Raspberry Pi Home Automation book

Raspberry Pi Home Automation with Arduino is a book written by Andrew K. Dennis, and edited by Packt. With this book, the reader learns how to achieve automation tasks using a Raspberry Pi coupled with an Arduino.

After the classical Raspberry / Linux setup and requirements, the book covers several commons task in home automation :

  • Thermometer, to retrieve temperatures from several sensors
  • Thermostat, to control an heating system by switching relays based on Thermometer project
  • Data Storage, to log temperatures
  • Curtain Automation, based on an ambiant sensor and motor control

Finally, the book give few tips to help prototyping with Raspberry Pi.

All the book relies on the Cooking-Hacks RPi-to-Arduino bridge shield. All hardware stuff use the Arduino instead of directly use GPIO. As you will notice with upcoming WebIOPi 0.6, we can use GPIO to make many things, quite easily. We can connect sensors and also control motors without using many devices.

The RPi-to-Arduino bridge and so the book also require the arduPi firmware for the Arduino. In my opinion, the book is more about learning the bridge and arduPi firmware than learning all Raspberry Pi possibilities.

When the reader knows that, I have to admit the book is well written, with good explanations and code snippets. Moreover, using an Arduino with a Raspberry Pi is one of the best combo and a must have for any hobbyist geek and prototype builder. I say that to my friends and co-workers since the Raspberry Pi has been released. It gives the Pi missing hardware PWM output and Analog input with a single extension.

With passing time, I now rather think that the Raspberry Pi should be directly used for many common things, only using a cheap ADC like Microchip MCP3000 series or TI ADS1000 ones. It simplifies the circuit, consumes less, and allow to learn more on electronic components and industrial uses. Arduino should come only to help the Pi in several time critical task. For instance, measuring a PWM signal or using a wheel encoder.

The book is well enough written to reuse explanations in other contexts, and replacing the Arduino with something else should be easy as we can found many explanation on Internet. The Raspberry Pi forum and the Mag Pi are good starts, there is also many hobbyist blogs. But reading components data sheets is more interesting, exciting and provides more precise information. Combining stuff from the book and Internet will providing a powerful set of stuff to unleash the Raspberry Pi power in your electronic projects.

Advanced hobbyist who are already familiar with data sheet reading and implementation should pass away this book.

Intermediate skilled people should get this book to frame their knowledge and lead them further.

Beginners and people who already have both Arduino and Raspberry, but still don’t know how to connect them together must purchase it with the Cooking-Hack bridge. It will ensure a success in your Home Automation projects and learn you many things.

Raspberry Pi Home Automation with Arduino, edited by Packt.
Available at amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, packtpub.com in both paper and eBook.

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