Posts Categorised: SmartHome & IoT

0Expanding smarthome on the cheap

As I’ve writ­ten about before, I have begun to exper­i­ment with the world of smarthome devices, and cur­rently use a smartth­ings hub and a google home mini. So far these have just turned on lamps and oth­er “plugged in” devices via smart­plugs, but with more com­pat­ible devices at reas­on­able prices finally start­ing to appear I wanted to start doc­u­ment­ing more of what I’ve tried
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2Cheap WiFi SmartPlugs with SmartThings

SmartTh­ings com­pat­ible smart plugs are annoy­ingly expens­ive — typ­ic­ally around £40. This is far too expens­ive to con­sider buy­ing many of. There are how­ever WiFi plugs avail­able online for around £10 that don’t offi­cially work with SmartTh­ings. Most of them are based on the ESP8266 chip which can be reflashed with new firm­ware that will work with SmartTh­ings. Below I doc­u­ment my tri­als and tribu­la­tions with hack­ing these plugs
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0Set up “home assistant” on a windows PC

As I’ve writ­ten about before I have a range of “smart home” devices that I’v ebeen gradu­ally exper­i­ment­ing with. One of the greatest frus­tra­tions of link­ing some of them is that many force you to go via “the cloud” which even with high speed inter­net can lead to delays of mul­tiple seconds for some tasks (“ok google, mute kodi”) for example. I’ve decided to give the free “home assist­ant” a try. As usu­al with any­thing linux based, get­ting it up and run­ning just isn’t straight for­ward. Here’s how…
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