Paws for thought…

or how to wake the cats up from sleeping on our bed.

PIR Alarm System

PIR Movement Alarm System

OK, not really, but I thought I’d share with you the hardware complete home alarm system.  Code is still the same as before, so needs function added to text owners etc when the alarm sounds.  For now I just wanted to let you know the project still lives, and will start progressing again.

P.S.  Anyone know how to send texts from software?  If so, do get in touch.

P.P.S. The paws in question…

Bovril & Marmite

Bovril & Marmite

How to build an AlarmPi

Here’s the contents of the breadboard. Some of this stock was ordered from uk.farnell.com but was sent by Newark, their US partner. As a result, postage costs £16 per order, so make sure you include all you need. In my case it was

Here’s the code – you can tell from GPIO_SWITCH, GPIO_LED, GPIO_PIR and GPIO_SOUNDER which device (sensor or output) is connected to which pin on the breadboard Pi Cobbler.

Here’s a bigger pic of the breadboard.  +3.3v from Cobbler pin one is connected to both red lines.  Ground from Cobbler pins 6 & 9 are connected to both the blue rails.

AlarmPi breadboard

AlarmPi breadboard details

That’s all for now, both because I’m gonna have another shot (metaphorically for the moment) at the Drone, and also, there’s a minor restriction in the RPi.GPIO library which needs fixing (by me?) before I can progress on the hubs.  I’ll explain more in another post.

Say hello to AlarmPi…

This is my change is as good as a rest!  It took me probably 4 days, a couple of hours each day to create, once I had all the parts.

RaspberryPi Home Alarm System by pistuffing.co.uk from Andy Baker on Vimeo.

For now, that’s as far as this is going, I’m now motivated enough to spend a bit more time on DronePi, but keep watching as the next stage is going to be a big challenge for unexpected reasons…

A change is as good as a rest…

I’m really struggling to get this drone to hover stably, and in the mean time, some neighbo(u)rs of of ours were burgled.  And that got me thinking about home alarm systems, which rapidly led to a cunning plan:

  • Digital Passive Infra-Red (PIR) motion detection sensors are easily available
  • Combine one of those with a RaspberryPi Model B, a power supply, a switch, and a piezo sounder, and you have a standalone, per-room alarm system
  • Add in a power-line system (we already have one by TP-Link as our house is made of brick which WiFi does go through well), a PiCam per AlarmPi and an ethernet connection, and you can connect these AlarmPi’s together to a central control AlarmHubPi which could then do one of many things if an alarm was triggered such as
    • set off all the AlarmPi to shreik throught the house
    • text or phone the house owner
    • call the police or the neighbo(u)rs
    • video the intruders and post to the cloud as evidence
    • set off CS gas canisters in the rooms
    • lockdown (or electify) the house so the intruder is available for arrest.

With such a vast array of punishment available, you really need to make sure it doesn’t get dealt out to you.  Rather than a boring (and forgettable) number pad, how about face recognition provided by a PiCam at the AlarmHub?  That would mean anyone in a family, even remote, could, once the face recognistion is trained, disable the alarm simply by smiling at the hub?

I have Pi’s a plenty and other than the power-line ethernet connection, the rest of the kit is perhaps £25 per AlarmPi.  I have the hardware for the first standalone AlarmPi ready for building, so I think I’ll give the drone a break for a week or two.  Don’t worry, it’ll be back, but sometimes, direct thought fails, and only time-out leads to the epiphany.