I now have one of these kits from Energenie and have been putting it through it’s paces and use it to control a floor fan and lamp.
Putting it together
The kit that Energenie have put together includes two remote controlled plug-sockets and a module to plug on to the Raspberry Pi’s General Purpose Input Output (GPIO) pins.
So to get started all that is required is
- A Raspberry Pi already setup and working
- The Starter Kit
I plugged in the GPIO Module as you can see to the right and turned on the Raspberry Pi. I then downloaded the provided starter script that walks you through configuring the sockets to listen tot he Raspberry Pi and assign a socket to a group. You can have up to four groups of sockets and theoretically you can have multiple sockets in each group.
Please read their PDF for how to setup the Raspberry Pi and the Kit (https://energenie4u.co.uk/res/pdfs/ENER314%20UM.pdf
Controlling from a Phone/Tablet/Touch Screen
I wanted to be able to control the sockets from various places, including 2 Android Tablets, 2 Android Phones & a touch screen attached to the Raspberry Pi.
I originally went down the route I know best – web page control. This was slightly more difficult that I had hopped due to the security built into hosting software like Apache. I will be putting together a separate post showing how I accomplished this in the long run (it does get very technical, so I am leaving it out of this review).
There is another way to control the Raspberry Pi from Android phones. A free application called “SSH Button” can control your Raspberry Pi over the secure SSH Connection. Setting up is straight forward and will allow you to press a button to get the Raspberry Pi to run a Shell Script, Python Script or anything else (reboot, shutdown etc). I will be putting a review of this up soon as well, with instructions for configuring it.
Go and buy it
I really can’t thank Energenie enougth for bringing out this kit. There are other, more involved ways to do what this kit does and those ways can control more then four groups. But for the price of the kit, this is the cheapest and easiest way to get going.