10002 The hidden database

A long due update A while back I setup influx DB to store the sensor and activity data on my smart home system. And i thought the raspberry pi 3 was not enough to run the server anymore. And moved to a NUC and all was fine. But recently I wanted to upgrade from Ubuntu 18 to 20 and thought about making an image of the SSD first, as a quick and easy way to… Continue reading

ESP-NOW

Intro The wireless sensor modules I built for my smart home are doing fine in terms of battery life without much effort. Typical life is 1-1.5 years for AAA powered and more than double that for AA powered nodes. So I thought I would have a better look at ESP-NOW. That’s because an ideea popped up during discussion with a friend: can he build a simple sensor network, quick and easy, with off the shelf… Continue reading

driving a string of anti parallel LEDs

Intro I have quite a few strings of LEDs with clips for photos. Never thought it was much more than a gimmick when i got the first one, but they do make for nice and personal decor with the photos attached. So naturally the next step is to control them through the home automation system. The first one was easy, there were all LEDs in parallel and an ESP8266 module and a tranzistor was all… Continue reading

The stupidity of thin laptops

Disclaimer: don’t take this article too seriously, it’s a rant. But it does highlight the problems in the industry. The need My 7 year old laptop needs replacement and I thought I would go for a more powerful, thin, beautiful new one. Most of the use is still going to be light: web browsing, document work, video watching, some CAD design, some coding and the occasional data analysis (CPU/GPU intensive) and .. not going to lie… Continue reading

Ikea TRÅDFRI review

Intro Part of my home automation project I would have some controllable lights, of course. On one hand, I used quite a few LED strips, controlled by dimmer modules. On the other, current technology allows for a plethora of wireless light bulbs.  Philips HUE is probably the biggest and best known because it has existed for quite a long time, but I am not that attracted due to the price. Once Ikea came up with… Continue reading

TP-Link KL50 smart light bulb teardown

Intro When I saw this KL50 wifi light bulb on sale, I thought I want to grab one and see what is inside. A quick search revealed no details about the insides of filament WiFi light bulbs. Short review The light worked well from the start, discovering and connecting it through the WiFi was straight up. It does what it promises, quite a nice diffuse and rather warm light. I have slightly colder lights in… Continue reading

Technology I want

Intro Sometimes in life you find that there is a piece of tech you would like to have but it’s not there. Well, here’s my list. In general, things in the list are either a combination of things or small feature additions. But everything here is totally possible, not some imagined magical devices. Occasionally, there may be something that is highly unpopular, but still present in the market. The article changes, as I add new ideas… Continue reading

Fast 3D printed boxes

Intro Finding the proper box for my sensors is not easy. But even after finding one that mostly worked, I wanted to explore more sensors and still have a bit of freedom while doing that. Of course, that means 3D printing with the new 3D printer. There is just one problem …. 3D printed boxes take a long time to 3D print. An example Here is the newest sensor module I designed, which can fit… Continue reading

The basil speaks to me – Part 2

This is highly experimental But of course, once the soil moisture is read out, it’s only a matter of time before automatic watering has to happen. Add one beefy (..ish) MOSFET and a small pump You get one basil with automatic watering. The setup now looks like this The watering algorithm Is very simple: I wait until the moisture level drops under a low threshold. Then I go into water mode: as long as the… Continue reading

10002 Server

Intro In my initial thoughts about the smart home system architecture, the server was most likely a raspberry pi: At that time it seemed the PI was apt for it. And a raspberry pi 2 served me well for a while, and then I moved to a pi 3 and everything was good. Until it was not enough… What happened? I had mosquitto and node-red as the main things running. And I added some simple… Continue reading