One of the amazing things about the Raspberry Pi micro computer (apart from its price) is its ability to interface with other hardware. It opens up so many possibilities that used to be quite expensive and difficult to implement . As interfacing a pc directly with hardware is not something I have ever done before, I’ve come up with a project to learn some of the basics, I call it HomePi
The idea is to house a Raspberry Pi in a little Lego house, and attach various sensors to perform certain task, and maybe implement some sort of data logging and remote access into the project as well. My ideas for sensors and extra hardware so far are:
- A temperature and humidity sensor
- A light sensor, that will turn on a ‘street light’ when its dark. This will just be a single LED light enclosed in some Lego
- An LCD screen to sit in the roof, to display various bits of information, such as the current temperature & humidity, date & time, RSS feeds, Twitter trends etc.
- A couple of buttons to maybe change what the display is currently showing
- An LED in a ‘street light’ that will come on when the lights are turned off
- A motion tracker to see when someone enters the room
- Maybe an RJ45 jack to interface 1-Wire, so I can plug in additional sensors if needed.
I have already decided on a bought some of the hardware I will need for the project:
- For LCD screen I have bought the Adafruit RGB 16×2 LCD kit. This includes the actual LCD screen. The advantage of this kit (as opposed to just buying the screen on its own) is that it you only use the 2 I2c pins on the pi. Plus you don’t really use them as you can attach other things onto the I2c bus anyway. Check it out here.
- With the LCD breakout sitting on the GPIO pins, I have also got an extra long header connector, so I can mount the LCD breakout on the pi as normal, but also have access to all the pins
- A DHT11 temperature and humidity sensor
- A light dependent resistor sensor
- Plenty of cables to run the sensors and other devices
I have started work on it now, I’ll post some more info later in the week.