ESPHome Beken MCU

Successfully using ESPHome on beken chips.

Using ESPHome I was able to get my cb2s chip working in HomeAssistant. Most of the “smart devices” sold at the local hardware store are now using beken chips as their MCU. Flashing can be done via serial (involves opening up the case) or if you are lucky enough, cloudcutter.

Here is some example code for ESPHome:

  board: cb2s
    version: dev
# Enable logging

# Enable Home Assistant API
    key: <api key>

  password: <ota pass>

  ssid: iot_ssid
  password: <iot password>

  # Enable fallback hotspot in case wifi connection fails
    ssid: "${friendly_name} Fallback Hotspot"
    password: <fallback pwd>


  - platform: template
    name: Plug1 Uptime Human Readable
    id: uptime_human
    icon: mdi:clock-start
  - platform: wifi_info
      name: Plug1 IP Address
      entity_category: diagnostic

Relay8 Shield MySensors OpenHAB

I’m in the process of creating a lighting node on my MySensors network with the relay8 shield. I’ve opted to use the wired MySensors Network (RS485) using some boards I got off of eBay.

As per the image you can see the top shield is a prototype shield with the rs485 module attached. The relay8 shield is in the middle and the uno board at the base.

Freetronics Relay8 Shield

I’ve recently got my hands on a Freetronics Relay8 Shield for an Arduino Uno. The plan is to install this as a lighting controller and have it available to OpenHAB via either MySensors or MQTT. As I progress with the install I’ll make a few posts and show a few pictures of the set up. Freetronics is a great Australian company specialising in home automation products.


I’m currently running OpenHAB as well as domoticz. OpenHAB surprised me with support for Belkin WeMo with a click of a button (downloading an add on). OpenHAB items and rules are a little bit more complicated but there are several tutorials online. As I get further into OpenHAB I’ll post more information and possibly a comparassion between the two platforms. 

Domoticz Home Automation

Domoticz is a great home automation software package which can easily run on a Raspberry Pi.

Domoticz can integrate into existing home automation hardware, some of these are: RFXCOM Transceiver, Z-Wave, P1 Smart Meter, YouLess Meter, Pulse Counters, 1-Wire, EnOcean, and a lot more. We have configured Domoticz to talk to the Belkin WeMo light switches as well as set up 2 x DS18B20 temperature sensors on a 1-wire bus (using GPIO pins of Raspberry Pi). MySensors is another great project which can be integrated into the Domoticz setup.


Authenticator App for Outlook

I recently set up a friends iPhone so that they could access their hotmail account through the mail app. Everything went well, until we decided to set up 2-Step Auth. Outlook uses the authenticator app from Google to supply the code, however, this would not sync with the Outlook server for quite some time. I eventually figured out that the lag was because the iPhone was not synced with a time server (through cellular network time) and therefore the app would not sync with the outlook server. Consequently, once I updated the setting on the iPhone, access was obtained with the code from the Authenticator app.



I’ve recently acquired a NodeMCU and will be getting myself familiarised with the workings of the esp8266 and board. I’ve found a great way to integrate this into domoticz home automation and flashing the chip through arduino was very straight forward. Stay tuned !  

Zmodo NVR broadcast flood

After a few days having the zmodo nvr on the network, everything stopped working. The network froze. After some wireshark captures I found that the NVR was broadcasting a DHCP discovery every two seconds. (Even when a static IP was set for all cameras and the device). The only way around this at the moment was to put the nvr on its own network with some routing between them. I’m waiting for some feedback from zmodo in regards to the issue. 

Save chrome page as PDF

Rather than install an extension into Google chrome to save a page as a PDF, you can easily save the webpage you’re on in a few clicks.

After some researching I found a lot of these extensions available were sending the webpage you were on to a third party for processing (which I wasn’t too happy with for security reasons).

Then I found the simple way!

For Windows users – Hit print ( Ctrl + P) and under destination choose “Save as PDF”.

It’s that easy!