Replacing a 3-Way Switch with a TP-Link HS-210 3-Way Smart Switch

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I wasn’t planning on writing a post on this, but after I spent 4 hours wrapping my head around this and getting it working, I’m hoping this information might be able to help someone else. A while ago, I purchased this TP-Link 3-Way Smart Switch 2-Pack. I purchased them because the TP-Link stuff seems to be reliable, inexpensive, and it works with HomeAssistant. As an added bonus, you CAN use the smart switch on only one side of the circuit, and keep a dumb switch on the other side. You can turn the light on from either end, and the TP-Link will always show the correct status of the light. This allows you to make your 3-way switches smart for a good price since it always comes with a pair of 3-way switches. I wanted to be able to have the light turn on automatically using the Wyze Sense door sensor and a routine via Alexa. Read more...

How I Saved $100 a Month During the Summer With Home Assistant and Smart Thermostats

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A while ago, I wrote about installing a smart thermostat followed by a post about pairing them with Home Assistant with a Z-Wave Stick. I didn’t get a chance to mess with it much that summer and I only used it as a dumb thermostat. However, last summer, 2019, I decided to see if I could save a little money by optimizing my cooling schedule. This post talks about the steps I took to do that. Read more...

Easy DIY Fully Addressable RGB LED Strip with ESPHome or WLED

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In my last post about flashing a cheap LED controller, I mentioned that method is only really worth it if you already had the strip or the controller already laying around. However, if you wanted an LED strip project from scratch, I would highly recommend that you just create an addressable LED strip. It will cost almost the same, it is actually easier to do, and it will give you a lot more control over the strip. And I don't know if it is the strips that I got, but the color from the addressable strip seems be a lot nicer than the dumb strips from my last post. That could just be because the LEDs are closer together.

Using the WyzeCam as a Webcam for Your Computer or OctoPrint

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So if you are looking for a webcam right now (I am writing this article during the COVID-19 pandemic), then you might discover that you are literally going to spend about 3 times the normal price. The Logitech C920 costs $200 right now, and the popular budget C270 will cost you $100.

You can currently get popular WiFi WyzeCam for around $25. And even the pan/tilt version for $35. However, those cams are WiFi only, and won't work out the box with your computer as a webcam for video conferencing(or for OctoPrint, which is what I plan on using it for). However, Wyze recently released a special firmware that allows that function.

Automatically Upload Your Time Lapse videos From OctoPrint to Youtube

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For a few months now, I've been looking for a way to upload videos from OctoPrint (This link is to my previous write-up on OctoPrint and its plugins. Please check it out.) to YouTube automatically. I was optimistic when I learned about the OctoPrint-Dropbox-Timelapse plugin, and Zapier, I was optimistic that they would be able to do what I wanted. However, I was not able to get it working. But the OctoPrint-Dropbox plugin had a recent update, and all of a sudden, it all just started working. So I figured there might be others that wanted this, so i did a write-up on it.

Summoning Actual Fire, or Other Automations, When the Bomb Goes Off in CS:GO via Home Assistant

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A few years back, I wrote about integrating my dumb gas fireplace into Home Assistant using a Wemos D1 Mini. A few weeks ago Github user locii created an integration for Home Assistant that lets you integrate the popular PC game, Counter Strike: Global Offensive. So I figured I need to combine these things, and summon fire when the bomb goes off in the game. This article walks you through setting up something like this.

Here's a link to a video of it in action.

Updated FilaWeigher Filament Scale – Now with Temperature, Humidity, Pressure, and MQTT

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As I talked about in my last post about the FilaWeigher, I wanted to add MQTT and temperature/humidity(Using the BME280) to that project. Well, I've done that. Refer to the previous post for more details. But now for this one, I'm just going to focus on the updated code and schematics, and the Home Assistant integration via MQTT. I'm going to leave the old post up for the people that don't want MQTT or the BME280 sensor. This version also has JSON output of all the sensors which allows for OctoPrint integration(I actually just finished up that plugin and I'm going to be posting that up soon).

My Experience with My First 3D Printer: a Creality Ender 5 (With Mini Getting Started Guide)

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About 2 months ago, I decided to finally pull the trigger on purchasing a 3D printer. I settled on the Creality Ender 5. I felt that it struck the right balance between bed size, price, and the community behind it. Although the community isn’t extremely large on its own, I felt that it’s similar enough to the Ender 3 that I should be able to able to figure out any issues by using the same types of advice. I have found that to be accurate for the most part. In addition, it looks like the number of Ender 5 users have increased sharply around the time I bought it. I also liked how it had the 4  vertical rails, which I’m sure gives it a lot more stability. Read more...

Using a Kindle Fire as a Touch Screen Home Control Panel

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Recently, Amazon was selling the refurbished Fire 7 tablet for less than $40. The new one runs for juts $10 more. So I figured I would order it and see if it would be an option. After spending an hour with it, I felt confident that I can make it work. I’ve been running it for a couple weeks at the time of writing, and it’s been awesome.

Installing the Ring Pro Doorbell/Mini Review

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I wrote about the Nelly WiFi Doorbell a little over a year ago. At first, I was pretty happy with it. But after a while, it needed to be reset a couple time and it would need a reboot every couple of weeks. It was just a pain to look after it. It’s probably still one of the best options if you require local recording. In my case, I would love to have local recording, but not with this much hassle. I suspect that there’s a chance that the issues may have been the fact that the transformer was 10VA, and that it may have need a little more juice. But I couldn’t find any details as to what it required. I didn’t feel like experimenting with it, so I decided to go with the Ring Pro. Read more...