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PanelPi - Access Home Security Wired Sensors

21 July 2020

Here wee go again!  PanelPi - A little Pi help to integrate old wired alarm system
*** VERY early in the project, this page is expected to be a mess for quite a while (as usual) ***


PanelPi was initially cobbled together to explore sprucing up our old/wired home security system.  Current plan is to integrate a number of hardwired sensors into our 'Smart' home.  We'll see!

  • - My Favorite!  Download latest RPI version (Donate!)
  • - Much easier way to flash OS images to SD 
  • Couple of Software installs from DietPi's Optimised Software Collection
    • OpenSSH instead of Dropbear SSH Server.  Supports SCP xfers
    • RPi-Monitor - Web interface system stats
    • RPi.GPIO - gpio interface library for rpi (python) 
    • WebIOPi - web interface to control rpi.gpio  
  • WebIOPi - web interface to control GPIO.  Install by hand dietpi install fails


Current Config
  • Raspberry Pi 1 Model B.  Arm6 w/ Ethernet + two USB ports
  • EDIMAX USB WiFi adapter
  • Old/Original RPi Power Supply (1 amp!)
  • Really Old 8g Micro USB card
  • Multimeter, some hook clip test thingies (from my Burroughs days!!!)
Stuff to Explore

Step by Step (rough notes to self, I'll cleanup later)

Phase I - Pi in Panel. 
Get Panel online - currently in Wifi deadspot.  Use Webiopi to see what is going on with existing sensors.   
  • Dietpi via etcher
    • dietpi-config  - as usual - security, naming, etc
    • dietpi-software:  Openssh + RPI-Monitor, RPi.GPIO from optimized software list
    • Don't forgetmy  editor - apt-get install joe
  • Webiopi via instructions @
    • Easiest to download via gui on main system and scp to PanelPi.  Syntax: 
      scp WebIOPi-0.7.1.tar.gz root@panelpi:/home/WebIOPi-0.7.1.tar.gz
    • Via SSH:
      • Install ( took a looong time on RPi 1!) 
        $ tar xvzf WebIOPi-x.y.z.tar.gz
        $ cd WebIOPi-x.y.z
        $ ./
      • Fire it up to test 
        webiopi -d -c /etc/webiopi/config
    • Access via http://panelpi:8000 
      • Default user/pw "webiopi"/"raspberry".  
      • Change pw using  webiopi-passwd
      • Check /etc/webiopi/config
    • Run a daemon 
      /etc/init.d/webiopi start/stop
    • Start at boot
      update-rc.d webiopi defaults
    • <reboot> to get the witches out and to make sure it all comes up OK before disconnecting keyboard & monitorand moving to the panel!
  • Cleanup
    • RPi Monitor data.conf (no ethernet):  Comment out network.conf, uncomment wlan.conf 
    • Disable wifi powersave mode (iwconfig wlan0 power off DID NOT WORK)
      iw dev wlan0 set power_save off
    • Reboot with old PS, just to make sure it works!
  • Hardware Contraption
    • <coming soon>

- PanelPi will have to Wifi to SuitiePi - forgot to run Ethernet to panel area when I had wall out!!! Argh!
    - remember to static route and reserve dhcp so I can find/access PanelPi on that subnet
- WebIOPI did not install via Dietpi ... attempting by hand
    - RPi 1 Model B -> Install instructions @
    - RPi 2 and beyond (40pin GPIO) @

Log, Odd and Ends and fond memories

July 2020 - rebuild
  • Can't recall details but had to rebuild,  Dietpi Buster
  • Decided to switch to RPI 1 Model B - good use for it
    • 26-pin GPIO is fine. 
  • FINALLY traced my steps .... current recipe above

June 2020 - Back at it
  • Had to turn on WiFi reconnect in dietpi-config.  I wonder if wifi is dowzing off, powersave?
downloaded attached a GPIO pinout leaf - We'll see if it helps, pretty small print for old eyes!

- Ghazooks!  To keep all this stuff going on our network remember the following.
  1. Add host to local DNS in protected router
  2. DHCP reservation in AP (SuitiePi), remeber to change when hardware is swapped
  3. Static Route to PanelPi in ISP router