Recommendation for remote or wired digital I/O to combine with NR running on Raspberry Pi

I'm renovating a house and since it's quite big, I was thinking of automating things like lights, heating, and so on.

I have a small Raspbery Pi 4 that I could use as dedicated NR server, but the I/O is clearly insufficient, and I might need a way of linking additional sensors, thermostats, and so on. It is a big house, so it might be useful if I could set up some remote I/O running over the internal WiFi or ethernet.

At work, I am using NR from a dedicated server and get the information not directly from the sensors themselves, but from machine PLCs or PCs, so I don't really have anything to compare with.

Any recommendations will be welcome :slight_smile:

Run Mosquitto on your Raspberry Pi 4.

Assuming that your wifi covers the whole house, a common arrangement is to have sensors connected to cheap, wifi enabled ESP8266 or ESP32 boards and communicating with Node-red by MQTT.
MQTT works over ethernet too, and even Lorawan if you have a sensor at the bottom of the garden!


What I have in my house (and I believe a number of people on the forum have similar setups) is a Raspberry Pi running headless that acts as the server for my house. I then have WiFi-enabled microcontrollers (e.g. Wemos D1 Minis) fitted with various sensors or relays or LEDs around the house. All of the communication is via MQTT. The Raspberry Pi runs Node-RED and displays and controls things via the dashboard.

EDIT: Pretty much the same response as what @jbudd has posted.


I have well over 100 remove devices communicating with NR via MQTT. There is a discord forum called digiblur. There is tons of info there to help get you started plus a lot of great smart people. What you are wanting to do has been done many, many times. The other thing to look up is Tasmota.

Good luck!!

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Thanks for the replies. I'll take a look. I have some Echo Dot devices I want to integrate into the setup, and it looks they play nice with NR, so... :slight_smile:

I know it’s an older thread but new to the forum so missed this discussion. Sounds like you might have an even better solution at work with getting the sensor data from the PLCs. Why not use some experience from that and apply it at home? My PLC I/O module projects have been rock solid with hardwired Ethernet communication and NR. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for all the WIFI “smart home” devices.

Well... At work I do have the proper PLC software licenses (VIA portal v13), which I do not have at home. Their programs are already done for scanning the sensors and load the info on the tag list, that can be accessed later with the S7 nodes in NR. I have seen raspberry Pi-based Soft PLCs that can be programmed directly in Node-Red, and I am also familiar with Siemens and Mitsubishi PLCs, but the cost of any PLC often runs in the hundreds of euros.

I already have a RPi with a passive cooling metal case, so that's what I wanted to use.

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I'd like to introduce a netgate hardware to your appication.This netGate named PN6400 can communicate with your sensors via 485/zigbee/WiFi/232 uart and so on.You can control the natGate by Node-red ,and may upload data to cloud such as thingscloud.
The description of netGate is herePN6400

@magicfire, if you have a commercial interest in this product please declare that when you recommend it.