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...

Easy DIY Fully Addressable RGB LED Strip with ESPHome or WLED

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.

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

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).

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.

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.