Some time ago I bought a Raspberry Pi 3B with the RPI-RF-MOD extension module and the corresponding case. It’s also possible to buy all in a set: Buy link (I am not affiliated). There is an image available that works like a charm for this setup, whcih can be found here. Multiple models are supported, so make sure you download the correct release.

I am very happy with this setup. HomeMatic provides a multitude of different devices ranging from simple sensors (temperature, light, …) to quite sophisticated weather stations. There are also actuators available for heating control, blinds/shutters to alarm sirens. What is even more interetting is that general relays and comunication modules are available, so you can also build your own smart home devices!

However, the most interesting selling point to me is the possibility to install NODE-Red with a complete library of CCU blocks. NODE-Red provides a visual programming platform to easily interface the CCU and all its sensors with an interactive web interface. You can find more information here.

I currently use it to control the temperature in our rooms. With the provided control interfaces I can dial in a desired temperature that is then send to the corresponding heating actuator and the updated temperature is then displayed again on the website; closing the loop. And since no extra software is required I can easily access the heating controls with my PC, my laptop or with any smartphone.

Furthermore, I set up another raspberry with PiVPN, which allows me to easily set up a virtual private network. After creating user certificates and loading them on my smartphone using the official OpenVPN app I can access the smart home controls from anywhere in the world (As long as I have an internet connections :-P ).

Finally, something that blew my mind: RedMobile
This allows to use Node-RED on any Android smartphone including interfacing the sensors and “actuators” in your phone! As far as I can see you can access all sensor information and control the built-in camera! It is also possible to use the text-to-speech and speech-to-text features. In combination with the HTTP repsonse nodes available on both ends I can set up the phone to be a slave to the master control unit. Think about the possibilities:

  • Speech control for home automation
    • “Set temperature in bathroom to 23°C”
  • Have verbal notifications on various status updates.
    • “You forgot to close the windows”
    • “The living room is at 18°C, you want me to set it to a comfortable 20°C?”
    • “Please water the plants in the study, it has been 3 days without water”
  • The light sensors can be used to control the blinds
  • Safety: the camera can send images in case the phone is being moved

All these possibilities! I will write up some more posts as soon as I have something to show.