This tutorial is a section of my wider series on creating a home automation solution for heating and watering in my house. Refer to the index here.
In this post I cover the hardware I’ve chosen and how I purchased it.
Firstly, I chose to use a raspberry pi 3 model B, which provides bluetooth, wifi, a 64-bit 4 core CPU and 1GB of RAM. I think this is the most future proof pi model around at the moment, and it’s not a lot of money.
Whilst I was at it I also bought a 2 relay board from the pi shop – an RPI-RELAY-2. The opensprinkler will provide a power supply, and in the meantime I had a supply available from my older pi model B.
I got a 16GB micro-SD card off the web. The main thing here is to check what speed it is – you want class 10 if possible. I got some jumper cables (40 x 1P Dupont Jumper Wire 20cm Female to Female) to connect the relay board to the GPIO pins on the raspberry pi.
Next, the equipment to connect to the radiator valves. I wanted a the CUL dongle from busware, but they didn’t ship to my location. I resolved this by registering with mailboxde.com, who provide a remailing service from Germany and cost me about $5 for this package.
The radiator valves I bought from conrad.com. You need to have thermostatic radiator heads already (I didn’t so needed to replace them all), you then remove the manual thermostatic head and replace with the EQ-3 valve. These shipped direct to me, as did the wall thermostats. I didn’t buy the MAX controller, as the Raspberry Pi will control all that (given enough fiddling).
Finally, I bought the opensprinker board from Ray’s Hobbies. You may also need a 24 volt AC power supply (I already had one).