ESP8266 Relay Modules from Itead and Electrodragon

Here are two similar but also rather different WiFi controlled mains switching relay modules that both use the ESP8266 WiFi SoC. Both come with a nice case, can be reprogrammed with your own firmware and are exceedingly cheap for what you get. I’m using these with MQTT and Node-RED so that they seamlessly integrate with the […]

Amazon Echo Alexa Skills Kit integration with Node-RED

I have been using my Amazon Echo and a Raspberry Pi running AlexaPi for voice control of lights, appliances and modes using ha-bridge, a Java app that emulates the Philips Hue API which is one of the few devices that the Echo supports natively. I use ha-bridge to call mosquitto_pub to send MQTT messages to my Node-RED based home automation system which allows […]

Orvibo S20 WiFi Mains Socket with Node-RED

For years I used X10 for all my remote controlled sockets but the unreliability eventually drove me to RF based sockets, the Home Easy ones in particular as you can’t beat the price, often available for circa £20 for a pack of 3 with a remote control and easily integrated into Node-RED and the likes with […]

Background Radiation Monitoring

A little Saturday afternoon project last weekend was putting together this geiger counter kit from RH Electronics in Israel, paired with a soviet SBM-20 Geiger-Müller tube sourced from an eBay seller in the Ukraine. Total cost was £32 which seems very reasonable to me. The RH Electronics kit comes with all the components apart from the […]

Pebble Timeline node for Node-RED

The reason behind the last post was so that I could create a node for Node-RED to send pins to the Timeline on a Pebble smartwatch. To use this you obviously need a Pebble Time (or a classic Pebble once the Timeline update is available) but you will also need a Timeline user token which […]

Sending Pins to the Pebble Timeline

There are a number of different libraries available for sending pins to the Timeline on a Pebble watch, including those for Javascript, Node.js, Ruby, Python, PHP and C.  To use any of these you need a unique user token which is a UUID unique to both an app installed on the watch and the user, I […]

3D Printed Cases For TinyTX and Tiny328

Another post I’ve been meaning to write for a long time. I finally got my Rigidbot 3D printer in August 2014 some 9 months later than the estimate but I was one of the lucky ones, many had to wait a lot longer and some have even had to pay extra for delivery, having already paid it once as the company […]

Lenny, The bot that fools telesales callers

I mentioned in the last post that I send all but a select few callers on my landline straight to voicemail but that’s actually no longer true. Thanks to a casual comment by @ichilton on Twitter I’ve recently switched to diverting calls from unknown numbers to Lenny. Lenny who? Lenny is an Asterisk dial plan which together […]

Sending incoming call info to MQTT

I’ve used Asterisk at home since around 2004, originally using a clone of a Digium FXO card and later a Sipura SPA-3000 (later owned and branded by Linksys) to interface to my landline. When that server decommissioned itself (with a bang and bad smell) a year or so ago I switched over to the Asterisk based FreePBX on a […]

Switching Voice Notifications To Ivona

I had long used the unofficial Google speech API for voice notifications (TTS) as it has a very good, clear voice, much better than Festival which I had used previously. However late one night a couple of months ago this stopped working as Google started to redirect it to a captcha if you tried access it directly. […]