Log No. 1

A project log for Raspberry Pi Heating System

A heating system based on the Raspberry pi to control relays and valves.

Colin ConwayColin Conway 04/15/2016 at 08:580 Comments

I got started on the code shortly after receiving the raspberry pi and the touchscreen in late 2013 but got side tracked when my first child came along. Then a little over a year later our second came along. So my hands were kept very busy. I decided to revisit it in late 2015 when I found the time as the project had been running around my head every now and again with new ideas and methods. When I had a (mostly) working beta I was reading about the Adafruit pi zero contest and decided to publish what I had to Hackaday as an entry.

I've been programming for quite a while but I hadn't done much with python so as a learning experience I thought I'd give it a whirl. I also hadn't used json before so I thought I'd throw some of that in and see how it worked.

About a year after I started the project the valve controllers (Myson MPE222) broke, so I thought it would be a good idea to try to set up some stepper motors in their place and use the same Raspberry Pi to control it.

I also got very sick of running out in the cold and wet weather with a bamboo cane and dipping it into the Kerosene to check how much we had left every couple of weeks (or forgetting to do it and ending up with an airlock to bleed), so I thought it might be worthwhile trying to set up something to read the level and send that data to the Pi. I had used cheap 433mhz modules before to control some Lidl power sockets and though that it might be a cheap way of transmitting data into the house. Not long after that I bought my first ESP8266-12E module and started messing with that and came to the conclusion to try both. I could just about pick up the WiFi at home using my smart phone where the tank is situated outside, but the ESP couldn't get any signal. I have since ordered one without the on-board antenna to give that a whirl but in the meantime I have been working on the 433mhz transmission method, which seemed fine from Arduino to Arduino but I've had a bit of an issue with it from Arduino to Raspberry Pi and back, particularly in a code that uses 3 threads already. I've uploaded two instances of the code one for TCP and one for 433 mhz transmission for both scenarios. I'll include the module schematics and program for the 433 mhz method shortly and the TCP when the ESP arrives.