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Re: RV Integration

Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:01 pm
by DougieLawson
If the drive is only ever going to be used on your Raspberry then formatting as ext4 makes most sense.

Re: RV Integration

Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 3:02 am
by ebaierl
Well, I temporarily put that part on the back burner. I had a Lenovo Stick PC, so I'm in the process of transferring all my media over to the external hard drive since I finally got it working in Windows. I'll just use Kodi on Windows to play my media. So that part can be ignored for now, I'll come back to it later.

But now for the camera part. Someone mentioned using a Pi Zero W with camera attachment and having it autodownload to the central Pi3. I don't have a Zero W yet, so I'll have to wait on that, but I might get a different brand of HDD to hook up to the pi3 to make that work.

Basically what I want is to have a central repository for all my videos, so I can go through them, download or delete them, and back them up to my Mac where I'll be editing them. I'd like the Zero's to record video when I want them too, and shut them off when I don't need them recording. I'm not sure how big the video files would be, but I assume a 64gb microSD would be good enough to record, and then they could transfer the videos to the central Pi3 where they would be backed up.

I really have no idea how to do this though. My experience with the raspberry is installing Raspbian, getting it connected to the network, and updating everything. I've played a little with Raspbian, but not in much depth. I'm coming from macOS, and I have experience with UNIX on an Alpha in college, so I'm comfortable with command lines. Beyond that though, I'm lost. I've been researching the camera module, and I know how to get VNC working so I can use a GUI if I need to, but I prefer the command line.

So am I getting in over my head? It would basically be its own small wifi network with just the pi's. I can physically disconnect and reconnect the HDD if I need to, that would be faster file transfer than downloading them over wifi anyway.

Re: RV Integration

Posted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:30 pm
by ebaierl
Eight months later and I bring this back from the dead. Maybe someone is still subscribed to this thread.

I wrote a long post on my blog ( ... verywhere/) about what I all want to do with this RV and turn it into a Smart Home on Wheels. In case you don't want to go to my site and read it all, I'll sum it up here.

I have a ZTE Mobley through AT&T. It has unlimited data, so we use it all the time. Right now, I have a Frankenstein network set up with too many devices. I want to fix that. I can connect the Mobley to the Router Pi through USB instead of wifi, which I'm hoping might be faster. Then I want the data to be sent from the RouterPi over ethernet to a switch that connects almost everything else in the RV. I don't think the RouterPi will have enough speed over wifi, so I should get a switch with wifi and just use the RouterPi as the gateway to the outside.

Temperature Sensor
For this, I found temperature sensors on Amazon, and I can get away with using a Zero W. It won't be sending out a lot of data, so it doesn't need to be hefty, its really only going to be used to get the temperature and send it to the core unit. If possible, I might give it a small display that shows inside and outside temps, but I'm still looking into that.

File Sharing
We have two Mac laptops, two Android tablets, two iPhones, and that's it. I want to set up a Pi3 to work as a Time Machine backup for the MacBooks. I think if I get a 3TB drive, I can partition it so each laptop has 1TB of space for just it, then I use the last roughly 1TB for file storage of things we like to keep, but don't want on our laptop hard drives. I found a way to use OneDrive, so that the third TB will be always synched with a OneDrive account specifically for it. We have 2 out of 5 accounts used in our Microsoft account, so we can make one dedicated to just those files in there. With netatalk, this should be easy. I've done it before, so I think if I format the HDDs on the Pi to ext4, it might be able to connect to the Macs fine.

Media Server
I want a dedicated Pi3 for this with two 8TB drives set up so one backs up to the other periodically. I'll just use Plex, since that is what I use now and I've gotten comfortable with it. 8TB drives are under $200 now too, so I can afford that. There isn't really much else to this one. I do have to figure out how to automate backing up though, I'm not sure how complex that would be. I dunno if I can set up a RAID with two separate hard drives over USB, or if I should just get one hard drive enclosure that holds two drives and be done with that. 8TB is also a lot, right now we have one 4TB drive and its got about 750GB free.

Still working on cameras. I don't need these right away though, but I'll probably start with one Pi Zero W with a camera and have it send the video files to the File Sharing Pi. I may have to get a bigger hard drive just for storing that video, but we can also delete stuff if it ever gets near full.

Smart Home Automation
For this, I'm going to most likely just use openHABian. I haven't had the chance to install it on anything yet, but I did install the client app on a tablet and I really like it. This piece is going to be important to the whole system though, so hopefully I can use it to view camera feeds live, control the temperature or turn on/off the heater and lights, stuff like that. I found a company that builds DC relays, so if I can get some of those, it should be easy enough to control the lights at least. We have a portable infrared heater too, so if I put something at the power outlet for that, I can turn it on and off I think. Might require a bit of work, but I think its possible.

Core Unit
Then there is this beast. I want this one to be more powerful than just a Raspberry Pi 3. I found instructions on how to build a cluster, so I might do that. If I could connect for Pi 3s together into one computer, that would be great. I don't know if I need that much power but I'd like to try it anyway. Basically, I want it to receive data from the other computers and upload it to my remote web host. On the web host, I'll set up a dedicated PHO page for just displaying data from the other computers. I'm not sure yet if I want to make it its own URL completely or just put it under one of my other sites. But ideally, the core unit will take the data like temperature, camera feeds, and I'm not sure what else yet, and upload it to a MySQL database. Then the web server will have a script that grabs the latest 4 hours of data or something like that. I can have it display current temp and I think I can figure out how yo display a graph showing which way its trending. And once I get the cameras set up, I'm hoping I can post a still photo every minute or 30 seconds, and if at all possible, be able to go to the live feed from one camera at a time. There can be other info I'd like too, such as whether windows or doors are opened up, maybe humidity in the RV. I don't know what other data would be useful though.

Somethings I might be doing overkill on. The smart home doesn't really need a lot of power, I think. And the file sharing could be an older Pi too. But I figure if I'm going to do this, I'm going make it damn nice.

Also, I am getting more batteries and an Inverter/charger. I'm going to run a cable straight from the battery bank to a fuse box and then to all the Pis. I'm also going to hook up a small inverter, because things like the HDD need AC power usually. This way if a breaker blows or the shore power goes out, the batteries will still be kicking out power and the smart tech will still work.

So yeah, that's what I'm working on now. I've got a lot of work to do, a lot of research to research, and a lot of money to earn so I can figure out how to do this all.

Re: RV Integration

Posted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:15 pm
by ebaierl
One other thing I'd like to add. For the media server I'd also like to have a way to control it from a tablet mounted in the dash of the RV. We have a large hole currently, about 15 inches square, and its the perfect place to mount a cheap Android tablet. I'm not sure how well the Plex app works for Android, or if there is a better option. It would be great it I could select music to play through the vehicle's speakers from a display in the front. I could easily make a web page and have it locally stored to display on the tablet with large buttons or something. Maybe I'll have to post that on the Plex forums.

Re: RV Integration

Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:35 pm
by ebaierl
Well after some flirtation with Win10, I've come back to using a few Pi3's for this project. I have to figure out the power issue though, which is my main concern. If I can figure out how to power everything from the 12volt batteries in the RV, then I never have to worry about them be shut off. I'm looking at fuse boxes for vehicles, so I think I can run cable into that, have a fuse, and then have some sort of voltage regulator off of that for the Pi's, or else add a cigarette lighter attachment that I think has a built in regulator and power everything that way.

I still need to get a couple more Pi's though. I have only one at the moment, not sure when I'll be able to get more, so I can play with the one I have for now. I had openHABian installed on it and saved the memory card as is, so I can just plug that in when I get the rest of the hardware. The one I have now has RetroPie installed on it, but as the same with the openHABian card, I can just take it out and save it for later.

Re: RV Integration

Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:28 pm
by oprwiz
I'm a new member. ive registered to this group after reading your posts on this. I'm wondering how youre making out as I'm looking at doing similar for my RV...

Re: RV Integration

Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:01 pm
by ebaierl
Not coming along nearly as fast as I'd hoped. I have plex and RetroPie set up, and that's really it at this point. I've been working on other stuff, btu I think I might have to make a dedicated Ubuntu box to work as a file server, rclone backup, Plex server, and web server, and then have a Pi for RetroPie and one for openHAB. Once I get that box set up, the other parts should be easy to fit into place.

I am also working on a smart pantry/inventory system, but I think I can do that with a downloaded PHP/MySQL setup. There's a few inventory web based systems out there, but most of them are far beyond what I need in terms of power. If I can find something smaller and more simple, then I'll figure out how to edit it and make so I can keep track of our food and supplies and stuff.