ChatGPT Chews its Cud and Bye Bye Web
I turned 18 in 1996, got a PC and learned about the Web. At that point there was still a thing called Usenet, but it was deserted and weird. Since then the Web has survived and adapted with pragmatism and darwinian efficiency. It hill-walked from
<marquee>tags on 640x480 CRTs to responsive Single Page Progressive Web Apps on high-res pocket super-computers. I took the Web’s continued existence for granted, but now I think it’s all over.
Low power wake-up receiver for an ESP32 battery-powered project
I am building a battery-powered automatic gate controller, and have been obsessing about battery life. If phase one was building the system, phase two has been about hunting down and eliminating every wasted milliamp. To reduce standby mode current consumption from milliamps to microamps ultimately required fully shutting down the microcontroller during standby, and incorporating a new low-power radio receiver, which allows the system to be remotely activated on-demand. Here’s some detail on that “wakeup receiver”, including the design considerations, component selection and final circuit.
Overview and Configuration of the Anntem 433Mhz RF Receiver
I figured out how to configure and use the barely-documented but highly efficient 433Mhz EV1527 RF receiver from Anntem. Unlike most receivers of its type, this uses just 100µA, giving your device a potential standby battery life of 4 or more years. Here’s a short Youtube video I made with all the details.
Making a New EZVIZ DB1 Button
The EZVIZ DB1 smart doorbell has a physical design flaw that makes one in four visitors to my house press the PIR sensor instead of the doorbell button. I made one more attempt to address this flaw.
Deep Dive into the EZVIZ DB1 Doorbell with Home Assistant
I’m on a mission to rid my house of Cloud dependencies and recently replaced my Google Nest doorbell with an EZVIZ DB1 (also known as the Hikvision DS-HD1). The DB1 has higher specs than the Nest or Ring, but a more open design. It is highly configurable, has a locally-accessible ONVIF API and can be streamed over RTSP. It has an ONVIF-enabled PIR motion sensor as well as video motion sensor, and when someone presses the button you receive a peer-to-peer video VoIP call to your phone. Unfortunately, unlocking all this functionality was not straightforward. The journey had some twists, turns and dead ends. Here’s a detailed write up of how I got it fully and reliably working in all its glory.
Real Time Device Power Meter for Home Assistant
I created a nice real-time power meter with device-level info to display on my Home Assistant dashboard. This shows the current overall power usage in the house, along with a bar chart that shows how it breaks down by appliance type. Here’s how I made it.
Mounting NAS Shares for Frigate in Home Assistant OS
I recently switched my Network Video Recorder (NVR) from Synology Surveillance Station to Frigate, and will never look back. It turns out people say “Frigate is awesome” for a reason. However, if you run Frigate in Home Assistant OS, it is a challenge to record video files to a network share instead of local storage. I finally found a strategy that works. Here’s how I did it.
Improving the Ezviz DB1 doorbell
I am preparing to replace my Nest doorbell with the Ezviz DB1. But first of all, it desperately needed facelift. This wonderful device has two asthetic issues I just couldn’t live with: First, it’s not obvious where the button is, and second, the Ezviz logo looks ugly and cheap. Here’s how I fixed it.
Real-Time Picture-in-Picture Camera Feeds on your TV with Home Assistant
I’ve found a way to get a RTSP camera feed to display in a picture-in-picture popup on my TV, without interrupting any other viewing that might be going on. This all happens locally, without any cloud services, and should work with any IP camera that provides an RTSP stream. This is achieved using a modest IP camera, an Android TV (in my case an Nvidia Shield set top box), a side-loaded app called Pipup on the Android TV and Home Assistant. Read on to find out how.
Docker Swarm Lowers the Shields
Today I learned that Docker automatically does extremely wreckless and dangerous things to the firewall on every node in a docker swarm, which leaves various swarm services wide open to the internet, and that Docker provides no way to turn off this behavior. I spent a lot of time today trying to understand what the hell was happening, and then a lot more time trying to find a solution to fix it. I think I found a better solution than suggested anywhere else, so here it is for anyone who stumbles here via a search engine.