Kitchenduino FEP / HUB

Hub and FEP for a series of connected controllers and FEPs.

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This is the first real step in the network of small controllers that will help me manage and record things happening on my homestead.

Kitchenduino has a BMP180 for air pressure and inside air temperature, a DHT11 for outside air temperature at the South side of the house (in our hemisphere that's the cool side) two flame / IR sensors, one to monitor the heating fire the other to monitor the stove, a daylight / light sensor (just an LDR bridge) and a PIR movement detector.

Outputs are three different groups of LED lights that I've set up to light the kitchen rather than using the fluoro fixture, they're being controlled by a ULN2803 driving three relays, and a bunch of Neopixels to show state and activity. I may add a smoke sensor and a switch for the extractor fan if I think it's worth the hassle.

The idea is that this processor will monitor all those things and send regular details over USB or 433Mhz to a future Hub processor and that will log everything

Future FEPs (Front End Processors) will add a secnd weather station on the north (warm) side of the homestead that will also monitor soil temperature and moisture, wnd speed and direction, and rainfall; and an FEP for the garden and aquaponics beds and perhaps also the water tanks and animal water and feed levels.

  • EOLC for KitchenDuino

    Ted Russ07/23/2016 at 04:31 0 comments

    End Of Life Cycle

    KitchenDuino has run for the best part of a year attached to a laptop where it was saving climate and some movement data using gobetwino, which is just a software terminal that reads data, optionally formats it, and saves it to a file.

    Now that laptop has finally died the death of a thousand melted fans, and sadly is no more, at least until I can find a new cooling fan and CPU.

    Never mind, this did produce enough data for me to work out where to place IR movement sensors to best isolate movement data from two separate areas and temperature / gas/smoke / IR flame detection and use that to manage the LED strip lighting in several groups, the extractor fans, alarms, and a fireplace monitor for winter to ensure the fire gets relaid every time it's in danger of going out.

    The Twist

    Since some perfectly good Uno boards have now come out with ESP8266 WiFi built right in, and also there are ESP8266 shields that basically give a whole second processor piggybacked onto a Uno board, the revised version will end up as a new project and no longer dependent on a laptop to log / control / manage settings.

    Accordingly I've retired KitchenDuino and will begin V2 with a new project, and more details because I think it'll be the release version. So to speak.

    What I've Learned

    That if you want to drive several metres of LED strip lighting you need a decent PSU, something along the lines of a 3A - 5A switchmode. (I've got almost 10 metres arranged around the kitchen and dining room and need to add about 5 more to get the illumination to where it covers all the needed areas.)

    You need a decent 5V supply to drive a 4 relay or 8 realy control board, and to make sure everything is hunky-dory with WS2812 LEDs etc, it needs to be fairly stable.

    Accodingly, the next KitchenDuino V2 will be combined with an old PC AT/ATX PSU which will supply all the low voltage requirements. As the WeMos boards seem to be all 3.3V based and a PC suppy has 3.3V as well, this might just be a match made in heaven. You can get old AT/ATX power supplies for free just by hanging around the ribbish bins of computer repair shops and replacing the fan in any that are thrown out. (The fan is the #1 reason these PSUs get ditched, believe me.

    First round of software was pretty horrible, I'm still learning. Second round will be included in the filebase here, also on github.

    And lastly, I've learned that I take wayyyy too few progress photos. Hope to remedy that with the next poject.


  • Progress Sept 4

    Ted Russ09/04/2015 at 09:33 0 comments

    Managed to stay thinking long enough to wire some of the shield board up. So now the relays are connected to the ULN2803 outputs, there's a 12V rail to the site where I'll put the 5V regulator for powering the relays (Uno board will supply enough oomph for the half dozen flea-power sensors) and the spots for the Neopixels have been left clear.

    Time perhaps to explain the case for the project:

    The thing at the front right is it. They're generally reeliable, after two years you own them, and whoever owned the one I found obviously either fried it or didn't want it.

    I found that the thing is held together by internal clips that do give way to a generous flat blade screwdriver probing, and then I removed the circuit board and will probably scrap it once I know what bits I want off it.

    The front panel consists of a sheet of clear plastic with black paint on the back of it glued in with double sided tape, pried that off quite easily too, and ground off most of the black paint with a Dremel. (In an area to suit the cut-out I mde and which I'll explain next.

    That ring in the middle is just a clear bit left for a blue LED to shine through, the rest of the cover is solid but thin plastic with a hole for the LED to shine through. I cut a square opening out for the neopixels to shine through, and the paint removed is the same size as the hole. This also gains a few millimetres for the boards to sit inside.

    You can see above pretty much all of the steps. I still need to grind off a lot more black paint but I have the flu and the smell was getting to me so - later.

    You can also see I marked two of the four holes for mounting the boards. These holes will go right through the cover and the clear plastic. Then I'll thread the M2 bolts through the clear plastic and put a nut, then through the cover and put another nut, and then the shield board, and a final nut to secure it all. This will let the Neopixels be mounted between the shield board and the clear plastic, as they're a few mm thick and then there's the wiring to consider too. I could secure the clear plastic directly back to the cover and then use two nuts to space the board - but then it may still fit inside or it may not, it's too hard to suss out so I'm playing it safe. %)

    At the top you can see the back part of the case, and see that I've chewed out the right hand side where a little button arrangement used to be, The button just pressed a tac switch on the original PCB but by luck it was also right where the Arduino's USB port is, so that's one cable catered for.

    You can also see the shield board, 70mm x 90mm for comparison.

    I'll include the soldered shield board once I've put all the wiring on it, so for now this is it.

  • First Pictures, Two Versions

    Ted Russ09/04/2015 at 00:52 0 comments

    The cover image is the prototype of most of the functions (I still didn't have the neopixels and I'd already proven the PIR sensor) lashed together on a small protoyping shield, and the next tow show the casing for the project. I had an old portable handset hub as sold by the national telco, this one must have bitten the Big One as I picked it up in hard rubbish, and the lid's been modified as I'll detail later.

    The 'shield' I developed for the project is a one sided solder type prototyping board that the same size as the Uno (70mm) by 90mm which means that the Uno sits sideways at one end, this is a useful configuration as you'll see. Also, turning the shield board copper side out means the components sit between the boards which reduces the height considerably, and there's heaps of space between the boards for the few components that are needed.

    Mounting the shield so that the overhang is on the digital pin side of the Arduino just allowed me to use a particular configuration feature of the casing as the USB access hole.

    Anyway - more pics and instructions to follow.

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