Inspired by Flash Gordon

My recent project on Element14 was to capture temperature from around the house and post it to a central dashboard. I used a set of software including Mosquitto, InfluxDB, Node Red and Grafana or Ming for short.

The dashboard is powered with a Raspberry Pi with an external USB hard-disk to store the data. I used a spare server power supply to power this. It’s a bit large and noisy so I need to work out how to control the speed of the fan. There’s some space inside the case so I’ll likely put a temperature sensor and PWM speed controller in there.

As the project was called “Ming” I looked to Ming the Merciless for inspiration and found it in the throne room of his palace. A case was made in Red and Gold with a giant Raspberry Pi logo in the middle. So the Pi would have plenty of ventilation I used a steel mesh which was sprayed black. The logo and the corners were 3D printed but the lightning bolts were just cut from MDA as was the baseboard and lid.

I’ve placed the 3D models for the Ming Hub on github.

The remote sensors were made from a Raspberry Pi Pico with a Wifi Module and DTH11 temperature and humidity sensor. I used the Pico because it was cheap but then discovered it used quite a lot of power (relatively speaking) so I experimented with low power modes on the Pi Pico. A new wifi version of the Pi Pico came out during the build but I suspect that will have the same issues. As mentioned by Youtube commenters, a ESP32 or ESP2866 board would work well as alternatives.

The design and build process can be seen on the Element14 community, there’s also an additional video there with the setup of the server.

One thought on “Inspired by Flash Gordon

  1. […] mentioned at the end of the Ming Pi video, one of my challenges with setting up a home temperature monitoring system was the noise of the fan in the power supply. The other being the battery life, that will be […]

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