Monthly Archives: August 2016

Home Automation – What a great thing that was

Well, Home Automation is now complete.


10 Station Sprinkler System

10 Station Sprinkler System

Actually writing the code for this might get rather tricky, it will have a bunch of timers, that you will have to invalidate if another station is chosen. You don’t want more than one station running at once, so you will need to stop every other station just for safety sake before starting the chosen station.

But what I really want to do is turn it on by using my watch from bed.



Actually it wasn’t that bad, I have it set up where it cycles through all the stations, and it texts me when a station is complete and tells me when the next one will be done, and finally texts me when everything is complete. When you select another station it resets all the gpio’s which causes all stations to be set to off before starting the next one. I can even use my free app that I added a sprinkler station option (like a light switch option or smart outlet option) and it allows you to put in the IP address, the GPIO pin number, and the duration you want the sprinkler to stay on. The only issue with the free app is you can reset all the GPIO’s to off, but you can’t cancel the timer so if you start station 2 with a duration of 15 minutes, decide you want to cancel after 5 minutes, then 5 minutes later you decide you actually want to water the station for 15 minutes it will actually shut off after 5 more minutes. Kind of a stupid thing, but working with the public you have to be prepared for everything. You can kill the timer but you have to be logged in as admin and kill every PID related to the action.

But if you just use the Smart Hub app it takes care of all that for you.


Turn on Sprinklers from watch – check.
Check Opened or Closed door status through alarm system from watch – check.
Open or Close Garage door with watch – check.
Turn On or Off ceiling fan with watch – check.
Turn On or Off front lights with watch – check.
Turn On or Off outlets with watch – check.
Turn On or Off power strips with watch – check.
Turn On or Off light switches manually or with watch – check.

Home Automation Wall Switch with Raspberry Pi

Here is how to keep your manual wall switch functionality and connect it to the Raspberry Pi for remote functionality.


You must use a 3 way switch so most likely you will have to buy a new switch.

The relay is essentially a 3 way switch without the mechanical switch.




Make your white wires a little shorter than I did here to get the relay right behind the switch.


It doesn’t REALLY matter if you connect the top wire to the light and the bottom wire to the power from the wall, you could do it the other way, all this crazy contraption is really doing is giving you a way to touch the two wires together so electricity can pass through it.

Since you are only using one side of the relay (if you have a 2 switch setup you could use it for both if you have the space) make sure you use the right signal wire when connecting to the raspberry pi, if it doesn’t work the first time that’s what I would check first.

FREE iOS Pi Home Automation Remote ON THE WAY!


Need to clean up the code and get my screen captures done, but as of right now it is fully functional.

FREE means it only works when you are on your home network, no cloud.


Oh, a little added bonus . . . Garage Door Functionality, YOUR WELCOME!

Again, only works when you are on your home network, you aren’t going to be opening your garage door in time to pull right in. You will have to wait till you get on your home network (if it even reaches in front of your house) then open the door.

Also it is only for residential garage doors (one button operation) if you have a commercial garage door opener with a separate open and close button this will not work.

Long press to turn on lights or fans or open your garage door.

Tap to turn devices off, tap does not work with garage door, you must long press to get something to happen.

No logic, garage door doesn’t even guess if it’s open or closed that takes my Smart Hub and Garage Door app (not free).

You still have to setup the Raspberry Pi like I show youfor all my apps.

Welcome Denmark! and sorry!

My first iOS sale was to Denmark, took me a couple days to think . . . I didn’t setup Denmark for the Smart Hub app which makes it useless!

That has been corrected and the Google play store should be updating soon!

please send e-mails to if you have issues like this and I will correct them.

Again sorry Denmark, hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

IoT OTG update

Well got the hub working pretty sweetly.

have a test client that sends commands to the hub and turns devices on and off.

Objective C looks like I will have to make it pop up a message when you push a button and you will have to manually send command, bleeding edge but doable.

So Android fans get ready!


You STILL don’t have IOT in your house?

I know….. HACKERS!

They got you scared.

They got me scared, so I had to come up with a standard.

IOT OTG (Internet of Things Off The Grid)

IOT OTG 8/10/2016

IOT OTG 8/10/2016

So off the grid, not entirely accurate, but the only way into your IOT network is through texting.

Texting is encrypted in the air, HIGHLY FROWNED UPON towards hacking, VERY TRACKABLE, I would say NOT AT ALL worth the consequences just to tease you with your lights or even hack your garage door unless you just had hundreds of thousands of dollars of valuables in your house, then you may want to go with a security guard.

I have been doing research, there is a lot of misinformation out there.

Spoofing (Sending texts with your phone number NOT from YOUR phone) – technically possible used to be done as a business, one site I will link you to describes getting over 250,000 angry people and governments telling them to shut down. (I will link you to their site when I find it). These companies are HEAVILY watched by the phone companies and can only be used for legitimate business purposes, if they don’t they are trackable and we can have them shut down.

Trackable – If Edward Snowden wants to turn on your lights he probably can, because all Texts are saved in plain text format on the phone companies servers obtainable by phone company sys admins(employees), so if one of them want to break into your house or play with your lights they can, but that narrows down the pool of people who did it. This also means that the texts are trackable to the REAL originating phone number(and the more they turn on your lights the higher probability they are going to get caught, for playing with lights? NOT WORTH IT! and if they want to break into your house, they have to be AT your house. . . webcam, and again easier to just break the door.) So very trackable, phone companies don’t like to pay the Sys Admins extra so they will try to blow you off, but through perseverance
they will have to provide it to you, or your insurance company.

Encrypted in the air – not that it matters, they still have to spoof your number (trackable) because the commands will only be executed when sent by phone numbers you set on the Smart Hub.

Proof of Concept is complete I have turned on lights by texting my smart hub.

I have the Android code to send texts from an app (my personal dev Smart Hub app already does that). So you will send commands through texts from my app not your texting app (although you can).

I have the android code to receive and parse text messages to perform commands (turning on lights opening the garage door).

I was able to send texts from my iPhone texting app and turn on lights(still have to see if iOS lets you send texts from code).

What you will need:

Android Device(activated with your phone company) –
If you want to go off the grid you will need a android device (phone or tablet with a phone number) with texting, not sure if texting requires a data plan. You don’t need data to connect to the STAND ALONE wireless router, just connect to it with your wifi on the android device.

Second Wireless Router –
If you have a wireless router connected to your DSL or Cable Modem you will need another wireless router connected to your raspberry pi’s and Smart Hub ONLY. The secondary wireless router will need to have a different SSID than your internet one. Make sure only your Smart Hub and Raspberry Pi’s connect to this one.

Wired Router(optional) –
If you have more Raspberry Pi’s than you do ports on just the Wireless router you will need to add ports by using a additional wired router.


You will have a recurring cost of whatever it costs to have the extra phone line. BUT! if you don’t like my app you can cancel the phone service and you will no longer have the recurring cost, you won’t have IoT either, but hey.

Added bonus by using texting EVERYTHING is logged, you see what command was sent, when, and from what number. (“why was the door left open?” “Oh my texts show Tommy opened it at 10:30pm, but never shut it.” Crisis AVERTED!)

The Government:

Hey! Your tax dollars at work. . . FOR YOU! You know they are watching texts, so all the better for catching hackers. (hopefully the government won’t play with your lights)

So I have my apps already built, just need to change them over to texting, then I will do some beta testing and try to get them out in a couple weeks.

While you are waiting why not get your Raspberry Pi ready
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Android Wear – Home Automation

Photo Jun 23, 7 31 24 PM

Been using my ASUS Zenwatch 2 to control everything in my house for the past 3 weeks, works pretty well, using the phone interface is still faster, but if you don’t want to carry the phone around and the watch is in “talking” distance of the phone with my app you are able to start the app on the phone from your watch, execute commands from the watch and then close the app on the phone from the watch when you are done.

I would say it’s most useful from bed. Works pretty well with my SIII in a belt clip with the screen covered when out and about then you don’t have to worry about touching the phone at all.

YouTube video