230V Air Conditioner and HomeKit, part 9: The Box

I knew from the start of this project that I'd need to put all the components in an enclosure. This was to be a semi-permanent installation; I couldn't have wires and heat sinks dangling everywhere. Sam Groveman suggested this type of project box. I picked one that would be big enough to hold the solid-state relays along…

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230V Air Conditioner and HomeKit, part 8: Power Cords

Did you read part 7 yet? If you thought to yourself "I don't need to read part 7" that means you need to read part 7. (The exception is if you're a licensed electrician, of course.) Now I've reached the stage that Goldy is dreading: Working with power cords. The point of this project was to use…

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230V Air Conditioner and HomeKit, part 7: Electrocuting Goldfish

In my previous post in this saga, I'd just reached the point when I start talking about power cords. Before I go any further, we have to deal with some practical stuff. Starting with my next post on this project, I'm going to describe how I worked with wires that carry household current. These lines carry 120V…

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230V Air Conditioner and HomeKit, part 6: Solid-State Relays

In the last part of this overly-extended saga, I described how I got a Raspberry Pi to send signals to the pins on its circuit board. The next step is to get the signal from those pins to control the flow of electricity through a 240V power cord. I found several posts on the web (here's one)…

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Wizard’s Staff

Like many folks, I have that box in my closet filled with cables that I keep "just in case." Today I decided to go through that box and toss out the stuff that I knew was obsolete or that I'd never use again. Sure, there was the usual batch of BNC cables and excess power cords. But…

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230V Air Conditioner and HomeKit, part 5: GPIO

In part 3 of project blog, I described setting up a Raspberry Pi. In part 4 I went over how I installed Homebridge on the RPi so that it could communicate with Apple's Homekit. Everything I described in those two parts did not require a Raspberry Pi; I could have done it on my desktop Mac. Now…

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230V Air Conditioner and HomeKit, part 4: HomeKit

In my previous post on this project, I described my initial set-up of my Raspberry Pi. The next step was to interface the RPi (see how nonchalant I've become?) to HomeKit, Apple's mechanism for home automation. There's already software for this written by the RPi user community: Homebridge. Homebridge depends on another package, Node.js, which I see…

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NieR: Automata

About a year ago, I joked that from now on, all console games that I played must have a colon in their name, because the ones I played with a colon were more fun. Then I played God of War, which I enjoyed despite its lack of a colon. Now I come to NieR: Automata. I purchased…

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230V Air Conditioner and HomeKit, part 3: Raspberry Pi

Warning: For the rest of this series of blog posts about this project, I'm going to take a "golly gee-whiz" approach. If you're an experienced Maker, computer programmer, electrician, or human being you may be bored by them. However, please feel free to read on and (a) laugh at my ignorance, and/or (b) warn me that I'm…

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Interlude in a waiting room

I had to have one of my regular blood tests today. After checking in, I sat in the waiting room. Opposite me was a TV tuned to the Fox network. A talk show called Wendy was just starting. Apparently a feature of the show was Wendy going over the recent news, with the studio audience applauding, cheering,…

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