The WeMos D1 Mini is a fantastic little development board based on the ESP8266 microcontroller with WiFi. It’s super cheap, and there’s even support for it now in the Arduino IDE so you can program it easily. If you haven’t seen it before, check it out on the WeMos site.
One limitation is that it needs 5V USB power to run, which is a pain if you want to build it into a project that doesn’t have USB power easily available. I designed this shield to give the D1 Mini the ability to accept power from 7 to 14Vdc (up to 20Vdc in a pinch) via a 2.1mm DC jack or screw terminals.
I hope to turn this into a product soon: I just need some more parts to arrive. There’s a page for it now at www.superhouse.tv/d1mpower.
If you’re just getting into home automation and go searching for Open Source HA projects, you’ll discover there aren’t any obviously dominant players – more a mix of partly-developed personal projects that aren’t very portable. Why is that?
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As part of my SuperHouse home reno the entire house has been rewired, including replacing all the light switches with Freetronics Arduino-compatible control surfaces running on the LAN using Power-over-Ethernet. To save time assembling all the switches I designed a custom PCB for the control surface.
Have a look inside one of the switchboards in my house, where I’m linking Arduino-based home automation devices into the switchboard for software control of just about everything.
Early this year my family was flooded out of our house when water came through the ceiling during renovations, and we’ve been living in the recently built workshop at the back of the garage ever since. Well, last night the garage flooded as well. Oh joy. And to make it even more interesting, I learned a lesson never to leave running electrical equipment on the floor. Or to stand next to it, in water, while it’s running.