PiNet - the Shop

Out in the shop, there was a need to control the environment.

Is it beautiful?

No, not really.

Is it functional? Oh yes. Very functional.

Do I care if it's beautiful? Not one little bit. It works. It has a job, and it does it well.

The GE air conditioner came with a cute little remote, and WiFi connectivity. Of course, the window unit wants to connect with GE's servers, and they want to be intermediaries, inserting themselves in between me and my shop air conditioner. I'm not a fan of the concept.

I also have a small electric space heater for the winter months. I had it powered through a basic bi-metal thermostat attached to a relay, and that worked fine.

Now I control both the AC unit and the space heater from my phone or a browser on my local network. No cloud involved. Much, much better.

Image: Shop Pi wiring diagram.

The wiring diagram and more details are available on GitHub.

Image: Browser interface for Shop Pi.

This screen gives me control. It doesn't look like a normal thermostat. I like that. It shows me what I want to see. I like that, too.

This is running on an early B+ model Pi, the most basic there is. The screen you see is provided by Brilliant, the little i3 Ubuntu machine in the house.

ShopPi sends its data and receives instructions via Python sockets. It's a cool thing to learn about.

ShopPi is the newest of the Pi projects. I haven't had to tweak any code in a while, so I think it's about finished. It runs 24/7 out there, and every morning I check in to see what's going on out there.

When I go to the shop to work or get something, my things are at a comfortable temperature and are protected from the damaging effects of fluctuating temperatures and humidity. (A lot of people don't realize how much corrosion is caused by warm/cold cycles and high humidity.)

ShopPi is dependent for its user interface on the which runs on Brilliant. I'll be adding a post about that system soon, and I'll be editing this post for completeness and clarity in coming days, so if you're interested, check back now and then.

If you want to know more about this project, check Github. Here's the link.

Just another one of my Things that Work.

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