Controlling Infa-Red IR devices with Home-Assistant & AlexaPi on a Raspberry Pi (Non smart, Dumb devices)

In this post I’m continuing my Home Automation and Home-Assistant journey. I already have an Xbox-One with a kinect so routinely say “Xbox on” which turns on the TV, SoundBar and Foxtel (cable) box. This also accepts volume up/down, change of channel, record, Netflix and games. So I’m moving to a completely voice driven household with using Alexa or Siri to operate the lights. But how do I go further? What else is there in the house that I can’t talk to, what remote controls do I still use? There are several things in my apartment that cannot be controlled via wifi, I live in a typical late 90s midcity Australian apartment and have the ubiquitous through house aircon/heating unit with buttons on a wall and a remote control in the living room and vents to each room in the apartment. So since my apartment reaches dizzying temps in the […]

Increase WordPress Upload Filesize, WordPress App HMAC error

I find WP a help and a hindrance at times. It’s a pretty good platform, albeit a little slow and bloated so I try and keep the plugins few and far between. I recently found I couldn’t upload pictures via the WordPress app, and got an error of “The corresponding HMAC for this file does not match”. After some googling, it would appear this is because of the max upload file size. I tried a couple of different routes to fix this, firstly .htaccess file, secondly wp_config.php updating, using a plugin. None worked. The easiest way I found was simply to create a file called php.ini in your /wp_admin/ with these two lines in it:

Job done!

Using IFTTT and Alexa Voice Service AVS on a RaspberryPi to control HomeAssistant

This is the next post in my multipost of using a Raspberry-Pi 3 as the center of my Home Automation world. Firstly I set a Raspberry-Pi 3 up in headless mode, then installed Pi-Hole to block adverts at local DNS level, so saving you much needed bandwidth. Next, I installed Home-Assistant, and then Homebridge, which allowed me to use Siri to access my various bulbs in the house. Lastly I installed Amazon AVS but all it does is tell me the time, weather, flash forcast, todo lists etc. Here’s the previous posts: Part 1, Headless Pi Part 2, Pi-Hole, HomeAssistant, LimitlessLED Part 3, Homebridge, Siri, Apple Home Part 4, Alexa AVS on a Pi Config files Using IFTTT Now due to it’s limitation, I can’t simply say “Alexa, find my devices” to find the lights that I can control in my home. So I need IFTTT. If you’ve never used […]

Airfix 1/72 Fokker Eindecker e.ii, A01086

I’ve wanted to make one of the new Airfix models for a while, since they were bought by Hornby in 2006 they’ve started to roll out new kits made from new moulds with new decals, instructions, and type of plastic. They make a nice kit, not a lot of flash to cut away and very few mould lines. The plastic is a great material, not shiny and hard like Tamiya. A real nice thing to make. I added the rigging wire and chose to paint it a Fokker grey, rather than the boxart of canvas. These planes rarely left the factory in the same colour so it leaves a little room to play with. The rigging wire i used fuse wire, hardly to scale, but it was all I had and this was just meant to be a brief weekender kit and to test new Airfix’s new material. A lovely […]

Setting up a Raspberry-Pi, Home-Assistant, Homebridge, Siri and Alexa. Part 4: Installing Alexa-Pi, Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service

Welcome to Part 4 of my multipart blog of setting up a Raspberry-Pi to be the center of your homeautomation world. To recap what I’ve done so far: Set the Pi in headless mode, ie it’s never going to be connected to a monitor Installed HomeAssistant so I can control lights in my apartment, set automation like lights on at sunset if i’m home. Installed Pi-Hole for network wide advert blocking. Setup Homebridge, to link HomeAssistant to Apple Home on my IOS devices, so Siri can control my lights, show me temperatures in the apartment etc. Here are the previous posts: Setting up a Raspberry-Pi, with Pi-Hole, Home-Assistant, Homebridge, Siri and Alexa. Part 1, Setting up a headless (monitorless) Pi And now for making my Pi into a cheap Amazon Echo. Now know from the outset, that a RaspberryPi with Alexa cant do all the things an Echo […]

Setting up a Raspberry-Pi, with Pi-Hole, Home-Assistant, Homebridge, Siri and Alexa. Part 3: Installing Homebridge and using Siri and Apple Home

This is part 3 of my multi-post of setting up a Pi with HomeAssistant, Homebridge, Siri and Pi-Hole. If you want the previous parts here they are: Part 1, Setting up a Pi in headless mode Part 2, Installing Pi-Hole, Home-Assistant and setting up Limitless-LED (Milight) bulbs So now onto the fun part, you want to control the lights you’ve setup previously with Siri, either by talking to your IOS device, or using the favourites option on your slide up menu, which you probably didn’t know existed! Installing Homebridge Lets crack on. SSH via terminal into your Pi (Putty if you’re a Windows user) and install homebridge: Install git and make: sudo apt-get install git make Now to install Node, this is on a Pi3, if you’re on a lower pi refer to this site for installing homebridge. curl -sL | sudo -E bash – sudo apt-get install -y […]

Setting up a Raspberry-Pi, with Pi-Hole, Home-Assistant, Homebridge, Siri and Alexa. Part 2: Installing Pi-Hole and Home-Assistant, using Limitless-LED lamps

Welcome to Part two of my home automation/raspberry-pi blog posts. If you missed setting up the headless Pi, here’s part one. So I’ve got my Pi quite happily working away in headless mode, slimmed down installation and on the network. Time to put it to use! The first thing I install is Pi-Hole. This enables network wide ad blocking via DNS. It’s superb, literally superb. Read up on it at Here’s how to install it: Open a terminal, ssh into your Pi. ssh pi@ Run the installer: curl -L | bash The installer will ask for your password at somepoint, then load a graphical interface for your setup. Select both IPv4 and IPv6 ad blocking. You can edit your static ip address here, if you didn’t in my previous blog post. Make a note of your password it presents you, although you can edit it later. See if […]