Wednesday 10 March 2021

Making a 'Nebula Light show' 'Smart'

 Having seen these on a few YouTube channels, I decided I needed one! 😎

See the Amazon Video - For a demo of this 'Nebula Light'

While having a remote control made it easy to site and turn on/off. There was very few variations, I.E. Just three levels of brightness and Speed so, It needed more control!!
One other consideration was the Laser life-span. Green Lasers can have a relatively shorter life than say Red lasers, and so it was important to be able to dim it more.

First thing to do was reverse engineer the circuit - in order to replicate signals coming out of the existing micro-controller. Once done it was time to get the soldering iron out and pull the existing chip off the board.
As with most micro-controllers, the output of these is 3.3v logic and that's the same as the Espressif ESP that was to replace it. 

Wires soldered to the pads where the controller was gave inputs for each of the:

  • R G B LEDs
  • Laser's Brightness
  • DC Motor Speed
First an ESP32 DEV board was programmed with ESPHome, thinking it needed hardware PWM signals. However, after testing, it turned out a D1 Mini's software PWM was sufficient! YAY! πŸ’₯

So, 'A Few Moments Later' a D1 Mini was programmed with an RGB Light for the LED's and two 'Monochromatic' lights for both the Laser and Motor. So yeah... That worked! πŸ‘

After a few dabs of hot glue, the hardware was done...

So now in Home Assistant there are three 'Lights', while this gives full control over everything this Nebula Light can do, it's not ideal for manual control and that needs more thinking. πŸ™„

Of course, automating this light is now possible using; Scripts, Scenes, Node-Red, Etc. With some more work to find a solution for easier manual control and then Alexa voice commands ! 

As soon as that's all worked out, a full hardware, software and control tutorial will be released.

Click here and subscribe now to be the envy of all your Home Assistant friends! 

Tuesday 9 March 2021

JUST THE TIP - Moving Node Red Wires #shorts

As part of the 'Just the Tip' playlist and weekly update aimed at Tuesdays.
... And so starting:

'Just the Tip Tuesday'

I made a quick-tip for manipulating Node-Red 'Wires'. In this tutorial I show how to move and re-connect those single and multiple wires between node - Saving loads of effort when building, testing and refining your Flows.

Click here and subscribe now to be the envy of all your Home Assistant friends! 

Saturday 6 March 2021

Custom Button Card Pt3: Home Assistant Lovelace Icons Borders, Backgrounds and Advanced Animations

My I present... "Custom Button Card Part: 3"
In the 3rd episode of this tutorial series, I take the Button card to the 'Max'. 😎

Extending from Part 2, I show you how to do even more - with fancy boarders, that change between on & off states... to background images and even moving video for the button!!!

Finally, I show you how to do keyframe animation... yes, that's right, adding complex animation to virtually any aspect of the card, text and icon. 

Click here and subscribe now to be the envy of all your Home Assistant friends! 

Wednesday 24 February 2021

Custom Button Card Pt2: Fonts, Weights, Backgrounds and Glows

Following the success of 'Custom Button' Card Part: 1, that featured spinning and flashing lovelace icons. Comes Part:2...
In this 2nd tutorial, in the growing 'Custom Button' Card series, you'll see how advance your icon game.

From font sizes to weights, shadows and even glowing text, this next episode takes you again step-by-step through everything you need to make your dashboards literally shine.

Coming soon... Part: 3, where even more customisation is profiled. Even more elaborate backgrounds, blending options and even live video!!

Click here and subscribe now to be the envy of all your Home Assistant friends! 

Saturday 20 February 2021

Drone Landing #Shorts

Using After Effects 3D Camera Tracking to get keyframe data in to Lightwave3D. 
The 'Drone' was animated and the frames were sent back to After Effects for rendering.

I have a full tutorial on the process, which can be viewed here:

#Tutorial : After Effects 3D Camera Track to #Lightwave3D

Tuesday 16 February 2021

Home Assistant Node-Red: Streamline Switch and Light Flows

Using Alexa and Node-Red together you can do some powerful things. However, if you control many switches and lights, things can quickly get 'busy' and cluttered.

With an Alexa node flowing in to a 'Switch' node that then links to a 'Call Service' node of On and another for Off, that's a four node string just to control a simple device.
With a payload that already contains 'On' & 'Off', and with the use of variables, it's easy to drop this number to just two nodes... However, things get a little more complicated for Lights - That need, at least, three nodes.

In this video tutorial, I'll show how to use variables and how you can use the same nodes over and over to massively streamline your Alexa Flows. A technique that can be applied to many aspects of Node-Red.

Part of an hilarious named playlist for quick and to-the-point tutorials.
Check it out here: "Just the Tip!" Playlist

Saturday 13 February 2021

Home Assistant ESPHome: How to Change a Device Name

What if you use the location of a device in it's name, for example: "Bedroom Fan" and you move it to the Kitchen??
Or, how about you want to organise your ESPHome devices so they are grouped together in the integration...

Well, you need to do some renaming! Simply editing the YAML code may work for the ESPHome page but, you'll quickly realise your ESPHome files & folders will be coming un-linked and messy ! 

In this tutorial I show you the correct steps to take to keep everything properly organised and compliant.

Part of an hilarious named playlist for quick and to-the-point tutorials.
Check it out here: "Just the Tip!" Playlist

Tuesday 9 February 2021

Alexa with Node-Red... still working

This video is just a reply to a few users that mentioned their Alexa / Node-Red commands stopped working.
While I don't offer a solution, it's difficult to fault-find others issues, at least this demonstrates that what I showed in my initial tutorials is still current.

Watch my full Home Assistant Alex playlist to get your Alexa integrated:
Our Guides to Adding Alexa to Home Assistant for TTS and Device control.

Sunday 7 February 2021

'Custom Button' Card Part 1: How to make Home Assistant buttons Spin and Flash.

I see a lot inquiries on how to get Home Assistant buttons and icons spinning and flashing...

So I made a comprehensive video tutorial that not only covers the basics, It goes in to some pretty amazing options. Some of which (at time of filming) were not even included in the official documentation!

In this first video I teach you:
  • Basic 'Spin' option
  • Advanced 'Rotating' options!
    • Including Speed | Back and Forth rotating | Linear & Ease
  • All the 'Flashing' options
  • Changing Colours
Plus, how to combine all of the above, to get some pretty weird results.

Stay Tuned for Part 2 Where I go in to more depth with the 'Custom Button' card - for some real extra and fun things that can be achieved.