Custom 3D Printed Mount for Fire Tablet (2015)

I have been enamored by the slew of Home Assistant Dashboard mounts lately and have wanted to make one for a while. I saw that the newer Amazon tablets have commercially available options, but my old 2015 Fire Tablet was on its own.

I decided to make one using my Creality Ender 3 Pro. I designed one with screw holes to fit a standard 2-gang box, an opening for the cord to exit posteriorly, and cut outs for the tablet’s buttons.


Unfortunately, each one took about a day to print and I went through several drafts, slowly tweaking the … Read the rest

UPDATE 2: A Wired Sonoff Zigbee Alternative



The updates for this little device keep coming. Thanks to the folks leaving comments, we keep getting more information. I apologize for not noticing this myself, but I did not spend any time trying Zigbee2Tasmota on this device having played with it enough on the Sonoff hub.

A commenter, Ronald, noted that using Zigbee2Tasmota, attempting to pair Zigbee devices caused the hub to reboot. I confirmed this myself, and tried with both Zigbee firmware packages from the EmberZNet NCP UART EZSP firmware page.

I attempted to build … Read the rest

UPDATE: A Wired Sonoff Zigbee Alternative



So while the documentation in the initial post on how to compile and flash Tasmota to the ZB-GW03 works, there is a bug when using the Tasmotized device with Home Assistant.

After changing the device to a ZHA Bridge, a power disruption will prevent a reconnection to Home Assistant once power is restored. The only way to reconnect appears to be by switching the device template back to Zigbee2Tasmota, letting it start, and then back to the ZHA Bridge template. Afterwards it will reconnect as usual. A … Read the rest

Making an Automatic Email Backup – Part 2

<— Part 1

Summary so far

Ok, so if you have gone through Part 1 already, you have Mbsync set up to sync all emails from your remote IMAP server and then Dovecot set up to host those emails on a local SMTP server, but without SSL.

That may be enough for many, but we can take things a step further. In this part, we will add self-signed SSL certificates for Dovecot, and we will install Roundcube. Roundcube is an open sourced webmail client. We will configure it to access our local email server and then to send emails … Read the rest

Making an Automatic Email Backup – Part 1


In the world of self-hosting, creating a personal email server always seemed like the Holy Grail of personal privacy. Unfortunately, with all the work that would go into maintaining it, and the high probability of failure when operated by someone as inexperienced as myself, it has never seemed like a viable option for me. However, I have wanted a system for some time whereby I can automatically backup my email in a standard format which could potentially be served to me through standard mail apps by hosting my own internal IMAP server.

After doing a fair amount of research, … Read the rest

Controlling Home Assistant with an Old Remote

I, like many other I’m sure, have plenty of old infrared remotes laying around from TVs past. They were just collecting dust, but what if they could be useful again? Well thanks to the Flirc USB, a small USB IR receiver, those old remotes can be used to control anything your Home Assistant Box can control.

The Flirc USB
Banana for scale

The amazing thing about this device is its simplicity. First, you plug it into a PC, Mac, or Linux machine. Then download the software. The software lets you assign buttons to a virtual keyboard by selecting individual … Read the rest

Playing a sound directly from Home Assistant Operating System

This may sound like it should’ve been a trivial task to accomplish but took me way longer to solve than I anticipated. As I said it my first post, I started my Home Automation journey with things like Nest. This included the (now killedbygoogle) Nest Secure with Nest Detects. I did enjoy a very pleasing DING each time a door opened. As time went on, I tried to distance myself as much as possible from the cloud.

Integrating them into Home Assistant was a major PITA though. I had to purchase the amazing Starling Home Hub, and … Read the rest

How to Use Zigbee2Tasmota with Home Assistant

To follow up my last post, integrating a newly flashed Tasmota Zigbee Coordinator with Home Assistant has a third option besides ZHA and Zigbee2MQTT; it can be used directly as a Zigbee Coordinator using its own amazing Tasmota Software.

The device itself uses a zigbee implementation called Zigbee2Tasmota, which is a full-fledged zigbee routing platform with the usual MQTT integration. Unfortunately, it is probably overlooked because its use is limited to the Tasmota console, but it may be an attractive option for some, especially for a potentially more reliable connection when relying on the WiFi radio of the … Read the rest

A Wired Sonoff Zigbee Alternative



UPDATE 12/5: We’ve come full circle. The amazing developers of Tasmota have fixed the issue causing serial port disconnections to the zigbee radio with Tasmota 10. Now, the below instructions can be followed, without relying on the previous update posts from 10/15 and 10/18. The uploaded precompiled Tasmota firmware below has been updated to the newest version as of today.

Many of us have seen the Sonoff Zigbee Hub and how easy it is to flash to Tasmota … Read the rest

The Birth of a Smart Home

When the first Google Home came out in 2016, I briefly thought about buying it, but decided I had no use for it. Shortly after, my brother-in-law bought me two Chinese Tuya White-label smart plugs from Amazon. I plugged a couple of lamps into them and was hooked. Google home followed shortly after. At the time, we were renting and so my ability to “smartify” our home was limited. I replaced many light bulbs with Sengled bulbs, changed out smoke detectors for Nest, but that was pretty much it.

In 2019 we bought our first home. I knew from the … Read the rest