In my Last Post I talked about doing a physical installation of some Z-Wave thermostats. In this post, I’m going to talk about what I had to go through to get an Aeotec Z-Stick Gen5 working with Home Assistant running on Lubuntu. I was actually surprised how easy everything was; I had no idea that Home Assistant’s Z-Wave integration was so well done.
NOTE: If you are replacing a thermostat, be sure to cut power to the board on your furnace that powers the thermostat. I made the mistake of just turning off the breaker labeled ‘AC’. The board still had power. As I was replacing the first thermostat, I must have shorted wires, which is likely to happen to most people. Lucky for me, this simply burned the fuse
Ever since Ring released their video doorbell a few years ago, I've been waiting for a WiFi video doorbell that didn't rely on the cloud (and a monthly fee), was powered by hard wire, and still looked decent. I've only had it for a few days, but I think that the Nelly Security doorbell accomplishes this. Unfortunately, it looks like the Nelly version is out of stock at the time of writing, but this doorbell has been rebranded by a bunch of other companies, one of which is Nelly.
I was looking for a simple and cheap Wifi camera that would work with Home Assistant and doesn’t rely solely on cloud recording since that can get expensive very quickly. In my search, I came across the Xiaomi Xiaofang camera. Although this camera is ‘cloud only’ by default, @samtap on GitHub has created FangHacks, which is a set of scripts that can be installed on the Xiaofang to enable RTSP, along with a bunch of other features. It will also show you how to add this into Home Assistant. This post will go through the steps involved in installing these modifications.
Here’s a video of the car in action:
The most recent project I decided to work on was a line following robot. However, as I was testing it to make sure the direction code was working, I decided to develop something that I can control from my smartphone. It turned out much better than I was expecting, so I figured I should make a blog post about it.
So about a week after my post about sending a repeating notification through Home Assistant, the developers created a new ‘Alert’ component that basically made my post obsolete. So I decided to switch over to the Alert component and add some extra features.
I’ve seen these games around, and I wanted to make my own. The object is simple. The metal wand has a loop with a long windy wire going through it, and the object is to get from one end of the wire to the other, without touching the wand to the wire. It automatically detects when the game is starting and when it ends, and records the last time and record time. It also displays this information on the OLED display and it buzzes when the wire is touched.
I have a sump pump in my basement that doesn’t run very often. I wanted to be able to get a notification when it did run and a notification in the event of a water leak, which might indicate that the pump isn’t functioning properly. Detecting water was relatively simple, but trying to figure out when the pump runs was a little more challenging. I looked into a vibration sensor since the pipes would vibrate very lightly when it came one, but the sensor just wasn’t sensitive enough. I also considered measuring the amount of sound, but I thought that might cause some false positives when the kids were in the basement playing.