ebaierl
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:05 pm
Location: Wherever we happen to be
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Smart Home on Wheels

Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:58 pm

I'm working on a project for my blog called Smart Home on Wheels. Basically, I want to create a series of articles for others that live in their RV full time like us to bring the automation of their traditional home into their new mobile life. I had been tooling around with different computers and software, trying to figure out what to use that would work the best, be customizable, and be able to instruct others how to do it on their own.

I came across a few posts here about Smart Home automation with a Raspberry Pi, so I figured I'd give it a shot. If anyone can help me with this, I'd appreciate it.

Basically, I want the Smart Home on Wheels to have a media server (I can do that with Plex and Raspbian), have file sharing (we have two MacBooks, and I'd like to have TimeMachine backups over Wifi), and be able to control everything through either our iPhones or our Android tablet. I have no problem with those three features being different Pi's. They are cheap enough and small enough that I can put a few in and not worry about it.

I was searching here and came across Prota OS, which seems like a great idea for the Smart Home on Wheels, but each post I read about it made it seem like an advertisement and not an actual walkthrough. Does anyone have any experience with Prota?

I'm going to be adding a DC powered Zwave unit for the lights in the RV since they are all DC powered. I'd also like to add security cameras both inside and outside that I can access remotely. The RV almost always has an internet connection, so that's easy enough. I'm not sure what else I'd like to build into it though, maybe a thermometer inside and outside that we can access from our phones. If its possible, I'd also like something that alerts me if the AC power goes out. Right now, the LTE modem is connected to DC power and the RV batteries, so even if power goes out, internet still is available.

Cost really isn't an issue, but as I proceed with these articles, I have to be able to tell non-techy people how to do it, so the less soldering the better. Hell, if I can somehow figure out how to set up the core Smart Home Pi as a hub, I could even resell them as complete packages if that's allowed with raspberrypi.org.

Any one have any additional info to share or have anywhere I can read more info to get a better handle on this all? I'm not a super user with Raspbian, I've built a couple and am comfortable enough with a command line, but I'm not really much of a programmer either.

ebaierl
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:05 pm
Location: Wherever we happen to be
Contact: Website Facebook Twitter

Re: Smart Home on Wheels

Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:40 pm

I wrote a long post on my blog about the things I want to do with a Raspberry Pi network including temperature monitoring, file sharing, media sharing, smart home controller, a core unit, and a VPN/Router.

I have a AT&T Mobley with unlimited data. I would like all of our traffic to go through that. I'm trying to figure out how to connect it all together. Right now, the Mobley gets a LTE signal, broadcasts it and a small wifi repeater picks it up and distributes its own SSID. I want to get rid of that wifi connection though, so I need to find a way to connect the Mobley to the Pi through USB (that's the only output the Mobley has), and then send the data from the Mobley to the switch so I can use ethernet to connect most of the rest. Some of the devices will be wifi only, so I'll have to config that as well.

Basically, I want it to be set up so there are several Pi 3s or Zero Ws doing dedicated tasks and sending data to the core unit which will take the data and periodically upload it to my remote web server. I know there are probably simpler ways to do this, but I'm writing it all out in my blog so others can follow along and do it themselves. They won't need everything we will be incorporating in ours, so if there are separate entries for separate tasks, that's great.

I'm good with PHP, so actually constructing the web page isn't a problem. I have MySQL on my remote host, so I am hoping I can write the script so that it uploads to the database, and then when we access the site remotely, we can see the data from the various Pis in the network. The first one I do will probably be a temperature setting since we have cats in the RV and I'd like to monitor them when we aren't at the RV.

So yeah, I need help with two things at the moment. I found PiVPN, so setting up a VPN is easy enough, but I'm not sure how to take the data connection from the Mobley modem over USB and share it over ethernet. I don't know if that's even possible actually.

The second thing is setting up the thermometer. Its doesn't look too complex, but once I get the parts assembled, I'm sure I'll have questions.

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