I am doing LOTS of research on different hardware and software and what not for automation and data management and… I gotta say, I am so overwhelmed. Between Arduino, ESP(insertboardhere), RasPi and others and then tossing in POE connectivity, MQTT, Node Red, Firmata, VVVV and the other myriad of IoT crap out there, I am not even sure what direction to go now in the hobby. I know the decisions are all based on personal opinion and experience (of which I have none, opinion or experience) so those answers will probably be super diverse, but what hardware are you, the home automator hobbyist using? I have Arduino gear… Mega, Uno, Mini. I also have Pi3 and 3B. I have a bunch of ESP…now I can’t remember… boards. Okay, I also get that it also depends purely on what you are trying to accomplish with that hardware too. K.I.S.S is always better and unless you are going to integrate a number of tasks into one piece of hardware, there is no real reason to go all crazy. Like using a Mega to read only a temp/humidity module.
I guess what I am looking for specifically is this: What projects have you personally automated or made digitally controllable and what hardware did you chose for it and why? If you have set it up to be GUI managed…like a tablet on the wall with buttons for control… what did you chose to make that interface?
What prompted this is THIS project idea- I have put in my node/server closet in the new house and I know that once I put in the Plex server box and drives there will be some residual heat that will build up in there because it is all mounted above the entry door and there is no way for heat to escape… yet. I planned to put in a grill at ceiling height with a set of large computer case fans that are super quiet. I am thinking PWM speed control based on ambient temperature in the space, faster the hotter of course, and run it so the air is pulled from the floor up through an air filter to keep the closet air clean. The floor is a dirty place to be pulling air from obviously. I looked at an Uno to run PWM driver for the fans and a cheapo DHT(?) sensor and script to keep it simple. Then I dropped into the I2C rabbit hole and that was a days long spiral into technology, albeit simple still, and eyes rolled back into my head. Especially when I started looking at Firmata and the VVVV software?protocol?interface? (that looks incredibly complicated but admittedly super cool if you can figure out all of its nuances). I want upgradeability without a crap ton of hardware rebuilds but, ah heck, I know that every bit of this is continuing prototyping and updated versions ad nausium(grin). But where is the best place to jump into this curve? I have so far, bought a lot of different types of boards and component level stuff and analyzed into paralysis. Unlike most of my children, I am willing to listen to others experiences and avoid making the same mistakes.