0Updating firmware on Conbee II stick for Home Assistant

I use a Con­Bee II USB stick for my zig­bee mesh in Home Assist­ant. I wanted to update the firm­ware and found it is easi­est to do this by shut­ting down HA, unplug­ging the stick and using a win­dows machine to update it, then put­ting it back into the HA sys­tem and boot­ing HA back up. There are full instruc­tions for the pro­cess in Win­dows on Dresden Elektronik’s website

0Bin collections in Home Assistant

I’ve been devel­op­ing my Home Assist­ant based smarthome setup for around a year now (since leav­ing SmartTh­ings) and after an ini­tial steep learn­ing curve I’ve been veyr happy with home assist­ant so I have star­ted work­ing to expand the things it does as I am con­if­dent it offers a long term basis for my smarthome. One thing I wanted to add was bin col­lec­tion data to remind me which bin is due when. As I live in Shef­field I needed to pull this data from the loc­al author­it­ies out-sources pro­vider (veolia). The fol­low­ing details how I did this, build­ing very much on the work of oth­ers who have done it already for oth­er regions
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0Getting OpenZWave working with Home Assistant

I am slowly migrat­ing my smarthome setup to Home­As­sist­ant which, as with most open-source pro­jects, is pretty unfriendly to start with and takes some learn­ing to use. I have an Aeotec ZStick and an Aeotec Door­bell 6 which work via Z‑Wave and I wanted to cus­tom­ise the tones and reduce the volume a little. You’d think it would be easy right?
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0PSU LogoThe perfect HTPC power supply 2020?

I recently got a new GPU for my HTPC which required a replace­ment power sup­ply as the old one was­n’t suit­able for power­ing a GPU with an 8 pin PCIe power cable. The HTPC is in use for an aver­age of around 6 hours per day and with elec­tri­city at 15p/kWh any reduc­tion in power at the wall works out at 33p a year per Watt. This isn’t a big sav­ing, but if con­sump­tion is reduced by sev­er­al watts the sav­ing can add up.
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0Old Foscam FI8918W in Milestone XProtect

I’ve recently been on a tool buy­ing spree and decided I now need a degree of secur­ity for my gar­age. I also have an old VGA foscam cam­era sat unused in a box and a func­tion­ing CCTV serv­er sys­tem, so I figured I might as well set the foscam up inside the gar­age — not only would it help identi­fy any­one who was in there who should­n’t be, it will also help me know where I left that tool I just can­’t find, and if the neigh­bours cat has got locked in there again
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