Raspberry Pi MAC/IP Monitor

A Raspberry Pi network monitor, specifically an appliance that watches for new MACs, and IP addresses.

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Eventually I want to build a home monitoring/home automation system based upon a distributed network of Raspberry Pi's. One of the big issues I've seen in many systems is presence detection. I'm hoping to chip away at this problem by detecting MAC addresses of network devices that people carry around with them.

The core of this project is to develop a series of Python tools, running on a Raspberry Pi, that can detect the comings and goings of MAC addresses on a household network. The system will then be able to turn around and offer this information up to other systems upon authentication and request, to help establish the presence of a person within the home. Alternatively, the system could "push" the information across the network, as part of a situational awareness network.

This project is a part of a larger project, to build a home monitoring/home automation system based upon distributed Raspberry Pi's. A goal of that project is to create a system that can tell if a person is at home, to some level of precision, and actively ask the user if it cannot tell, with a high level of certainty, if the user is present, given some external stimulus/sensor interrupt (A car arriving in the driveway, a package delivery, the garage door being left open for too long).

  • Raspi 3

    staticdet503/22/2016 at 14:07 0 comments

    I picked up a couple of Raspberry Pi 3's at MicroCenter this weekend. I had some issues getting them started (I switched one of my installs with the new board). It turns out that they're going to be finicky about power supplies (duh). My previous Raspi 2 was running on a .7 amp power supply. The 3 did not like that and booted erratically.

    However, I eventually figured it out, and got things running and configured (anyone know a great way to apply the same configuration to multiple Pi's, quickly?). I cloned the project repo to the Pi, and ran it. Typically, the Raspi 2's have been scanning the network over 25 seconds or so (scanning just the final octet, or /24 CIDR, or the last 255 addresses). That's a LOT slower than I wanted. Switching over to the 3, and it is scanning the same network space in just over a second. That is going to work. However, I'm getting different results from the two systems, and I can't explain that.

    So... more work to be done! I'll keep this page updated with progress on this portion of the home sensor network project:

  • Finally got something done!

    staticdet503/18/2016 at 22:43 0 comments

    OK, I've finalized the beta for the stand-alone network query portion of the project. Right now, running "sudo python" will run the network scanner. It will spit back MAC's, hostnames (if found), and IP's. It will save these items to a "previously seen" file. You can then run the "" to give your own names to the MAC addresses. If you then run the program again (you gotta use "sudo python etc.etc.etc", not sure why), it will recognize the previously seen MAC's, and give you their given names and IP's.

    Next step is to port this over to my newer project, a Pi based sensor network ( The Network Monitor project is going to be rolled into that one as a sensor, giving you near real-time data on your network.

    The new code is up and available at GitHub:

  • Not sure what happened there

    staticdet502/26/2016 at 12:40 0 comments

    I set the project up, and never documented a damned thing.

    Sorry about that. My programming documentation tends to be bad, but not negligent.

    It stinks that the first log is going to be about merging this project in with another:

    Raspberry Pi Sensor Network

    The goal (for this project) is to develop both a standalone capability (which is largely done), and integrate this capability with the larger sensor network. Currently I've got a couple of code issues to clean up (like testing for previous save files, instead of crashing like a spazzed out 4yo who is told "no").

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