then I found 9 traffic cameras and marina cams and what not from places all over the world and was able to plug them in.  Truly felt like a super villain being able to see everything!

Now that you have your cameras in motioneye we can now use the motion eye server to handle our motion detection.  See, I told you I would get there.

There are some cool setting here that you can do.  For example:

settings1

settings2

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • I have my video streaming setup so I can embed individual streams if I want into a web page, maybe a security camera sitemap page in openhab?
  • I have still images setup and capture when motion is detected.
  • I have Motion Detection configured that more than 5% of the frame has to change.
  • Then the fun part in Motion Notifications

I have a script configured on motion detection.


/usr/bin/notifycam.sh %t


This script is very simple.  It has 2 lines currently.  I honestly could knock it down to one.   Or I could add some additional code to handle different items for each camera.  The %t just passes in the camera ID.
57448311Ill go over that in a minute…. I SAID IN A MINUTE!!!!!!

On my Kodi media system in my office I installed this great add in called

Security Camera Overlay

It’s a very interesting add in.  You configure it for your security camera.  Well, I have mine connected to motioneye.

2016-06-16 20_46_26-ubuntudev1In MotionEye if you click on the Streaming Video there is a link in there called “Snapshot URL”

2016-06-16 20_48_34-KodiGrab that, you will need it to configure your Kodi system.

Put that snapshot URL in the Image URL field when configuring your add on.

 

 

 

 

2016-06-16 20_48_22-KodiOn the Behaviors tab, if your camera supports 16×9 I definitely recommend changing the Window width/height.  I have it refresh every half second and auto close after 4 seconds.

 

 

2016-06-16 20_37_41-KodiSo what does this look like?  LIKE THIS FOOL!!!!

It pops up right over Bob’s Burgers!!! refreshes a few times, let’s me see what’s going on and slides right back off.

 

Back to the script


/usr/bin/curl -g "http://xx.xx.xx.xx:8080/jsonrpc?request={%22jsonrpc%22:%222.0%22,%22method%22:%22Addons.ExecuteAddon%22,%22params%22:{%22addonid%22:%22script.securitycam%22},%22id%22:%221%22})"
/usr/bin/curl --header "Content-Type: text/plain" --request POST --data "ON" http://xx.xx.xx.xx:8080/rest/items/PorchMotionDetected

Explanation:

Line1: sends a json packet to my Kodi install in my office telling activating the great addon Security Camera Overlay.  This makes it slide over whatever you are watching.

Line2: sends a “motion detected” packet to openhab.  In my openhab Items file there is a simple switch I can add all my rules around.

downloadIn writing this I learned something today.  I am going to make a couple modifications in the future.

The notifycam.sh file will be adjusted down to 1 line.

It will just make the call to openhab.

But it will look something like

<pre>/usr/bin/curl --header "Content-Type: text/plain" --request POST --data "ON" http://xx.xx.xx.xx:8080/rest/items/CameraMotion%1

That way I don’t have to recode the script when I add a camera. I just need to add a new item CameraMotion<ID> to openhab.

Then I can add all the camera’s to a gSecurityCam group and build some rules around state change in that group. Then openhab can send out the notifcations to pop up the stuff on my kodi and any other kodi system I wish, as well as send me notices through other openhab notifcations.

I hope this was long enough for you…

 

 

New Firewall Status!

So a couple weeks ago I wrote about the new firewall setup.

Quick update on the status of that.  I built it out.  Got it working.  yay!

294989

But I want more cool stuff.  So I have a business class fiber line run to the house with 5 static IP’s.  So I decided to see if I could get pfsense to do failover router.  You know, because why not.  I tried to get pfsense to install on this old thin client I had.  No go.  WAY TOO OLD!!!

So I moved on.  I too my esxi box and with the second nic ran it to another small unused switch of mine.  I then configured esxi with a second virtual switch that uses that NIC on the new physical switch.  I know, I could do that with vlans.  Duh!  But I am waiting for a cable for my switch so I can configure said vlans.

vSphere ClientSo with this new physical port I was able to build a pfsense box in my virtual environment.  I configured it with dual nics, 1 in each switch.  As you can see here.   My routers are named voot1 and voot2.  Named after the voot runner from the show Invader Zim.   My main network scheme is based on characters and vehicles from this show.

So now I have a physical router configured with one of my public ip’s   x.x.x.253.  Internal its configure as x.x.x.2.  I then configured my CARP ips.  You create a virtual IP for both lan and wan.   External is x.x.x.250, internal is x.x.x.1.

pfsense - New Page (1)

Set the outbound nat to use the .250 address and we are golden.  Setup all the carp sync settings to push the settings to the backup pfsense.  This works BEAUTIFULLY.   I was so amazed as how easy it is.  I just make a change pretty much anywhere in the main router and its automatically sync’d to the backup.

Once the backup is sync’d it’s time to test.   Reboot the primary.  Network dropped and didn’t come back up until the primary fully booted…

stewiegriffin-familyguy

Ok.  I got it.  The arp change caused some problems with the esxi side.  There is a switch security feature that blocked it.  You have to set the switch to accept promiscuous mode….. $%^& I think my switch is a slut.samantha_jones_promiscuitypromiscuous

 

Ok.  So now that my switch is acknowledged as a slut, it works.  Reboot primary router and the backup comes online, takes over the gateway x.x.x.1 and the external x.x.x.250.  This is awesome for various servers that I have in different datacenters that have ip security configured.

So this all went great, but the original reason for the upgrade was my old hardware choked itself out with my ipsec tunnel to AJ doing the encryption/decryption.  So we need to get the tunnel back up.   We got some time over this weekend to get the tunnel working.  We now copy back and forth at 30mbps.  30!!!!!   Fully maxing my fiber line over a secured tunnel and my cpu was only at 25%.  WIN!!!

 

BUT!!!!!! We have this awesome failover working…. will the tunnel come up on the backup too?   *checks the backup router* well the ipsec tunnel config was sync’d.  So what happens if I reboot the primary now….

NO EFFING WAY!!!!!  My tunnel re-establishes to AJ on the backup router too!!! HAHAHAHA this is awesome.

So Aj had asked me about a raspberry pi project on friday called pi-hole.  From the website..

“The Pi-hole is an advertising-aware DNS server that prevents ads from being downloaded. Once installed, configure your router to have DHCP clients use the Pi as their DNS server and then any device that connects to your network will have ads blocked without any further configuration. Alternatively, you can manually set each device to use the Raspberry Pi as its DNS server.”

But it seems like something that screams virtual machine.  I didn’t want to tie up a raspberry pi just for dns.  Turns out pi-hole doesn’t require pi hardware.  So it is possible to put in a vm.  So I configure a tiny ubuntu server and install pi-hole.

curl -L install.pi-hole.net | bash

Very simple.  But it works.  So I build out the vm.  Export it as an ovf and ship it off to AJ over the new tunnel.  He brings it up in his virtual environment and gets it working on his end.  Now to update our respective DHCP servers to tell our networks to use the new adblocking dns.   But… what if it’s down.  Ads/banners coub-1137363

There is a tunnel…. use each others as a backup!!!  Beautiful.

No my pi-hole is the primary on my network, AJ’s is secondary, and if both are down for some reason the network defaults to google.  services_ DHCP server

How well does pi-hole work?  Why do I keep saying pi-hole?  It sounds dirty.

pi-hole pi-hole pi-hole pi-hole pi-hole pi-hole pi-hole pi-hole

Yep.  Still sounds dirty.  But I got distracted.

Pi-hole Admin Console

That is insane…. 1726 ad’s blocked today.  We were gone for 4 hours and it’s still that high.  Crazy.  But you should see some sites without their ad’s.   Interesting.

This week/weekend has been pretty cool for getting some network stuff done.

 

Some projects and upgrades

So I have a few things on order coming from china for some various projects.

I figured since I haven’t posted much lately I will post some pre-project dribble.

Phoenix Connectors – Aliexpress

phoenix connectors

 I have these coming to be able to connect audio up to my ClearOne XAP800.   ClearOne XAP-800 Professional Audio Conferencing System Pic 4 xap800_l

The XAP800 is going to be added to my Home Automation system to be able to control/mix/route audio from various sources to various destinations.  If you want to read more about what this can do check out my buddy here.

http://hazymat.co.uk/2015/04/multi-room-audio-options/

 

3d Printer Upgrades

Its funny.   The whole time I have had my printer I have been constantly wanting to upgrade.  Maybe because I built my printer from a kit and know each piece.  I look at upgrades thinking, this will help just a tiny bit more.  This will make it a tiny bit better.  But also, I enjoy these projects.  So I have what I can only hope are my last big round of updates.  Nevermind.  I just thought of one more.  Bowden extruder…. but that’s for another post.

Motor Coupler – Aliexpress
The motor coupler is going be to used to connect my 5mm drive shaft to my below 8mm threaded rods.

Lead Screws w/ Copper Nut – Aliexpress
Replacing my current threaded rods and nuts with some nice thick Lead screws and longer copper nuts should add some additional stability and durability in that I won’t have to replace the nuts regularly like I do now.

Aluminum Build Plate – Aliexpress
The aluminum build plate will replace my glass bed.   I have hard it does well for heat distribution but also I need it for the below proximity switch.

Induction Proximity Switch – Amazon
I am going to get rid of current auto level setup.   I am going to the inductive sensor so there is no longer going to be a swinging arm.  This will hopefully improve start up time, and keep better accuracy.

shoppingUT82quJXalbXXagOFbXSReprap-Prusa-i3-3D-printer-parts-Anodized-Aluminum-BUILD-PLATE-for-Heated-Bed-3D-Printer-RepRap.jpg_640x64061fxf9nPCFL._SL1100_

 

Random

20 555 Timers – Aliexpress
ne555I have these 555 timers coming because I plan to use them on a small solar charge controller project I need for my Green Sprinkler system Project.

 

100 Optocouplers – Aliexpress
111781498246_1A couple weeks back I designed and tested a small circuit that will detect when the 12v accessory line in my car is turned on and off.  Using these optocouplers I will be able to use this signal to either power on my raspberry pi in my car, or to tell it to turn off.  This is going to be useful so that the pi doesn’t turn off as soon as I get home, but will be signaled to turn off in about an hour.  This will give enough time for sync jobs to run, backups and any config changes I want to do.

So there it is.  Some of my up coming projects

  • Big Printer upgrade
  • Solar Charge Controller
  • CarPi Power circuit deally (i need a better name)
  • Green Sprinkler System
  • Home Automation Audio Router

juggling-businessman-image

This guys has his shit way more together than I do.  Look at him!  He’s wearing a suit….  I barely wear pants!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home Automation Move (part 1)

I have been running openhab for over a year now on a raspberry pi. I also run mosquitto mqtt broker with a great piece of software called mqttwarn.   On my phone I run owntracks.

FullSizeRender

So lets do a brief summary of what these pieces of software do for me and what I currently have configured.

Openhab – “a vendor and technology agnostic open source automation software for your home.”   That is what the site says openhab is and they are right.   Openhab is a core home automation system that has been designed to work with MANY different vendors and systems to make your home smart.   I have friends that got stuck with z-wave because they spent a bunch of money on z-wave and don’t want to replace it.  But there is also belkin stuff, wifi modules, home built devices (this is a BIG problem for third party controllers.)   Later on in this post you will see that I have used this agnostic approach to home automation to my benefit.

Mosquitto – “is an open source (BSD licensed) message broker that implements the MQ Telemetry Transport protocol versions 3.1 and 3.1.1.”  Okay, not quite as cut and dry as openhab.  So I’ll see if I can help.   MQTT (MQ Telemetry Transport) is a system in which devices and services can connect to a central system and communicate via very small, very efficient messages back and forth.  This efficiency helps in speed and bandwidth.  A device can connect and just wait for commands, a service can send a message to the mqtt server which in turn immediately passes it to the device connected.  MQTT is EXTREMELY more robust, but that is a simple paraphrase description of it.

MQTTWarn – “a pluggable MQTT notifier.”   Hmm, not as helpful, but now that you know what mqtt is you probably understand this a little better.   Jan-Piet Mens, the creator of mqttwarn and a very nice guy (I have personally had experience working with him in trying to accomplish various things) created this wonderful middleman piece of software.  Its almost like grand central station, or your telephone switch board, or the traffic cop.   Its a beautiful thing, I use this personally to do the following.

  • update dashboards in my office with current battery power on a couple devices using owntracks to get the battery data and pushing info to dashing dashboard. 2015-11-13 16_53_22-My super sweet dashboard
  • Show current bandwidth usage from my router (python service I wrote to query snmp data from my router and publish via mqtt and then pushing info to dashing)
    bandwidth
  • Pushing various alerts to prowl/growl
  • Push notices of events to my kodi installations

OwnTracks – “Your location companion.”   OwnTracks is an application that can run on android and IOS devices that uses the internal GPS info and reports back to your mqtt server.  This allows for a little better sense of privacy about our tracking info, but lets be honest if you have your phone on you, you are probably being tracked.  But it doesn’t mean we have to give our info to everyone, so we use our own systems to track us.  This also reports battery info with the location data it sends back to the system.  Why would you want this?  Well I use it to detect when I am home for presence detection.  I also use it to have my home automation system know when I am leaving the office each day.

 

For devices I have integrated, I have..

  • a couple z-wave devices
  • 2 phillips hue lights
  • 2 belkin wemo switches
  • Logitech Media Server (squeezebox server) for media
  • 2 Max2Play raspberry pi setups.
  • 3 Kodi installs
  • 2 mobile devices via owntracks

 

So what am I doing moving this?!?!   Well, this is a good question.  The system does work in its current setup.  However, as every project must, there has to be a very high WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) if the project should ever be allowed to leave your workspace…  Since I am pushing very hard to start putting some bigger pieces in the rest of the house (home built IR blasters, wall panels, in-ceiling speakers for voice notifications) I needed to increase the WAF.  So, I have found that there are 2 things that make this much easier.

  1. Must be easy to use.  UI is key here, if others in the house can’t use it, its junk.
  2. Must work.   If the wife can’t turn on a light because something is down, its junk.

Those 2 key pieces of info really fit and help.  So UI I believe I already have covered with a nice easy touch interface available on EVERY device in this house including some tangible remotes.   So number 2 is the obstacle to tackle.  It must work.  So redundancy/fault tolerant is key.  I have 2 seperate esxi environments in my setup here at home so I am going to place 2 openhab systems in virtual environment with heartbeat, failover and a virtual IP.  To share the physical z-wave stick I am taking the raspberry pi and using virtualhere to share the 1 USB device with both controllers.  This does still present a single point of failure for z-wave stuff.  But it is not all the system so its better.  If anyone has any thoughts on how to add redundancy to that Im all ears.

So here is what my goal is for my controller setup.

Openhab Layout - New Page (1)