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Spark: Look Ma, an open source thermostat

Posted January 23, 2014
Spark: Look Ma, an open source thermostat has come up with an open source thermostat. “We spent about $70 on components to put this together (including $39 for the Spark Core); the wood and acrylic were free. We started working at 10am and finished at 3am, with 3.5 engineers involved (one went to bed early), and the only work we did in advance was order the electronic components.” Their step by step demo and encouraging words to Makers that the future is quite open for success have attracted a number of tech sites to give them praise. Spark is a Minneapolis, Minnesota based group, founded in 2012, which carries a motto to give you “the tools to connect everyday electronics to the internet over Wi-Fi.” The group is known already for the Spark Core, a small Wi-Fi development board that makes it easy to create Internet-connected hardware. They also are known for Spark Cloud, a cloud service for connected devices. This time around, they designed an open source thermostat as a DIY feat. Open source files for this Web-connected thermostat have been posted on GitHub.

The user can change the temperature by turning a ring; the temperature appears on an LED display.

How did they do it, in spending little time and cash to put it all together? They cut out wood and plastic and added Spark Core and control logic. That’s the short story. For those who want to understand, though, what they actually had to do to make this work, the Spark team posted a generous discussion, step by step.

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