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Brainstorming project ideas for the nodeMCU

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  • Brainstorming project ideas for the nodeMCU

    I'm starting this thread just as a placeholder for ideas of how to use the nodeMCU and the arduino plugin in some sort of automation project.

    There are three ideas on my list that I'll throw out to get it started.
    Last edited by logbuilder; June 30th, 2017, 07:26 PM.

  • #2
    Scene Remote Controller

    Wireless device with 6-8 buttons used to select scenes.

    Project box with a nodeMCU inside powered by a battery. One switch on box for master OFF/ON. Switches the battery on or off. Then 6 momentary press buttons attached to digital pins each labeled with a scene/event name. When pressed, an event is triggered that does what ever you want. Turn the master switch to OFF when done.

    A DIY version of the mini mote.

    Comment


    • #3
      Meat Smoker Temp Monitor

      nodeMCU with 2 or more analog temperature probes. One probe for grate surface temp and the other for internal meat temperature. nodeMCU would sample the probes and update devices in HS3. Create a new screen for my HSTouch app to show smoker status.

      Comment


      • #4
        Electric Blanket Controller

        This one is kind of lame but it was an idea I had really early on in my automation journey but was never able to do with just Insteon switches. I think it is now possible with a nodeMCU.

        Need the ability to turn an electric blanket ON or OFF via a HS3 device. On my blanket, would need to 'hack' the ON/OFF button so that the nodeMCU could control it. I've seen some youtube videos of people doing this.

        Research needed but it does seem feasible.

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        • #5
          Exhaust Fan for unconditioned areas

          My house has no cooling via AC. I also have several outbuildings. The idea is to build an Arduino based device that would monitor a couple of temp sensors (one inside and one outside) and determine if an exhaust fan should be turned ON or OFF. It could control a relay that provided power to the exhaust fan likely mounted near the peak.

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          • #6
            Long time ago I had them in a case with a 240vac relay. I was able to deploy them around the house as needed, particularly on lights. One in particular was a light we had outside in a corner (sitting area) that I could not get wiring to..
            HS 2.2.0.11

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            • #7
              Originally posted by logbuilder View Post
              Exhaust Fan for unconditioned areas

              My house has no cooling via AC. I also have several outbuildings. The idea is to build an Arduino based device that would monitor a couple of temp sensors (one inside and one outside) and determine if an exhaust fan should be turned ON or OFF. It could control a relay that provided power to the exhaust fan likely mounted near the peak.
              Heh we do that with two box (one intake and one exhaust) fans with our house. However they are turned "on" and then plugged into Z-wave controlled receptacle. One is in an upstairs window in the loft and the other is in the kitchen on the main floor. Virtual device for the status of the windows (open or closed) as they are not automated or monitored. So when the windows are open, temperature is 2 degrees below the house temp and the time is after 6pm turn the fans on. If the windows are closed the house will ask if the windows can be opened. If there is rain forecasted and the windows are open the house will tell us and shut the fans off if they're running. Fans also shut off in the morning when the outside ambient temp has reached 2 degrees below the house temperature.

              I thought the NodeMCU would be neat to integrate with a 4 bank relay, so you could control the 3 speeds of the fan. So it'd be a bit smarter than turning it on and off at the plug.

              Now I am not super super knowledgeable with networking, but what I'd like to see is to have the NodeMCU work with dynamic DNS, like this https://freedns.afraid.org/

              https://github.com/nikant/AfraidDDNS

              So that way you could program the device with the sketch, and define the SSID and password it will connect to. Go out within range of that WIFI for it to connect and then HS3 Arduino plugin could communicate with this device anywhere in the world.

              I'd set up a few nodes where necessary, brother in law's cabin, rental property etc... Write a few events to send text messages or emails based on motion etc...

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Conrad_Turbo View Post

                Now I am not super super knowledgeable with networking, but what I'd like to see is to have the NodeMCU work with dynamic DNS, like this https://freedns.afraid.org/

                https://github.com/nikant/AfraidDDNS

                So that way you could program the device with the sketch, and define the SSID and password it will connect to. Go out within range of that WIFI for it to connect and then HS3 Arduino plugin could communicate with this device anywhere in the world.

                I'd set up a few nodes where necessary, brother in law's cabin, rental property etc... Write a few events to send text messages or emails based on motion etc...
                Now that is an interesting idea - the ability for a node outside of the local network being able to talk to the plugin.

                I'm going to have to ponder on that a while to come up with some valid use cases.

                Golly, it sure is intriguing though.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Main Electrical Panel Power Usage Meter

                  Intent is to attach a nodeMCU to two power main sensors and be able to report the current energy usage of the whole panel. This might be a good first step into the world of house energy management.

                  These are the sensors that may be attached to the two mains.

                  TOOGOO(R) 0.01-120A 0.5M Wire Split-core Current Transformer

                  Here is an Instructables project that would be a good start.

                  http://www.instructables.com/id/Inte...nergy-monitor/

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                  • #10
                    DIY Arduino based Kill-A-Watt outlet monitor

                    Functionally equivalent DIY version of the Kill-A-Watt commercial product. An advantage would be that it would wirelessly communicate usage back to HS3 so that actions could be taken such as log to a file for later analysis.

                    One interesting idea might be to combine the usage monitoring with device control. In other words, the new device would be attached to the wall outlet and a device to be monitored/controlled would be plugged in. The Arduino would be able to monitor and report usage but would also have the ability to turn the device on or off. A relay could be incorporated for this purpose. Must insure that Arduino is always powered. Relay would just control the plug for the monitored device.

                    I doubt it would live in a single location for long periods of time. I'm thinking more about it being moved around from location to location monitoring usage and characterizing each device.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Gas Furnace Monitor

                      I have a propane gas furnace that provides heat during winter. I'd be interested in putting a monitor on it and see how frequently it cycles and for how long. Combine that info with temp readings and some interesting things could be done.

                      My furnace has a LED on the front that flashes the status which can be one of about 5 things. I was thinking why not tie in to that LED and use a nodeMCU to monitor the flashes. I can time them and even alert if something is wrong.

                      Info can be surfaced on HSTouch app. Useful when away from house.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Why not just tie an event to a z-wave thermostat when heat mode is called?

                        Robert
                        HS3PRO 3.0.0.500 as a Fire Daemon service, Windows 2016 Server Std Intel Core i5 PC HTPC Slim SFF 4GB, 120GB SSD drive, WLG800, RFXCom, TI103,NetCam, UltraNetcam3, BLBackup, CurrentCost 3P Rain8Net, MCsSprinker, HSTouch, Ademco Security plugin/AD2USB, JowiHue, various Oregon Scientific temp/humidity sensors, Z-Net, Zsmoke, Aeron Labs micro switches, Amazon Echo Dots, WS+, WD+ ... on and on.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by langenet View Post
                          Why not just tie an event to a z-wave thermostat when heat mode is called?

                          Robert
                          Good question. Several answers, most specific to my environment.
                          1. I have no z-wave installed as of yet.
                          2. My thermostat is Honeywell wifi based. It works well. Mainly I have it so that I can control it remotely. IE. Winter and I want to warm up house before arrival. I can't justify paying for the plugin.
                          3. Knowing that the furnace is working would be nice. Also, if there is a problem, that LED flashes a sequence to tell you what is wrong. I've had problems with the water drain freezing in the past. Never really caused a problem other than shutting down the furnace. I was away. I did notice it by seeing then temp drop and was fortunate to be there soon enough to get the wood stove going and the pipe unfrozen.
                          4. Monitoring of energy is something I want to experiment with.


                          Your suggestion is a great one and I've pondered it several times. Seems to me the best two candidates for bringing z-wave into my system are the thermostat and smoke detectors. I've thought about building nodeMCU smoke detectors but I'm not ready to put really critical systems on it quite yet. I figure the manufacturers that build them are much better at it than me.

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                          • #14
                            I used to have a RCS16B X-10 thermostat which worked well for me when I was on HS2. Then when I went to HS3 I went to a Train XL624 Z-wave stat. I can control it by Alexa and monitor/control with Imperihome via my phone. I can also speak to my phone via the Reverb app and set the temp there if I want. It's ultra reliable and works without a hitch - much improved from the old X-10 stat. Mind you, HS3 is much improved with functionality as well...

                            I'm all for Arduino solutions and am just getting into them now, but sounds like a needless re-invention of the wheel to me over a solid stat solution.

                            Robert
                            HS3PRO 3.0.0.500 as a Fire Daemon service, Windows 2016 Server Std Intel Core i5 PC HTPC Slim SFF 4GB, 120GB SSD drive, WLG800, RFXCom, TI103,NetCam, UltraNetcam3, BLBackup, CurrentCost 3P Rain8Net, MCsSprinker, HSTouch, Ademco Security plugin/AD2USB, JowiHue, various Oregon Scientific temp/humidity sensors, Z-Net, Zsmoke, Aeron Labs micro switches, Amazon Echo Dots, WS+, WD+ ... on and on.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by langenet View Post
                              I'm all for Arduino solutions and am just getting into them now, but sounds like a needless re-invention of the wheel to me over a solid stat solution.

                              Robert
                              Yea, I agree. When it comes to thermostats and smoke detectors, not worth trying to reinvent the wheel. I'm sure one of these will get me into z-wave but neither are inexpensive so it will be a while before I jump in.

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