Monthly Archives: January 2019

One Of My Favorite Raspberry Pi Projects Ever – Dakboard With LogitechMediaServer

Easiest Raspberry Pi Wall Calendar Yet

What you need:

– Raspberry Pi Zero (or better)

– SD Card

– TV with at least one HDMI input

– Wall mounting bracket for TV

– HDMI Cable

– 1.5 amp power brick

– WiFi dongle (not needed if using a Pi 3 with onboard wifi)

– Micro HMDI to HDMI adapter (only needed if not using a Pi2 or 3)

– Micro USB to USB adapter (only needed if not using a Pi2 or 3)

Making Your Garage Door Smart

I have a LiftMaster garage door opener in my home.  Newer garage doors implement something called Security 2.0 which means the remote and receiver on the opener have a rolling (changing) code between them.

So essentially that means you can’t just trigger the opener by adding a wifi controlled relay to make the door smart.  What you have to do is to buy a My Q Smart Garage Hub which used to cost bigger bucks but now comes in around $80.  There is a subscription service you can buy to integrate into your home automation.  Otherwise it only works with a phone app.  Also, do you REALLY want your garage door state published to someone else’s Cloud?

In order to have a wifi controlled garage door or an MQTT controlled garage door (machine to machine protocol) you’ll have to cheat.  Here’s what you need to pull this off:

  • Spare remote with Security 2.0
  • Inching relay such as Sonoff 4 Channel Pro
  • Some ethernet conductor wire

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Sonoff RF With Tasmota Firmware in Homeassistant

If you have dabbled in Home Automation you’ve probably heard of Sonoff.  They make all manner of home automation devices.  I’ve been largely ambivalent towards them as I prefer Z-Wave devices and hackable outlets to power most of my home automation needs.   But I kept READING ABOUT THEM.  Everywhere you turn on the Home Automation sites people are talking about Sonoff and something called “Tasmota Firmware”.

I decided to see what all the fuss was about and ponied up the requisite $11 for a Sonoff RF from Amazon.  I’ve been on a 433 MHz device kick lately and I like the fact that radio controlled devices can work even when the network goes down.  As long as a Raspberry Pi is on that delivers that radio burst…….BOOM……the lights go on and off.

So I got one just to play with.  The interesting thing to me is that not only is it 433 MHz radio controlled it also works with WiFI and if you flash it with Tasmota Firmware it will do MQTT as well.   Okay, I’m getting slightly impressed here.

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Configuring Inexpensive 433 MHz Motion Sensors for use with HomeAssistant

Last week I showed you how you can capture the remote codes for cheap radio controlled electrical outlets and this week the theme is MOTION DETECTORS.  With a properly configured motion detector you can then trigger that outlet.  For example……..when you open the pantry door the light comes on………when you walk in the laundry room, the light comes on……..when someone presses the smart doorbell, the lights come on.  Pretty handy stuff.

Most home automation motion sensors send TWO signals. One when they are tripped and one when they reset.  Most of them will stay tripped for a predetermined amount of time.  Usually for 2-4 minutes or so.   Good idea to know the state of the motion detector BEFORE you buy it.

For example I have a motion detector with a 4 minute reset on it in my garage and laundry closet. That means that both of those lights that get triggered are staying on for 4 minutes whether I like it or not (unless I write some crazy code).

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Connect an RF 433 MHz Transmitter and Receiver to a Raspberry Pi

I’ve been dabbling with 433 MHz devices over the past few days and tying those devices in with my home automation software named HomeAssistant.  A decent transmitter receiver kit will set you back a whopping $10 or so.  I opted for this one.

It performs extremely well in a home environment and has great specs.

One of the gotchas of this device though is it comes with ABSOLUTELY NO DOCUMENTATION WHATSOEVER.  You’d be hard pressed to find much useful on line as well. So that’s where I come in.

Fortunately the wiring is pretty basic and the pins are clearly marked on the back side of the circuit boards.

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RpiTX Replay Attack on GE MySelectSmart Remote Control Outlet

Was walking around Target and saw an inexpensive remote outlet which I was pretty sure I could perform the Replay Attack on.

The Replay Attack  is when you record a signal from something and transmit it back to perform the operation.

These devices typically transmit around 433 MHz and have no encryption of any kind whatsoever.  Just a simple transmit burst for on and off functions.

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ProScan on Virtualbox

Proscan  is a wicked cool hunk of software for Scanner Junkies like me.  It lets you take your expensive overpriced Uniden SDS100 (and other) scanners and do cool things with it, like make your scanner accessible to the web, or upload your feeds to scanner apps, etc.  It is worth every penny and then some.

If NOTHING ELSE ProScan allows you to display your LCD screen on a much larger computer screen.

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