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I'd like to connect a button "dimmer switch" like this one:

picture_of_a_rotary_dimmer_ligts_and_a_living_room

to the IoT. Maybe there's already such a device, I just could not find any.

The underlying idea is to set a "%" information for each of these devices, transforming it in a sort of manual sensor, and collecting it over the network.

As I am just beginning to get the concepts of IoT, my naive expectation is that this kind of sensor would exist, connected and integrated to an IoT enabled Linux based operating system, point from which I would know what to do onward. I just am completely lost about the connection between the electronics and O/S. I am willing to store in a database the % value (or "dim level"?) of several of these sensors, connected to a given network through a yet-to-determine technology and protocol. Some dashboards would then connect the database and show the information along with some analytics.

Either way, any advice on how to proceed would be great!

  • 2
    This is rather an incomplete system which you're trying to architect. There is no one 'IoT', which you can connect a 0-99 value to - you need to pose your question more in terms of the specific problem. Maybe you want to control a light bulb? If so, please make it clear, otherwise we're just guessing. – Sean Houlihane Feb 15 '17 at 15:07
  • Customer facing products some as 'whole system' from a single vendor, using closed APIs, not customer provided linux nodes. Changing this would be welcome, but very hard. – Sean Houlihane Feb 15 '17 at 15:21
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    It seems it can be done using a rotary or potentiometer sensor from arduino, connected to raspberry pi using 2 wifi antenas relaying the usb communication native from the arduino sensor. Well that's at least one way to do it. My mistake was to imagine the sensor itself with an O/S. – Sebas Feb 15 '17 at 16:42
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    How about adding that realization into your question? – Helmar Feb 15 '17 at 20:22
  • And don't be afraid to post an answer, if you thoink that is one. – Mawg Feb 16 '17 at 7:48
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Yes, there already are such devices.

If you are not bound to the rotary dial there are dimmers out there (e.g. Insteon 2477d). Probably there some rotary versions too. The Insteon variant can be controlled via their powerline messages (Spec) or via a hub. According to the Insteon website you could build your own powerline client, hook it up to a Pi, a computer or whatever else you want and communicate with your dimmer switch. It's also dual band. Although the second band is RF and not Wi-Fi and thus not terribly helpful.

However as far as hubs go the hub is not terribly expensive and bridges over to Wi-Fi and has a HomeKit and Alexa integration.

If you want to connect an existing rotary dimmer to the IoT a bit of electrical engineering will be required.

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