exco and makefu’s latest hacksession started out as a just for fun one evening hack and (after some more evenings) now turned into this uber smart home with solar and everything.
We claim the title „world’s smallest ’smart home'“(for ants) and challenge you to take it from us.
The project started out by upgrading the shackspace community hand-brick-layed (ttb, momo, phrewfuf, exco) house to a smart home by installing a small I2C dipslay (0.96″ ) to show DNS and TCP delay of the shackspaces internet (WiFi) with an ESP8266 to evaluate the shack’s „enterprise“ internet setup.
After adding a temperature and humidity sensor (DHT11makefu now also want’s to claim The most smart per m²with a total of 1066 [smarts/m²].
The house is 5cm in width and 15cm in length which is a total of 0,0075 m²equipped with an ESP8266 clocked at 160mhz and 8 smarts:
  • web server
  • status display
  • rgb lighting
  • temperature / humidity sensor
  • smart door / smart lock
  • wind turbine
  • internet delay measurement

Web Server


The first version of the website on a mobile looked like (image left):

We used the jquery-colorpicker plugin but it was not really what we were looking for and somewhat broken on mobile phones. exco then hacked together (the google foo is strong in this one) a very fancy color wheel with nothing but js writing on a html5 canvas.

The final verision can be seen on the right.

jsfiddle of the canvas colorpicker.

The way that proved successfull on the esp was sending a „larger“ web page in a loop of small chunks.

Most resources (jquery, …) are pulled from cdn since the ESP doesn’t have a whole lot of storage and the cdn is faster delivering content anyways.

The esp lua and html code can be found on github.

Status Display

The first smart feature the home got was a display right into its window.   

We use the cheapest display we could get from aliexpress, a 0.96 inch single color OLED display with 128×96 pixels. You can now buy them for under 5 dollars and these nifty displays only need two wires to attach it to the ESP or an arduino! This became very important for the final feature creep. 

It got even better when we found out the u8g lib has already been ported to nodemcu on the ESP ->  just import the library and write  text on the display for profit. We found this to be a very cool pattern for all microcrontroller projects, add a display and BAM you have graphical output.

RGB Lighting

As second feature followed a ws2812b rgb led for interior lighting and a bootstrap website to control its color.

Temperature / Humidity

Just like every smart home the smallest smart home needed some real sensors. Makefu found a cheap Temperature/Humidity Sensor – DHT11 in one of his project boxes and the sensor was directly soldered to the esp.

Smart Door / Smart Lock

For no apparent reason makefu said we needed an automatic door – so it had to happend.

We professionally installed (read: hot glued) a small servo to the inside wall and conneted it to the door with a bent spring.

You don’t have to authenticate with your private key which makes it convenient to use but you shouldn’t choose that route for a home you live in.

Better use an openwrt box and public/private key authentication.

Wind Turbine

Samu really really wanted a wind turbine for our smart home so he ziptied a dc brushed motor onto an aluminum extrusion, added some unknown capacitor he found in some box for filtering sth, hot-glued it onto the base plate,added two wires plus a sop-23 mosfet  and bailed out.

We decided to add a 10ohm 5W resistor to limit the max current (of particular concern to us was the the inrush current) to 0.5 amps and a pulldown on the mosfet controlling esp pin.

Internet Delay Measurement

In the beginning we just wanted to check how well the wireless network performs in terms of delay to the internet. To test this the ESP measures two steps within small time intervals: 

    1. Resolve google.de

    2. Connect to google.de via HTTP GET / and wait for the response, then close the connection

This information then is displayed on both the website and the display as well as being send through the wireless pipes to the mqtt server on a virtual machine here at the shackspace. 

This data is redirected to a graphite server where it can be viewed in clean graphs:

the nerd part:

ams1117 are a fast and cheap way to get the esp working on an USB port or USB charger.

The ESP cannot send chunks bigger than 1KB directly to the socket – the files have to be sent chunked to the client actually work. 

Makefu implemented the function you can recycle for your projects:

function send_file(f)
block = file.read(1024)
    while block do
           block = file.read(1024)
    file.close() end

So cozy inside (no space for blackjack and the rest)

how the smart house began

ESP8266 connections:

(before: left)

GPIO4 broken (for no apparent reason)

GPIO5 ws2812b

GPIO00 pull-up 10k and door servo

GPIO02 pull-up 10k and DHT11 temperature & humidity sensor

GPIO 14 pull-down 10k (because of the mosfet) windturbine

GPIO 12 + 13 128×64 oled

(after: right)

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The NASA Space Application Challenge 2015: one hackathon weekend, 133 cities around the world, 949 projects, and our BigWhoop project is among the final 15 for the global People’s Choice Award. Read on to learn what happened during the event at the Stuttgart hackerspace shackspace and then go on and vote for BigWhoop and make it win the award!

NASA’s Space Apps Challenge is an international mass collaboration/hackathon organized on a global scale and held in all major cities worldwide, with a focus on finding solutions to challenges faced in space exploration and also to life on Earth.

The Winner of the Stuttgart chapter of Global NASA Space Apps Challenge is BigWhoop. BigWhoop addresses the “Open Source Air Traffic Tracking” Challenge. This challenge required the building of a tool that allowed users to select a particular flight and see its out-the-window or other views of the aircraft, and airspace. We decided to extend the scope of the project a bit. Our app was designed as a global sensor grid to measure the whole radio spectrum -thus  making air traffic monitoring a subset of the solution. This free and community driven approach based on small and low-cost software defined radio devices earned the local team a global nomination for NASA’s People’s Choice Awards and will be competing to be among the final 15 out of 949 projects for global People’s Choice awards. And now you can vote for the Stuttgart Team as of 27 April.

Just visit this page and vote for our #BigWhoop app (once a day).


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Diese Woche sind im shack wieder grandiose Dinge passiert, die an dieser Stelle allen Leuten mitgeteilt werden sollen.
Am Freitag (06.09.13) fand zum zweiten Mal ein „Wohnzimmer“-Konzert von Jake Rathburn in unserem Seminarraum statt. Da dieses Konzert jedoch nicht alle Anwesenden gebunden hat, wurden zur gleichen Zeit unsere neuen Steckdosenleisten gebaut, die zwischen den Tischen in der Lounge angebracht werden (Dank an phrewfuf, horn, kalisto, momo und phil III.).
In der Werkstatt wurden nun die neu angeschafften Bandschleifgeräte montiert (Dank an ttb, momo, wookie und exco für Finanzierung und Montage).
Der Sommer wurde nun offiziell durch Abnahme unseres Sonnensegels für beendet erklärt, dafür wurde in der Lounge die Wintersession mit einer Lichterkette an der Decke eingeläutet, die eine entspannte Atmosphäre verbreitet (Dank an alf).
Der Arcade-O-Mat hat dank roy bear ein neues Mainboard erhalten (Dank an jules und wookie für die Installation). In der Lounge wurde ausserdem in den letzten Wochen ein DJ-Platz geschaffen um die Anwesenden mit Live-Musik beschallen zukönnen.
Der Flur zu den Optionsräumen wurde von nadka und smrrd weiß gestrichen, ttb ist derzeit noch dabei die Fenster im Flur mit Kunst zu verzieren.
Demnächst wird es auch wieder Warmwasser in der Küche sowie in Optionsraum 1 geben. Die Arbeiten wurden durchgeführt von Wookie, momo, ttb, exco, phil III. und Ulrich. Die Arbeiten am Strom für die Optionsräume dauern noch an und wurden/werden von Ulrich und phil III durchgeführt. In den Optionsräumen wird derzeit ein Strom- und Temperaturmonitoringsystem installiert (Dank an momo).
Und da neulich einer der beiden Bewegungsmelder im Treppenhaus ausgefallen ist, wurde dieser in heldenhafterweise von phil III. ausgetauscht, der auch schon weitere Installationen plant.

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shackspace’s @dop3j0e had a big problem.  A password problem.  Quite a while ago he set up a password for his Thinkpad’s harddrive and chose to unlock his drive using the built-in fingerprint scanner.  Years passed, thumbs were drawn over the scanner countless times, passwords were changed frequently.  But not all passwords were changed.  That one password for his harddrive never did change and over time he simply forgot what the actual password was.

The thumb print scanner kept working.  However, to change or disable the password you have to enter it by keyboard in the BIOS since in this case it does not accept the thumb print scanner as input.
This poses a real problem.  How do you access the disk if your fingerprint scanner dies?  Or what if the laptop dies and you have to unlock the drive from a different machine that doesn’t have the password stored in the fingerprint scanner?

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RaumZeitLabor MannheimNach Erhalt einer RXQ wurde eine Delegation Ingenieure zur RZL Station entsand +++ STOP +++
Wegen unklarer Feindlage im Zielgebiet wurde eine Lichtwerferbatterie von M 8 8 12 vorsorglich zur RZL Station transferiert +++ STOP +++
Detailierter Missionsbericht folgt. +++ STOP +++

Dem Informationsdienst wurden Projektdokumente zugespielt +++ STOP +++

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