DIYAutomate FAQs

What is diyAutomate?

diyAutomate is a blog focused on home automation, life automation, and IoT (Internet of Things).

What is home automation, life automation, and IoT?

There are books written to describe each of these (though life automation may be a term we made up).  Here is a brief summary:

  • Home Automation refers to the automation of systems commonly thought of as core home systems.  Systems like lighting, heating, and audio are core systems most people think about when thinking about home automation, although systems like security, irrigation/ plant watering, vacuum cleaners, and even pet feeding may be included.  The key is that systems react to direct commands or preset environmental stats (e.g. time of day, temperature,  movement, ambient light conditions).
  • Life Automation is similar to home automation but refers to systems that are not directly connected to the home, and are more directly connected to individuals.  It is hard to say what this includes because it includes anything that can be automated.  We will mostly focus on common items like applications, operating systems, personal technology (fit bits, smart watches, automobile tech, and the like).  There is a definite connection between home and life automation as one may drive the other.
  • IoT or Internet of Things refers to an architecture (even though there is not a single architecture agreed to by the industry) where devices (or things) are placed on a network with the intention that these devices are limited in scope of functionality (such as a light, a windmill, a fitbit, or a thermostat).  In most cases, these devices return telemetry data (for a thermostat, it might be temperature and humidity levels; for a windmill, it might be turbine speed and directional orientation), and provides a control surface to do different things (such as adjusting the temperature, or shutting down a wind turbine).  In a lot of cases, the telemetry data is used, at least in part, to make decisions about automated tasks.

We will be publishing blog posts discussing each of these items.

Why did you start diyAutomate?

I started it for two reasons.  The first and probably most important reason for me is that over the last few years my day job has gotten less and less technical.  The geek in me is getting bored and restless and I needed to find a way to express that side of me.

The second reason is that I find this type of automation and IoT interesting and something I can do to produce results in my own life.  There are a lot of people out there writing and posting videos in these areas, but in many cases, I could not find the information in a format that made sense to someone who was trying to accomplish a complete home automation infrastructure.

Will you cover a topic I am interested in?


You are free to email us at Suggestions@diyautomate.me and we will see what we can do.

This will be limited in a few ways.  One way is that we may or may not have access to the technology you want covered.  If we do not, we could probably not do the topic justice.  Secondly, we will only cover things that we am interested in (for the most part), so if you ask us to cover something that we have no interest in, we probably will not cover it.

What formats will you publish in?

Our main place to publish will be this blog (diyAutomate.me).  However in a lot of cases the blog posts themselves will tie together content from YouTube and Github (a code sharing and collaboration site).

We will publish announcements to Facebook and Twitter.

Finally, we will be linking to and commenting on articles from around the web

Can I contribute?

Again, maybe.

We will be happy to accept guest posts, and to credit the author.  That being said, we will want to make sure the posts are relevant to the site, not advertisements disguised as posts, and are generally well done.  We will be happy to work with you on editing, and even video creation, if the posts meet the rest of the requirements.

Also, this site is being published with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International  license.  If you want your work to be published on this site with any license other than that, we would need to discuss it.

Can I republish or use your work in other ways?


We publish all our work with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.

Information on that license can be found here:

How often do you post?

Our goal right now (starting August 2016) is once or twice a week.  It will depend on what we have going on in our lives, and how in-depth some of the articles go or how much time they take to create.

What technologies will you be looking at?

This is a complicated question as the technologies will change over time.  We are starting with the following as a minimum (though not all at once):

  • Micro-Controllers : Arduino, Raspberry Pi, ESP8266 (this includes development boards and electronic components to build projects)
  • Computers and tablets: Android, Windows (7 and 10), Linux (Ubuntu)
  • Sensors: any sensor compatible with our Micro-Controllers and Computers (temperature, light, gps, …)
  • Software: Arduino programming environment, Visual Studio (community edition), OpenHab, VoxCommando, Mosquitto, GitKraken
  • IoT devices: Nest Thermometer, Sonos Speakers, Hue Lights
  • Protocols: MQTT (primary), Soap, Rest, HTTP, FTP
  • Languages: C++ (arduino subset), Visual Basic, C#, Java, HTML (I know not technically a language)

We will also be using cloud services like:

This is not an exhaustive list, and as we move forward items will be added or deleted.

That is a lot of technologies, should I be worried?


Remember, this is for the home hobbyist.  We will start slow (maybe too slow for some of you) and build up a working knowledge.

We are not going to teach programming, but we will walk through code a lot, and at a very basic level at first.  So just follow along, be patient (with both us and yourself), and you will be fine. Also, feel free to research on your own and learn from multiple sources!

I have a question that is not covered here, what should I do?

Email me at Editors@diyAutomate.me