After the summerbreak let’s make again ;)

The summertime has passed and new projects are coming up!

That’s a water valve in my cellar for the garden irrigation. I’ve had the problem that somebody opened the outside faucet at night 2 times this summer. Damn idiot!! (sorry …^^) To avoid abuse I now open the valve with the green lever before watering, but I now need to go down to the cellar and open the valve by hand – that’s really annoying!


Some weeks ago I was recycling an old washing machine and examined a solenoid valve at the water inlet.
I was inspired and ordered a solenoid valve with water flow sensor at aliexpress. Here’s what it actually looks like :


Not really finished yet – still need to connect to an Wemos D1mini ESP chip with ESPimatic – I really love it πŸ˜‰
For switching the valve I will use a 5V relais. ESPimatic has a kWh pulse counter. I will try to hijack this for the water flow sensor. I just want to know when water is flowing at daytime and notice me via pushover, I do not need to know the amount of water that went through the pipe, just a flow/stop (true/false boolean) is good enough. At night the solenoid valve will shut the water connection via pimatic rule. Well, and of course a temp sensor in the cellar is a must have when using ESPimatic isn’t it πŸ˜‰

Well that’s all for now.
Hopefully I can finish this project within the next days.

Pool pump control and balcony lights

Here’s my relative new balcony control, of course “powered by pimatic”

I use a wemos D1 mini ESP8266 based chip with the great ESPimatic sketch again.
The control box is able to switch on the upper light, the house number plate (see below), the 230V power outlet below the box and the swimmimg pool pump with a relay each. Furthermore there is a DHT22 connected and a LED matrix for visualizing the actual outside temperature. Next step is to connect a rain sensor to the analoge input of the wemos.
I used almost all GPIO’s of the chip, so I used all of it’s potentials.

Below you can see the final design and the wire chaos inside the box. There are 4 phase indicators showing the switch status of the relays on the upper left, to the right you can see the LED matrix, below the matrix is theDIN rail case of the wemos that i just plugged onto a breadboard glued to the case and on the right side you can see the RCD.
Inside the case you can see the 12V psu between the RCD and the wemos, on the right side you can see the power adapter and wire board i created (see below)

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Here you can see the left and right side of the case. On my power adapter and wire board I soldered a simple USB plug to have a simple 5V output, just in case to charge a phone or something like that. The other side shows the DHT22 and an on/off switch for the wemos, just in case I need to reset it.

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A peek on the ESPimatic control panel

espimatic balkon

For whom it may concern, my power adapter board from below …

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and from the upper side. The long pinheaders from top to bottom are 12V, 5V, 3v3 and to the outer right GND.
The small pinheaders are GPIO connectors, here i connected the wemos’ GPIO with the sensor wires, so it was a little easier to install one after another. On the top in the middle you see the USB jack that is lead out to the side (see pic above), besides there is the 12V power connector, then the 12/5V converter and the AMS1117 board for 3v3 conversion. Relativeley simple but very effective if you ask me πŸ™‚

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Now let’s come to my favorite project from the past weeks πŸ™‚ The LED lighted house number plate !

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The final version has plexiglas around on all sides since the LED stripe lit very bright through the gap.

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It’s build relativeley simple with plastic brackets / edge coverage from the hardware store, 4 distance bolts (bought on aliexpress), 2 small 12V white colour LED strips cut from a 5meter wheel and a plexiglas plate. Of course you need a sticker with your house number (feel free to ask me for any assistance πŸ™‚

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The small LED strips have been glued to the sides, you can see the drill holes in the plate

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Here you can see the grey connection cable for both strips from the backside

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Maybe I was able to inspire you a bit πŸ™‚

CAUTION! This USB charger can get extremely dangerous

Today my daughter wanted to unplug the below usb charger and it broke apart without any reason!
It would not matter if it just broke apart, but the following situation appeared :

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The serious thing is the following – have a look at the picture and judge from what you see …

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As you see, the metal pins with high voltage on it (230V in Europe …) are uncovered and the plug itself sticks to the power outlet!! Usually the pcb is sitting on these pins and takes over the power from them to convert to USB friendly 5V. But as the pcb is not soldered, it is sitting very slacky on the pins and will be jammed in the housing when falling apart …

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So be careful and consider to remove these devices if you are plugging them frequently.

pimatic v0.9 has been released !

09 beta-2

Finally we’ve made it πŸ™‚
pimatic v0.9 has been succesfully released!
You can learn more here at the pimatic forum.

The next days will be very exciting. Hoping that our users won’t have big trouble when updating.
Many issues and bugs have been eliminated prior to the release, but you never know. It’s still software ^^

Well, we’re ready for supporting youΒ  πŸ™‚

Now enjoy pimatic v0.9 !

Fifty shades of pi

Yesterday I’ve felt like a little boy again! Had lots of fun and double retro feeling – first building something with LEGO again, second building a NES like console case for my Pi πŸ™‚ As a teenager I had a NES and was playing Super Mario all day long.

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Well, that’s usually my daughters “playground”, but I was allowed to fully grab into the LEGO boxes with both hands πŸ™‚
Took me 5 hours to build – but not for putting the bricks together, no it was more than searching for needles in the haystack, as I feel like my daughters are having billions of LEGO bricks…

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The case is build of approx 100 bricks, usually in dark and light grey with a strip of black as you can see.
Although my daughters have lots of LEGO bricks, I wasn’t able to match all colors accordingly, so there are some shades in the case. But have a look yourself!

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That’s the backside view. Here you can see the different shades of the bricks. But never mind, you only see that when taking a closer look (and of course turn the case around πŸ˜‰ )

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You are able to access all neccesary connections on the back and the sides. You are also able to open the hatch to get access to the GPIO pins. Very nice πŸ™‚

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Here you can see how nice the pi fits into the case. There are no spaces left so it does not bump around.

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The case is known as NES-Pi and can be bought for appr. 35 Euro from a vendor in spain. But hey, all I needed was a good tutorial, that I found here at Andre Knieriem’s blog. Thx again Andre for that very good step by step instruction!! Just download Anleitung/Instruction, there you will find a HTML tutorial as on the website of Andre or the option I prefered – the Lego Digital Designer Model!! It’s a file for the LDD (Lego Digital Designer), that shows step by step on a 3D model how to build the case. It’s so easy and a very great tool! You are also having a parts list s that you can first pick your bricks and then build with fun πŸ˜‰

Have a look at the Lego Digital DesignerΒ  :

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It was an afternoon full of fun! Now thinking of building a HDD case – maybe with a Commodore 64 as template πŸ˜‰

Now have fun when building it yourself !!!

What’s new on v0.9 // #2

Here’s another sneak peek what v0.9 has to show off!

The plugin config editor πŸ™‚
On v0.8 you were already able to browse and install/deinstall plugins via GUI.
But now on v0.9 you can also edit the plugin settings in the GUI directly!

Check it out!
Here is the overview of all installed plugins. (having German as standard language, the translation of some words still needs improvement)


Here you can see the plugin config editor of the homeduino plugin. You are able to change all available settings.


And the last view is the plugin browser where you can see all available plugins and their state.
As you can see, there are badges that tell you if a plugin is installed, loaded, active or compatible with v0.9



The whole plugin section got a very nice rework indeed!


I’ve got the ice, who has the drinks ?

The tempests here in Germany are a real pain for many people!
Fortunately I’ve been untroubled yet. But today we’ve had a hailstorm.

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Well, this was of no danger, but it came absolute suddenly without any warning.
There are considerations for a DWD weather-warning plugin (for German users).

Also my thoughts about the rain sensor came up again. My roof window has been opened and closed it quickly since I remembered it. What if I do not remember next time … pimatic needs to remember me then πŸ™‚