Sensible Sensors (Home Automation Part 2)

There are many ways to use sensors to automate things around your house. You could send an alert if your freezer stops working, or flip on lights when it gets dark. Sometimes you just want to collect information about your house. A good place to start is the basic motion detector. Motion detectors have all kinds of useful purposes, I have one that alerts me when someone is at the front door, and others that control lights based on presence. Today we’ll look at how I built those sensors and the lessons I learned along the way.

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Right Tool For The Right Job

APIs, sometimes they feel like magic. I mean, it’s beautiful how you can take two independent systems, on two different servers, written in two different languages and make them act like they’re siblings. Well, that’s the intent anyway. It doesn’t always go according to plan. What follows is an account of our adventure in which our interaction with an API was more like distant cousins, very distant cousins. If you’re the nervous type, I’ll go ahead and tell you that it all works out in the end.

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MQTT to rf24 Translator (Home Automation Part 1)

-or- Learning to listen to your Arduinos…

I’m an Arduino enthusiast. By that I mean I freakin’ love Arduinos. There is so much you can do with them. You want to convert an old PS/2 keyboard over to USB? The ProMicro has you covered. You want a $6 temperature sensor? The nano paired with a cheap temp probe can do that. You want to turn something on and off? Swap that temp probe out for an inexpensive relay and you’re golden.

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Let’s Split Planck – Hard Mode

Handwiring a Split Planck

-or- the adventures of being cheap.



I don’t know. I mean, it’s not like I need another keyboard. But people like you and me don’t rationalize things like that. Yes, I have plenty of keyboards. I even have more than one Planck. But, I don’t have a split Planck! As I was doing the yearly cleaning of the desk ritual, I noticed that I had a bunch of parts around. Like probably enough to build a whole keyboard. Well, you can guess where it went from there. I ended up spending about $3 on case screws to complete the project. Continue reading “Let’s Split Planck – Hard Mode”