Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

Mark Twain

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Featured / Active Projects

Recent Posts

March 16, 2020
Musings & Observations

I went to Walmart yesterday...

190 Hits
February 05, 2020
Home Automation

So, I have two years of projects and ideas behind me. With all of the fits and starts, labored undertakings and successes and failures, what does the next year hold?

642 Hits
January 31, 2020
Home Automation

So, you're building a new home and want it to be ready for the Smart Home Revolution. Well, not to burst your bubble but, it won't be - not entirely. Until there are standards in place for that future home, you'll just have to make your home as standardized as is currently possible and probable.

485 Hits
December 26, 2019
Personal Development

A couple of years ago, I responded to a post on Facebook with a personal story that I have rarely shared. I don't talk about these events in my life often and not because I don't think of them as important or central to my identity but rather, because I do. I have kept it to myself largly because, it is a fundamental piece of me - one that is sensitive and utterly personal.

312 Hits
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.

493 Hits
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.

1869 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.

995 Hits
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.

1257 Hits
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.

3272 Hits
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!

1254 Hits

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19 post(s)
Robotic Arm
Robotic Arm
2 post(s)
Home Automation
Home Automation
10 post(s)
Robotic Arm V2
Robotic Arm V2
2 post(s)
Weather Station
Weather Station
4 post(s)

My Wall

March 31, 2020

Yet again, the big guy swallows up the small and highly useful resource.

December 03, 2019

Snips, a privacy focused locally processed voice agent is being acquired by Sonos. In the deal, the formally open system will be closing their console system. This system is what makes Snips available for developers to create their own apps based on the snips system. Unfortunately, this means that I will have to go back to the drawing board for a couple of my projects and try converting to an alternative - and hope whatever I land on doesn't get acquired and closed.


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?


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.


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.

Eclipse 2024

April 8th, 2024  
NASA - Total Solar Eclipse of 2024
Great American Eclipse.com

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 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!