Monthly Archives: June 2017

Smart home overload

Tim Westergren, YOU ROCK! You definitely helped to make history.

Third, thank you Pakistan for the multiple downloads, got your blue pin on the map.

and Uzbekistan, looks like a very pristine part of the world,

and Costa Rica’s neighbor Nicaragua,

and welcome Yemen! found many wonderful pictures of your country on Google. The whole country doesn’t look like this, but I do like this picture, reminds me of Utah.

Yemen – hope you are not afraid of heights!

Utah – ditto

Added two new lights to the home matrix, living room ceiling fan and light over the fireplace, grand total? $4 for a relay, $2 for a 3 way switch, we’ll say $4 for wiring to make it an even $10.

That makes outside:

Front porch / light switch
Outside garage / light switch
Back lights / light switch
Deck fan / light switch

inside:

Front bedroom ceiling fan / light switch
Front bedroom lamp / smart power strip
Front bedroom floor fan / smart power strip
Front webcam / smart power strip
Front hub outlet, controlled by smart hub( turned on and off when hub needs more power ) / smart power strip
Front bathroom light / light switch
Front door light / light switch
Living room lamp / smart power strip
Living room ceiling fan / light switch
Fireplace light / light switch
Living room webcam / smart power strip
Kitchen webcam / smart power strip
Two open outlets on the same smart power strip
Master bedroom floor fan / smart power strip
Master bedroom lamp / smart power strip
Kitchen light / light switch
Landing lights / light switch
Stair running lights / light switch
Landing outlet one (controlled by thermostat to turn on floor fan when needed) / smart outlet
Landing outlet two – open / smart outlet
Basement lights / light switch
Bird light / wireless wall wart
Basement camera / wireless wall wart
Furnace outlets – open (dart board, christmas light)/ smart outlet
Basement bathroom / light switch
Inside garage lights / light switch
Garage door
Sprinkler system
Front door, back door sensors / assimilated alarm system
Temperature sensor in basement

I’ll have to do the math but I would think all of this could be done for around $300 Definitely less than $500

Hmmm this could be done with a cell phone and a Raspberry Pi and AT&T will give you 1000 wireless IoT devices for pretty cheap.

Tech Crunch -Fleet management tracking provider Samsara raises $40M

Here is how you might put these devices to use.

Midnight – outside garage lights and porch light (linked together on Smart Hub app as “front lights”) are on (scheduled which will be discussed later)

runner lights for stairs going downstairs are on.

You start to get cold, thank goodness you can turn off the fan without getting out of bed using the free phone app or the watch app, or schedule it to turn off automatically.

You wake up at 2 am needing a drink of water, kids toys are littered in the living room with the one that screams “MOMMY, MOMMY, MOMMY!” just waiting for someone to make a wrong move.

You open your smart watch app or free phone app, click on kitchen light, bam! the light over the sink comes on, and you easily make your way to get a drink of water. In your face! MOMMY, MOMMY, MOMMY doll! Then you make your way back to bed and turn the light off from your watch or smartphone. Don’t even think of using Alexa in this scenario.

Now it’s 4 am and since you got the drink of water, now you have to go to the bathroom! Repeat the same process, but this time with the bathroom light.

5:55 am the sun starts to peak it’s head up, the Smart Hub has it’s local scheduler set to turn off the “front lights” linked list (weekends included). No more touching those light switches again, EVER!

6:00 am – your shorttimetwo app starts to gently wake you up by letting you know what time it is every five minutes so you can keep your eyes closed to the very last second until you get up.

Say the temp lets you know what the temperature is.

Say today’s forecast tells you what today’s weather will be like.

Say tomorrow’s forecast will let you know what tomorrow’s weather will be like, go ahead and skip the 20 minutes of commercials on the morning news.

6:46 am your bedroom lights, hall lights, bathroom lights automatically come on to let you know it’s time to get up (for this schedule you omit weekends). Also the runner lights going downstairs turn off and all webcams turn off so you don’t get caught getting a towel you forgot after jumping in the shower, from the local scheduler running on your phone or you could also have that app running simultaneously on your Smart Hub.

While your in the shower you no longer need the bedroom light or the hall light so those are scheduled to turn off from the local scheduler running on your phone or you could also have that app running simultaneously on your Smart Hub.

Now you are ready to go, the bedroom light could still be on , the bathroom light is still on, you speak into you smartwatch “Text j I am leaving” Your IoT OtG app receives the text turns on your landing lights to notify you it has received the command, your bathroom light and bedroom lights are automatically turned off and all your webcams turn on. After 30 seconds your landing lights turn off, letting you know you have a minute and a half to get in your car in the garage.

You make your way to the garage the lights have been turned on with a 3 minute timer.
You get in your car, the garage door opens automatically, you start your car and back out. After 30 seconds the garage closes and you drive away.

Or let us say while you are backing out you remember you forgot something, you long press the garage door on your garage door app to cancel the timer, or you speak into your smartwatch and say “Text j turn off garage timer” again try that with Alexa!

Driving down the road you receive a text saying your garage door is closed and the garage lights have turned off.

Also while driving to work you receive a text that the front door has opened, looks like the kids are going to make it to school on time today, they better not forget to shut the door this time! . . . and there is the text showing the door is shut.

Or you don’t get the text and you call them asking what is up.

You check your webcams from time to time during the day to make sure the house is ok, but you have been having issues with your front camera lately, it has night mode and when the sun gets to a certain location the camera freaks out and jumps between modes until it locks up, But that is easily fixed you take out your smartphone and using the cloud app, or your smartwatch and IoT OtG you turn off the outlet for the camera and turn it back on resetting the camera in no time.

The day is done, time for . . . RUSH HOUR TRAFFIC! and it’s even worse today and your going to be late, you know everyone is waiting for you so instead of texting everyone you use IoT OtG by saying into your smartwatch or phone “text j hey, I won’t be home till 7 be ready to go out” that way if someone doesn’t have their phone they will hear the IoT OtG hub “speak” to them.

You are pulling up to the house and you don’t want the garage door to automatically open with the geofence at this time so you speak into your smartwatch “text j turn off garage fence” Now when you enter the geofence the Smart Hub ignores the open garage command.

Everyone jumps in the car and you go to dinner.

While your out it begins to get dark, the front light linked list I spoke of earlier is scheduled to happen, and it does. You also have the kitchen light scheduled to come on and a living room light and a pet light.

This time when you come home the geofence has been reset, the door automatically opens, the inside garage lights come on for three minutes, all webcams turn off, and the door automatically shuts behind you.

As you enter through the kitchen, the light is already on so no fumbling in the dark for a light switch.

Finally time for bed, the pets usually like to come out and eat after you go to bed, but you don’t want to leave lights on all night so you have the kitchen light, living room lamp, and pet light scheduled to automatically turn off at 11:30 pm.

Turn on your bedroom ceiling fan, or floor fan from the free phone app or watch app.

Life can be hard.

Why do I need a Garage Door app on my phone?

“I have a free opener that came with my garage door opener” or “I have a garage door opener built into my car”

For the longest time I did not have an answer for that question . . . until today.

A friend of mine came by my desk and showed me an app he has that shows you all the crimes that have happened around a certain neighborhood. The post said that cars were getting broken into and GARAGES. It seems that someone was breaking into cars and using the GARAGE DOOR OPENER that was left in the car or built into the car to break into homes.

. . . and there is my answer, why take the chance of leaving a garage door opener in your car at all times or even think about setting up the one built into your car, giving someone a free key to your home?

or worse yet having to carry one more thing back and forth to your car.

Ok, we have our first security “issue” Resolved

Update 6/23/2017: There is a fixed version of Debian Security Tracker

And a new version of Raspbain Jessie Jessie Download – but I am still trying to find out if it was compiled with the fixed Debian version.

And still no one has broke into my house, taken physical control of my Raspberry Pi and turned on my lights.

Update 6/22/2017: Still no one has broke into my house, gained physical access to my Raspberry Pi and turned on my lights . . . all seems to be well, and not finding any incidences on google searches.

Look, over there, it’s Elvis!

Ok, these things are going to happen obviously (until Microsoft gets involved, then all the hackers will go after them), so I might as well tell you instead of playing dumb.

NO ONE IS BEING ATTACKED!

Doesn’t sound like a life threatening thing, and so far it sounds like hackers must have physical access to the device to use this vulnerability.

So I don’t dirty up my wonderful commentary on my blog posts I will create a Security Issue Page Here. That will list everything that has been found on a go forward basis.

The vulnerability is called Stack Clash

I will find out the new “safer” version of Raspbian and post it on the Security Issue Page.

Home Automation Scenario 1

First let me welcome Croatia!

Sorry Intel –

Engadget – Intel gives up on competing against Raspberry Pi

Midnight – outside garage lights and porch light (linked together on Smart Hub app as “front lights”) are on (scheduled which will be discussed later)

runner lights for stairs going downstairs are on.

You start to get cold, thank goodness you can turn off the fan without getting out of bed using the free phone app or the watch app, or schedule it to turn off automatically.

You wake up at 2 am needing a drink of water, kids toys are littered in the living room with the one that screams “MOMMY, MOMMY, MOMMY!” just waiting for someone to make a wrong move.

You open your smart watch app or free phone app, click on kitchen light, bam! the light over the sink comes on, and you easily make your way to get a drink of water. In your face! MOMMY, MOMMY, MOMMY doll! Then you make your way back to bed and turn the light off from your watch or smartphone. Don’t even think of using Alexa in this scenario.

Now it’s 4 am and since you got the drink of water, now you have to go to the bathroom! Repeat the same process, but this time with the bathroom light.

5:55 am the sun starts to peak it’s head up, the Smart Hub has it’s local scheduler set to turn off the “front lights” linked list (weekends included). No more touching those light switches again, EVER!

6:00 am – your shorttimetwo app starts to gently wake you up by letting you know what time it is every five minutes so you can keep your eyes closed to the very last second until you get up.

Say the temp lets you know what the temperature is.

Say today’s forecast tells you what today’s weather will be like.

Say tomorrow’s forecast will let you know what tomorrow’s weather will be like, go ahead and skip the 20 minutes of commercials on the morning news.

6:46 am your bedroom lights, hall lights, bathroom lights automatically come on to let you know it’s time to get up (for this schedule you omit weekends). Also the runner lights going downstairs turn off and all webcams turn off so you don’t get caught getting a towel you forgot after jumping in the shower, from the local scheduler running on your phone or you could also have that app running simultaneously on your Smart Hub.

While your in the shower you no longer need the bedroom light or the hall light so those are scheduled to turn off from the local scheduler running on your phone or you could also have that app running simultaneously on your Smart Hub.

Now you are ready to go, the bedroom light could still be on , the bathroom light is still on, you speak into you smartwatch “Text j I am leaving” Your IoT OtG app receives the text turns on your landing lights to notify you it has received the command, your bathroom light and bedroom lights are automatically turned off and all your webcams turn on. After 30 seconds your landing lights turn off, letting you know you have a minute and a half to get in your car in the garage.

You make your way to the garage the lights have been turned on with a 3 minute timer.
You get in your car, the garage door opens automatically, you start your car and back out. After 30 seconds the garage closes and you drive away.

Or let us say while you are backing out you remember you forgot something, you long press the garage door on your garage door app to cancel the timer, or you speak into your smartwatch and say “Text j turn off garage timer” again try that with Alexa!

Driving down the road you receive a text saying your garage door is closed and the garage lights have turned off.

Also while driving to work you receive a text that the front door has opened, looks like the kids are going to make it to school on time today, they better not forget to shut the door this time! . . . and there is the text showing the door is shut.

Or you don’t get the text and you call them asking what is up.

You check your webcams from time to time during the day to make sure the house is ok, but you have been having issues with your front camera lately, it has night mode and when the sun gets to a certain location the camera freaks out and jumps between modes until it locks up, But that is easily fixed you take out your smartphone and using the cloud app, or your smartwatch and IoT OtG you turn off the outlet for the camera and turn it back on resetting the camera in no time.

The day is done, time for . . . RUSH HOUR TRAFFIC! and it’s even worse today and your going to be late, you know everyone is waiting for you so instead of texting everyone you use IoT OtG by saying into your smartwatch or phone “text j hey, I won’t be home till 7 be ready to go out” that way if someone doesn’t have their phone they will hear the IoT OtG hub “speak” to them.

You are pulling up to the house and you don’t want the garage door to automatically open with the geofence at this time so you speak into your smartwatch “text j turn off garage fence” Now when you enter the geofence the Smart Hub ignores the open garage command.

Everyone jumps in the car and you go to dinner.

While your out it begins to get dark, the front light linked list I spoke of earlier is scheduled to happen, and it does. You also have the kitchen light scheduled to come on and a living room light and a pet light.

This time when you come home the geofence has been reset, the door automatically opens, the inside garage lights come on for three minutes, all webcams turn off, and the door automatically shuts behind you.

As you enter through the kitchen, the light is already on so no fumbling in the dark for a light switch.

Finally time for bed, the pets usually like to come out and eat after you go to bed, but you don’t want to leave lights on all night so you have the kitchen light, living room lamp, and pet light scheduled to automatically turn off at 11:30 pm.

Turn on your bedroom ceiling fan, or floor fan from the free phone app or watch app.

Life can be hard.

$13 smart thermostat is a go!

Ever seen a hardware guy faint?

breadboard schmedboard . . .

Poor man’s breadboard

Yellow wire – goes to gpio pin 4 (Broadcom layout)
Red wire – goes to 3v
Blue wire – ground

OH MAN!

You could have had all my apps and a no compete for 12 Billion!

Forgot something IMPORTANT !!

Here is adafruit’s tutorial in case I forget something else.

Left this out:

Start by adding the following line to /boot/config.txt

sudo nano /boot/config.txt

scroll to the bottom

add:
dtoverlay=w1-gpio

reboot the Raspberry Pi by typing:

sudo reboot

When the Pi is back up you should have everything setup for the below code to work.

Here is the code to display the temperature reading:

python – display temperature

Query temp through the cloud

Try before you buy at Best Buy

recode – Best Buy’s new weapon against Amazon: A try-before-you-buy option

Welcome Pakistan!

Thank you United Kingdom 3 downloads in 4 days! and also Poland, the newest member to the double digit download team. Germany, just about guaranteed to be the next triple digit member. And the Netherlands, And 4 (3 in one day) from the U.S.A.

And another for Vietnam.

Here is why I HATE WiFi:

I don’t trust their product as far as I can throw it, which I usually do when the radio degrades to unacceptable in 1 year for $30 – $50 routers, and 6 – 7 months for $130 – $150 routers(Linksys,Netgear) shorter as the price goes up. And NEVER wait to try one out after 30 day return policy(Netgear). First one I had was a linksys AP, lasted 3 – 5 years, then a Linksys router/AP -1 year, then a Netgear – 1 year and a half, then a Netgear 6 months, a linksys 6 months, then a Netgear dead out of the box, passed 30 days, bought another to swap, dead out of the box, TP-Link($40) 1 year – still going. . .

Now we have mesh, at $300 that means the router will work for a month. I have tried extenders to get me to a room 30 feet away and it actually made the signal strength worse.

Now we have a new Eero with a stronger signal and with the base setup you should be able to use it in a 1 – 2 bedroom house. Thank goodness I didn’t get the first model with the weaker radio for a 0 – 1 bedroom house, because my non-mesh router does that! (kind of).

More power! – getting us half-way to some

I think 5G is going to be when I ditch wifi all together.

There’s nothing more exciting than waiting for your house to change 1 degree in temperature

If this does happen fairly quickly, you probably need more insulation.

So back to the sprinkler system . . .

I think I have a way for a normal person to be able to configure their number of stations and station times fairly easy, I will be borrowing from my Pi Wear control app and IoT OtG app.

Just thought I would throw this in, the Apple Watch works very well for a remote when listening to music, seems kind of weird to have a remote control for something that resembles a remote control, but it allows me to connect my phone to my stereo in the car ( bluetooth SUCKS ) and throw the phone on the seat, or hide it out of the sun.

The Verge – Apple will now let hobbyists build their own HomeKit devices

I almost feel sorry for Hue, I definitely feel sorry for the people who bought two hubs now for no reason, PRO PRI E TARY!

I am now going to bite my tongue (a new first!) and allow you to call me names, I deserve it.

Who’s THIS GUY talking about?

He’s CrAzY! . . .

“McAfee thinks the only answer can come from upstart entrepreneurs untethered to legacy business models.”

Speaking of Crazy, here is the easiest way to become a unicorn!

How to Make $80,000 Per Month on the Apple App Store

Welcome Pakistan!

Thank you United Kingdom 3 downloads in 4 days! and also Poland, the newest member to the double digit download team. Germany, just about guaranteed to be the next triple digit member. And the Netherlands, And 4 (3 in one day) from the U.S.A.

Thermostat update: Got the thermostat Raspberry Pi talking to my Smart Hub, so now I can receive texts when the fan is turned on or off, I can also have the thermostat turn on ANY and HOWEVER MANY devices I want when the temperature is above or below my selected temperature. I also found that there are certain times I don’t want the fan to come on (late at night) so I added IoT OtG Advanced functionality that allows me to disable the devices that I have the thermostat controlling via voice commands (Hey Siri, Text Jar . . . let’s call him J, turn off thermostat) FROM ANYWHERE, then the fan won’t come on, but I still receive texts telling me that the temperature in the basement is above or below the selected temperature, that way I can manually turn on the devices and have a log in my texts that I can review to see where the temperature sits.

I also ordered my:

Walmart – Waterproof DS18B20 Temperature Sensor for Raspberry Pi/Arduino So when I get that we’ll see what I can do, I should be able to query the temperature via voice command and receive an answer via text at the very least.

Also saw this yesterday:

Interesting

Interesting

Still trying to think of a reason to use, but nice to know it’s out there.

$20 thermostat controlled fan is a GO!

Oh crap! In theory I don’t even need a Raspberry Pi to turn on the fan, just a $27 part. Because it comes with more than I need. Theory is wrong, thermostat sends constant signal while temperature is out of range, I need a “toggle” of a signal. Sure there is probably some doodad to accomplish this, but I don’t do hardware (kind of).

Overall pretty happy, December, $349, that should slow Alexa down.

Walt was right, a lull, except at my house.

Thermostat is working like a charm, except right now I have it set up in a cooling configuration, like above, but I am really trying to use access cool air by sending it up stairs, not trying to cool the upstairs from downstairs, so I am going to move the thermostat downstairs, move the wiring to the heat connector and turn on the fan when the temp gets below 77 degrees.

That does work better, less on and off of the fan. Had to move the wires to R and W (It doesn’t matter which wire goes where, the thermostat is just connecting the wires together when it reaches the set temperature), and set the switch to heat.

I also put the pi in the cloud, which opens up some more possibilities I am playing with, stay tuned . . .

Oh, and if you are playing along at home and want to have some kind of log you can replace the print lines with:

print(‘fan is on: ‘ + time.strftime(“%c”))

Advice Received

Hmmm let me see, let me set a reminder on my Apple watch, Asus Zen watch 2, Android phone, or iPhone, hands free, that tells me the echo can now do this.

. . . while I’m in my car OR outside.

. . . lookey there, good thing my watch reminded me, I went outside and got distracted cleaning my car, my pizza would have been on fire!

Whoa! It even reminded me on my non-phone iPhones! I’ll have to put those in my bathrooms!

DOUBLE WHOA! I just SET a reminder from my non-phone iPhone! Definitely bathroom material now!

I can’t believe the Echo is actually SAVING me money by showing me what I can already do!

HANDS FREE (I’m giddy)

Thermostat project: Still going to work on this, manually changing the temperature with my phone when you can just program it with a $50 one doesn’t make me want to jump for joy, but I do first want to make my basement fan turn on when a non-programable thermostat gets to a certain temperature, but I have been helping a friend set up his sprinkler system to the cloud so he can water his yard from work, or cancel watering when his AI (his brain) tells him it will rain, not when the rain sensor says it IS raining. And he is giving me ideas how to make the app better, much is more exciting than temperature control.

Thank You: Argentina, Australia, China, Denmark, France, India, USA

Singapore