Most people have some sort of concern with the water they drink. Some people don’t like fluoride in water, others don’t like the chemicals used by municipal water systems to treat “city water.” A lot of people insist on drinking bottled water, even if they don’t know what purification was used, because they believe it offers health benefits. Good water filtration can be a big benefit in a smart home.
Continue reading “Introducing – The Fabulous Discontinued GE Merlin Tank-less Reverse Osmosis Filter System!”
One of the members of The Smarter Home Club is my good friend, Jeremy McCollum. Jeremy and I worked together for a number of years for a software company that made programs for the technical analysis of stocks and mutual funds. Considering our work environment, I was surprised to learn that Jeremy’s degree is in Meteorology – and I thought it was very, VERY cool! I invited Jeremy to share with us his background and to help us understand how weather data matters to the Smarter Home!
Continue reading “What’s With This Weather?”
Another recent “mini project” that I’ve done recently was to add a 220v dryer outlet in the garage by my circuit breaker. I’ve included an explanation for why I did the install in between the pictures!
Continue reading “The Signal Boosting Phase Coupler!!!!”
I wanted to share something I’ve had on the back burner for a little while – Sonoff smart switches – both the basic switch and the fan controllers. A few weeks back, I got the itch to start monkeying with them.
Continue reading “Pre-work on my Sonoffs”
I love MCUs. I mean that I really LOVE them. Working with micro-controllers combines a hobby (electronics) and my day job (developer) in a way that nothing else really can. The MCU market today is really crowded – which is great if you want to narrow down the perfect chip for your project, but it also means that getting dev kits to see which options are best for your projects can be really expensive.
A new project came up for me, so I decide to build my own dev kit. It is not as hard as you think and gives a lot of bang for your buck!
Continue reading “Roll Your Own Dev Kit”
One of the co-founders of the Smarter Home club, Kerry Clendinning, put this together to help you think about the important goals and questions you should consider before starting your home automation project!
If you’re just getting started in home automation you’ve come to the right place. We are a community of enthusiasts ranging from beginner to expert and we even have some members who manufacture home automation equipment and write software.
Continue reading “The Importance of Having A Vision For Your Smart Home Project”
Let’s talk about soldering.
A lot of folks only install pre-packaged systems or devices that just plug in and connect. That’s probably a lot smarter than what I do, since I have to spend so much time troubleshooting things and am perpetually re-evaluating my needs based on whether or not I’m able to make something work.
Continue reading “Warming up to Soldering!”
Today’s project is somewhat off the beaten path.
The backstory –
Tom, my father-in-law, was in the security business for over 30 years, up in Framingham, MA. In 2016, he sold his company to a larger organization with offices along the East coast. He worked for them through 2017, coordinating the transfer of clients (My wife and I are one of those clients – we bought the components and worked with a local installer for the parts I couldn’t handle) and doing additional sales for them.
He then retired last October, and, along with my mother-in-law, moved down here into a condo near where we live. I believe he brought down every PC and printer he ever owned – and also every tool from his garage ended up in mine.
Continue reading “I want ALL of that data!”
When I talk home automation to my friends, some of them fade out and their eyes gloss over. Others find their initial enthusiasm dies off with “that’s gotta be really hard to set up.”
Nothing could be further from the truth these days.
Continue reading “Making Your Own Smart Home is Easier Than You Think”
One of my friends was talking with me about home automation and asked me what tools he needs to get started.
Before I suggested any specific tools, I told him:
1) The best tool you’ll ever use is your mind. Learn, research, think – make informed decisions.
2) You don’t ever have to crack open a wall plate to have a great home automation setup. You can use smart bulbs, smart plugs, and smart power strips to perform tasks that you might otherwise install a smart switch or smart outlet for. If that’s all you need, then don’t worry about the rest until you’re ready for something more advanced.
3) The right hand tool is whichever tool will best perform the task at hand.
Having explained all of that, he still wanted to know what to stuff in his tool box, so I put together a basic list for him.
Continue reading “What’s In My Toolbox?”