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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

Letterbox Notifications

This was a quick project to add notifications for when I get real physical mail. This is something I’ve had on my mind since I made my first SMS doorbell notification system back in 2004 and I finally got around to it last month. First of all I picked up a cheap internal letterbox flap and fixed that […]

Wireless Sensor Battery Life 3+ Years On

I last blogged about this in December 2013 when the second version of my ATmega328 & DS18B20 based temperature sensor, installed on 29 December 2011, had just reached the 2 year mark on the original set of batteries. That’s pretty good going and I’d have been happy with that but how long would it last until those Energizer batteries […]

Raspberry Pi Sinclair TV LCD Conversion

I got the idea for this after watching Dave’s teardown of the 1984 Sinclair flat screen pocket TV and thought it looked like a good candidate to make a cool retro style status display housing. So soon after watching Dave’s teardown I headed off to eBay and picked one up, this one was non-functional to begin with (dead CRT) so I […]

X10 and Home Easy with Node-RED

This is part of a series of posts I am doing describing some of the things I have been doing as part of the revamp of my home automation system. When I started on the home automation road in 2002 I began with a kit of 3 X10 modules and a CM12U PC interface which I […]