Using Z-Wave Groups vs Home Assistant Automations

I installed two Z-wave switches into my house that i wanted to be synchronized, turn on one light switch, have the other turn on too, and vice versa. I first created a home assistant automation that worked using Z-Wave JS to MQTT, this worked but had a lag of a few seconds. I was hoping to find a way to have less latency to make everything work, so in comes Z-Wave Group Associations.

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Joplin Failed to Fetch Due to Certificate Expiration

Recently I ran into an error when trying to update Joplin (hooked up to WebDAV on NextCloud).

Last error: FetchError: request to https://nextcloud.rapternet.us/remote.php/dav/files/sbachhub/Documents/Joplin/info.json failed, reason: certificate has expired

I checked the SSL cert with FireFox and everything looked good there. Finally I decided to try updating the application, on a wild attempt to fix it in a simple way, and… it worked. It might have just needed a reboot, but the update worked in this case.

The VLANs Strike Back

I recently re-did my entire network, changing out switch locations, what ports were plugged into where, and so on. This wasn’t too bad, except I didn’t make note of one thing: which ports were VLAN tagged. This became quite the struggle as I tried to figure out why my WiFi couldn’t access the internet, and why all my servers were inaccessible. I even changed what port the Unifi AP was plugged into to try and kick that VLAN possibility out of the running. Little did I know that BOTH ports I tried to plug the AP into were tagged, so neither could reach the internet. I ended up plugging my RT-N16 back into the modem to see that I had internet, and then moved the switch port the access point was into one more time to find a port that wasn’t tagged. Once I had that, I swapped what port my servers were plugged into to find a non-tagged port, that would get my Unifi controller back up so I could go and clean up the rest and get things back into an operational state.

TLDR: Label or remove VLANs before re-architecting things

Amazon Fire Tablet Rant

I wouldn’t normally go into this, but boy does this product tell me that I’m the product being sold here, not the tablet. Starting with purchasing the tablet, Amazon asked if I wanted my account preloaded and I am glad I said no, or else they would’ve probably subscribed me to every fee possible.

When going through the initial setup, there were multiple pages of “do you want to sign up for this monthly service for $xx/month”, each of which moved the accept and deny buttons, often swapping them from the previous page, so don’t just click quickly through or you’ll have a new monthly bill.

On top of that there was the same situation with permissions, do you want maps to be able to use your permission (oh and allow Amazon to track your permission too, can’t do one and not the other). This really liked like they saw the windows 10 and Google privacy settings and said “we can do worse, much worse”.

One final insult Amazon gave us through this tablet is how it handles its lock screen ads, when the tablet is asleep. It will wake up the screen to play ads, this is just…. one great big slap to the face. Pros: cheap, Cons: Software, now to work on rooting and installing lineage OS, if its possible.

Motion Sensing Lights with Home Assistant

I’ve already setup some fairy lights on the stairs which come on just before sundown and stay on until bedtime, but I started wondering, can I use them as night lights on the stairs for when I don’t want to turn on the main overheads, and can I do that all with motion sensors. For this project, I’d like to take my lights from here and add motion sensors so they turn on for some time period after being triggered and act as automated stairway night lights.

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