DIY automation and HVAC system runs Ubuntu Snappy on RPi

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    DIY automation and HVAC system runs Ubuntu Snappy on RPi

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    Cube-Controls has launched a “Pi Cubes” home automation and HVAC kit that runs Ubuntu Snappy on a Raspberry Pi.

    Having furnished its Kickstarter backers with its Pi Cubes home automation system, Kitchener, Canada startup Cube-Controls has opened sales to the general public. The Raspberry Pi-driven system is designed like a commercial building HVAC automation system, says Cube-Controls. However, it is designed for the home, supporting control over furnaces, boilers, humidifiers, air handler units, dampers, valves, and any other HVAC equipment.

    Pi Cubes mainboard bare (left) and with a Raspberry Pi
    (click images to enlarge)

    You can connect up to six I/O modules, from a selection of three types, with up to 24 combined I/O endpoints. By mixing and matching the I/O modules, you can extend the system to provide other home automation and DIY tasks, such as controlling garage doors and garden sprinklers, says the company. There’s also a smart thermostat (see farther below).

    Pi Cubes board with six loaded I/O modules
    (click image to enlarge)

    You’re paying a bit more than the funders did, but it’s not a major difference. The basic kit with a mainboard, which acts as the hub, as well as one I/O module and a PVC PCB track, goes for $200 Canadian ($143 US). A second kit for $275 Canadian ($197) adds a second I/O module, and a $350 ($251) kit adds a third module. None of these prices include the cost of the Raspberry…

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