Home Automation : Reading out Text and Playing Media on Google Home using Node Red

i discovered this useful node-red plugin node over the weekend, called node-red-contrib-cast (https://flows.nodered.org/node/node-red-contrib-cast). With it I can get node-red to tell my google home devices to either read out some text or play some media. So now when my door bell is pressed, in addition to triggering my 80s doorbell, the google home minis around the house start playing a clip from Paul McCartney's 1976 track "Let 'Em In" ... 🎵 Someone's knocking at the door ... Somebody's ...

Home Automation: Setting up Node-Red under Docker on Synology NAS, with MQTT and Telegram Integration

Previously I installed some sensors around my home, and got them to update their status into an MQTT Message Broker. The Message Broker acts as a central nervous system for the apartment, making the status of sensors available to everything. Knowing status alone is not enough, we must be able to "do" things with the knowledge. We want to be able to transform the status from one form of information to another, to make decisions by combining inputs from different things, and finally, to act ...

Home Automation: Sonoff RFBridge 433Mhz and Tasmota Firmware

I recently install two 433Mhz radio-frequency gadgets at my front door ... a wireless pushbutton and a wireless door sensor. The pushbutton costs USD3.55 from banggood.com. It has a replaceable battery and can be fixed to a wall using screws or double sided tape. When the button is pressed, it broadcasts a unique code on 433Mhz, just like an automatic gate remote control. The door sensor is a combination of a reed switch and magnet, and costs USD5.30 on banggood.com. Like the push button,...

Home Automation: Setting up Mosquitto MQTT Broker under Docker on a Synology NAS

Many moons ago I set up a sonoff basic power relay with tasmota firmware and a Mosquitto MQTT Message Broker on a raspberry pi so that I can switch my 3D printer on and off remotely. I've recently added a few more tasmota devices in my apartment for home automation, and wanted a more stable platform for my mosquitto MQTT broker. I've also been playing with Docker on my Synology NAS (installed via the Synology Package Manager), and since that has a redundant storage, a UPS, and is already ru...

New Toy: WiFi Controlled AC Switch for My 3D Printer - Hacked Itead Sonoff

Short Shorter Story A few weeks back I discovered that the stepper motors on my 3D printer were warm to the touch, even when not in use. I asked on the facebook group and learned that the motors are kept powered to prevent the extruder from being accidentally moved. This doesn't work for me, as since the printer is on a different floor and operated remotely, I like to leave it powered on. But I didn't like the idea of having the motors powered. So I decided to look for a remotely controllabl...

A 1980s DIY Doorbell Revived!

My dad "recovered" this recently ... a DIY doorbell kit I bought in the early 1980s and had on my bedroom door back when I was a kid. I cleaned it up a bit, and it still works! It sounds very retro, like the telephones from the 80s. The sound of a mechanical bell is quite rare these days. How it works - Watch In Slow Motion! When the button is pressed, a circuit is formed that runs from the terminal at the bottom, through the magnet coil, over the wire to the other side, through the ...

Samsung BD-J5500 DVD Region Unlock

What? Samsung BD-J5500 Blue-Ray/DVD Player, Region-3 Only PlayerWhy? How?Power OnPress Black Button (below yellow "C" button)Press 56732 (this code depends on which region your player is locked to, see the source article below)"3" will appear on displayPress "9""9" will briefly appear on displayPlayer is now region-lock free. Source? https://www.videohelp.com/dvdhacks/samsung-bd-j5500/12530

Expanding Storage on Synology DS918+

My Synology DS918+ has two Seagate Ironwolf NAS 6TB drives in it, currently configured in a Storage Pool. With two drives, one is essentially a mirror of the other, so the total storage available is only 6TB. Well 5TB if you "count" the way hard drive manufacturers do. It's now time to add to this storage. I called C-Zone at PJ Digital Mall and was told they had the drive in stock. Unfortunately, when I got there, it turns out there was a mix up and they didn't have actually have them there...

Decoding Sensor RS485 Output with an Oscilloscope

I was at a client's place, trying to connect a humidity and temperature sensor to our equipment. The sensor has a RS485 interface, and the manual says the default speed is 4800,7E1. The pink wire is RS485-A and the grey wire is RS485-B. I connected it to a Moxa Nport 5230-T, and configured the port settings. This is what the sensor had to say: I had similar results when using a USB RS422/RS485 adapter on my laptop too. The sensor emits that junk a second or so on power up. There is al...

My Tab S Keyboard Broke!

So there I was done with with my late night youtube surfing when I put my tablet back in its keyboard-case and ... something felt weird. I switched on the bedroom lights and looked down at my tablet and found the clasp had broken! Now this tablet is over 4 years old (https://blog.shahada.abubakar.net/post/replacement-toy-galaxy-tab-s-yeah-not-an-s2) but it has a great design. Why do I say this? To begin with the tablet has a 16:10 screen ratio, which is great for watching wide screen conte...