How to use the Synology Chat platform with Home Assistant

Get notifications and now images sent to your mobile from Home Assistant so you can keep an eye on your house. If you own a Synology NAS, this is a totally free notification option with no file limits. Awesome!

No Android smart watch support for Chat just yet but hopefully that is coming soon.

An example script that uses the platform is shown below

- service: notify.hass_synochat data: message: "PoolGatewasopened" data: file_url: http://ipaddressofhass:8123/local/images/pool_gate.jpg
N.BEnsure you turn off your phones battery optimisation feature for the Synology Chat app otherwise you won't get notifications coming through in near real time.

Buy your Synology NAS here.
Home Assistant Chat add-on here.
Info on the Synology Chat platform is here.

Shelly adds MQTT support for their WiFi switches

Shelly have added native support for their WiFi relay switches in version 1.3 officially released this week

Shelly2 Wi-Fi double switch review

Got two of the Shelly2's last week and got around to a couple of overview videos today. I must say, very impressed. High quality and great GUI. Much better build than the Sonoff.

Hardware overview here
GUI overview and API control here
Killer feature! 2-way switching 

Shelly1 on Amazon
Shelly2 on Amazon

From what I understand, more stock should be available mid Oct/18.

Getting 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, these are the steps you’ll need to make it happen.
Installed Raspbian1 Lite (2017-04-10) on a MicroSD card and followed the instructions here3 to enable USB boot mode. Rebooted Pi then shut down a few minutes later. Burned hassio2 Pi3 image to a 16GB USB drive. Booted PC into Gparted1 to re-partition hassio image. Increased /dev/sdb4 from 1GB to around 4GB (must do first otherwise you can’t expand the resin-data partition). Increased /dev/sdb6 from 1GB to pretty much whatever was left.
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:
program_usb_boot_mode=1I then put the reworked thumb drive back in my Pi3 without the MicroSD card a…

My collection of help videos

I made a few videos detailing my experience with; 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.

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.