Nest + Pellet Stove + Yurt

Accepted Session
Short Form
Scheduled: Thursday, June 26, 2014 from 11:00 – 11:45am in B204


Nest is a twenty-first century take on a nineteenth century thermostat. A pellet stove is a modern version of a campfire that won't burn the house down. A modern yurt is a high tech tent based on an age old Mongolian design. Can they all work together?


In this talk, I will show how I’ve hacked a Nest thermostat using 1950s mechanical relay technology to allow the Nest to control the temperature in a yurt. Using simple tools, voltmeter, wire, relays, and some mathematical tricky in the form of a Karnaugh map, I’ve pushed technologies together that no one intended to work together.

Upping the ante, I’ll show how some 1970s TTL logic can improve the performance of the Nest in the volatile temperature environment of the yurt.


nest, thermostat, pellet stove, relays, hack, eletromechanical

Speaking experience

I've spoken at PyTennesse 2014, OSCON 2009 and countless internal presentations in the Mozilla Corporation and previous employers.

This talk is an expanded version of a lightning talk presented a PyTennessee 2014. That talk itself was based on a blog posting at:


  • Lars

    Lars Lohn

    Mozilla Corp


    Trapped at the triple point between a geek, a hippie and a biker, I am the Web Engineering Herd Patriarch at the Mozilla Corporation. More conventionally, I’m the software architect behind the Mozilla Socorro project. Unintentionally specializing in programming as performance art, I frequently jump into projects on the Thursday prior to a Monday deadline. Steadfastly refusing to move into management, I have a thirty-five year career behind me as a hacker. I’ve left a wake of code behind me in Fortran, C, C++, Java and Python across many industries: pure science, Wall Street, airlines, phone companies, and too many more to list. The odds are that your child rides a school bus that was optimally routed by software that evolved from my work in the 1980s.

    I prefer Python, PostgreSQL and Harleys, but am versed in C++, MySQL and Subarus.