Sainsmart Coreception – Getting Started and Mini Review

Note: This printer is pretty much the same as the Creativity Elf (AliExpress), so if you are searching for any details about this printer, searching for the Elf might be useful as well. I think there might be slight differences though. The frame is a different color, and the Coreception comes with LED lighting, which the ELF doesn’t appear to have. Read more...

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

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

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...

Compiling Marlin Firmware is Easy – Don’t Be Afraid to Do It

So I’m seeing a lot of posts on Reddit and other places about people wanting to compile Marlin and having a tough time with, or more commonly, many people just aren’t doing it because it seems intimidating. I’m hoping to put together a walkthrough that simplifies the process as much as possible for people that aren’t really comfortable compiling something. Many people think you need to be a programmer to do it. You don’t. Read more...

Making a Cheap WiFi LED Strip Controller a Lot Smarter

So I had some old LED strips that were hooked up around the window frame in my kid's room which were not doing anything because the old WiFi controller I had on it was just so flaky and it connected via the cloud to, I'm assuming, China. I revisited getting it working, and it turned out that it was using an ESP12 chip. So I figured I should get that going with ESPHome (Check out my previous article about ESPHome) to give me total local control with Home Assistant.

Automatically Upload Your Time Lapse videos From OctoPrint to Youtube

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

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.

Setting Up OctoPrint and its Plugins

About 8 months ago I purchased a Creality Ender 5. I wrote a mini getting started guide about it. In that guide, I mentioned OctoPrint, and how I would do a separate write-up on that. I installed OctoPrint after a few prints. I wanted to be able to monitor the prints remotely since the printer is down in the basement. This write-up goes through my setup and settings along with the plugins I used.

The FilaWeigher – A Standalone WiFi Web Based Weight Sensor for 3D Printer Filament For Less Than $7

I created this project so I can know exactly how much filament is left on a spool for my 3D printer, an Ender 5 I wrote about previously. However, it can very well be used to weigh anything else. I put a few settings that are specific to the filament, but they don't have to be used.