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Free Home Automation

Well, besides the cost of a smart phone and a Raspberry Pi.

I was amazed at how many Home Automation Apps are out there, I went through probably 20 of them and maybe 2 actually had hardware that I have heard of! A LOT of them I don’t really know what their purpose was, I guess you were supposed to call them.

Well that time is over!

Demo Video

Pakistan / Yemen

Who has downloaded this app

From this blog I will show you everything you need to have you controlling garage doors and lights and fans from your home TODAY! (if you have a Raspberry Pi and a relay around)

Raspberry Pi’s can be purchased from Amazon, I get mine from Microcenter we have one that I can physically drive to and buy a Raspberry Pi in under an hour. I would think any hard core geek store would have them, probably not Best Buy’s, but I would think anywhere you can buy parts to build computers your self.

Now a little warning, Home Automation is connecting physical devices to the virtual world, even though you are only able to control your Raspberry Pi with this app when connected to your network wirelessly any one who has this app AND YOUR WIRELESS PASSWORD can do the same thing as you! So as soon as you connect the Raspberry Pi to your network you can no longer give out your password to just anybody. If you have kids and they have neighborhood friends I would be wary of doing this because your password probably get’s passed around.

There is a work around!

To show you what I mean do a search for FING in the app store.

With this app you can see every device on your network with IP Addresses and MAC Addresses!

Now, the only reason you can see all this is because you are connected to your network because you know your password. If you disconnect from your network and forget your network and refresh the scan you won’t see anything. And this app is also free, so anyone for the cost of $0 AND YOUR PASSWORD can do many things.

So when you are ready for the future, in the future your password is as important as your Social Security Number or your house keys.

So if you are ready to continue,

Things you need to do this Home Automation thing:

— Raspberry Pi Hardware —

1. Raspberry Pi (around $35)
2. A Micro SD Card (16 GB or higher) with Raspbian and configured the way I show you here.
(If the process seems too daunting, it is harder than I wish it was,
I sell pre configured 16 GB Micro SD cards for $15 – contact me through e-mail)
3. Power Cord for the Raspberry Pi (not included with just the Raspberry Pi) ($7)
You can use a cord for a Android phone if you have extras.
4. A relay ($4)
5. Wires to connect the relay to the Raspberry Pi ($9)
6. Ethernet Cable
7. HDMI Cable (to hook up to a TV or Monitor)
8. Keyboard and Mouse.
9. My Free App to test with. (it only works with devices on the same network)

If you are new to the Raspberry Pi here is everything hardware related you need to know.

Video Overview of Raspberry Pi hardware:
Raspberry Pi

My app uses the Broadcom GPIO pin layout numbering system:


Broadcom GPIO Pin Layout

That was the hardware part, pretty simple.

The not so simple part is installing the Raspbian Operating System (once you have done it a couple times you will be able to do it in less than an hour).

To do that go here: Raspbian Install

Next you will need to install a web server on the Raspberry Pi so you can send commands to it.
– Web Server (Apache) install –

sudo apt-get install apache2 -y

Then install PHP so it can execute python commands from web commands.
– PHP Install –

sudo apt-get install php5 libapache2-mod-php5 -y

– Permissions to run php scripts in web directory –

sudo pkexec visudo

go down to the very bottom and add:


ctrl-o (Save)

enter (Confirm)

ctrl-x (Exit)

Once you get the Raspberry Pi configured you will then need to download my python and php scripts to the Raspberry Pi from Git.

To install Git on the Raspberry Pi:

sudo apt-get install git-core

Make sure you are in the /home/pi directory.

Make a directory called git: sudo mkdir git

Go to that directory: cd git

Get my scripts from Git:

sudo git clone

Go to Home-Automation-Production directory: cd Home-Automation-Production

Python scripts go in the /home/pi directory – I will show you a shortcut

PHP scripts go in the /var/www directory – I will show you a shortcut
(UPDATE! raspbain JESSIE has changed this location to /var/www/html

(If this directory doesn’t exist you skipped the Raspberry Pi Configuration Process step which has you install a Apache Web server and PHP).


I am about to give you a command that takes you out of safe mode and into full on admin mode that will let you break anything without asking “Are You Sure?”

But this allows you to get to root which makes copying files to the right directory doable from a single command.

Make sure you type exit as soon as your done copying the files!

So while in the /home/pi/git/Home-Automation-Production directory type:

sudo su


Now type: cp *.php /var/www/ – to put the php files where they go.

(UPDATE! raspbian JESSIE has moved the location where to put PHP files, use above for
Wheezy, Use command below for JESSIE)

Now type: cp *.php /var/www/html – to put the php files where they go.

(UPDATE! use command below for both Wheezy and JESSIE python files)

And type: cp *.py /home/pi – to put the Python files where they go.

NOW TYPE: exit

You can now go to these directories and make sure they have:

/home/pi –

(UPDATE! raspbian JESSIE has moved the location where to put PHP files)

/var/www – powerOn.php powerOff.php togMe.php

/var/www/html – powerOn.php powerOff.php togMe.php

If they are there Your Raspberry Pi is now ready!

Now you can install my app from the App Store and click on the action button in the top right.

Enter in a name for the device you are controlling.

Enter in the IP Address of the Raspberry Pi.

Enter in the GPIO Pin number that is connected to the relay.

Select what type of device you are controlling.

Save it.

Long press the device name in the list, it should turn the relay on (unless you connected it to Normally Closed, which is reversed, then it will turn it off).

Tap the device name in the list to turn the relay off.


Now are here are some cool projects to put this to use:

Wireless Remote Outlets

Garage Door Opener
YouTube – Raspberry Pi – Home Automation – Garage Door Opener

Smart Power Strip 2.0

New Projects Page