New Toy! Evolve Bustin, Gen 2, Electric Skateboard, esk8. First Mod, Remote LED Charging Monitor

Ive got a new toy! Well, a second hand new toy! An Evolve gen 2, esk8 board. The specs look pretty cool, top speed 38kmh, range of 30km. Albeit a little less since the lion battery is now 18months old. But it was cheap, like the budgie!  This variation is the Bustin limited edition series, but is based on the Bamboo GT. I haven't been on a skateboard for twenty years so it took me a few kms to get use to even being on a board again. I remember that I skate goofy but it feels weird so I may try regular tomorrow, perhaps absence has changed my style. This thing is so quick. I've mainly used the low speed setting, the fast speed is like a rocket! The brake is surprisingly effective too, and the motor regenerates the battery on braking, great! These boards were nearly £1300 new so […]

AlexaPi, AVS timeout in non Alexa Countries, java.util.concurrent.TimeoutException

With Amazon only supporting a few countries with Alexa, being the UK, Germany and the USA, you may get timeouts on the java app with an error of: java.util.concurrent.TimeoutException It’s a pain when this happens as you have to login with VNC and click the OK button to reset the application. To help prevent it, you can alter the timeout threshold in the java file located at: /home/pi/Desktop/alexa-avs-sample-app/samples/javaclient/src/main/java/com/amazon/alexa/avs/http/ You can edit this with: sudo nano /home/pi/Desktop/alexa-avs-sample-app/samples/javaclient/src/main/java/com/amazon/alexa/avs/http/ You’re after line 69, it looks like this, alter the timeout as below: Restart your Alexa and job done!

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 […]