Category Archives: Raspberry Pi

Monitoring My House

My standard setup is an Arduino connected to PC either a Raspberry Pi or a nearby PC that can serve as a host.

I decided to relocate my server outside into the garage and I was concerned about how it would cope in the cold and sometimes dusty new environment. My first step was to step up monitoring internally for the server. Disk drive and main board temperatures along with fan speeds would need to be logged. This is covered in detail in my next post.

Once the internal stuff was done I looked at external factors, humidity and temperature being the most important. This is familiar ground for me and setting up a report Arduino was simple as I had a few left from my greenhouses.

With the basics taken care of, I added a sensor to the door to alert if it remained open too long. I also added a check based on the time. The door should be closed between 23:00 and 07:00 most of the time. If it opens between these times I get an alert to my phone to investigate.

I’ll break down each stage in future blog posts.

Pi Wars

This weekend (6th December) I was lucky enough to attend at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect but it was a robotics event outside London so it was worth the risk.

I took my young ish son and a friend on the trip with the promise of robots and hopefully some robot wars style fun. We arrived a little bit early and had time to have a look around and chat to some of the exhibitors and robot owners before the competition kicked off.

The first that struck me was how friendly and happy to talk everyone was. Everyone was there to learn and even if they didn’t realise it, teach. My son was very impressed with these are small 3D printed bluetooth controlled like cars that could with follow a black line on white paper or be controlled manually. My friend and the guy running the display happily traded 3D printing stories while my son and I raced two little robot cars around the table.

All the robots taking part were Pi powered and varied in size. There were a number of different courses and challenges. The assault course below was a good watch with enough varied surfaces to challenge most of the robots.

Assault Course

The drag strip and the sumo fights were also great to watch. Some of the sumo matches ended up being a bit one sided.



Drag Race Sumo


It was a well organised and entertaining event. The boy and I intend to return, hopefully with a robot.

The venue was also very interesting, we went for a quick stroll for lunch and found an awesome old style telescope, well at least the container for it.