IoT – Preparing the Home for Autumn

The feeling of autumn is once again here, along with the desire to prepare for the coming dark nights and turning on the heating. During the summer, our collection of Raspberry Pi computers have been tasked with other purposes, but it is time to start recording the temperature again.

Last autumn and winter, we experimented with using the MicroChip MCP9808 temperature sensors and Raspberry Pi computers to continiously record the temperature of each room in our home and to monitor the heating system to ensure it was running efficiently and being cost effective.

Since last year I have experimented with longer I2C cables which means that we can place the temperature sensors in much better locations. I also had a rather ad-hoc method of collecting the readings from the Raspberry Pis which will be improved this year.

The aim of all this is to continue learning and experimenting with the Internet of Things (IoT), including the hardware, software, and network connectivity. It is also to ensure that we are not over heating our home or unnecessarily leaving the heating on constantly for long periods.

It is reassuring to know that during cold periods when you’re away from home that the home is not in danger of being too cold, allowing the pipes to freeze or burst. Power cuts are also common during the winter months so at least one Raspberry Pi will be equipped with a battery backup and real-time clock to report on power failures that could have repercussions for the temperature of the home and the frozen food in the freezer.

As I make this journey towards improving the IoT devices in my home, I will share what I have learned through my blog, including the software I have written and hardware I have designed.

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