I want to create a thermostat with my Pi to control (also remotely) my heating boiler, using python if possible.

Unfortunately I don't know much about electronics, so I'm asking your help just to understand if my project idea is achievable.

I'd like to use a wireless RF relay module (something like this) , to avoid wires for all over the house, for switch on and off the heating boiler and obviously a temperature sensor. To fire up the wireless relay I probably need a RF transmitter that should be connected to GPIO.

Now, is this achievable and what I'm missing? Can someone help me writing down the shopping list and products I might need?

Or is there is a better solution?


You are on the right track. I also have a project like this in the pipeline.

The cheapest device for wireless communication is MHz serial links like this one from spark fun (also available on eBay)

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The wires are easy to solder to the pins and there is no coil antenna used but a discrete smd antenna instead that saves a ton of space compared to the coil antennas. I am not sure about the range though. You can also get these in MHz that increase range or more expensive zigbee GHz/GHz that give you plenty of bandwidth and range!

It all depends on what kind of control you have on your central heating. My centra heating has a thermostat that turns on 220volt to the boiler if its cold and turns it off when its above the setting. That is simple in my case and I can use a simple high voltage relay to override the thermostat.

I cannot advise you here about electronics but there is https://electronics.stackexchange.com/ and you can take some photos of your thermostat wires and ask a specific question on there. There are some really good guys on there.

enter image description here

Obviously- Using a Raspberry Pi just to control a relay (or as temperature sensors) is NOT economically viable. So you might have to take a trip down Arduino lane. There are aTiny'ies but they don't have a proper SPI on them. So you cant hookup RF modules that easy to them. This might help you make your own cheap Arduino. and they use proper proper atMega's here with proper UART's, SPI's and plenty of IO's. They are compact and are quite powerfull for 8mhz chips. ATMEGA168, ATMEGA328, ATMEGA328p are all compatible with Arduino IDE and programmers. They also cost about 2-4usd each and can run standalone after they are programmed.

Your command and control centre can be the Raspberry Pi, that sends commands on your RF networks, runs a database, get temperature from other devices, runs a web server for your frontend.


your question is too broad and does not have a simple answer that can be written down in a reasonable amount of time.

though it's possible to control anything with a Pi, for your project I'd recommend to use a few simple micro controllers (that costs around $1 each), a pair of RF-link modules that might go as high as $20-30 each, and some spare parts, including the relay and temperature sensors, that might cost another $5-10. A piece of a breadboard or some basic soldering and you'll have your thermostat working in no time.


I'm doing exactly what you're suggesting.

Using a PI, XBBO-xrf ( http://shop.ciseco.co.uk/xbbo-break-out-board-for-xbee-shaped-modules/ xrf-wireless-rf-radio-uart-rs232-serial-data-module-xbee-shape-arduino-pic-etc/)

and a xrf/relaybase ( http://shop.ciseco.co.uk/xrf-relaybase-also-for-xbee-wireless-dual-relay-module-for-switching-kit/)

  • Welcome to the community! Be sure you are actually answering the question asked. This response may be better suited for a comment rather than an answer. – Butters Jul 23 '13 at 15:14
  • Thanks for the welcome. Q. Now, is this achievable and what I'm missing? A. "I'm doing exactly what you're suggesting." Q. Can someone help me writing down the shopping list and products I might need? A. I have given links to the products I'm using. Q. Or is there is a better solution? A. Subjective question I know, but I wouldn't be doing it if I didn't think it was the best solution. – michaelpgc Jul 23 '13 at 17:49

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