Tech Tinkering

New home for Miscellaneous Tech Projects/Procedures

We'll see how these shakeout ... I suspect there will be some reorganization and categorization of topics (e.g. smarthome, privacy) as worthwhile articles are salvaged from ventures.tpedersen.net. The notes on this page will likely be very random and may well be incomplete or a total mess!

Salvaged pages:

  1. Acer Aspire One OS Alternatives - Notes from tests of various operating systems on AAO Netbook (2013-2021)

  2. <More to come?>

Misc Tech Notes, Tweaks or Struggles

Apple Homekit: Interfacing Non-compliant Cameras [done]

Homebridge Tweak: Adding Cameras to Apple Homekit world to integrate into IOS Home app and to see how they may fit into home automation. The following uses older/cheap WiFi cameras that were previously interfaced using their own apps. Not too difficult, here are a few notes and links from the activity.

Camera Plugins: Gadzooks! There were 20 options when searching for Homebridge plugin @ https://www.npmjs.com/search?q=keywords%3Ahomebridge%20camera. Settled on Homebridge Camera FFmpeg, it seems to works fine. Installed plugin via Homebridge Config UI X . Some camera naming oddities but plugin seems to do fine with multiple cameras.

Interface strings for cameras: There is a large database of working/tested configurations on GitHub, will submit our working configs to the DB if everything seems solid. There is also a handy-looking RTSP directory @ https://security.world/rtsp/.

Other useful links:

Bottom-line: Cameras work but of marginal utility, will play with adding MotionEye to our HomePi world to incorporate into home automation.

Garmin eTrex 10: How to Add Coordinates to Compass Display [done]

Here's a quick Garmin eTrex 10 techno adjustment that seems to reduce aimless wandering when elementary students tackle GPS activities like Hide-N-Seek. In a nutshell: Add current location (GPS coordinates) to the eTrex 10 compass display to provide realtime tracking of longitude/latitude changes.


The following setup procedures adjusts eTrex 10 Compass Display Screen. Here's a Picture of the Modified eTrex Display (New Google Sites won't embed images in these text boxes!)


Setup - Approx 40 Seconds/Unit to set this up


  1. Select "Profile Change" then select "Recreational"

  2. Select "Compass" then press Menu button (on left)

  3. Highlight/Select "Change Dashboard" then select "Large Data Field"

  4. From Compass display (again) press Menu button

  5. Highlight/Select "Change Data Fields" then select top field on screen

  6. Scroll thru Fields (alphabetically) to find/select "Location (lat/lon)"

  7. Hit Back button to return to compass display


Usage - Students navigate using compass display.


  1. Select “Where To?” then select “coordinates”

  2. Enter coordinates of desired destination using Thumbstick
    - remember to hit
    DONE

  3. Hit Back button (Upper right) until main screen appears

  4. Select “Compass” - you should see pointer on Compass and current Location

  5. Wander until Location on Compass = Target Destination!


Some handy Garmin eTrex 10 links


That's it - hope it helps


Migrate from Smartthings V1 hub to Aerotec [done]

We will see how this all works out: Samsung/Smartthings sent an email offer to get an Aeotec hub for $35. Appears that ST is getting out of the hardware biz? Anyhoo, our ST hub is pretty old, v1 from 2014 or ..... so .... I bought the new hub. Will attempt to keep ST devices going for a few more years - looks easier than making a zigbee/z-wave gizmo out of a Raspberry Pi! This chatter may become a page of its own ...

Objective: Migrate ST V1 home hub and devices to Aeotec

Notes/Research

Step by Step (apparently no migration tool for ST Hub V1 to Aeotech .... soooo hereeeee weeee goooo)

  1. Inventory: In our case, we have Smartthings AND Homebridge (see homepi project). We use ST for some automation & remote access. but native homekit (Apple Ios) around the house ... e.g. - "Hey Siri, turn on the light"

    • The Smartthings Mobile App has always been total junk ... no config print or download/restore. I guess we make record (by hand) of config
      I snapped a iPad screenshot of the stuff in the menu bar - this will be a MAJOR prob for large configurations:

      • Rooms, Devices, Scenes, Automations, SmartApps & mainscreen to show which devices were in which rooms! Yeeesh!

      • Main Screen to show which devices were in which rooms!

    • Via the ST Developer Site (https://graph.api.smartthings.com/) ...

  2. Simplify: In our case (destined for apple homekit), reduce the number of devices that are directly controlled by ST hub.

  3. Resubnet: Yeeesh! HomePod pretty much requires iOS devices on the same subnet as HomePod and all those creepy IoT thingies!

      • Managed to keep our main systems w/ data isolated - Mac's, PC's, Linux & MIPi, of course

      • Had to move HomePi to 'Things' subnet





MoviePi: Fix YouTube Kodi App [incomplete]

Background: YouTube Add-on on Kodi stopped working in past year or so. I simply stopped using it on my parent's MoviePi. Created another MoviePi for our house and YouTube seemed to work fine ... FOR A WHILE. I'll be back to figure this out and clean this up

Notes/Research


Duplicate LIFX Bulbs in Homekit [solved]

Another cleanup item

The Problem: One of our LIFX (wifi) bulbs appears to have paired with Smarttings AND Homekit. Shows up twice in home app.

This was easily fixed when I moved from the Smartthing Hub to Aerotec - THERE WAS NO MIGRATION TOOL! I simply reset the LIFX bulbs and now use native HomeKit (Apple), never moved them back to Smartthings! See below ... we now now using Smarthings for as little as possible ... in our home, only to control original Smartthings devices (Centralite Zigbee) or Z-Wave.

Factory Reset article here - https://support.lifx.com/hardware-resetting-your-lifx-ryXKbdiLO


Hue V1 Bulb Factory Reset [solved]

The Big Issue: Our "Smarthome" is getting outdated. Hubs and devices purchased during the dawn of IoT are slowly being dropped from support

Little Issue: We have a lone v1 Hue Light bulb that was paired directly to a v1 Smartthings hub. I needed to factory reset it and move to the Hue Hub in an attempt to get a few more years out of it. Here's my How-to-collection and hopefully a procedure that works

Circa 2017 (some broken links):

Easier than the last time I tried this ... BUT ...

ST "Smart Lighting" app is now gooffed upped! When I try to adjust ANY Automations in the Smart Lighting App - I see "Something Went wrong. Please try to reinstall the SmartApp again" ... which is a pain in the arse because we have all sorts of complicated lighting automations that were really hard to define on the stupid ST app in the first place.

Ack! Rebooted the hub, reset all IOS ST apps, still the same ... will have to hand-record all automations and delete, re-add the "Smart Lighting App"(This is going to turn out bad, I just know it!) . The topic is on fire on the ST support board @ https://community.smartthings.com/t/help-smart-lighting-app-issue-with-error-something-went-wrong-please-try-to-install-the-smartapp-again. I put a watch on it and filled my email inbox!

I basically recreated all of the Smart Lighting App rules using the 'Automations' feature on the new ST app. Really wasn't that bad to do. I'll bet the ST folk are trying to get others to use this feature and get rid of the smart apps. They should just say something on the forum!