Passions, Pastimes and Hobbies
My passion for photography has taken a new twist; drones. Drone technology has advanced faster than any technology I’ve ever seen. Flying cameras are here and more affordable than ever before. I’ve recently purchased a DJI Spark and love flying it all the while shooting videos and taking pictures.
A Raspberry Pi is a credit card-sized computer originally designed for education. Creator Eben Upton’s goal was to create a low-cost device that would improve programming skills and hardware understanding at the pre-university level. But thanks to its small size and accessible price, it was quickly adopted by tinkerers, makers, and electronics enthusiasts for projects that require more than a basic microcontroller.
The fishkeeping hobby is really a combination of a couple interests of mine. One of course is fishkeeping, but the other interest is automation. My goal with my fishtank setup was to develop the ability to control the various components of my tank remotely from anywhere in the world via the internet. This part of my hobby has grown from over the years. I began with a simple script to update a field on a my-SQL database and has grown into technology that includes MQTT, Node-Red, ESP8266, and other types of hardware like circuit boards, and relays.
I’ve decided to try a new home automation hub called Home-Assitant on Raspberry Pi. Home Assistant is an open-source home automation tool that runs on a Raspberry Pi. Using Home Assistant you can control your devices from a single mobile-friendly interface and set up advanced rules to bring your home alive. See the Home Assistant blog for a complete description of all devices I have set up to be controlled or monitored through Home Assistant.
Welcome to my little piece of the internet. I decided to put this site together for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, to explain what I enjoy doing in my spare time. So many times conversations revolve around spare-time activities. I’m often asked things like: What shows do you like on television? Are you a Michigan or Michigan State fan? What is your handicap in golf? Have you seen ? What types of books do you read? My answers are always none, neither, no, none and I don’t. In my opinion, there’s nothing worth watching on TV. I don’t enjoy reading or sports. The last movie I saw at the theater is ET. The last time I golfed I got so upset/frustrated with myself that I swore I would never play again. I simply don’t enjoy the things most other people like to do in their spare time. So, here it is. Feel free to take a look around. These are the things I enjoy spending time on. Another reason for putting this site together is to keep a record of the things I do, projects I’ve worked on, and ideas I’ve had. So many times I’ve wondered how I did something in the past. I used to be able to rely on memory to recall but as time goes on, I’m finding I need to write things down. So these pages are records of the little projects I’ve recently worked on. The internet is a wonderful tool. I’m constantly using it for assistance in my daily life. Hopefully someone will someday find something useful on the pages here as well. If so, feel free to comment. It would be great to hear from you.
I currently have 6 Sonoff Basic devices, all flashed with Tasmota firmware and configured to monitor for MQTT messages to trigger electrical devices around my home. Each Sonoff is connected to a Home Assistant button. Below is a screenshot of the way my Home Assistant user interface is designed. This screen is consistantly Read more about Sonoff Devices Flashed with Tasmota Firmware[…]
I receieved the following error when attempting to upgrade my MQTT server running on a Raspberry Pi: W: An error occurred during the signature verification. The repository is not updated and the previous index files will be used. GPG error: http://repo.mosquitto.org jessie InRelease: The following signatures were invalid: KEYEXPIRED 1515017477 KEYEXPIRED 1515017477 KEYEXPIRED 1515017477 W: Read more about apt-get update[…]
For this project I began with a brand new Raspberry Pi with a fresh Raspbian install. See “Setting up your new Raspberry Pi”. Although Node-RED and node.js comes delivered standard on the Raspbian NOOB SD Card operating system, I decided to uninstall and reinstall the most current versions of tbese systems. To do so is Read more about How To: Install Node-Red on a Raspberry Pi[…]
Setting up a Virtual Private Network (VPN) was the most difficult and frustrating Raspberry Pi installation I’ve attempted. I’m not sure if the guides I was using were outdated, simply not correct, or if I was doing something wrong. There were many many complex steps and the issue could very well have been on Read more about How To: Install OpenVPN on a Raspberry Pi[…]
My goal for this project was to be able to simply turn the lights on my fishtank on and off from anywhere in the world. This project was very successful and over time and grew into so much more. Initially I ran implemented this on a virtual machine running Ubuntu Linux utilizing a MySQL database Read more about Fishtank Controller (part I)[…]
You’ve just purchased a new Raspberry Pi. So, now what? Components needed for this step include: Raspberry Pi Micro SD memory card with SD card adapter Monitor with HDMI connection USB or wireless keyboard USB or wireless mouse Ethernet connection Computer to format and initialize your SD memory card The first step is to Read more about How To: Setting Up a New Raspberry Pi[…]
The fishtank controller project was very successful <read about it here> and has been in operation for more than a year. Since putting this system together I’ve become a huge fan of the ESP8266 programmable micro-chips. An ESP8266 MCU can easily replace the functionality of the Raspberry Pi on the Fishtank Controller project. This would free Read more about Fishtank Controller (part II)[…]
Alarm Clock 192.168.1.159 Fish Camera 192.168.1.105 OpenVPN Server 192.168.1.156 ReadyNas Storage 192.168.1.82 MQTT Server 192.168.1.158 External IP 188.8.131.52 Home Assistant – Prod 192.168.1.171 Home Assistant – Test 192.168.1.199 Volumio 192.168.1.193 Garage Camera 192.168.1.182 Frontdoor Camera 192.168.1.144 Backyard Camera 192.168.1.135
I was locked out of the house for the last time this weekend. I had to ask my son (who kindly agreed) to leave the warmth of his home in the dead of winter to drive over to unlock the door for me. Thank you Matthew! To prevent his from ever happening again I made Read more about Remote Garage Door Opener[…]
Below are a some terminal commands that I’ve accumulated. I’m at the point where I need to write these things down otherwise I’ll never remember them. MQTT Commands Subscribe to a topic mosquitto_sub -v -t ‘test/topic’ Publish a topic mosquitto_pub -t ‘test/topic’ -m ‘helloWorld’ Correcting error IP after reloading NOOBs OS control/shift/J term_.command.removeAllKnownHosts() Raspberry Read more about Miscellaneous Terminal Commands[…]