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Michael Sage

IT, Digital & Culture

Smart Static – Hardware

I have a page on my smart home blog that covers the hardware currently in use (and retired). I thought I would do the same for my smart static. Again the aim for this hardware is to use as little bandwidth as possible and as sympathic to the fact it’s a place to relax! This page will be slightly different to the smart home one as the whole system needs to be operated without me or computers being there! 

Amazon Alexa Logo
Amazon Fire Logo
Eufy Logo
Raspberry Pi Logo with text


Amazon Alexa, is a virtual assistant, first used in the Amazon Echo and the Amazon Echo Dot smart speakers. She is the central “hub” to all my systems, start with an Echo Dot and build it from there! The ‘van will have a 4th gen dot and dot with clock, for music and smart control


Amazon Fire Tablet

As well as acting as another echo device the fire tablet will be wall mounted to act as a control panel for the smart static. The tablet will be removable so that it can be used any where in the caravan as a second screen, a reading device or a simple web / android tablet. 


Cheap and good cameras that support a range of storage options and a decent app and ecosystem.

Remotely available and utilise local storage. A win in a low bandwidth situation!

Raspberry Pi

The brains of the operation. A local RTSP endpoint for the camera, a plex media server, data storage and all round good egg!

Looking at the possibility of utilising a second one for home assistant for full non-cloud offline testing.

Roku Logo
GL-iNet Logo
TP-Link Kasa Smart Logo
OpenWrt Logo

Roku Streaming Stick

In my opinion the best streaming client available. A huge number of apps including Prime, Netflix, UK TV and Plex. 

Will stream direct from the Pi plex server when there is no internet.

GL-Inet GL-AP1300LTE

Network in a box. Access point, switch, modem, VPN, firewall, and probably some other stuff.

The GL will be the only networking device in the ‘van. Providing everything from the guest network, to the routing, VPN and switching.

TP-Link Kasa

Smart plugs (3 way with USB) and bulbs. Kasa forms the smart functions for the lighting and electric points in the ‘van. 

The beauty of the kasa system is they are fully supported in home assistant and have local “button” control. A nice low / no bandwidth solution for the van.


The OS under the GL-Inet skin. A Linux operating system for embedded devices.

Instead of a single, static firmware, it provides a writable filesystem with package management.

It allows you to customise the device to suit any application.

Raspberry Pi OS logo
Home Assistant Logo
Flic Button Logo

Raspberry Pi OS

Raspberry Pi OS (formerly Raspbian) is a Debian-based operating system for Raspberry Pi.

Since 2015, it has been officially provided by the Raspberry Pi Foundation as the primary operating system,

The static pi is running RPi OS and as a debian system there are a huge number of packages available to customise and tweak.

Home Assitant

An opensource home automation platform. Used in the smart van to link flic and kasa locally… No internet required. This gives users a 3rd hardware only option if they don’t want to use Alexa or the Kindle fire tablet.


Two flic buttons linked to the home assistant raspberry pi. This allows users to press an “actual” button to control the lights and scenes in the van without talking to Alexa or using the tablet. This solution will also work offline should there be limited internet connection at any point. 

Adventures in Static Caravan World…

In the Spring of 2021, my partner and I bought a static caravan by the North Norfolk coast. It’s an older 2007 Delta Santana. We have so many ideas of what we want to do with it. 

It will probably come as no surprise that I want to smart the hell out of it, but be sympathetic to the fact it’s also meant to be an escape.

Over this blog I intend to cover, mostly, smart things, but stuff we’ve learnt along the way.

Floor plan of Santana Static Caravan

So here is a list of things I will be covering in future blog posts, this list will probably change and only covers the smart stuff, I will also put some DIY thoughts and tips as we go too.

Men on a Girder (New York) with androids instead of men!

The Future…

Once we are in an settled I suspect there will be another iteration of smarts, one thing I haven’t done is any type of local smart control. As blog readers will know I love flic buttons and once the Alexa routines works I think it will be a lovely small addition. The Flics also work with home assistant for cloud free control, which leads on to… 

Home assistant, depending on how good the internet connection is, this might never be a thing, however, given all the components will work with home assistant there is an opportunity to remove cloud connections and put in another Pi for a dedicated HA server. 

Motion sensors, shelly have released a wifi motion sensor with a 3 year battery life that can toggle anything these could form a smart security system or be used for light control, again I would suspect full HA integration.

Finally Kasa also have a range of switches available in the states that might make it to the UK.

As you can see the future is more about control, both physical and virtual.

The Future is here, a shelly motion sensor has been ordered, I think these could be something really special!