A Raspberry Pi post for Pi day

I’ve recently fallen in love with Raspberry Pi computers again. The discovery of MQTT and io.adafruit.com for data logging lead me to Node Red.

Node Red is awesome! It’s like scratch programming for things!

Monitoring a fridge is as simple as drawing a few lines between some boxes.

For example. My fridge is starting to have some issues. It wants to keep freezing everything in the fridge. It dials the temperature setting all the way up and we don’t know why. I’ve taken the fridge apart as best as I can the last time we defrosted it just to wiggle all the wiring connections.

A quick gauge showing me the current fridge and freezer temp.

I wanted to really see what was going on with the fridge. I grabbed a Raspberry Pi Zero W and a couple of 1 wire digital thermometers and put together a Fridge monitoring system in a couple of hours. I can now see what happens with my fridge. It does a defrost sequence and comes out of it cold, freezing up the fridge.

I made my own ‘flat’ wires from some old phone wire and electrical tape. This allows the doors to still close and seal around the wires.
With the Raspberry Pi hiding underneath this ‘hat’ or ‘bonnet’ circuit board, the electronics doesn’t look like much. A pair of one wire (really 3) temperature probes and a pull-up resistor. Crazy simple.

A quick dashboard configuration, and I now have a view of the current temperature and a graph of the temperature history.

Hey, something changed! I removed a beverage allowing the cold air from the freezer to hit the temperature probe directly and show a wider temperature swing.

Add a couple of more nodes and I now get email notifications when the fridge is too cold. Another node, and the Google Home announces the too-cold temperature.

My fridge now complains that it is cold.

How epic is that? Under $20 worth of parts to give my fridge a voice.

Hide Away Rolling Pantry

Adventures of a door.

Over the last few weeks, my front door has gotten a little blue.

I think it turned out pretty good. My wife picked out the color, I just applied the paint. I don't think she realized that I am going to get some white letters for above the door and label the door "Police call box".

Having seen all the kids and junk I've crammed inside, it is indeed bigger on the inside than it would appear.

In album 5/24/16

Ava's room

When we bought the house, there is one room we referred to as the 'stupid room' as it was the smallest room, biggest closet, and 2 doors. We set it up as an office and library. Worked great.

With Ava, we decided that the time had come, the office is going away, it's the nursery. We'd discussed the very thing when we bought the house. 

So, this had the last of the original carpet. So I replaced the carpet. Katie ordered a wall decal set that I made work with the crib. 

Today I hung adjustable shelves so the largest closet in the house can be put to better use. It's a mix of baby stuff and kitchen stuff. 

In album 2014-12-28

The new carpet is much better. I put down extra padding so it should be extra soft for babies and standing changing diapers.

I really like the decals. It makes the room look nice.

And the closet. With this installed, I am DONE with this room. Only a 6 month project?

Some nasty dirty carpet. I painted the walls before replacing the carpet, knowing I didn’t care about the old stuff.

Did a pretty good job of getting the carpet the right size. Not much left over.

I’d bought carpet laying tools when I bought the house and layed the other carpets. I am 1 extension set short. So I improvised.

I made a shoe rack for behind the front door

I bought a bundle of fifteen 1x2s for $12. There are some pretty twisted, gnarly looking boards in the bundle. My dad taught me how to selectively cut with the twists and kinks in mind so the project turns out in the end. I've only 1 wonky spot I am not happy about. I used 3/4 of the bundle of wood with only a dozen of so 6 inch scraps left over.

It's built with tools my wife has gotten me over the last couple of birthdays. I love tools.

In album Shoe rack

The shoe rack is designed to fit behind the door. I’ve notched it to fit around the baseboard. It’s extended across the heat register to dry gloves and is rounded so I don’t bang my lag on the corner.

The inner space worked out to be perfectly square. Not sure how that happened, but I will pretend it’s planned.

The door opens flush against the table.

The lower shelf is angled so big shoes can fit toes towards the back.

Gloves, hats, shoes, & boots all fit on the little table. I think I like it.