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Old 22 November 2014, 14:35   #41
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Video on an bank of 8 relays:

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Old 22 November 2014, 14:49   #42
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Video showing speed of connectivity from iphone 5 using tilt function to control a radio controlled car. go straight to 1:40 ish rather than sit through the video intro...

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Old 23 November 2014, 13:56   #43
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OK, I think Biff has an iphone 4? (don't think a 4 has siri)

On Sunny he has 2 x led circuits, one is red to light the cockpit while night driving and the other is white to light the cockpit while moored up. There may be another set if he has underwater transom lights...

How it works...

Assuming the iphone can connect direct to the Pi using wifi and not the internet? (sorry i don't know how this bit works) It would need to work while walking to and from the boat.

So on the iphone there should be six commands:

White lights on
White lights off
Red lights on
Red lights off
*Blue lights on
*Blue lights off

*Assuming transom lights are fitted.

The Pi receives the signals and energises the required relay that is run in parallel to each led on/off switch.

How does that sound?? Probably completely wrong
So from a Pi principle this is a piece of p@@@. Easiest way is to put some form of webserver on the pi. Set its WiFi as an access point. Biff would connect to the WiFi and open browser and go to something like 192.168.1.1 and get web page with three toggle switches on it. Page needs to run a wee bit of code to switch the relay job done. Needs to be a latching relay I guess.

Now for some basic snags. Assuming you put a traditional switch in so you can do the lights with out the phone the web page doesn't know if they are on. If the are in parallel to the relay they will let you switch on from either but only off from the on that switched on. If they are in series they would need to both be on or either off. Better would be to put the switch panel as spring return switches to energise the relay.

Next - security. Need to think how you stop me finding Biffs boats and playing with his lights. But allow him to change phone, forget his phone and borrow a mates.

Next - he put the lights on to leave boat with the plan to switch off once in the car. He is out of range of WiFi so has to return to nearer the boat to switch off.

You could build in solutions for all of these I suspect. But unless he has shore power its gonna guzzle loads of juice. 800mA @5v is 4w, allowing for inefficient charger circuit probably 5w. From a 12v supply that's approaching 0.5A per hour. Or 12Ah per day. A decent size house battery on a boat will be flat in a week! The trouble is you can't make it go to sleep.

Bluetooth with Arduino type processor would be more efficient. Although range shorter.

Would be fine for an engine in function like monitoring fuel flow, fuel tank level, revs, GPS pos, coolant and oil temp, battery voltage and putting all on a SD card to take home and analyse to see what us most efficient etc.

Other advantage. Is you can reprogram easily. Not sure how much programming needed once the lights work.
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Old 23 November 2014, 18:24   #44
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This is all interesting stuff!

Now, I'm just gonna throw this out there - no real aim so sorry if it offends anyone...

The RIB that Poly and I had at Easdale had WiFi onboard. It connected to the NMEA2000 network. I had an App on my phone that apparently could control the Twin plotters, reproduced the engine data etc etc etc. Very cool stuff. Thing is, we never even looked at it. Too much fun pushing buttons* and driving the t1ts off the boat I'd kinda figured Biff for a toggle switch sorta guy...??

*The other kinda buttons - no-one got upset!
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Old 23 November 2014, 18:57   #45
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Biff's already bought a wireless remote for the lights, but hasn't fitted it as yet so it hasn't been tested for range etc.

Would he think a phone operated system was cool? Absolutely! Does he need it? No...

But you'll never get anywhere with anything if you don't have a go and a relay board costs a few quid, and a 8 relay board is a few quid more:

5V DC Eight 8 Channel Relay Module for Arduino Raspberry Pi Pic AVR | eBay

The thing is if you gave someone like Biff a phone operated 8 relay system and said run what you like off that either in the boat or the workshop, I think you would be surprised with what the outcome would be...

I really don't know anything about these boards, but I'm going to have a go
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Old 23 November 2014, 19:27   #46
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So from a Pi principle this is a piece of p@@@.
I agree, it's mid blowing and once you have the hardware which is I think a very low cost you can do loads with it

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Originally Posted by ShinyShoe View Post
Easiest way is to put some form of webserver on the pi. Set its WiFi as an access point. Biff would connect to the WiFi and open browser and go to something like 192.168.1.1 and get web page with three toggle switches on it. Page needs to run a wee bit of code to switch the relay job done. Needs to be a latching relay I guess.
Not sure about the latching relay, the one I've seen is here:

5V DC Eight 8 Channel Relay Module for Arduino Raspberry Pi Pic AVR | eBay

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Now for some basic snags. Assuming you put a traditional switch in so you can do the lights with out the phone the web page doesn't know if they are on. If the are in parallel to the relay they will let you switch on from either but only off from the on that switched on. If they are in series they would need to both be on or either off. Better would be to put the switch panel as spring return switches to energise the relay.
Yeah i did think of that... But really wanted to get the relays clicking before I looked into how it would be wired.

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Next - security. Need to think how you stop me finding Biffs boats and playing with his lights. But allow him to change phone, forget his phone and borrow a mates.
Can a password be put on the Pi's wifi to access it, like my home wifi?

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Next - he put the lights on to leave boat with the plan to switch off once in the car. He is out of range of WiFi so has to return to nearer the boat to switch off.
I would have thought in this application it would be used once off of the boat and on the pontoon.

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You could build in solutions for all of these I suspect. But unless he has shore power its gonna guzzle loads of juice. 800mA @5v is 4w, allowing for inefficient charger circuit probably 5w. From a 12v supply that's approaching 0.5A per hour. Or 12Ah per day. A decent size house battery on a boat will be flat in a week! The trouble is you can't make it go to sleep.
That's interesting Biff has two batteries, if one runs down (leisure battery) then he presses a button that switches the power over to the other battery to start the engines. It's interesting that it doesn't sleep.

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Bluetooth with Arduino type processor would be more efficient. Although range shorter.
May be, but I need to get my lad into programming rather than minecraft So I think having a go with the Pi has quite a lot of rewards other than making lights go on and off

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Would be fine for an engine in function like monitoring fuel flow, fuel tank level, revs, GPS pos, coolant and oil temp, battery voltage and putting all on a SD card to take home and analyse to see what us most efficient etc.
Now we are getting there 1st step buy it and have a go, 2nd take over the world

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Other advantage. Is you can reprogram easily. Not sure how much programming needed once the lights work.
Yeah, if you find another project for it then just take it out reprogram it and you're away.
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Old 23 November 2014, 19:33   #47
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Here's a video on a phone operated garage door system that probably costs less than 25

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Old 24 November 2014, 03:15   #48
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25 + the Pi? Unless you've found a cheaper source of PiS than me the Pi will cost close to 25, then you have relay board, power, break out cable, SD card USB WiFi. No case for it in a garage possibly OK, would want to protect on a boat. Even in garage I suspect leaving it in cased will affect life.
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Old 24 November 2014, 03:17   #49
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May be, but I need to get my lad into programming rather than minecraft
Why? If you really want him to be engaged with programming it's better to find stuff that he's interested in rather than what you think is cool.

You're an old fart, and don't understand the appeal of Minecraft. I don't either, but don't make the mistake of underestimating it. We may have absolutely no interest in playing it, but that doesn't make it bad. Minecraft is a fantastically wide ranging game with plenty of opportunity for problem solving and creativity. Has your son discovered command blocks and redstone yet? These are a great start to programming and logic concepts.

Then there's learntomod.com which has been set up to teach children to program by creating mods for Minecraft. It uses Blockly, which is a drag and drop interface like Scratch, and moves on to coding directly in Javascript. It's in Beta at the moment but launches properly in January.

Whatever you think of it, being able to write custom mods for Minecraft is likely to be way more exciting than turning lights on and off or opening the garage door!
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Old 24 November 2014, 03:18   #50
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Willk I completely agree. So either data capture or for something very specific that you activate while stationary or add some push buttons to do the job - fed into the Pi. Complexity increasing...
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