The MayPi Doorman System
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The MayPi Doorman System

The MayPi Doorman System was developed to serve as the electronic doorman at the newly renovated Red Victorian Coliving Hotel in San Francisco's historic Haight Ashbury neighborhood.

What's in a name?

MayPi is named after William May. William May has been The Fairmont San Francisco's Doorman for over 27 years! As he likes to say this service has helped him earn his PhD in People. He's now up for a Hotel Hero Award for Lifetime Achievement in Operations. Learn more here:


Lock icon provided by Svangraph


The hardware used for this system includes:

  • Raspberry Pi Model B
  • PiFace Digital I/O Expander
    • Slightly modified to expose 2 GPIO pins
  • Wiegand Key Pad
  • 12v Electric door strike
  • Various other parts


  • Raspian Wheezy
  • Nginx
  • Gunicorn
  • Django 1.8
  • Python 2.7

Raspberry Pi Setup

Install Raspian

Install a few essentials and set up the pi

sudo apt-get install git tmux python-pip python-dev virtualenvwrapper
sudo apt-get install nginx gunicorn supervisor

Disable Swap

sudo apt-get remove dphys-swapfile

Ram tmp dir

sudo vi /etc/fstab
tmpfs /tmp tmpfs nodev,nosuid,size=50M 0 0
rmdir /var/tmp
ln -s /tmp /var/tmp

Force HDMI

sudo vi /boot/config.txt

Install Adafuit Tools

curl -SLs | bash

Install Wiring Pi

git clone git://
cd wiringPi

Setup Maypi Application

sudo adduser maypi
sudo su - maypi
virtualenv webapp
cd webapp
mkdir static
mkdir media
source bin/activate
git clone
cd maypi
cp maypi/ maypi/
vi maypi/
pip install -r requirements.txt
./ migrate
./ collectstatic

Setup Nginx/Supervisor/Gunicorn

Follow the instructions in config/