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Old 07-02-2020, 09:57 AM   #1
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Nerd Post! Raspberry Pis in the RV

This is a pretty nerdy post, but I consider myself a professional nerd and I know there are a few of us here.


I love the Internet of Things. My EE skills are poor so I rely on a lot of off the shelf hardware to instrument the RV. Right now, there are four Raspberry Pis in the RV. One’s monitoring the Solar Charge Controller, another monitors the GPS signals.


The third controls a 8 port relay box I made recently. This system's job is to control the heating elements around the water pipes under the RV. (The Quest for a Slightly Less Dumb Home)


The fourth Pi is the Primary Pi. It’s my WiFi Relay, my message broker (I use MQTT). It has a temperature probe on it. And it has a Sensor Hat on it too. (https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/sense-hat/).


There are plans for a fifth Pi that’ll connect to the Ford’s OBD-II port to monitor the engine. But that’s still on the to-do list.


Long story short – getting all of those Pis to connect, getting the three Pis to send their data to the Primary Pi wasn’t the hard part.


Getting the Primary Pi to relay data to a nearby WiFi connection was tricky but the information’s out there and it was just a matter of trying some things. But that’s working – the Pi’s relay their data to the Primary Pi, who in turn, sends the data over WiFi to the Internet and it makes it’s way home.

Where I can put the data up on a dashboard.



So now I can have my RV sit in the storage lot and send me sensor data See Dashboard 1 and 2 screen shots.


What took me the most time to figure out and to configure was how to sit at home and connect back into the RV! How I could sit at my desktop and ssh into those Raspberry Pis to do updates, make tweaks etc. I’ll save those details for later, but it took configuring a “reverse ssh tunnel” to make that happen.

Summarizing, the RV can send me data while it’s away and I can log into it and see what’s going on from the comfort of my home office.


Pretty nerdy!
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Old 07-02-2020, 10:07 AM   #2
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OK I'll bite - Since I don't have time to search - What is a Raspberry Pi? And does Rosetta Stone make a class to hep me speak this language???
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Old 07-02-2020, 10:12 AM   #3
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OK I'll bite - Since I don't have time to search - What is a Raspberry Pi? And does Rosetta Stone make a class to hep me speak this language???

Ha! Sorry.


A Raspberry Pi is a tiny computer. It was created several years ago with the intent of teaching kids around the globe, electronics. It's designed to be extremely cheap, so kids in less developed countries could get involved.


There are several different models of Raspberry Pis now. But they're small SBCs (Single Board Computers) that take small sips of electricity and are quite powerful.


It still amazes me that a Pi the size of a deck of playing cards is more powerful than the room size computer I started with in college.
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Old 07-02-2020, 10:14 AM   #4
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Here's a link to the $10 model called the "Raspberry Pi Zero W".


https://www.adafruit.com/product/340...xoCQP4QAvD_BwE
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Old 07-02-2020, 10:21 AM   #5
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Here's a link to the $10 model called the "Raspberry Pi Zero W".


https://www.adafruit.com/product/340...xoCQP4QAvD_BwE
Now you've got my attention - I may have to dive in and see what this is all about!!
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Old 07-02-2020, 10:53 AM   #6
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We use Raspberry Pi's to run ADS-B equipment to receive other aircraft data on our tablets in the aircraft.
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Old 07-02-2020, 11:15 AM   #7
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Now you've got my attention - I may have to dive in and see what this is all about!!

Great! Welcome to the Deep End!


Please bear in mind that my whole nerd live is usually reinventing what someone else has already done; making something simple more complicated.
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Old 07-02-2020, 12:33 PM   #8
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Very cool! I consider myself a bit of a nerd too. Though I haven't gotten into Raspberry Pi (mostly just haven't had time to dive into it).

Question, is your RV at home connected to home wifi? Or is your RV in storage and using LTE or public wifi?

As for the Ford OBD II, I just bought an OBDLink MX+ and use Forscan to monitor the truck. Mount the phone to the dash using a Proclip.
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Old 07-02-2020, 12:35 PM   #9
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Just re-read your post and saw you said it was in storage. So I'm assuming some sort of LTE or wifi solution for connectivity?
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Old 07-02-2020, 12:55 PM   #10
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Great! Welcome to the Deep End!


Please bear in mind that my whole nerd live is usually reinventing what someone else has already done; making something simple more complicated.
Been reading up - This seems like it is going to be a slippery slope!
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Old 07-02-2020, 01:30 PM   #11
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I have played around with my Pi-3 Model B v1.2
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Old 07-02-2020, 01:39 PM   #12
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At first got excited, thought you were going to tell us your secret places for finding these.
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Old 07-02-2020, 01:45 PM   #13
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We use Raspberry Pi's to run ADS-B equipment to receive other aircraft data on our tablets in the aircraft.
I run Flightaware at home. Love to see what's flying over my house and see all the different carriers that come into Kansas City. I also have a second Pi that is an RF to VOIP gateway for ham radio (DMR).
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Old 07-02-2020, 02:01 PM   #14
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Really cool!

FWIW, I've been a systems engineer for going on 20 years. I have less and less technology in my house as the years go by. I've been liking the KISS principle for personal stuff. I get to play with enough technology during work days.
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Old 07-03-2020, 12:09 PM   #15
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Question, is your RV at home connected to home wifi? Or is your RV in storage and using LTE or public wifi?

At home it repeats my home WiFi signal. And that's the plan for the storage lot too. There's a public WiFi access point that's barely reachable. I haven't tried it yet, but bought an 9dBi antenna for that extra reach.


I'm trying to be super light on electric consumption. There's only 1 Group 27 in the RV. I do have Solar but I haven't done the math yet to see what's going to happen when the sun goes down. I may put some of the Pi's to sleep.
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Old 11-25-2020, 08:40 PM   #16
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I am definitely a noobie in the Raspberry Pi world. I decided I might as well have some "fun" while pretty much confined to home during this Covid crap. I ordered a Pi 3 B+ and have, thanks to many good articles online, set up a home/RV security camera with it. It now is using MotionEyeOS which is relatively simple to set up but it still forced me to learn a lot.

I also have the start on a home temperature monitoring system that will send me temps when we can get back on the road and escape Minnesota.
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