A server cabinet control unit – part II

A server cabinet control unit – part II

The Server Control Cabinet (or SCC) turns out to be far more complex. So I decided to split it into a few separate posts. This part here deals with measuring the temperature using DS18B20 sensors.

Measuring the temperature

The DS18B20 sensor measures temperatures. It is a ‘onewire’ or ‘1-wire’ device, which makes it possible to run a number of different sensors off the same GPIO pin. In my case, this is ideal, as the Raspberry Pi has a limited amount of Pins. Adafruit has a nice tutorial with one sensor. As I use two (one internal, one external) I have adapted it to work with two. Code further below. I wanted to use a different pin than GPIO4 for the sensors, but somehow, it didn’t work. In the Adafruit tutorial, GPIO4 is used. As it turns out, GPIO4 is the dedicated pin for ‘one-wire’ sensors and they won’t work on any other pins. Thanks to Frank Buss for pointing this out in his post.


Breadboard layout

one-wire DS18B20

Adapting the code

I made some minor changes to the python tutorial to test the temperature part of the project:

import os
import glob
import time
os.system('modprobe w1-gpio')
os.system('modprobe w1-therm')

s1 = '28-000004dbc27c'
s2 = '28-000004dc52ef'
base_dir = '/sys/bus/w1/devices/'
device_folder_s1 = glob.glob(base_dir + s1)[0]
device_folder_s2 = glob.glob(base_dir + s2)[0]
device_file_s1 = device_folder_s1 + '/w1_slave'
device_file_s2 = device_folder_s2 + '/w1_slave'
def read_temp_raw(sensor):
    if sensor == 's1':
        device_file = device_file_s1
        device_file = device_file_s2
    f = open(device_file, 'r')
    lines = f.readlines()
    return lines
def read_temp(sensor):
    lines = read_temp_raw(sensor)
    while lines[0].strip()[-3:] != 'YES':
        lines = read_temp_raw(sensor)
    equals_pos = lines[1].find('t=')
    if equals_pos != -1:
        temp_string = lines[1][equals_pos+2:]
        temp_c = float(temp_string) / 1000.0
        temp_f = temp_c * 9.0 / 5.0 + 32.0
        return temp_c, temp_f
while True:

Loading the module automatically

For the temperature sensors to work after a restart, the 1-wire module has to be loaded automatically at startup. Add a new line with “w1-gpio” to the file “/etc/modules”.


Switching the fan on and off

The GPIO pins do not provide enough power to drive a fan directly nor to switch a relay on or off.

Testing the circuits

The fan relay.

Kevin Sangeelee has an excellent post about how to use a relay with a Raspberry Pi.