• Automating Our Heating

    A little while ago, I wrote some musings on Home Automation and made reference to our heating setup.

    As it's had a bit of time (and some poor weather) to run and be improved upon, I thought it might be helpful/interesting to lay out a bit more detail on the setup I'm now using.

    We got a NEST thermostat during an unexpected boiler replacement, unfortunately it's smart features didn't live up to expectations, trying to overcome that led me down the path that I'll describe in this post.


    My intention was that the eventual system should meet a few basic requirements

    • Certain rooms should be able to call for heat when needed (not supported by the NEST product line as they don't currently have radiator heads)
    • Boiler/Heating usage should be minimised where comfortably possible
    • Decisions should be auditable - ok, the heating came on, but why?


  • Launching the "House Stuff" blog category

    Not the most exciting news I'm sure, but I'm adding a "House stuff" blog category to my site.

    I've been feeling a bit... meh... of late, partly because I've not had opportunity to write anything here in a while. Part of the reason for that is that I've been focused on various home improvements/tweaks, not all of which fit well into more tech related sections (though there is some overlap).

    The aim of this category is to give me a cathartic outlet, even if I'm just reinsulating or building a door.


  • Musings on Home Automation

    I've dabbled with elements of Home Automation in the past.

    In a previous rental, we only had storage heaters, so I equipped each room with an Oil Radiator and an energenie RF plug socket (like these https://www.amazon.co.uk/Energenie-Remote-Control-Sockets-Pack/dp/B004A7XGH8) using a Raspberry Pi and the Energenie remote control header boardto set up an effective heating schedule.

    However, aside from that, and mild "wouldn't it be nice too..." ideas, I've not really been overly interested into it until relatively recently.

    Having spent a bit of time dabbling, I thought I'd write a post on my experience - not least in case it helps people with some of the things I struggled with.