Building the HomePi

Posted by beakersoft | Posted in Raspberry Pi | Posted on 07-04-2013


As I mentioned in the previous post, I am building a little Lego house with a raspberry pi inside it that is going to drive an LCD screen and output some interesting information. I now have most of my hardware parts working on a breadboard, and I am displaying text on the LCD screen.


So far its doing the following, all via a python script:

  • Show the current date and time on the LCD screen
  • Read the temperature and humidity from the sensor, and display on the screen
  • Show the current twitter trends on the LCD screen
  • Using the light sensor, if the light level is below a certain level (ie its dark) then turn off the LCD screen, and turn an LED on. When the light level returns back to normal, turn off the LED, turn the LCD screen back on and start looping through the date/temp/twitter information again

I have mounted the Adafruit LCD breakout board on an extra long GPIO header, so I can still use the pins on the pi. Instead of attaching the LCD screen directly to the breakout board I have connected it via cables, this is so the Pi can sit at the bottom of my lego ‘house’, and the LCD screen can be put in the roof.

The actual python script needs a couple of tweaks  then I will upload it onto Github so anyone can have a play with it. Its quit simple, but someone might find it useful.  The next things i need to do are:

  • Work out the best way of putting a 1-wire connector (probably Rj45) onto the system, so a new sensor can be easily added to the new system.
  • Try and work out if  the new Pi camera  module will fit into the system somehow
  • Design an actual pcb for the system to mount the components on. Everything is on a breadboard at the moment, obviously this cant be used in the finished house. Seedstudio offer quite a good pcb prototyping service, hopefully I can use them. I also need to work out the best way to mount the pcb to the pi, in the house.
  • Build the actual lego house to hold it all in. I looked at the LEGO Digital Designer software, but I have decided to do it old school and just try and build it from scratch.
  •  Look at some sort of back end to the system, probably web based so it can be configured easily and some of the data can be logged.

Once I have the script on Github I’ll post a link on here

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