Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Getting Hass.io to boot from a USB thumb drive without a SD Card (Pi3)

If you want to be able to exclusively use an external USB drive without a Micro SD  Card in a Pi3 for Hass.io, these are the steps you’ll need to make it happen.
  1. Installed Raspbian1 Lite (2017-04-10) on a MicroSD card and followed the instructions here3 to enable USB boot mode.
  2. Rebooted Pi then shut down a few minutes later.
  3. Burned hassio2 Pi3 image to a 16GB USB drive.
  4. Booted PC into Gparted1 to re-partition hassio image.
  5. Increased /dev/sdb4 from 1GB to around 4GB (must do first otherwise you can’t expand the resin-data partition).
  6. Increased /dev/sdb6 from 1GB to pretty much whatever was left.

Resin-os Hassio File System

  1. With the modified thumb drive back in my PC, I added the following located in the resin-boot drive and also in the resin-rootA partition inside the resin-boot folder:
    I changed the “root” option in cmdline.txt to:
    and I added the usb boot line below to config.txt, right at the end:
  2. I then put the reworked thumb drive back in my Pi3 without the MicroSD card and after about 1 minute, the Home Assistant logo appeared so I knew we were underway. 20 mins later, working Hassio system with no MicroSD card. Yay.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

My collection of Hass.io help videos

I made a few videos detailing my experience with Hass.io; the all-in-one version of Home Assistant that makes it easier to update Home Assistant and install add-ons. Ben from BRUH Automation also added one today (26th July 2017) that goes into great detail and that’s at the bottom too. Enjoy.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Syncing two Sonoff’s for 2-way light switching

For as long as I've been playing with home automation, I've wanted a straight forward low-cost solution for replacing standard light switches. Although I have several Z-wave dimmers and Aeon Labs touch panels, these work out to be $180 NZD each! At least in NZ, the common 2-way and 3-way light circuits have the mains coming in on one switch and the load connected to another. The two switches are connected together as shown below.

How to reboot Kodi using Google Home and ha-bridge

If you have an instance of ha-bridge (highly recommended) running on your network like I do, it enables you to create devices that can be ‘seen’ by Google Home and Alexa for remote control via voice.

Recent versions of ha-bridge allow you to create custom commands, one of those being JSON commands so you can set up a device that sends something like the following to your Kodi instance to reboot it.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Running iPerf in Docker on Synology NAS >6.1

I have a DS713+ that supports Docker and needed a way to install an iPerf3 server for WLAN testing. Fortunately, that is pretty is.

  • Activate SSH on your Synology so you can remote in.
  • Using PuTTY, login as an admin user and type the following:
  • sudo docker pull networkstatic/iperf3 (then type your admin password again)

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Building an automated iPerf3 server with Ubuntu on Odroid C1+

The Odroid devices make great iPerf servers for portable use as they can be powered by 5V micro USB and have a Gigabit Ethernet adapter on its own bus so they don’t have the limitations the Raspberry Pi’s do. OK, let’s get started.
We are going to assume that you already have Ubuntu 16.04 up and running but if not, you can download official images here http://odroid.com/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=en:c1_release_linux_ubuntu. Extract the downloaded image and burn it to a SD Card using Win32 Disk Imager. I only used a 2GB card and it works fine. First boot might take a minute or two. After it’s booted, scan your network (Fing) to find your device IP. It should show up as a device by JF Light Industries with the MAC vendor as Wibrain.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Running ha-bridge inside LibreELEC on your Pi2/3…yes, really!

This is huge! Thanks to aptalca for creating an arm based Docker container for the Raspberry Pi (and Odroid C2!) that allows ha-bridge to run inside the LibreELEC Docker add-on!

First thing you need to do is ensure your Raspberry Pi LibreELEC has a static IP address so you always know how to get to the ha-bridge web interface.
  • Kodi > Programs > LibreELEC configuration > Connections then select your active connection (LAN or Wi-Fi) and use the context menu to select ‘Edit’.
  • Scroll to IPV4 and change your IP address settings so they are static by using the Manual settings. Of course, you could always create a DHCP lease in your router if you are savvy with that and that is the better way to go.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

How to flash ESPEasy onto the Sonoff Touch for MQTT control

You can completely remove the low voltage board and connect as shown below. GPIO0 needs to be pulled to ground on power up (it can be left grounded during flashing) to enter programming mode. Power the device from your FTDI programmer set to 3.3V.

The Sonoff Touch is a nice glass touch panel based on an ESP8285 with 1MB of integrated flash that can be quite easily flashed with a self compiled version of ESP Easy.  You need to compile yourself as the builds available online are all made for the ESP8266 and will not work with the Sonoff Touch.