Been a while since the last update, here’s some cool stuff I was working on the last couple of weeks.

  • Home Assistant Re-install
  • GPS Video
  • Case Insert Prototyping
  • Consul Startup & Systemd

I use Home Assistant for my home automation and have so for a number of years now. I started with the Smarthings Hub but they did such a terrible job breaking a perfectly good product that I went looking for an alternative and found Home Assistant. I run it on a Raspberry Pi, of course, a version 3 B+. As for the integrations, I have a bunch of the Z-wave controlled switches and outlets in the house so that’s the largest part of my automation efforts. I was having some issues with it recently and I decided to do a clean install and restore my configs from backups (picking and choosing, I didn’t do a blanket restore on everything) to hopefully clean out a few years of junk and older configs. I’m really glad I did, since the upgrade it’s been working great, any issues I had went away and the whole system seems a little quicker. I switched from Z-wave to the Z-wave JS which has been working well and I also added in some of the other integrations like connecting the Roomba and the Philips Hue, not essential for any automation, but having the logs and history is cool.

Almost ready to release another video, this is a self contained project for using a GPS Module. Have a couple of little edits to finish up in Premier and I’m optimistic that I can get it out by early next week!

GPS Module

The weather station on my house is getting a little old and beat up now, so I’m working on designing out what will be the Mark III. For this build I’m modeling the case and designing an insert that will hold the components better than just glue and standoffs. It’s been cool measuring and building the 3D module, then printing it, see how it fits (or doesn’t) and making the adjustments. I now have the first iteration working and I’m ready to fit holes for the case and components. I think by taking the time now it’ll payoff later with easier maintenance and more longevity of the build.

Prototyping the case insert.

I have Hashicorp’s Consul in my network for storing key/value pairs on a few projects. It’s a cluster that spans Pi’s, Containers, and VMs and is also strategically placed on different outlets/circuits so that the entire cluster will go down only when the house loses power and the batteries run out (though maybe a solar powered and battery backed up node outside should be on the to-do list?!). In the process of setting it all up and getting it working properly I definitely had to dig in to how systemd works with services and using some of the different options. Pretty cool stuff, the option “RestartSec” is my new favorite option that I used so that on reboot the service wouldn’t start too quickly before the network had an ip address. This solved issues on a couple of the nodes. Overall, systemd is growing on me, it definitely seems to be a better option than the old way of startup and shutdown scripts.

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