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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
I am currently paying around $27 a month for my monitored home security system. And that's just a system with 3 door sensors, 2 motion, and cellular/battery backup. It's just a dumb system with no connection to the Internet. I have to be at the one keypad to be able to arm it.
When I learned Ring has a system that would only have a monthly fee of $10/mo or $100/yr, I decided to take a deep look into it. After a couple hours of reading, it seemed like a no-brainer.