Chook shed control

I currently have a chook shed with an electric door, multiple feeders and lights.

It is away from my house so it has a weather proof box nearby to control automation.

The box has a solar panel and MPPT going to a 12V 100 Ah AGM battery.

The MPPT has 2 USB outlets.

There is wifi reception at the chook shed.

Currently all switching is controlled by 12v time clocks mounted on a plywood backing board. This is very effective, but the cost of a new timeclock every time (and the space they take inside the box).

No item is more than 3A at this stage.

As I have some limited python experience I have decided to go down the raspberry pi path to control this.

I have installed successfully raspbian stretch in a virtual box and tested some scripts

I am thinking I need:
1 Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+
8 Channel Relay
connecting cables
Infrared Remote Control

Can the relay have a separate power input?
Do I need a mounting board for this or is mounting on the plywood adequate?
Can the remote control be received by the pi and used to control a python script?
Is there anything else that I need?

Hi Ray,

I think that you have everything that you need. You could look into a wifi or bluetooth remote rather than infrared since the Pi already has both those things.

If you are going to be running off battery, you should use a Pi Zero W or a Pi 3A+. Both use much less power than the 3B+. This will be pretty simple processing for even a Pi Zero W, since it costs the least and takes the least amount of power I’d go with that.

You must power your relays with a separate input, you can only power so much directly off the GPIO pins on the Pi, I forget the exact amount. Just make sure that everything shares a common ground. This does not apply to the power being switched by the relays, that is likely isolated from the control system.

You will be able to trigger python scripts from inputs like from an IR remote. I believe we have directions on how to do this in our Raspberry Pi workshop:

This sounds like a good project. I too have very little python experience but somehow, with lots of help from the guys (and gals ?) around here I seem to manage quite well.

My advice - Jump in, get started and when you get stuck shout for help!

Have fun.

If you’re mounting the pi inside a weather proof enclosure, make sure that the WiFi signal penetrates the enclosure, or plan on adding an external antenna. Pi3’s with such capability are available, so ask Steve & co at Core for guidance if required.

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Thanks, great advice

I was hoping to use:

Does this need IR USB dongle top receive a signal at the Pi Zero?

Hi Ray,

You will need some sort of IR receiver at the Pi Zero. This is the remote only.