Controlling Central Heating Via Wi-Fi

If you’ve ever lived in a building with manually controlled central heating, you’ll probably understand [Martin]’s motivation for this hack. These heating systems often have old fashioned valves to control the radiator. No Nest support, no thermostat, just a knob you turn.

To solve this problem, [Martin] built a Wi-Fi enabled thermostat. This impressive build brings together a custom PCB based on the ESP8266 Wi-Fi microcontroller and a mobile-friendly web UI based on the Open Thermostat Scheduler. The project’s web server is fully self-contained on the ESP8266.

To replace that manual value, [Martin] used a thermoelectric actuator from a Swiss company called HERZ. This is driven by a relay, which is controlled by the ESP8266 microcontroller. Based on the schedule and the measured temperature, the actuator lets fluid flow through the radiator and heat the room.

As a bonus, the device supports NTP for getting the time, MQTT for publishing real-time data, and ThingSpeak for logging and graphing historic data. The source code and design files are available under a Creative Commons license.

Arduino Thermostat Includes Vacation Mode

When [William’s] thermostat died, he wanted an upgrade. He found a few off-the-shelf Internet enabled thermostats, but they were all very expensive. He knew he could build his own for a fraction of the cost.

The primary unit synchronizes it’s time using NTP. This automatically keeps things up to date and in sync with daylight savings time. There is also a backup real-time clock chip in case the Internet connection is lost. The unit can be controlled via the physical control panel, or via a web interface. The system includes a nifty “vacation mode” that will set the temperature to a cool 60 degrees Fahrenheit while you are away. It will then automatically adjust the temperature to something more comfortable before you return home.

[William’s] home is split into three heat zones. Each zone has its own control panel including an LCD display and simple controls. The zones can be individually configured from either their own control panel or from the central panel. The panels include a DHT22 temperature and humidity sensor, an LCD display, a keypad, and support electronics. This project was clearly well thought out, and includes a host of other small features to make it easy to use.

Fubarino Contest: NTP Clock

fubarino-ntp-clock

[Toni] has been playing around with NTP, the Network Time Protocol. This allows the alarm clock build to keep very accurate time by synchronizing with an NTP server on the Internet.

The project serves as a bedside alarm clock. When it comes time to wake in the morning an alarm sounds and the screen switches from using a blue backlight to using a red one. This is show in the video below, but you’ll want to turn down your speakers before watching it; the alarm sound will have no problem waking you up in the morning. After the unwelcomed jolt you’ll get a glimpse at the Easter Egg which reminds you to check for new posts on Hackaday.

Afraid of ending up with a steaming pile of slag instead of a server [Toni] asked us to host the project files. You can find the first-hand description of the project and a link to the code below.


This is an entry in the Fubarino Contest for a chance at one of the 20 Fubarino SD boards which Microchip has put up as prizes!

Continue reading “Fubarino Contest: NTP Clock”

Router/Twitter/Arduino clock

ledclock

[Kyle] decided to build the above LED clock for his church. Though it may look impressive enough, it is also hiding loads of features. [Kyle] wanted to make the clock as easy to control as possible, so rather than use buttons or dials to control what is being displayed, he used Twitter. The clock is connected to the internet through a Linksys WRT54GL. The router was hacked so not only does it supply the connection to Twitter, it also parses all of the replies the clock’s feed gets. The clock responds to commands to turn it on or off, run a countdown before service, display the number of viewers on the church’s live stream, and display a sequence of numbers. The time never needs to be set, as it is synched from the internet. The circuit for actually driving the display is based off a PIC, but it was changed to run off an Arduino.