230V Air Conditioner and HomeKit, part 10: Are We Done Yet?

Of course not! The setup I described in my previous post has an issue that's not obvious: the fans are on all the time. They're powered by the +5V pins on the Raspberry Pi. The fans were pretty quiet, but they were still audible in a quiet room. It was also a waste of power. I wanted…

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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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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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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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230V Air Conditioner and HomeKit, part 2: The Air Conditioning

In what turned to be Part One of an adventure in the Internet of Things, I talked about wanting to control my air conditioner via Apple's Homekit. One option I contemplated was replacing my existing air conditioner. To get some idea of what it would take, I removed the front cover, which I've done every mumblety-mumble years…

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230V Air Conditioner and HomeKit

I could use some advice from anyone with electrical, appliance, and/or construction experience. I've got an old air conditioner in my apartment. It's the same one I had when I moved in, so it's at least 30 years old. I've also got Apple Homekit set up for other devices in my apartment (light bults and fans). The…

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