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  • Peter Scargill ESP32-Based TTGO Module – LILYGO by Peter Scargill: Not been back to it recently Brian – when I do, I’ll comment in here. Aug 3, 14:14
  • Brynn Harrison ESP32-Based TTGO Module – LILYGO by Brynn Harrison: Hi Pete, did you ever get this to work with Tasmota, I’ve tried everything to get the display to work to no avail. (v9.5.0.5 display) All I can get is the backlight to switch on and off, but no text. The unit works with the arduino examples, but not with Tasmota. I’ve followed your blog post with another esp32 and oled, but no luck. So just wondered if you had it working with this one. Cheers Brynn Aug 3, 13:17
  • Barbudor 1NCE SIMS – SOMETHING NEW by Barbudor: You may want to check Hologram.io I have 1 Sim on their now obsolete “maker” plan providing 1 MB per month and a few SMS. Costed me a one off of 10€ or $. It can be topped up if needed. Not meant for intensive usage. I found that sending a SMS from my phone to that SIM was not cheap. Aug 3, 08:26
  • 1NCE SIMS – SOMETHING NEW by Marko: Doesn’t look bad, I’ll take a look. Thanks! Aug 2, 23:38
  • Peter Scargill 1NCE SIMS – SOMETHING NEW by Peter Scargill: “doesn’t cost much” is a bit vague 🙂 As well as trying out these new SIMs, I use in Spain a company called Simyo who, despite having a useless support line have a good deals. If you wanted IOT data only they do €1 for 500MB a month… I pay them €4 a month for 7GB etc…add 50p for a few calls…. Aug 2, 19:36
  • Peter Scargill Printer Ink Rant by Peter Scargill: Hi Well, if you’re happy spending that on a printer, fine – I paid €55 for the Canon TS5050 printer/scanner and I’ve spend less than €30 in ink in the last 2 years (and I have lots left). If I were still running companies I might not not think twice about it of course. Aug 2, 19:27
  • 1NCE SIMS – SOMETHING NEW by Marko: Yes, I agree!! Do you know of an alternative that doesn’t cost much? Aug 2, 17:52
  • Printer Ink Rant by Leif: Epson Eco Tank printers aren’t that expensive if you calculate the upcoming costs in. Here in Germany you can get the entry level Epson ET Models sometimes for less than 200€ and they come already with a lot of ink that will last you for a very long time. Very cheap printers are sold at a loss because the companies know that they’ll make much more money with the ink cartridges after they sold the printer. With printers it makes sense to calculate the total costs over the next 3-4 years. Aug 2, 16:43
  • Peter Scargill 1NCE SIMS – SOMETHING NEW by Peter Scargill: Correct – I checked with the company. Thats a shame. Aug 2, 12:42
  • Peter Scargill Printer Ink Rant by Peter Scargill: Except for one fatal problem – the cost of the printer (I checked Amazon.es) – they have to be kidding? Cheapest I saw was 4+ times the cost of the Canon I referred to – most expensive was something like 12 times more expensive – I’d want it to do 3D printing and laser engraving on top of inkjet for that price…. Aug 2, 00:13
  • Printer Ink Rant by Andrei: Epson ET printers – one bottle of ink per year and costs little. Canon can eat the dust, never buying them again. Aug 1, 23:57
  • Peter Scargill The Script by Peter Scargill: Hi A real email would be nice if you want to ask questions… anyway it seems that the InfluxDB people are no longer interested in 32-bits – so it’s out of my hands. I’ve already seen comments about no plans to make Influxdb2 available for 32-bit (ie most) Raspberry Pis. I might be able to upgrade the script to the new location (nice of them) for the repo for Grafana – but I’m in the same boat for neew installs as I’ve no wish to go through the hassle of upgrading the RPI to the 64 bit version, cost me endless hours a while ago in a failed upgrade. Aug 1, 22:19
  • Printer Ink Rant by Tony: I gave up on my Canon pixma (3950?) because it is no longer supported on macOS big sur. It did allow 3rd parky ink. I replaced it with an Epson et-2750 which uses ink tanks…. it is brilliant Aug 1, 19:19
  • Tonyb Printer Ink Rant by Tonyb: Pete, couldn’t agree more. Which magazine looked at third party ink for printers in July issue and showed that some major printer manufacturer’s ink is up to £2 per ml, nearly 2x Chanel No 5 and 32yr malt whisky. I have in the past bought a new printer because it was almost as cheap as buying replacement ink cartridges. Aug 1, 12:28
  • Someperson The Script by Someperson: I tried to run the script today on a Raspberry Pi 3B+ with the “Raspberry Pi OS with desktop” I downloaded and installed today from raspberrypi.org. The script cannot install influxdb or grafana. I don’t think the influxdb link is good anymore and I don’t know what I should do now. == Installing Grafana and Influxdb == Total: 00h:47m:09s Cores: 4 Temperature: 53’c == Selecting previously unselected package apt-transport-https. (Reading database … 127790 files and directories currently installed.) Preparing to unpack …/apt-transport-https_1.8.2.3_all.deb … Unpacking apt-transport-https (1.8.2.3) … Setting up apt-transport-https (1.8.2.3) … OK deb https://repos.influxdata.com/debian buster stable gpg: no valid OpenPGP data found. OK deb https://packages.grafana.com/oss/deb stable main E: Unable to locate package grafana-data E: Failed to fetch https://packages.grafana.com/oss/deb/dists/stable/main/binary-armhf/Packages.bz2 File has unexpected size (27537 != 27465). Mirror sync in progress? [IP: 151.101.198.217 443] Hashes of expected file: – Filesize:27465 [weak] – SHA512:dc94d4fbb856ff2d5441416f27024b0ca263f9cbc91edc3f1e44517843e2217d8114062cd6039a2ef95f3ffa736ac4e0413add503e1756f9679f4157b2fc5f62 – SHA256:4a44601f7e28d7fb6fd9f6886953a9d69972f6e91baeb0f0612d686c938e3957 – SHA1:e5c908c673466a462156d7b5aeed0fb8bdb0e824 [weak] – MD5Sum:b97a895ffdea473d6141ecbfad4a58a9 [weak] Release file created at: Thu, 29 Jul 2021 10:11:04 +0000 E: Some index files failed to download. They have been ignored, or old ones used instead. E: Package ‘grafana’ has no installation candidate Failed to enable unit: Unit file influxdb.service does not exist. Failed to start influxdb.service: Unit influxdb.service not found. Failed to enable unit: Unit file grafana-server.service does not exist. Failed to start grafana-server.service: Unit grafana-server.service not found. Failed to enable unit: Unit file chronograf.service does not exist. Failed to start chronograf.service: Unit chronograf.service not found. Detected platform: linux-arm Aug 1, 06:35
  • 1NCE SIMS – SOMETHING NEW by Marko: Only available for business customers. Jul 30, 22:44
  • Alexa-Applestrudel (formerly Cakebaked formerly Remote2) by Mat Smith: I just installed Applestrudel, after uninstalling the slightly working but mostly broken alexa-remote2. When I set up the Alexa Account Node, then visit the address http://my-ip:3456 to authenticate, the page is not served up. The node shows error “Error while checking authentication”. Any ideas why this may be? Jul 28, 23:09
  • Non-Contact IR InfraRed Thermometer by Zoads: I had no idea that a product like this existed until now! It covers that handy “middle ground” between a) zapping everyone with a handheld unit, and b) a very expensive scanner. I like that it comes with options to switch between degrees F and C (and that you thought to mention that). Plus that you commented about battery/charging options. I was relieved to find out that it runs on AAA or USB charger, and not some sort of exotic battery that would be hard to find. Thank you for a thorough and helpful review. Jul 28, 15:11
  • Darren W Aqara Opple – Learn with Peter by Darren W: Battery life with Zigbee devices is usually good. The devices that come with supplied batteries generally last much longer after you replace their cheap no-name/fake Chinese battery with one sourced from a more…err…’reputable’ supplier. Jul 28, 01:47
  • Peter Scargill Aqara Opple – Learn with Peter by Peter Scargill: I was going to give you a lecture about dumb CE stickers but I see you have it nailed – WAF is way more important 🙂 I kjust noted the 6-button one and I’m hoping o get my hansd on one soon. They really do look good.. of course – the proof – as they say… how long will the batteries last. I must get all my Zigbee stuff hooked into NR for battery checking purposes so I get a relevant email when a battery is low – preferably a month befoer it packs in. Of course I had that on my UK doorbell and didn’t I get stuck in Spain for as year with no access to the UK to recharge the batteries – which hopefully my wife is doing right now.. Jul 28, 00:04
  • Darren W Aqara Opple – Learn with Peter by Darren W: Hi Pete, I’ve had a few of these “opples” for a while now – in use with Zigbee2MQTT including a 6 button one which, when you consider the multi-tap support, gives lots of functions within one single nice-looking (WAF certified*) package. *WAF = Wife Approval Factor – more important than a CE mark or FCC compliance – this is the gold standard that an IoT device has to meet or exceed for it to be allowed to be used in a live “production” (home) environment. Jul 27, 23:46
  • Aqara Opple – Learn with Peter by Nils: 3 Mqtt messages are needed, see below. Make sure to wake up the switch by pressing and releasing the little connect button on the back of the switch before sending your mqtt messages. More info to be found at https://www.zigbee2mqtt.io/devices/WXCJKG13LM.html ##Bind device to group## Topic: zigbee2mqtt/bridge/bind/”switch name” Message content: “device or groupname to bind to” ##Set switch to command mode## Topic: zigbee2mqtt/”switch name”/set Message content: {“operation_mode”: “command”} ##Unbind switch from coordinator## Topic: zigbee2mqtt/bridge/unbind/”switch name” Message content: Coordinator Jul 27, 19:01
  • Peter Scargill Aqara Opple – Learn with Peter by Peter Scargill: Not only double press – but TRIPLE-PRESS. Do go on – enlighten me as to how to direct-bind one to a light or group of lights – I could use that now… Jul 27, 17:55
  • Aqara Opple – Learn with Peter by Nils: These switches support short, long and double taps. I’ve been using them for more than a year now and have been rock solid. If you want, you can even direct-bind them to a light bulb or group of lightbulbs, so they keep working if zigbee2mqtt happens to be offline. Can highly recommend them! Jul 27, 17:03
  • Peter Scargill GL-iNET Puli 4G LTE Wireless Router GL-XE300 by Peter Scargill: Thanks for that! Just realised It’s not given the router it’s proper name of XE300 – just fixed that. Bridge? Well, I’m using my PULI to simply provide 4G to my main router – I WOULD (could) have had it also take in hardwired (my incoming broadband is from a dish in the middle of the village to a pretty un-amazing router supplied by our broadband provider – one input from the dish, one output – that’s it), but I needed the extra outlets of the Convexa-S at that side of the room. The techs at GL-iNET are quite responsive should you wish to take this further. Regards Pete. Jul 21, 16:29
  • GL-iNET Puli 4G LTE Wireless Router GL-XE300 by John: Thanks for this review Peter, I’m really interested in this device. I have a specific use case for a 4G router, and after reading the manual but not finding a definitive answer, I was wondering if you have tested this. In my case I’m only interested in a 4G to UTP (wired) solution as I’m running a firewall/IDS/VPN server as the gateway to my LAN. Therefore I need the 4G router to be able to run in Bridge mode. According to the manual (https://docs.gl-inet.com/en/3/setup/gl-xe300/more_settings/) the XE300 should be able to run in Bridge mode, but the documentation is very unclear (and the picture doesn’t match the description) I was wondering if you have tested this and could provide some clarification. Cheers, John Jul 21, 15:21
  • Chrisjx The saga of Raspberry Pi 4 Power Control and Dual Sata (SSD) by Chrisjx: I’m building a custom photograph hosting site using Nodejs and express framework. I’m doing almost all the rendering server side so I can build a site with very few external dependencies. It’s mainly for family and friends so not too much traffic. Currently hosting about 160,000 images. I’m using and Odroid HC4 with Ubuntu 20.04. It supports 2 SATA drives and I have 2x 1TB installed. I have the primary site running fine and am using lsyncd to mirror the second in real time. So far it’s working great. Here’s my ansible template for the lsyncd.conf.lua.j2 file: settings { logfile = “/var/log/lsyncd/lsyncd.log”, statusFile = “/var/log/lsyncd/lsyncd.status”, statusInterval = 20, nodaemon = false } sync { default.rsync, source = “{{ arc_base_dir }}”, target = “{{ arc_backup_dir }}” } The base_dir and backup_dir references are variables for the obvious directories. I am developing the site and checking it into my local gitlab repo then deploying into the odroid and into a kvm server instance so I can test the difference in performance. The odroid is not as fast, but it’s quite reasonable. Anyway, look at lsyncd. It’s more or less like rsync. Always enjoy reading your reviews and project notes. Thanks. Jul 21, 01:22
  • Peter Scargill Solar Acrylic Solar Lamps – the Horse – or the Owl? by Peter Scargill: Our problem with that would be the extreme heat here in Southern Spain in July/August, the sun would ruin any tape in no time – glad its working well, they are great. Jul 16, 16:43
  • Solar Acrylic Solar Lamps – the Horse – or the Owl? by Andy: My Owl is still going strong with the clear waterproof tape over the solar panel. And it’s been a tad wet out there…. Jul 16, 15:50
  • Peter Scargill High Power Mains Switching with Sonoff by Peter Scargill: Ahah, what timing – coming soon to the blog – a brand new TWENTY FIVE AMP controller from Sonoff.. Jul 16, 12:17
  • Peter Scargill HK1 RBOX R1 5G WiFi Android 10 TV Box by Peter Scargill: If all you want is Kodi – that’s fine – but then that also begs the question, hoq much TV are you happy with. I’m one of those awkward typess qho have never forgiven the BBC for scrapping Start Trek after Series 1 – and providing platforms for Saville and others.. Hence I tend to watch Netflix, Amazon, Hulu etc and Sky – but see today’s timely update to this blog. Jul 16, 11:37
  • High Power Mains Switching with Sonoff by Mark: Hi Peter, Did you get to finish this project, it seemed that you did but got interrupted in the writeup – I was keen to see some more details. Cheers – Mark Jul 16, 10:54
  • Peter Scargill BigTimer by Peter Scargill: “manual on” shows “ON Man. override” in the status “manuual off” shows “OFF Man. override” in the status all of which is correct. Jul 16, 10:50
  • Blitzwolf BW-SS5 1-Gang Relay by Ismael Vilas Boas: I got the same issue. the solution to it was to set the SwitchDebounce back to default 50. Apparently there are versions of BW-SS5 that do not require to activate the AC frequency detection feature. Jul 15, 12:55
  • HK1 RBOX R1 5G WiFi Android 10 TV Box by Brian DoBucki: I’ve had my box for 5 years I don’t worry about updating it and have no problems but I do not use Netflix, but my Kodi works just fine Jul 15, 07:00
  • Peter Scargill Zigbee Development – The Really Big Update by Peter Scargill: Good – glad you’re getting somewhere. Now If I could just find someone to help me understand adding devices sufficiently to add in my AliExpress light/temperature/humidity sensor… Jul 14, 16:18
  • Stuart Robinson Ortur Laser Master 2 Pro by Stuart Robinson: I’ve just order one of the same machine, interested to see how you are getting on with it and any experience of cutting other materials? Jul 14, 14:46
  • John Zigbee Development – The Really Big Update by John: Ah… just discovered indentation issue with the yaml file. Getting somewhere now….. yipee Jul 14, 12:09
  • John Zigbee Development – The Really Big Update by John: I have actually installed zigbee2mqtt and spent hours reading everything. I’m suspecting the usb sniffer. Anyway I’m going to wipe everything and start rebuilding from the ground up. Thanks for your patience. Jul 14, 12:02
  • Peter Scargill Zigbee Development – The Really Big Update by Peter Scargill: Nooooo. You need to install zigbee2mqtt – see install guide… https://www.zigbee2mqtt.io/ But surely that MUST be installed… See the notes in the link and my blog for getting the config right in /opt/zigbee2mqtt/data/configuration.yaml – notepad or similar will edit that – just text format. Jul 14, 11:23
  • John Zigbee Development – The Really Big Update by John: No I haven’t. I plugged in the USB device and loaded node-red-contrib-zigbee2mqtt. I thought that was all that was needed. Node red log shows 14 Jul 09:15:30 – [info] [zigbee2mqtt-server:JMZ] MQTT Connected 14 Jul 09:15:30 – [info] [zigbee2mqtt-server:JMZ] Refreshing devices 14 Jul 09:15:35 – [info] [zigbee2mqtt-server:JMZ] MQTT Subscribed to: “zigbee2mqtt/# I have opened bridge and enabled join but not getting any paired devices. Jul 14, 10:21
  • Peter Scargill Zigbee Development – The Really Big Update by Peter Scargill: Ok now I’m confused. Have you checked that zigbee2mqtt is working without using the NR node at all? Jul 14, 10:08
  • John Zigbee Development – The Really Big Update by John: I’ve done all that but no with luck. Is the zigbee2mqtt-bridge node supposed to show “online” because no matter what settings I use, “localhost” etc I cannot achieve that. Jul 14, 09:19
  • Peter Scargill Zigbee Development – The Really Big Update by Peter Scargill: You need to read the front page of the Zigbee2MQTT site – I linked to it in the blog. The dongle (via Zigbee2MQTT) needs to be accepting pairing and the sensor (or whatever) device depending on which one will need a long-press to get it paired. Jul 13, 23:15
  • John Zigbee Development – The Really Big Update by John: Thanks for that Pete. There are so many confusing variations on this. To instigate pairing do you press a button on the USB device as well as the remote switch? Jul 13, 20:45
  • Peter Scargill Zigbee Development – The Really Big Update by Peter Scargill: The Sonoff dongle is ready to go with Zigbee2MQTT – no additional firmware required – note that this is the first iteration, there’s another – and another on the way with improved shield and external antenna. NONE of them should be plugged directly into a Raspberry Pi 4 but rather via a USB extension lead. The use of Zigbee2MQTT goes WAY beyond using Sonoff sensors – I have Aqara and Sonoff sensors as detailed – all work with that board and with Zigbee2MQTT and the list is expanding all the time. Jul 13, 19:55
  • John Zigbee Development – The Really Big Update by John: https://uk.banggood.com/Sonoff-ZB-CC2531-USB-Dongle-Module-Bare-Board-Packet-Protocol-Analyzer-USB-Interface-Dongle-Supports-BASICZBR3-S31-Lite-zb-p-1735597.html?rmmds=myorder&cur_warehouse=CZ Jul 13, 18:47
  • Peter Scargill Zigbee Development – The Really Big Update by Peter Scargill: Depends which device Jul 13, 14:50
  • John Zigbee Development – The Really Big Update by John: Zigbee beginner here. I have node-red, mqtt etc in place on RPI4 I have installed node-red-contrib-zigbee2mqtt I have latest CC2531 USB I have Aqera push button. Question. Do I have to install firmware on the USB device? thanks John Jul 13, 13:19
  • Peter Scargill The Genius Artillery 3D Printer – Amazing by Peter Scargill: I had no idea there were different diameter holes – do now. Jul 12, 21:28
  • The Genius Artillery 3D Printer – Amazing by Jason: Ahh ok that is more of a problem. I meant where the post on the spindle is much smaller than the hole in the reel. That can cause some minor issues with extruder tension if it adds resistance, but usually it doesn’t matter. If it’s interfering with the filament sensor however that is indeed an issue. Jul 12, 14:38
  • Peter Scargill Zigbee Development – The Really Big Update by Peter Scargill: I beat you to it. It is indeed a Tuya Zigbee dimmer module light switch – see the TomTop link near the end of the blog entry. I’d almost forgotten about TomTop when out of the blue… Jul 12, 08:31
  • Peter Scargill The Genius Artillery 3D Printer – Amazing by Peter Scargill: I could well be missing the point (it’s early, got woken up by builders digging up our front garden)… but if I try my one and only reel if falls straight onto the out-of-filament sensor. I’ll have another look when the builers stop digging. Thanks for the feedback, Jason. Jul 12, 08:26
  • The Genius Artillery 3D Printer – Amazing by Jason: I wouldn’t worry about the hole size on the filament spool being too big, they usually still work fine as long as they can rotate. You can also find adapters that fill the space if you look around. Jul 12, 00:05
  • Peter Scargill BigTimer by Peter Scargill: No, that’s why BigTimer has 3 separate outputs. Each has it’s own purpose. Pete Jul 10, 12:24
  • Carku 64B versus D28A Portable Car Jump Starters by AcmeUK: With one of these you can turn the D28 into a portable 12v supply :- https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/264943974742 Jul 9, 13:43
  • Zigbee development Part 2 – Aqara Sensors by Mervyn P: Hi, I have just received a Aqara Opple 6 button switch from Banggood (https://www.banggood.com/Aqara-x-OPPLE-ZigBee-3_0-HomeKit-Version-Wireless-Smart-Switch-Work-With-HomeKit-From-Eco-system-p-1590410.html?cur_warehouse=CN&ID=6265279&rmmds=search), each button having five actions, single, double, triple, hold and release. e.g. { “action”: “button_1_hold”, “battery”: 100, “linkquality”: 120, “voltage”: 3131 } Pairing with Zigbee2Mqtt was simple, a quick press of a button on the rear of the unit and it was done. The only problem with the unit seems to be that it is not easy to replace the battery. There is a good review here: https://notenoughtech.com/featured/aqara-opple/ For those wishing to experiment with Zigbee, Waveshare (https://www.waveshare.com/) do a good development kit (CC2530 Eval Kit2), which can be configured as a coordinator, router or end node. However, you also need a CC Debugger Emulator for CC2531 to flash the bootloader (this is the same as the one needed to flash a Zigbee2Mqtt USB dongle.) Jul 7, 16:14
  • BigTimer by Alec: Thanks for the reply. Is there a way to force the output from Output 2 to go through 1 or 3 instead? I only need to calculate once per day, so was hoping to not have to have the output firing minutely. Jul 6, 23:28
  • Peter Scargill Zigbee development Part 2 – Aqara Sensors by Peter Scargill: Well, here’s a thing, I found my MiFlora and fitted a new battery (the old one said 1v), I remembered the Python code was still on my RPI – and added some commented out code to find BT devices – on test it returned an error – so I plugged in a BT dongle into the RPi, which returned nothing (expected as the RPI4 interferes with Zigbee as well) so I stuck the dongle on a USB extender – and a load of BT devices appeared including my phones, the MiFlora and more – including my AI temperature wall-mount sensor (see relevant blog entry) which I’d forgotten had BT. I ran the Python code (now set to run every 5 minutes until the novelty wears off) and added in Date.now() (as .when)to the JSON payload so I know when the last report was.. ( I do that now with all devices that don’t know the time). All’s well. Jul 5, 18:33
  • Darren W Zigbee development Part 2 – Aqara Sensors by Darren W: Hi Pete, I’m currently using this code: – https://github.com/ThomDietrich/miflora-mqtt-daemon This works too : – https://github.com/marcelrv/miflora I’n not aware of a zigbee version – but then, I’ve not really looked for one as I have two of these MiFlora devices and don’t have a requirement for any more – and like you say, they’re not *that* cheap so I’m not going to replace them until they stop working! Jul 5, 16:25
  • Peter Scargill Zigbee development Part 2 – Aqara Sensors by Peter Scargill: i have the Mi Flora – sadly it got more expensive as time went on (at one point they were about £8) – and I really hate using Bluetooth – a Zigbee version of that would be really nice as I could put them in plantpots all over the place. Yup, I recall I had the Python code on it – do you have the link for that handy while we’re here? Is anyone aware of a Zigbee version doing the same thing? Jul 5, 16:15
  • Darren W Zigbee development Part 2 – Aqara Sensors by Darren W: One of my favourite Bluetooth LE sensors is the “MiFlora” soil sensor. I’ve had one of these running for over 2 years – to measure the moisture of the soil in the plant pot containing our palm tree at our holiday chalet. The tree is sheltered and doesn’t receive any direct rainfall so I have a very basic irrigation system (ESP8266, Aquarium pump, large water vessel) which I use to deploy water to the plant only when it needs it – and when it’s not freezing outside etc. MiFlora sensor: – https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005002709598412.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.5d611f52Hwk5KQ&algo_pvid=bb6c27bb-6b83-4890-8f83-32f8994c2225&algo_exp_id=bb6c27bb-6b83-4890-8f83-32f8994c2225-0 Battery life is good (CR2032) but varies depending on how often you poll it for data. I’ve got a Python script (found on GitHub) which I have running at intervals via a cron job and that sends the temperature, light intensity, moisture data via MQTT to my Pi-based home automation system. Jul 5, 15:33
  • Peter Scargill Zigbee development Part 2 – Aqara Sensors by Peter Scargill: Hi Darren (OHHH, before I forget – there’s just been an upgrade to Zigbee2MQTT – installed last night on my RPi4) – yes, I noticed that while most of the sensors use CR2032 batteries, the odd one uses CR2450 – Sonoff sensors use CR2450 – thankfully they seem widely available just like the CR2032. I’ve not touched the Bluetooth LE sensors yet. I might try that. Jul 5, 10:42
  • Peter Scargill Xiaomi Mijia 1S Vacuum Part 2 – the Spares by Peter Scargill: I think with the best will in the world, new models will continue to come out and spare parts will at some point be an issue so I figured it best to be prepared – we really liked the vacuum and would hate to see it end up as land-fill – the parts appear long-lasting up to now however and they’ve put some thought into easy removal of cat-hairs. Yesterday I pulled up a carpet in my office which had NOT been designed with longevity in mind as the backing material had powdered after only a year or so – that was a challenge for the 1S but on turb mode it managed no problem. I thoroughly expected the filter to totally clog up but once again a quick blast with my air cleaner and the filter is good as new. Jul 5, 10:36
  • Darren W Zigbee development Part 2 – Aqara Sensors by Darren W: I have quite a few Aqara zigbee sensors in ‘casual’ use at home. I have window switches, the mini PIR sensors (really good despite their tiny size – they use an extra large coin cell battery). I also have some lux sensors and temperature/humidity (and some with temp/humid and pressure). I find battery life good – especially if you put your own (known brand) coin cells in to replace the cheap ones that they ship with. Also worth noting are the chinese temperature/humidity sensors that work on Bluetooth LE – with the LCD screens. These only send readouts when the temp/humidity changes – hence low power – plus they run on AAA batteries so I’ve had over 18 months battery life from a single AAA battery – I know this as I’ve only just changed the battery for the first time. These are really reliable and I use some Python code that I found on Github to read the bluetooth data – on an Orange Pi Zero with external BLE dongle – or a Raspberry Pi Zero-W which works okay too. Jul 5, 00:18
  • Darren W Xiaomi Mijia 1S Vacuum Part 2 – the Spares by Darren W: I bought a spare parts kit for my Xiaomi vac & mop – I figured that I’d need the spares one day and I might not be able to find them in the future. Similar pack to yours plus a polystyrene roller in addition to the brush which I guess might make a difference on non-carpet surfaces like our lino in the kitchen, floor tiles in the bathroom and wood laminate downstairs? I’ve not tried it, I’m just using the originally supplied parts for now but it’s interesting that you thought the same as me and ordered spares ahead of needing them. Jul 5, 00:08
  • Peter Scargill BigTimer by Peter Scargill: Just stick a function or change node on the output depending on your needs. Jul 3, 23:50
  • BigTimer by Alec: Hi, is it possible to output the full message just once a day? I know I can get it from the second output, but I don’t need it every minute. My use case is that I want to calculate how many minutes are between sunrise and sunset. I am going to be making an API call to OpenUV, but my account only has 50 calls / day. So I was going to do something like [minutes of daylight] / [45] so it dynamically picks the correct call rate through the whole year. Thank you! Jul 3, 22:38
  • Zigbee development Part 2 – Aqara Sensors by Juan C Galvez: Thank you Garry for your reply. Just what I needed to know. Jul 1, 20:18
  • Garry Keogh Zigbee development Part 2 – Aqara Sensors by Garry Keogh: “Peter: Do you know if the windows/door sensors have periodic “open alert messages” indicating that the window/door was left open?” These devices do periodically report with state, signal -RSSI and battery level so it is easy to both “watchdog” time them to make sure they are alive and connected and also to automatically monitor battery level trend to warn very early of failure. HTH Garry Jul 1, 13:56
  • Zigbee development Part 2 – Aqara Sensors by Juan C Galvez: Peter: Do you know if the windows/door sensors have periodic “open alert messages” indicating that the window/door was left open? If you have sonoff windows/door sensors, I would like to know the same thing. Jul 1, 00:16
  • Peter Scargill Zigbee development Part 2 – Aqara Sensors by Peter Scargill: I think we’re heading in the same direction – Zigbee isn’t ideal as the sensors need battery replacements periodically – but to offset that, they are generally easy to use – I’m continuing to use Node-Red and the new ZZH Zigbee2MQTT dongle is proving great for handling sensors at least – and I can mix that via MQTT (in Node-Red) with my Tasmota-driving switches and lights – it just keeps getting better. This morning I got a Zigbee light sensor I’m hoping to use in the hall to turn lights on when it is cloudy outside (I already have software timers on everything of course including dusk/dawn handling but that can’t handle miserable rainy days) – a correctly-placed light sensor should finish things off nicely I hope. But just ponder your Zigbee inside a wall – you WILL need to change the batteries at some point – make sure you have easy access panels or you will get into trouble with Mrs. GryKyo 🙂 Jun 30, 18:20
  • Garry Keogh Zigbee development Part 2 – Aqara Sensors by Garry Keogh: I got a pile of this stuff Pete and I like it a lot. As I said in a previous post, I learned what I know cobbling microcontroller projects together using arduino and uPython with MQTT and deep sleep for lots of automation jobs. Our home has a fine mix of functional automations and lots of odd stuff like logging all sorts of events and data to Google Sheets etc but the fact is most of these projects were learning exercises. With a fundamental grasp of power, network, communication, sleep, interrupts, load switching and much more, to be able to deploy ready made “potted” solutions that include much or all of this functionality, cost neglideable amounts of money and have a hybrid scandinavian/apple finish, well it is just too easy! I have now become lazy combining stuff like a Aquara button and a Tasmota OLED in a 3D printed wall plate for a simple central heating controller. NodeRED decides what to do with single, double or long presses of the button, Tasmota just displays results, even Mrs. GryKyo finds it easy. NodeRED will even email me if I need to put a battery in the button! For hackers and makers like us, these are powerful little packages to integrate. FYI their PIR devices allow home security to be very smart with just as little effort to deploy – imagine a wireless battery powered Zigbee PIR inside a wall or floor safe for example… G Jun 29, 23:46
  • Zigbee Development – The Really Big Update by AcmeUK: The unidentified controller looks like a Tuya ZigBee 1 Gang Dimmer Module Light Switch Module as sold by TomTop and AliExpress. Jun 29, 20:30
  • Ed Claus BigTimer by Ed Claus: Maybe this helps better. kind regards, Ed Jun 29, 16:21
  • Ed Claus BigTimer by Ed Claus: I’m sorry, I was probably not clear enough. When using only On and Off the timer shows On/Off Temp override and the status shows On/Off override which like you said is OK. When using Manual and Off the timer shows OFF Man. override and the status OFF Manual which is OK I think. However when using Manual and On the timer shows On Man. override (correct) but the status shows On Override which is not correct. Regards, Ed Jun 29, 15:22
  • Peter Scargill BigTimer by Peter Scargill: When I use on and off as manual overrides, in the first output, state=”on” and state=”off”. If I look at the second output, I get state=”ON Override” and state=”OFF Override” (without quotes of course). Regards Pete Jun 28, 23:42
  • Ed Claus BigTimer by Ed Claus: Hi Peter, I ran into a small issue with bigtimer. When using “on/off” with “manual” the state is not reflected correctly. Using “on” with “manual” gives “on override” where “off” with “manual” gives “off manual” (as it should be). I’m having some leds based on the status so would appreciate it to be corrected. Thanks for all the work, Ed Jun 28, 15:07
  • 18650 Lithium Rechargeable Battery Lengths by D: I’m looking for 67mm length. Anyone have suggestions for a source? Jun 27, 16:23
  • Darren W Xiaomi Mijia 1S Second Generation Smart Vacuum by Darren W: The wife is really chuffed with the vac and mop combination. We have wood laminate flooring downstairs so we use the vac and mop combined and then I make it do 3 cycles of the vinyl kitchen floor and it comes up sparkling. All of this whilst we are working. We only need to vacuum the stairs but they are not so dirty since we have Robbie the robot clean every 2 days so we don’t take dirt from the hallway to the stairs as the stairs is clean. Biggest gain is the kitchen. I bought mine from Aliexpress with the UPS shipping option which they suggest avoids duty. The box said $50 value I think so they were economical with the truth at the seller side. This device is available now for about £220 which is about £40 less than I paid. It changed my life as the wife now doesn’t moan that she has to clean 2 homes as our weekday home is done by Robbie apart from the stairs so weekend cleaning of our seaside chalet which is a quarter of the size of our main home us no big deal. Improve your marriage …buy a Xiaomi vac and mop robot! Jun 26, 22:53
  • Peter Scargill Xiaomi Mijia 1S Second Generation Smart Vacuum by Peter Scargill: I’m jealous, Darren – I want the mop version. As for duty etc, you really take pot luck with that – couriers are having a field day right now ripping people off and blaming customs. Make no mistake – they are all sharks. But you hit lucky – that’s good. I’m happy with our 1S but I’m hoping to get a vac to compare and to leave permanently upstairs. I also have on the way from Banggood a set of spares – should keep us going for some time. It is often said you have to watch out for spares on Chinese purchase… well, I reviewed a Soocas X3 toothbrush some time ago (got 2 of them as a set) – got a set of spares, no problem – we binned our old-style Oral-B toothbrushes. I’m hoping the spares for the 1S will also do well – MAT from NotEnoughTech is still on his originals months later – bodes well. Jun 26, 20:39
  • Solar HD1080P IP67 Camera by Jim: You can use the app on a PC using a emulator like Bluestacks. The only thing that I have noticed is that the i-cam+ app is no longer on playstore, which is a pain, but you can find it online and side load it. Jun 23, 00:42
  • Darren W Xiaomi Mijia 1S Second Generation Smart Vacuum by Darren W: Hi Pete – your review gave me the confidence to order a Xiaomi vacuum/mop robot via Aliexpress myself. It arrived in almost exactly 7 days from China to the UK. I went for the Xiaomi Mijia Mop Pro (Model STYJ02YM) which is also referred to as a “v7”. I am really impressed and they appear to have updated the water container design since earlier similar models that leaked – mine looks different. The mop feature is very good and it can vac and mop at the same time. We’ve never had such a clean kitchen floor and all our downstairs is laminate flooring and it keeps that really clean too. This has scored me serious ‘wife points’ as she often moans about having to clean two houses (our main home and our weekend/holiday beach chalet) so now we can put our feet up whilst much of the work is done by “Robbie the robot” – we stole the name idea from you as we couldn’t think of a better suited alternative. I’ve got it integrated with Home Assistant too although the phone app and the mapping is very clever indeed. I am really impressed. I paid just under £270 direct from China/Aliexpress and 7 days door to door via UPS. No nasty additional tax/duty surprise either – usually I limit my Chinese purchases to £15-20 per order as I’ve been stung in the past by Postman Pat. Jun 23, 00:08
  • BigTimer by Tharuka: I also have this problem and this override is very effective. I face the same problem as Rob Jun 17, 23:23
  • DrFragle and MrShark Xiaovv B1 3MP Waterproof Outdoor IP Camera by DrFragle and MrShark: try one of these urls for rtsp (but try to telnet port 554 or use zenmap to see if it’s open, before…): https://www.ispyconnect.com/camera/xiaovv if no port, look here on how to contact v380 support as someone did in that post, he got a patch enabling the port, and there’s the url for rtsp feed in page: https://community.netcamstudio.com/t/fentac-v380-connection/1334/54 here other urls, too: https://community.netcamstudio.com/t/v380-stream-url/2778/3 it could be that it does not use the 554 port at all, you need to test… more info in previous links Jun 17, 09:03
  • Elecrow Crowbits Kits – Beginning Electronics by Mike: That sounds like a great idea, Pete, but no good in Australia (if they intend to distribute here). Our 2G networks all closed years ago (mid 2018)! And now the 3G networks are going the same way. Telstra (biggest provider) has already shut down 3G. So, if Elcrow want to get a foothold here, they’d better include a 4G module as a minimum……. Jun 17, 05:36
  • Pete Knight Atomic Radio-Controlled Silent Clock by Pete Knight: It’s a conventional build (brick and breeze lock walls) but with reinforced concrete support pillars and floors – which are pretty good at blocking WiFi signals 😕 I’d have expected a cave house to be much better at blocking the signal. We’re on high ground, and I’ve even tried putting the clocks on the roof terrace for 24 hours, but no joy. The neighbour’s house is identical, and it seems that their clocks synchronise with the German system regardless of where they are within the house. I guess we’re just that bit too far south for the MSF signal. Jun 16, 22:05
  • Peter Scargill Zigbee Development – The Really Big Update by Peter Scargill: I got the ZZH – didn’t work but I’m getting help – a few more days hopefully. Jun 16, 21:52
  • Peter Scargill Atomic Radio-Controlled Silent Clock by Peter Scargill: You’re even further down than we are and of course I have no idea about the structure of your building. Works for me. Regards Pete. Jun 16, 21:50
  • Dm.sergeevich63 Athom pre-Tasmota’d Smart Socket and Smart Lights by Dm.sergeevich63: Thank you very much, I think you have the most accurate instrument that could measure this lamp) I think it will fit, since the Athom is shorter, which gives it a little more space in diameter. Jun 16, 20:28
  • Lindsay Reid Athom pre-Tasmota’d Smart Socket and Smart Lights by Lindsay Reid: The maximum diameter of the “cone” immediately below the diffuser is 65.6 mm and the distance from the electrical contact tip of the E27 screw to the top of the cone is 85mm. These are pretty accurate using an electronic micrometer and naked eye! I couldn’t hold the bulb, micrometer and camera to take the 85mm measurement! If you are really tight for space and need me to try and be even more accurate, let me know! Jun 16, 20:02
  • Pete Knight Atomic Radio-Controlled Silent Clock by Pete Knight: Interesting, I can’t get an MSF clock to work at our place in Spain (on the coast, near Torrevieja). Our German neighbours with a DCF77 clock don’t have any problems though. “The guy with the Swiss accent” has a solution that I’m going to try next time I manage to get over to Spain (hopefully soon!)… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SHGAEhnsYk Jun 16, 19:38
  • Dm.sergeevich63 Athom pre-Tasmota’d Smart Socket and Smart Lights by Dm.sergeevich63: these are the sizes I need Jun 16, 19:28
  • Steve Lenehan Zigbee Development – The Really Big Update by Steve Lenehan: Just to clarify that this limit on devices is a limit on direct connections to the coordinator – end devices connecting to routers are subject to separate limits. Personally I have always found the CC2531 to work well although recently I have been taking advantage of the zigbee coordinator built into the latest amazon echo devices. I have also kept my 40+ Ikea light bulbs and their associated dimmers and sensors on the Ikea hub to keep traffic to manageable levels. Jun 16, 18:46
  • Peter Scargill Zigbee Development – The Really Big Update by Peter Scargill: Hi Brian – I have my ZZH! stick – teething problems – I’m awaiting an update from the company – as soon as I have it working I’ll cover it in here. Thanks. Jun 16, 17:48
  • Dm.sergeevich63 Athom pre-Tasmota’d Smart Socket and Smart Lights by Dm.sergeevich63: Hello, I have a question about the e27 15w light bulb, I am interested in the length and width of the lamp without a translucent diffuser, can you measure the lamp without it? I do not want to change the current 13w lamp to athom 7w, and yeelight 1s 9w is a little more expensive and does not know how to work with timers without the Internet. Jun 16, 15:31
  • Zigbee Development – The Really Big Update by Brian Durward: I agree and recommend – zzh! CC2652R Multiprotocol RF Stick The cc2531 will have problems dealing with a network larger than 20 devices and some devices will cease to connect. Jun 16, 14:32
  • Peter Scargill Atomic Radio-Controlled Silent Clock by Peter Scargill: Hi Steve, see previous comment and my response – blog updated accordingly. Jun 16, 10:47
  • Peter Scargill Atomic Radio-Controlled Silent Clock by Peter Scargill: I stand corrected – long time since I’ve been there. For those who want to know more, here’s even mo info… The MSF radio signal is a dedicated standard-frequency and time broadcast that provides an accurate and reliable source of UK civil time. It is available 24 hours a day across the whole of the UK and beyond. The signal operates on a frequency of 60 kHz and carries a time and date code that can be received and decoded by a wide range of readily-available radio-controlled clocks. The MSF signal is transmitted from Anthorn Radio Station in Cumbria by Babcock International, under contract to NPL. The signal covers the whole of the UK, and can also be received throughout most of northern and western Europe. It is monitored against the national time scale UTC(NPL) and corrected when necessary, ensuring that the transmitted time is always correct. Jun 16, 10:46
  • Atomic Radio-Controlled Silent Clock by Steve: The “Rugby” 60khz time signal was moved to Anthorn in Cumbria in 2007… https://web.archive.org/web/20070927004250if_/http://www.npl.co.uk/time/msf/msf_anthorn_news_release.pdf Jun 16, 09:46