Category Archives: SmartAnthill

How was PlatformIO born or why I love Python World

PlatformIO Example

PlatformIO is a cross-platform code builder and the missing library manager”

Working on an embedded firmware for SmartAnthill Project I’ve been dealing with building code for different embedded platforms. Nowadays, each platform proposes standalone toolchain, driver-lib and even own IDE:

With each new embedded platform I had to adapt to its own IDE, code highlighter,  code autocompletion, debugger and many more. Then I’ve decided to write code in my favourite editor (Vim) and build it only with these IDEs. But a structure of  my project looked ugly because each IDE had created own project’s META files and folders. Therefore, I had different project locations for each IDE and “symlinked” source code folder to one location. But this wasn’t for long…

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History of “SmartAnthill” Project

SmartAnthill is an intelligent micro-oriented networked system

SmartAnthill is an intelligent micro-oriented networking system

My love to electronics has started from my childhood. And if you ask me about: “What was your favorite toy in childhood?”, then I answer: “Most likely it was a soldering iron”. In that time I only had a minimal basic knowledge in electronics.  But to understand that a circuit is broken due to a faulty resistor or transistor was not a big problem for me.

The most interesting moment of “electronic life” started several years ago. Then I was one of those people who have made their first “electronics steps” in the “Home Automation“.  The first task which had to be resolved was a “Simplified Climate Control System“. The first way to find the solution for it was using OWFS based on “1-Wire” bus . This approach was cheap and easy to use. The fundamental hardware part was built on DS18B20 (1-Wire Digital Thermometer) and DS2408 (1-Wire 8-Channel Addressable Switch) chips. At the building stage in my house I embedded a lot of digital thermometers into the floor. This allowed me to control the floor’s temperature in the different rooms (because I didn’t have the radiators for heating  😎 ). The information about temperature, the ability to control heating collector and gas boiler, the several lines of Bash / PHP code helped me to create my first working version of “Climate Control System“. With it I could:

  • setup different “Climate Programs”(Day/Night, Weekend,  Holiday, Guests and any others modes)
  • monitor and analyze history of temperature and heating collector (excellent graphs)
  • control this system from outside of my house (via Internet with mobile application)
  • reduce a gas consumption in several times 😀

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