Monthly Archives: July 2018

Blynk update

When I was here in Spain (2018) in April working on the house controller, the mobile control package I keep going back to (Blynk) was improving but the RGB ZeRGBa (RGB)control was acting up when you put two or more on a single mobile screen. I put that to one side, disappointed (and yes I did talk to the designers).


Meanwhile a new control had been added, a multi-state switch. This is very important as you may for example have lighting control that needs manual off, auto (timer) or manual on.  Back in April this was new and had issues.

I’m pleased to say that in both cases the problems have been solved. Much as I love Node-Red for the base of home control, it has to be said that the RGB controller in Node-Rd-Dashboard is AWFUL and last I heard there was little chance of a fix.

So, it looks like Blynk gets the job with Node-Red as the base. I’m hoping the local server has also improved (there was an issue with Java versions also around April. I’ll check that next). Meanwhile I can definitely recommend Blynk to anyone working on a generic home control system. I’m using it with Node-Red.


Auto Aligning Solar Tracker

My  friend Aidan who many of you will know through this blog, has just put an entry into Hackaday about his self-powered, auto aligning solar tracker. He is building a house in Aragon in Spain with no electricity but he’s compensating for that with lots of solar power – which in turn needs a tracking system. In true DIY fashion, Aidan is developing that himself.

Aidan's solar tracker PCB

If you’d like to know more, here’s the Hackaday link.


OWSOO 801 1080p WiFi IP Camera

I've had security cameras here in Spain and in the UK for many years. My original cameras, low cost Chinese models here in Spain, finally started to give up this year after around 8 years of reliable service. I chose the Owsoo 801 (also referred to as KKMoon) ONVIF cameras as replacements.Owsoo camera

Not exactly household names – and there are many cheap Chinese models out there… why these? Well, they are not waterproof but they DO have remote movement control. Together with a roof overhang here in Spain of around 8” I find this to be a good combination and the similar looking Tenvis models before them, lasted for years in the same conditions these will meet. . At first I realised I could not get to the MAC number of these which I felt might make it difficult to access them remotely.

Then I remembered my router has VPN server capability and the problem of external access went away.

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