The secret of getting ahead is getting started.

Mark Twain

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Recent Posts

October 24, 2019
Personal Development

I'm back on Facebook.
Now, before you get that look on your face, let me also note that I'm a FB Ghost. My profile only contains the items that are required to register and I have zero friends. I turned off all of the available settings to find me and it isn't possible to send me a friend request. So, now that look on your face probably looks puzzled. Let me explain.

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June 02, 2019
Home Automation

As outlined in UPDATED: My Home Automation Roadmap, I am working on a information center for our kitchen. This device has a 15.6" touch screen that will display information about our home as well as a common calendar, an interface for Home Assistant, local weather, and other programs and databases.

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1003 Hits
May 19, 2019
Weather Station

Well another year of testing has come and gone so, it's time for an update! In short, I'm nearly there. This version is the last one with components mounted to a proto board. This is also the last dedicated version of the software.

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April 21, 2019
Home Automation

Sometimes buying cheap can be a blessing in disguise. In the case of our new memory foam bed base, if we hadn't decided to skimp, we may not have realized the joy of an intregrated bed in our smart home scheme.

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February 07, 2019
Home Automation

As I mentioned in UPDATED: My Home Automation Roadmap, I found that controlling lamps with remote switches is an easy and efficient method of bringing dumb lamps into the smart home fold. However, it introduces a new issue, I don't want to have to pull out my phone every time I want to turn one on or off. Imagine needing to get up in the middle of the night and having to find the phone in the dark, blinding yourself when you turn the screen on, finding the app and the lamp in the app and flipping it on ... all while trying to stay somewhat asleep. Enter, control panels.

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February 04, 2019
Musings & Observations

January 1st at 12:01AM I went through the process of deleting my Facebook account. It's pretty straightforward and easy but FB gives you a 30 day cooling off period in case you didn't really mean it and decide to go back. They are hoping that during this withdrawal period, you'll get too fidgety and will come back to get your dopamine hit. I made it though - 33 days and counting!

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December 29, 2018
Rants

Ok, this one is short and simple. Later Facebook and Twitter! So long and thanks for all the fish!

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947 Hits
December 28, 2018
Home Automation

It's a funny thing - what you find when you start a project you think you know something about. If you're doing it right then you'll likely discover that you're not as slick as you thought you were. I suppose that is why I love these projects and goals so much. They make me stretch. On the flip-side, scope creep is real thing and not every project can be a voyage of discovery. So, this is my self-imposed roadmap for the first two phases of my overall home automation goals.

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December 27, 2018
Home Automation

Internet of Things, Zigbee, Z-Wave, X10, MQTT, nodes, pairing! What is all of this? In this article, I'm going to go over the common language of home automation and try to help you make sense of all of these terms and concepts. *NOTE* this article is alive and will change as time goes by.

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1049 Hits
October 11, 2018
Musings & Observations

Since buying my printer early last year, I've had a lot of questions about it, like 'where to get one', 'how good is it compared to others' and 'what kind of prints can I get out of it'. What follows comes from numerous emails and private messages with folks over the last year and a half. This document will change as I find new useful info. 

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Projects

Projects
Projects
17 post(s)
Robotic Arm
Robotic Arm
2 post(s)
Home Automation
Home Automation
8 post(s)
Robotic Arm V2
Robotic Arm V2
2 post(s)
Weather Station
Weather Station
4 post(s)

My Wall

May 11, 2019

In a bizarre move by Google, they are closing out their "Works with Nest" program effective at the end of August and have decided that only google products can control google products. So, no more interoperability through open projects like Home Assistant or OpenHAB and possibly no interoperability with things like the Echo or Harmony remotes.

I can't imagine that Google shutting out their competitors isn't going to force their competitors to say "ok, fine, our products work everywhere but in the google ecosystem." In the end either Google strikes a deal with the bigger manufacturers to continue with some kind of special API or they'll suffer the backlash of manufacturers. This seems to me as a very arrogant move. It's like they don't know that Amazon still holds the market on voice assistants. Do you really want to piss off Amazon right now?

https://www.tomsguide.com/us/google-works-with-nest,news-30053.html

March 25, 2019

This is an interesting read that is supposed to be a product launch announcement but wound up being more of an indictment of cloud requirements by hardware providers.

https://blog.ui.com/2019/01/09/introducing-unifi-protect/

January 29, 2019
Ok, the secret to having a reliable, certified, inexpensive smoke detector may be in overlooked option that exists in some industrial smoke detectors - A/C relays. What do you really need in a "smart" smoke detector? For me, knowing which smoke detector went off is what I care about the most. Second is the ability for that information to be used in automation and notification. So, what I really need is a signal wire that tells my system that this particular unit detected something.
January 29, 2019
I'm testing the Moes 3-way switch at the power end of a 4-way configuration. It does seem to work but I'm getting an unexpected leak voltage on the load when the circuit is off. Travis at DigiBlurDIY, confirmed that he was seeing similar low load results. It does appear that this is expected behavior and that a higher current load will drive the leaking voltage down.
January 25, 2019

If you think that the cloud powered device that you bought really belongs to you, then you might want to check this out.

Eclipse 2024

Local Groups and Organizations

If you are in the Nashville TN area, please consider visiting these groups:

b1 mtrasMTRAS.com
We're a robotics / makers / technology group in Nashville. Check out our monthly meetings at the Adventure Science Center.

nashmicro.netNashMicro.net
NashMicro is a group for anyone interested in learning about and making things with microcontrollers or electronics in general.

About Me

AndyI'm a geek! I love learning about and working with all kinds of technologies.
I am also a family man. I love spending time with family and friends. There is nothing better than letting the kids run around while chatting on the back porch!