What did you build/automated today (with pictures)?

Indeed it is.

3 instances of Jinx! so that the property areas can be controlled independently.

(I could map everything in one instance, but that lacks flexibility)

And yes, I ‘could’ have suggested pressure sensors…

Likewise, Video surveillance with human shape recognition…

But where should we draw the line?

____ update 2019 July 4th ____

Our of curiosity, I asked Madrix for a quote for the software license for this client.

The reply was…

£2300 + VAT !!!

Just to enable the software !!!

Their version of the hardware does 50% less and costs >200% more.

I didn’t automate anything today – but I did manage to backup my Z-Wave dongle and restore to a secondary identical dongle which is now running my network, with the primary in a box! My entire openHAB setup is now backed up – not just the OS image (through Clonezilla) but also the hardware itself.


Just posting this as a way of asking / reminding: Are you backed up?


I’ve had this running for about a month now. The gas meters in the UK have a magnet on the dial. I used a wemos which is in deep sleep and a read switch to reset it.

When the wemos wakes up it connects to the WiFi, connects to mqtt and updates a topic and goes back to sleep.
OH listens for that topic and calculates my gas consumption.

I designed and printed the enclosure with a solar panel on it to keep the lipos charged. So far it has net excess energy but will struggle in winter as it only gets around a hour of sunlight (when it’s not cloudy)

Some stats:

  • It uses 22uA when sleeping
  • It takes 220ms to wake up, connect and go back to sleep
  • That process uses around 170mA
  • When the boiler is running it cycles roughly once every 30 seconds.
  • The usage then is then 34mA/s
  • My kids shower way to long.

Some images of it.


Could you share your .stl files?
Cause i think i use the same solar panel and lipos for my sensors :grinning:

very interesting, could you please explain ( in a separate post) How you do this?


See also here: New UZB dongle, Z-Wave PC controller immediately exits (or crashes) with no error message

@The-Elk: What @Celaeno1 said :slight_smile:

This thread. The instruction starts at the “solution” post. Earlier posts detail my journey in agonizing detail.

Sure, I will stick them on thingyverse and share the link.
If you don’t have the same solar panels it’ll cost you a whopping £1.99 to buy it from fleabay :slight_smile:

Here you go: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3728174

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Awesome ! Thanks a lot :smiley:

I built and automated something today! :slight_smile:


IT professionals certainly do!
Mine has a cover but I sometimes forget to close it.

And, I have another problem with regards to the webcam… My workstation is by a wall, so my ceiling lights are all behind me.

That means my head looks like a dark blob, unless I turn on the four bright lights in front of me on the shelf.

So, what if I could automate things so that the lights come on automatically any time the webcam is on?

I’ve been looking for a way to detect programmatically if the webcam is on for a while. The only way I know is by looking up the device ID in device manager, and searching for it in Process Explorer. That shows what process is using it (if active) but it’s really a “search” – CPU intensive and slow. Not good for continuous monitoring.

Finally, a couple of days ago, I realized there’s another way to solve it. Why not just measure the power consumption of the webcam? Surely it uses more power when it’s active?

Time to get to work!

That’s an ESP8266 microcontroller (with wifi) and a ACS712 current sensor board.

Then, after some software magic:


Success! Lights turn on automatically whenever the webcam is on. So, now people can see me, and there’s no need to cover the webcam anymore – if it’s on, I’ll know!

Updane: I had to make some revisions. At first, I was powering the ACS712 and the ESP8266 (NodeMCU) from the same USB 5V source as the webcam (before the current sensor, obviously). However the webcam caused enough of a current draw for the value to read negative when the webcam was activated. I modified the design to take power from a separate USB connection, so that the webcam no longer affects the power supply of the circuit, and now it works much better. I’m also now reporting the actual power consumption in milliamps too.

Man I love this stuff. :slight_smile:


Very cool! I often think about activating some things based on pc activity (video editing, gaming etc…)
I wish there would be a tasker for pc (i think there is something, but i never got to it…)

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Depends on what operating system you are working on of course. With windows, you can use Windows’ Task Scheduler. It can start a task on a certain trigger. That trigger may be a certain time, but also for example startup or shutdown of the computer or other events.

You just gotta love everything that is possible with the esp8266 based boards and the myriad of sensors available for them. Do you do the logic on the wemos side or do you transmit the raw data to openhab and do the conversion to a switch item based on some threshold in rules there? Nice work.

I don’t have pictures but I do have a tutorial in progress. Remote Access: pfSense + HAProxy + LetsEncrypt

As I say in the tutorial, I don’t necessarily recommend this unless you really know how to assess and mitigate the risks of exposing parts of your home network to the internet, even if it is through a reverse proxy.

This all got started because the Nextcloud people are very strict in how they set up their security. Even though my phone is always connected to my LAN over VPN, I can’t use the Nextcloud app unless I set up an HTTPS reverse proxy and I have to use a trusted cert meaning I’d have to add my self signed CA cert to all my devices. So Nextcloud’s strictness is forcing me to go down a less secure route and expose the HTTP/HTTPS ports to the internet. “Isn’t it ironic, don’t ya think?”

Anyway, it took some research and experimentation but I got it to work. :smiley:

There is, it’s called “EventGhost”. Funny, I’ve known about eventghost for years and I’ve been looking for an equivalent for Android for just about that long… Yet I only just found out about Tasker the other day, on this forum.

The logic is on the MCU, the data enters openHAB as an MQTT Homie Boolean: Webcam active (true or false).

I have been thinking for a while how to reliably detect when we cook and the fan needs to be set to extraction mode. So it is a continuation of the fan ir remote I build a few weeks back. I found the solution in the mlx90614 infrared temperature sensors. I connected this to a wemos d1 mini and put it in a 4x4 cm wooden box. Although it is made for close range measurement it is enough to detect a noticeable difference to the ambient temperature when pointed in the general direction of the stove from about 50cm away.



Box may need some work but I LOVE the idea! That’s really cool.

I was just about to ask “why didn’t you just hide it in the fan housing”, and then remembered just how well my own ceiling fan metal housings blocked the WiFi signal…

Actually, come to think of it, now that I’m learning how useful the ESP8266 is, I’m realizing I’m going to be running into this problem more and more often.

What do you think about this one?

I feel like a little wifi antenna sticking out isn’t going to matter, and then I can hide the MCU inside a metal enclosure.

Cant put it in the fan housing as the fan is on the opposit wall of the stove and the mxl90614s only measure anything I can use when less than 50cm from the stoves surface as they are made for accurately measuring in the 2-3cm range. the box looks rougher on the pictures so close up than in reality :see_no_evil: but Im definitely no professional wood worker.

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