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.
What you need:
I discovered this Arduino library a few weeks ago, and was surprised to see that there aren’t more projects that make use of it. I feel that anyone that is using OTA would have a use for this library. So I decided to make a post because I’m thinking that there are many people that don’t know about it. This library was written by JoaoLopesF.
After installing my Garage Door Controller, I wanted my next project to be something cooler. Of course, there’s nothing cooler than a smart gas fireplace.
Here is a list of things you will need to get started:
- A gas fireplace. Read below to make sure your fireplace will work with this.
- Wemos D1 Mini | AliExpress
- MicroUSB Cable and Charger for Wemos
- 5V Relay | AliExpress
- Dupont jumpers | AliExpress
- Electronic Project Case (Optional)
Software that you will need:
- Home Assistant configured with an MQTT broker such as Mosquitto
- Arduino IDE | How to setup Arduino IDE with a Wemos D1 Mini
I created a gallery of all the images for this project in case anyone needs a closer look at any of the wiring.
NOTE: Although the stuff in this post should still work, the HA devs put out an ‘Alert’ component shortly after I wrote this that does pretty much the same thing. I’ve created an updated post about it HERE. I am going to leave this post up as I feel that it might still be useful to accomplish other tasks.