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The unbearable fussiness of the smart home
8 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 24 Nov 2021
Au contraire - your setup is way more sophisticated than mine.
I have some 433MHz kit, plus a bundle of various arduinos, but (for me) the complexity of getting them to talk back to base has kept me procrastinating for years.
The ESP8266/ESP32 devices, with WiFi built-in, are effectively the same price as arduinos (here in AU, via ebay) but so much more convenient because of that extra memory + the wifi. I'm going to have some frustration with the 3 vs 5 volt, especially with some of the more esoteric components, but so far it's been a breeze to setup.
As Outworlder observes, my back-end is way more complex than a normal human would need - I'm replicating a stack we use at work, so it's basically taking up a bit of space on my home lab. Cortex is for a serious (enterprisey) amount of long-term storage of time-series metrics. Prometheus is easy enough to set up - it scrapes web end points that contain key / value pairs in plain text, and puts those in its own time series data store. Sqlite will scale just as well, I'm sure.
If you have the bandwidth, I can recommend playing with some of these things, just in case they may make your life easier later. Prometheus (server) will run on a Raspbery Pi easy enough.
That's a code fragment to run on an ESP and present a prometheus-compatible end point with a handful of key/value pairs - if you have a spare ESP, run it up, and hit the endpoint to see what I mean. The simplicity is compelling.
If / when I go down the path of custom components plugged into arduinos - and I'd like to one day build something to measure the levels in my rainwater tanks - I think that I'd try to get those data back into an intermediary device (esp or RPi) that could present them in this opentelemetry format, as it would make it easier to swap things around in the future.
Grafana is fantastic, and can produce some gorgeous visualisations from Prometheus (and other) sources. You may even be able to get it doing something with your sqlite DB.
Running up a monitoring agent (Prometheus' node_exporter, or InfluxDB's telegraf - functionally very similar) on your laptop may be a good way to experiment with live data and visualisations with low-effort. (Note that Telegraf will by default try to push into an InfluxDB -- I'm not a huge fan of InfluxDB -- but you can configure it to provide an otel / prometheus-compatible scrapable web endpoint instead.)