Tag Archive for 'ha'

Building and Booting Upstream Linux and U-Boot for Raspberry Pi 2/3 ARM Boards

My home automation setup will make use of Arduinos and also embedded Linux devices. I’m currently looking into a few boards to see if any meet my criteria. Previously I looked at the Orange Pi One, now I’m looking at the Raspberry Pi 2 (which is compatible with the 3).

The most important factor for me is that the device must be supported in upstream Linux (preferably stable, but mainline will do) and U-Boot. I do not wish to use any old, crappy, vulnerable vendor trees!

The Raspberry Pi needs little introduction. It’s a small ARM device, created for education, that’s taken the world by storm and is used in lots of projects.

Raspberry Pi 2, powered by USB with 3v UART connected

Raspberry Pi 2, powered by USB with 3v UART connected

The Raspberry Pi actually has native support for booting a kernel, you don’t have to use U-Boot. However, one of the neat things about U-Boot is that it can provide netboot capabilities, so that you can boot your device from images across the network (we’re just going to use it to boot a kernel and initramfs, however).

One of the other interesting things about the Raspberry Pi is that there are lots of ways to tweak the device using a config.txt file.

The Raspberry Pi 3 has a 64bit CPU, however it is probably best run in 32bit mode (as a Raspberry Pi 2) as 64bit userland is not particularly advanced in ARM world, yet.

Fedora 25 will finally support Raspberry Pi 2 and 3 (although not all peripherals will be supported right away).

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Building and Booting Upstream Linux and U-Boot for Orange Pi One ARM Board (with Ethernet)

My home automation setup will make use of Arduinos and also embedded Linux devices. I’m currently looking into a few boards to see if any meet my criteria.

The most important factor for me is that the device must be supported in upstream Linux (preferably stable, but mainline will do) and U-Boot. I do not wish to use any old, crappy, vulnerable vendor trees!

The Orange Pi One is a small, cheap ARM board based on the AllWinner H3 (sun8iw7p1) SOC with a quad-Core Cortex-A7 ARM CPU and 512MB RAM. It has no wifi, but does have an onboard 10/100 Ethernet provided by the SOC (Linux patches incoming). It has no NAND flash (not supported upstream yet anyway), but does support SD. There is lots of information available at http://linux-sunxi.org.

Orange Pi One

Orange Pi One

Note that while Fedora 25 does not yet support this board specifically it does support both the Orange Pi PC (which is effectively a more full-featured version of this device) and the Orange Pi Lite (which is the same but swaps Ethernet for WiFi). Using either of those configurations should at least boot on the Orange Pi One.

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My Custom Open Source Home Automation Project – Part 3, Roll Out

In Part 1 I discussed motivation and research where I decided to build a custom, open source wired solution. Part 2 discussed the prototype and other experiments.

Because we were having to fit in with the builder, I didn’t have enough time to finalise the smart system, so I needed a dumb mode. This Part 3 is about rolling out dumb mode in Smart house!

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My Custom Open Source Home Automation Project – Part 2, Design and Prototype

In Part 1 I discussed motivation and research where I decided to build a custom, open source wired solution. In this Part 2 I discuss the design and the prototype that proved the design.

Wired Design

Although there are options like 1-Wire, I decided that I wanted more flexibility at the light switches.

  • Inspired by Jon Oxer’s awesome SuperHouse.tv
  • Individual circuits for lights and some General Purpose Outlets (GPO)
  • Bank of relays control the circuits
  • Arduinos and/or embedded Linux devices control the relays

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My Custom Open Source Home Automation Project – Part 1, Motivation and Research

In January 2016 I gave a presentation at the Canberra Linux Users Group about my journey developing my own Open Source home automation system. This is an adaptation of that presentation for my blog. Big thanks to my brother, Tim, for all his help with this project!

Comments and feedback welcome.

Why home automation?

  • It’s cool
  • Good way to learn something new
  • Leverage modern technology to make things easier in the home

At the same time, it’s kinda scary. There is a lack of standards and lack of decent security applied to most Internet of Things (IoT) solutions.

Continue reading ‘My Custom Open Source Home Automation Project – Part 1, Motivation and Research’