Raspberry pi Pete’s new toy being developed for home automation and lots of other idea’s

Raspberry pi 3 home automation, VOIP and other idea’s.

It has been a long time since I wrote code for computers. I started in the early 80’s with a Commodore VIC-20. An 8 bit machine that had no way of saving data.

Getting hold of a couple of Raspberry pi’s seems like a good way to get back into it.
raspberry piHaving worked in automation, facilities and building management for a large part of my working life I thought it would be good to create a home automation system. Part of the idea is to keep my old grey cells active 🙂raspberry voip

Another idea is create a VOIP phone for Prestatyn Dementia Friendly Community for use at Artisans Collective at the Old Library in Prestatyn.

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. Sometimes it’s referred to as Voice over Networks or (VoN), Voice over Broadband (VoB) and sometimes Internet Telephony.

VoIP allows you to make free, or very low cost, telephone calls over the Internet. You can call any telephone in the world and any telephone can call you – regardless of what equipment or network the person you are calling uses.

Raspberry Media Centre
raspberry pi zero
Raspberry Zero a true credit card sized computer

Currently I have a Raspberry zero configured as a Kodi Tv and media centre device. It is working better than our firestick or android box. So may keep this. With the addition of a remote control rather than using a wireless keyboard.

I use LibreELEC ‘Just enough OS’ for Kodi, a Linux distribution built to run Kodi on current and popular media centre hardware. An evolution of the popular OpenELEC project. LibreELEC software will be familiar to OpenELEC users, but the project follows its own path and has intentional differences.

Here’s the full feature list for Zero W:

  • 1GHz, single-core CPU
  • 512MB RAM
  • Mini-HDMI port
  • Micro-USB On-The-Go port
  • Micro-USB power
  • HAT-compatible 40-pin header
  • Composite video and reset headers
  • CSI camera connector
  • 802.11n wireless LAN
  • Bluetooth 4.0

New bike projects underway

Projects Update 2016

With lots going on recently at Artisans Collective CIC, Prestatyn Dementia Friendly Community and Prestatyn Men’s shed my personal bike projects had been placed on hold.

MX5
Jayne at Surf Snowdonia with our 1990 Mazda Eunos that is fondly nicknamed WTF due to its registration letters.

August was also very busy with work away from Prestatyn including a PR trip to Glasgow for Grow Wild. Also I went back to my roots adding a Mazda MX5 Classic sports car to our projects.

I have installed a new radiator, sound system, windblocker, cockpit brace, and am currently renovating a hardtop for use in the winter. I raced a couple of similar cars in UK race championships a few years ago. They are really nice to work on.

Having entered the Great Orme sponsored bike ride for charity again this year, it is time to consider what bike to use, last year I used the trike that I built for Jayne.
testing the trike projects

 

 

Latest Concept

This year I am considering designing, building and riding a 2 wheel drive electric bike.

The concept will use a 300 watt rear wheel and 250 watt front wheel to aid stability. I hope to be able to utilise a single Lithium-ion 36v 15ah battery. My calculations say that that would give just over 1 hour of power at about 25mph, when off road.

The current regulations limit electric bikes to 15mph and 250 watts when used in public areas. I propose to just use the front wheel drive when on public roads and enable the rear wheel drive when off road.

universal bike

I will utilise the bog standard Universal bike for testing the concept before building a higher spec bike if the concept works well.

If it proves successful I will build the mark two version around an aluminum framed mountain bike with suspension and disc brakes.

Specialized Rockhopper bike in the workshop today

Specialized Rockhopper my Old School favourite hardtail bike.

Specialized rockhopper bike
Specialized rockhopper bike

Specialized Bicycle Components, Inc., more commonly known simply as Specialized, is a major American brand of bicycles and related products. It was founded in 1974 by Mike Sinyard and is based in Morgan Hill, California. Their UK website is here.

The rockhopper model has been in production for over 20 years and has been constantly evolving into the model below which is the 2015 version.

Rockhopper Expert 29
Rockhopper Expert 29

The version we are working on today has really good rim brakes and twistgrip shifting, of which I am not a great fan.

The bike has a problem on the front derailleur that has not been cured by the fitting of a new chain and twistgrip.

So today we are upgrading by fitting a new Shimano Deore LX front mech.

Also a side stand, rack, panniers and bags to enable the cycle to be used as a daily commuter bike are being fitted.

I will be removing the old Shimano front mech by drilling a rivet out of the cage on the shifter mechanism, to avoid the need to split the new chain. The new mech already has a removable bolt to allow this.

Specialized Rockhopper front mech
Starting to setup Specialized Rockhopper front mech

The new mech has made shifting much easier and smoother, with less effort needed at the twistgrip.

It did take quite a bit of setting up, as what felt right in the workshop needed a slight tweak  after a road test and lubrication of the chain and gear set.

Fitting the rack and panniers has added weight but as the bike is being used mainly on the daily commute this is fine as the space to carry equipment to and from is essential.

Not a bad half hours work and it is only 8am now !