January 17, 2014 AT 11:28 am

Should Adafruit build an open source Raspberry Pi based “Nest” ? @Raspberry_Pi #raspberrypi



Today is “open source Nest” day it seems! We are considering doing an open source Nest based on the Raspberry Pi if there’s enough interest – designed by Adafruit & Mike Doell. Here are the renderings Mike is working on.

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  1. Absolutely!

  2. Yes please!

  3. +1

  4. Yes, because I haven’t been making much progress on my Arduino-based version, and I’m sure you and Mike would do a much nicer job on the case!

    Note vs. Sparkfun version: Needs to have the capability to add sensors (motion and temp/humidity) in other rooms.

  5. I would be onboard with this! The Spark build is nice from a form perspective, but it was essentially a pretty thermometer. They left out all the integration to the actual HVAC system which is one of the things the Nest devs struggled with the most.

  6. Definitely. The more open source, hackable home gadgets the better, in my mind.

  7. Sounds like a great idea.

  8. That would be fantastic. An assist to us thinking of building one, and a chance to see what the whole world of clever people can come up with!

  9. Sounds cool, but hopefully you don’t get sued by Google.

  10. Breaksbassbleeps

    Hell & Yes!

  11. Yes. Love the pictures of your design.

    Humble suggestions:
    1. Make it so the user doesn’t need to access it through a third party on the internet.
    2. IPV6 please.
    3. Add an outdoor temperature sensor which can be used to gauge the recovery period from an energy saving setback. Depending on net weather in many areas is not good. The net weather is frequently off for me by 5 or more degrees C.

    I have no doubt this thermostat can be much more than Nest ever was as a thermostat.

  12. Yes, yes, and yes!! I have been doing a lot of research in doing an integrated temperature control system as part of home automation using a Pi but haven’t had much luck yet. Always have luck with what you guys do and I learn a ton!!!

  13. That’s hot! +1

  14. Yes, please. Bonus points for supporting the thing system (http://thethingsystem.com/)

  15. I think this is a great idea.

  16. Yes, I would buy it as soon as it was available.

  17. Of course. Why wouldn’t you?

  18. Please build two devices that appear identical:

    1) The FULL sensor and control version that DOES also attach to and control the HVAC system; and

    2) The REMOTE sensor and control version that does not attach to nor control HVAC but can be wall-mounted in other rooms to provide additional displays, control of the system, and sensors to that remote room/location.

    The slave/remote can communicate wirelessly with the master.



  19. YEAH!

  20. I think those those hvac integration would be cool if they also included humidity, or a forward-looking ability to add a simple humidifier module in the future. Reason being, that the temperature environment and control can be augmented with humidity to help speed up ‘climatizing’ loop. Maybe a nest 2.0 idea. But control of humidity can be really nice

  21. Yes. Thank you.

  22. That is an excellent idea…Just have the option to buy one w/o the rPi!

  23. Yes, please. I have been looking at the nest since it came out, but the ability to be “open source” makes this concept many times better. I love to customize my gadgets.

  24. YeeeeeeeeeeeSSSS, but I prefered it arduino yun based

  25. Omg yes.. I have a nest thermostat and nest protect, but if price is comparable or better and is supported by good software like nest is today I would be all for it.

    It would make home automation work, an customization work all a lot easier

  26. I like the idea; the original Nest is particularly creepy now that Google owns it. Imagine turning your thermostat up and suddenly getting ads for blankets and sweaters…

  27. The question is, what shouldn’t AdaFruit build an open source version of?

  28. Yes! You could also make a shield for the Arduino Micro that has your CC6000 wifi chip in it, along with a spot in the middle for the turn pot- then make the shield round with screw holes so people can make their own Arduino enclosures.

    That said, if you make a thermostat kit for the Raspberry Pi, I’ll buy one!

  29. Yes please, I have already purchased a barometric and temp sensor from adafruit to start builing my own Nest clone. I am considering some way for it to look ahead to online forcasts so that it can switch heating on to reach a target room temperature by a given time each day.

  30. Sounds like a cool project–if you want some help with the hardware or software I’ve love to contribute.

  31. Excellent idea!
    After Google bought Nest, I though it would be a good idea to have a PI doing heat control similar to what nest do.
    But I do not have the knowledge to do it.
    I am glad that that are some skilled guys thinking in doing it 😉

  32. Yes, but based on the Beaglebone.

  33. Yes. But only if is fully functional without an external server in the cloud.

  34. Awesome!!!!

  35. I’m totally in! I have been working on something like this for a while now. Nice enclosures are nearly impossible to come up with!

    You should start a post in the forum and hammer out the requirements.

    – fully function with external web access
    – consider an arduino version(basic/simple/slave/zone control)
    – consider a raspberry pi version(advanced/master)
    – consider remote screens(wireless) info and control
    – raspberry pi could run python and have graphics …
    – monitor humidity and temp
    – multiple (software selectable) outputs for fan speed selection as well as multiple stage heating and cooling(heat pumps emergency back up heating)
    – consider RGB backlighting or RGB glow behind the case

  36. Interesting idea.

  37. Go for it! Also please make it useful in Europe by having more than the US HVAC interface…

  38. Yes! It could be the start of something wonderful.

  39. This would be awesome! Some questions:
    1) what is the display? can it be e-paper or other form that is readable in bright sunlight? colour?
    2) is it touch screen?
    3) what is the power source? Can it run off 24V-DC thermostat power, or 120V-AC? can it run off a built-in battery or capacitor for moderate periods of time if power is lost? (Please, no ugly wall-wart!)
    4) could it be more generic than just a thermostat? Would be nice to have a version that can switch 120V-AC current on-off to build a smart-home system.


  41. Yes, please.

  42. I think it would be a great idea. I know I would be interested in something to replace my Nest that doesn’t require access to external servers.

  43. Definitely.

    I own a Nest and will be selling it shortly. I would love an open source alternative (and already love my RPi!)

  44. By all means.

  45. I’d love it if you made is system that could measure intake temp and humidity and out of vent temp and humidity and use that to get an idea of real time efficiency/performance.

  46. I can second the beaglebone black request. It is inexpensive and well suited from a processing power perspective to do some onboard calculations to keep all the data running on the thermostat instead of sending it to a 3rd party for processing. As nifty as some people think the cloud is, it should be an option not a shove-it-down-your-throat requirement!

  47. Yes, please! A few thoughts… The Nest round control is extremely appealing; all those no-name square boxes, not so much. Obviously doing a round one is harder (and risks being sued by both Google and Honeywell!), but still it’s worth trying for.

    One thing Nest doesn’t do, though they are doubtless working on it, is split AC systems not related to a central heating system (either because of climate or where the central heat is a boiler with rediators – so-called "hydronic"). These are the AC units where the condenser and compressor is outside, and there are one or more inside evaporator units mounted usually high on the wall. There is a handheld IR remote, and many people never use the hardwired control knobs. So to control these you need an IR emitter, to emulate the remote. It would probably have to be in a separate device to be seen by the AC unit(s), and would probably have to be able to learn from the real remote.

    Which brings up the whole modularity issue. There’s no strong reason the "thermostat" has to be wired to the central furnace/boiler – that could be a separate control unit. The place the house builder wired in the thermostat may not be where it’s really wanted. So there could be a whole net of devices with related function and common innards, but with multiple physical appearances and functional subsets: multiple displays and/or inputs, IR receivers and senders for existing remotes (or phones etc.), heavier-duty electrics, e.g. relays for baseboard heaters, operators for skylights and blinds, etc. etc.

  48. Oh, indeed! I would like to see a 110/220VAC versions as well. We have electric Cadet-style heaters, the thermostats control them directly on the supply line at line voltage. Nest can’t do that without engineering in relays.

    (Another thing that would be cool is an IR port so it can control a Fujitsu Halcyon head pump cassette. But the AC Line voltage is more important.)

  49. YES!

    I would buy one to replace every thermostat I own, as well as those as gifts for geeky friends.

  50. I would like to see the ability to control an air exchanger built in to the thermostat – read the inside and outside determine the correct indoor humidity level to prevent condensation on the windows.

  51. yes please

  52. Oh man! Just what I’ve been waiting for after building a test quasi-thermostat (an arduino + a few dht11s + single dht22 + a 4 relay board from dealextreme). It works but an open source relay board I built myself would have been better for learning.

    Think of things that prevented people from buying the nest:

    1) Needs to have a simple REST/JSON api so it can be integrated into a larger home automation/security platform

    2) Wired wired wired.. lots of forums with people asking for that feature on the Nest. New homes, around here anyway, all have a dangling cat6 cable at every thermostat doing nothing at the moment (as do the electrical meter, water meter, gas meter, etc.. food for thought)

    3) Expand that… POE would be even better.

    4) As mentioned above, remote temperature units (indoors and outdoors), remote motion detection, etc.

    5) I’ll think of #5 as soon as submit is clicked.

  53. To make it really relevant, you need to have a good screen (preferably OLED or AMOLED) with a touchscreen (Really no need for more power than a RPi to make it work). Also it would be neat to have some empty space inside for an extention board, that can open a lot of hack.

    As for the software, there is no need for anything fancy as long as we can put whatever we want on it. I am currently thinking strongly about such kind of device using calaos.fr technology. Will be quite awesome.

  54. Yes, definitely, would love something like that here in the UK (where Nest isn’t even available), particularly if it were able to switch 240v mains-powered electric heaters rather than a boiler!

  55. Consider using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth as an “owner detector”. Most people take their phone with them when they leave the house. Detecting the presence of a phone via RF would likely be a more reliable indicator of presence than a motion detector mounted on a random wall in a hallway. In the beginning you could just look for the MAC of the phones. In the future, wireless capability would allow integration with an app to adjust settings.

  56. There is already some Raspberry Pi based heating project existing

  57. Oh yes!!! Heat, cool, humidity

  58. +infinity: “1. Make it so the user doesn’t need to access it through a third party on the internet.” (jorge)

    The common 3rd party requirement is a security nightmare (availability, privacy, confidentiality, integrity are all affected) and a shackle (loss of control and freedom, as well as continued payments). It’s completely unacceptable to me.

    Outside temperature is quite useful for humidity control and fresh air intake. For example, if the outside temperature is about 20 deg. F cooler than your inside temperature, that means you can dehumidify down to 50% RH simply by bringing in fresh air and heating it a bit. If it’s warmer than that, you need to run a dehumidifier. If it’s very hot and humid outside, you’re better off running an A/C or a tiny Dedicated Outside Air System (DOAS). If it’s extremely cold outside, natural air leakage is likely sufficient so you can turn off the fresh air intake. You should also humidify less to avoid condensation in windows and inside walls.

    The importance of humidity and fresh air control is such to me that I built my own DOAS with an Arduino replacing the controller on a small heat pump. I would love a more capable and network-accessible HVAC control that would replace the thermostat and dehumidistat in my house, integrate my DOAS somehow (say with some customization on my part), and provide logs (dare I dream of reports as well).

    I would look for the capability to activate several HVAC dampers, control a whole house dehumidifier, a fan (or HEPA filter) to bring in fresh air, a humidifier (e.g., power the solenoid that makes water flow to a humidifier in the HVAC system), and at least one other device (my DOAS). My dream system would activate a fresh air intake fan whenever the dryer runs so the house doesn’t go under negative pressure, which brings allergens into the house. I’d have temperature measurements from several locations to use in deciding what system to run. My dream system would have pressure sensors or switches that would tell me when air filters need changing. As a stretch goal, zoning capabilities would be interesting. Building an HVAC control system is an interesting hobby.

  59. YES!

  60. There’s an open source Android based thermostat at http://androidthermostat.com/ that could easily be converted into a Pi thermostat since it’s split into server and client components. The server component is essentially just a Java app that could run on the Pi with minor modifications.

  61. I’d totally go for it. I was all ready to go Nest for both the thermostat and the smoke alarms, but now I’m far more interested in this.

    The tricky part would be creating an implementation that can run high efficiency furnaces, as that’s apparently a bit more complex than just the usual on/off switching. But that’s not exactly a huge challenge compared to other stuff you’ve done.

    Other add on features that would be nice: remote thermistors for additional data points.

    Hope you decide to move forward with this!

  62. We weren’t actually planning on releasing it for another month, but hey! This is a sneak preview of HestiaPi, our RaspberryPi Open Source thermostat that covers most of your requests! Waiting for your feedback!

  63. I would really like that! I have found Hestia Pi doing pretty much what you asked and is open source running RaspberryPi but its not available for another month…

  64. Would love to see something like that running off a BeagleBone Black.

  65. Nice idea! We want an open source project like this in order to make sure we keep our privacy and control our data.

  66. YES.

  67. I’m actually fumbling my way through one of these projects. My needs are a little different than most peoples needs though given that our heaters are isolated in each room and our thermostats have to work with 240vac. I’m using a raspberry pi for most of my work. It will allow me to add a few nice benefits as well as simple thermostat.

  68. Jonathan Jackson

    yes please!

  69. If you have a radiant heating (or cooling) system, you might also appreciate the open-source thermostat I designed, which measures both air temperature & mean radiant temperature to more accurately measure comfort before it turns the heater (or cooler) on & off:


    You’re welcome to merge stuff from my design with yours. I included CAD files as well as software for download.

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