DIY Projects

#Guide: hardware needed to make a 100% DIY Raspberry Pi 3 home automation box

Raspberry Pi 3

Here is a mini guide as well as a selection of hardware to get you started in the manufacture of a 100% DIY Raspberry Pi 3 home box: what model of Raspberry Pi to choose, accessories needed (SD board, 5V/3A power supply, box, UPS), which home gateway (Z-Wave, Z-Wave Plus, RFLink, Homebridge).

Which Raspberry Pi model to choose?

Of all the models of Raspberry Pi available, it is without contest the Raspberry Pi 3 which is best adapted to make a box home automation. In terms of gross power, this is the most powerful of the range as shown by this benchmark realized with the SysBench by the site f4bi. In addition to an Ethernet (10 / 100M) network port, it incorporates WiFi and Bluetooth LE connectivity, which avoids having to buy a WiFi or Bluetooth dongle separately.

We will reserve the Raspberry Pi Zero W for the realization of surveillance camera. Much more compact and powerful enough, it is very well suited for this type of project.

Essential accessories

The Raspberry Pi 3 is delivered naked. Some accessories are optional to make a home automation box. After the installation and configuration of the home automation devices (although you can do everything without a screen or keyboard also following this tutorial), you can do without the keyboard, mouse and the screen. What remains essential

A power supply 5V 3000mA (3A)

A less powerful power supply may cause the Raspberry Pi 3 to shut down. You can recycle an old phone charger with a micro-USB connector provided it delivers at least 2500mA.

One (better 2) SD boards

The Linux operating system is installed on a microSD board. Choose a class 10 board (read speed 50MB / s minimum) to ensure smooth operation. A capacity of 8GB is large enough to operate a home automation server but the trend is disappearing in favor of 16GB boards (for an equivalent price). Stay in the big brands to avoid the bad surprises. An SD board is not as robust as a flash memory SSD drive.

Buy a second SD board and clone the main SD board regularly (after each update, every month). In case of a failure, you can restart your server in a few minutes without having to reinstall everything. Follow this tutorial to learn how to back up an SD board.

16GB Micro SDHC U3 Card Plus SD Adapter Pack. Amplim...

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Silicon Power 16GB MicroSDHC UHS-1 Memory Card Limited Edition- with...

Capture More with the Fast Speed The Elite Series memory cards feature the UHS-1 specifications that enable fast transfer speeds to save you more ...
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Sandisk Ultra - Flash memory card - 16 GB -...

Sandisk Ultra - Flash memory card - 16 GB - MicroSDHC UHS-I (SDSQUNC-016G-AN6IA)
Available: In stock
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Last price update: 2022-09-03 02:30:54

Protective case (recommended)

The home automation server will become an important part of your home. You will be able to manage complex scenarios (lighting, thermostat, closing of shutters …), it deserves a little protection against dust. Circuit tracks and connectors are exposed to the outside, a metal object falling or coming into contact can cause a fatal short circuit. Here is a small selection of economic boxes. There are also packs including a 5V / 3A power supply.

KuGi Raspberry Pi 3 Model B case PC Protective Case...

KuGi ® Raspberry Pi 3 Model B case - High quality PC Protective Case with 2x Heatsinks for Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, Pi 2 Model B
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NES case for Raspberry Pi 3,2 and B+ by Old...

The Nintendo Entertainment System inspired Raspberry Pi case was designed to relive childhood memories. This unique design is made out of durable ...
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Enokay Black Case for Raspberry Pi 2 Pi 3 Model...

1. This protective case is designed specifically for the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B and Raspberry Pi 3 Model B.2. The case is a two-piece ...
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Last price update: 2022-09-03 02:30:59

Mounting box on a DIN rail in a switch cabinet

That is another possibility. There are boxes to be installed on a DIN rail in a control cabinet. It is a more pro installation but it has some disadvantages:

UPS Battery Backup and surge protector

An UPS battery backup will bring several protections to your home automation server:

Tripp Lite 350VA UPS Battery Backup, 180W Eco Green, USB,...

The ECO350UPS standby green UPS offers complete protection from blackouts, brownouts and transient surges. Supports green energy savings via built-in ...
Available: In stock
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CyberPower CP750LCD Intelligent LCD UPS System, 750VA/420W, 8 Outlets, Compact

CyberPowers Federal Trade Agreements Act (TAA) compliant Standby CP750LCD UPS safeguards PCs with non-Active PFC power supplies and other electronics ...
Available: In stock
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APC Back-UPS 600VA UPS Battery Backup & Surge Protector with...

The new APC BE600M1 Backups Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) provides instant battery power to your critical electronics when the power goes out, ...
Available: In stock
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Last price update: 2022-09-03 02:31:19

Buy Raspberry Pi 3 alone or in kit?

If you have material to “recycle”, keyboard, mouse, screen, SD board, you can buy your Raspberry Pi 3 alone. A home automation server does not need any accessories as we have just seen. You will need a keyboard, mouse, screen in the installation phase. Then, most home automation software offers a configuration interface accessible from any computer on the local network. At the worst, you can access the Raspberry Pi 3 using an SSH connection.

Vilros Raspberry Pi 3 Complete Starter Kit with Clear Case...

Looking to get started with Raspberry Pi ? --- This Raspberry PI Complete Starter Kit is all you need. Items included in this Kit Raspberry Pi 3 ...
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CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 Complete Starter Kit - 32 GB...

NOTE: The 32 GB MicroSD card may appear as 1 GB when inserted into a PC as it is pre-partitioned. The remaining space can be expanded as desired.The ...
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Raspberry Pi 3 Ultimate Starter Kit – Complete Set Includes...

Build and code your very own computer? Easy as pi.
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Last price update: 2022-09-03 02:31:31

Add a gateway to communicate with home automation devices

Home automation devices use different protocols to communicate with a server or a home automation station. Depending on the technology used by your devices, you will need to add a gateway to communicate with them (temperature measurement, door opening or window sensor, flooding …), or to control them (lighting, siren alarm, open the shutters, turn on the heating …).

Z-Wave+ or RaZberry?

Open Source home automation software uses the OpenZWave project to communicate with Z-Wave devices. The Z-Wave Plus improves range and reduces power consumption, which is important for accessories that work mostly on batteries. The easiest way is to use a latest generation USB stick, cheaper and easier to include on the server.

Z-Wave.Me RaZberry - Z-Wave Plus GPIO Card for the Raspberry...

The Z-Wave Razberry-Pi GPIO Daughter Card turns every Raspberry Pi board into a Z-Wave Home Automation Gateway. The bundle of hardware and ...
Available: In stock
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Aeotec Z-Stick Gen5, Z-Wave Plus USB to create gateway

Create your own Z-Wave gateway. With Z-Stick Gen5 you’ll be able to create your own Z-Wave hub using readily available, and sometimes free, home ...
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Last price update: 2022-09-03 02:31:43

Build an open source radio gateway RFLink?

You can build your radio home radio gateway using the Open Source RFLink project by following this tutorial. In addition to the 433MHZ, you can control 315MHz, 868MHz and 915MHz devices by adding additional antennas. The list of compatible devices can be found here.


With this Open Source project, you can control any home automation accessory from your iPhone or iPad. No additional hardware is required. All items that deal with Homebridge are here.

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