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