Boris Puts Two Raspberry Pis to Work in This Impressively-Industrial Home Assistant Control Panel

With a key-switch lockout, plumbing schematic, touchscreen dashboard, and plenty of physical buttons, this is Home Assistant heaven.

Mononymous YouTuber Boris, of the channel BorisDigital, has gone a step beyond most home automation setups by taking the Home Assistant dashboard and making it physical — using a pair of Raspberry Pi single-board computers to build an industrially-inspired wall-mounted control panel.

"I modeled this after modern commercial jetliner cockpits, and also a little on nuclear power plant control rooms," Boris explains of the control panel's aesthetics. "Both are great things to incorporate into your décor in my opinion! I have a pretty complex Home Assistant setup, and this panel makes it easier to view and control what's going on in the house at a glance."

If you feel most home automation setups are a little too ephemeral, Boris has the hefty physical control panel for you. (📹: BorisDigital)

Most Home Assistant users control their setups through the software's web interface, but Boris opted for something more concrete. The panel includes a 7" touchscreen display connected to a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+, which flips through a selection of Home Assistant dashboards configured through an extension. Physical buttons next to the screen bring up other pages, including security cameras and information on the panel itself.

The screen is only a small part of the control panel. Three sets of seven-segment LEDs beneath the screen show readings from an Aeotec Home Energy Meter for the monitoring of voltage, amperage, and wattage of one or both incoming phases. Buttons beneath these control lights, switches, and outlets — "and I may even label them some day," Boris jokes.

The bottom half of the panel is where the industrial styling really shows: the casing is marked with a schematic diagram of the house's plumbing system, with LEDs feeding back on water flow, leakages, and overflows as and when they happen. "For instance," Boris explains, "if I open up a faucet, the water meter LED turns green and then this bar graph shows the rate of flow through the system. If the flow is too high or lasts for too long, it triggers an alarm."

The control panel even includes a physical key, locking out the buttons if not inserted. Everything bar the display is connected to a second Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+, with both boards connected to the home network through Ethernet — minimizing cabling through the use of Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) boards.

The project is detailed in full in the video embedded above and on the BorisDigital YouTube channel.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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