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

UPDATE: I have written an updated post(1 year later) about this printer. Be sure to read that one after this one as there is some update info in there. Here is the link to it.

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

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

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...

Initial Thoughts on the Ring Alarm

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.

Zigbee to MQTT gateway for less than $10

It's been a few months since my post about Hubitat, and I have not been too happy with it. The MQTT bridge works, but sometimes things get out of sync. For example, if I turn the power on the Zigbee bulb off and then on again, I can't control the bulb through Home Assistant until I turn it on and off through Hubitat first. So I started my quest for an alternative. It costs almost nothing, so I decided to try out the CC2531 Zigbee stick.

Modify the Xiaomi Xiaofang Camera to Work With Home Assistant and Other Video Recording Software

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. Read more...

Using the Home Assistant Alert Component with Telegram Acknowledge

This is an update to my post about the Garage Door Notification which was based on my Wifi Garage Door Controller .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.