News and Recent Posts

OPNsense NAT Port Forwarding

June 19, 2024

Until WireGuard is set up on the OPNsense router, the WireGuard server on the NAS will be used. This requires setting up a port forwarding rule in OPNsense. This had been rather easy to do on the ISP provided router before. I had to get my head around the terms used in OPNsense, and there are many options that I do not yet understand, but it was not that difficult to get working port forwarding rules in place [...more]

Better Home Networking with OPNsense and VLANs

Was Creating a Better LAN with OPNsense and VLANs Ultimately a Failure?
June 14, 2024

The long and complicated path to installing a local network with a virtual LAN for Iot devices behind a OPNsense firewall. Actually, it would not have been that long ed if I hadn't spent so much time researching how to bypass the Bell Home Hub 3000 because of out-dated information about Advanced DMZ on that device. It would have been less complicated if I had realized that the Wi-Fi router converted into an OpenWrt access-point would not work well enough [...more]

First Look at the Super Mini ESP32-C3

May 11, 2024

There's a new small ESP32-C3 (RISC-V) based development board, the Super Mini ESP32C3, to play with until the XIAO ESP32C6 makes its way here. While not quite the same as the Seeed XIAO ESP32C3 nor the Adafruit Qt Py ESP32-C3, and more like DFRobot Beetle ESP32-C3, this board from unknown sources does present some problems but may be viable in some circumstances [...more]

Adding an IKEA VALLHORN Motion Sensor in Domoticz

Last Update: April 16, 2024. Original version: April 3, 2024

Adding another Zigbee sensor, this time the new IKEA VALLHORN motion sensor [...more]

The XIAO ESP32C6 is Unveiled by Seeed Studio

March 30, 2024

The newest addition to the XIAO series of microcontroller development boards is available for delivery in mid April. Without hands on experience with the board, it's not possible to write a review of the board. However, based on the available information, I feel that the position of the ESP32C6 in the XIAO line up can be predicted. [...more]

Some X10 devices refuse to die

Last Update: March 11, 2024. Original version: March 4, 2024

Seven years after a first post about the PalmPad X10 wireless remote control and the X10 CM19A RF controller, I reuse these old devices with a first generation Raspberry Pi B to create additional control system for lighting fixtures already managed with Domoticz. Compared to the 2017 post, this one discusses support for dimmers using a service written in Python 3 [...more (in French)]

A PSA About CC2531 USB Zigbee Dongles

January 31, 2024

Many vendors are flogging "Wireless Zigbee CC2531 USB Interface Dongle Capture Packet Modules" which appear to be clones of the CC2531EMK CC2531 USB Evaluation Module Kit. Most vendors do not explictely identify the chip on the board. If the board contains a CC2531F128 it will work as a Zigbee packet sniffer, but it will not be possible to flash router or coordinator firmware [...more]

Minor Site Modifications

January 20, 2024

Small cosmetic changes were made to this site today.

More significant, there is now a test that ensures that the Matomo statistic gathering script is only run from the sigmdel.ca host. That means two things. These changes are in line with the long-term objective of closing down this site in an orderly fashion. Relying on GitHub to distribute source code or binaries is part of this agenda. There is no fixed date for the closure while I still have the time, desire, and means (albeit limited) to carry on.

Obtaining the Public IP Address of a Local Network Connected to the Internet

January 19, 2024

This post is about techniques to obtain the public 32-bit IP version 4 address assigned by my internet service provider (ISP) to my local area network. In other words, this is the IP address of Internet facing Ethernet port of the router provided by the ISP. Strictly speaking, there is no need to ascertain the IP address, but I like to know what is happening in our network [...more]

Adding an Ikea Trådfri Shortcut Button in Domoticz

Last Update: February 14, 2024. Original version: January 5, 2024

Here is a pleasant change of pace after too much complaining lately. I added an IKEA Trådfri shortcut button type E1812 to our Domoticz based home automation system using its Sonoff Zigbee Bridge running Zigbee2Tasmota. It's a bit late given that the shortcut button is discontinued, but this information will be handy when it is time to add the other three buttons I managed to snag at a great price before it was too late [...more]

Converting another Amlogic S192 TV Box Into a Linux Appliance - I

December 23, 2023

This will be the first of two posts describing how to install Armbian on a formally ubiquitous cheap knockoff of the Tanix TX9. In this first part, the latest stable release of Armbian from the Armbian TV Boxes community is installed. That version is based on Debian bookworm [...more]

Storage and Code Woes

Last Update: January 2, 2024. Original version: December 13, 2023

Problems have accumulated in the last four or five months. Most are related to storage media, but I have also made some coding errors. Hopefully, I can return to more enjoyable tasks in a few weeks or months and then I may have something positive to contribute [...more]

Two Updates Today

September 8, 2023

There has been a major change to Installing the AT Firmware on an ESP-01S first posted on May 22, 2022. Hopefully, the instructions are more detailed and clearer so that beginners will find it easier to follow along. More importantly, there are now instructions on how to install the newest version of the ESP-IDF (ESP RTOS) SDK based ESP-AT on the 1MB ESP-01S module. Currently that is version No compilation is required.

Robert Hammelrath has rearranged the directory structure of his Shared Stuff repository and changed the file names of the device specific Micropython versions. The instructions on downloading a version for the Wemos W600-PICO board in A Second Look at the W600-PICO Development Board have been updatedd, but there's been no time to update the rest of the post first published January 9, 2023.

Adding a Local Network Time Server in Linux

June 20, 2023

How to integrate a local time server such GNATS into a local network. Shows how to add the local server as a time source in the three Linux NTP clients (systemd-timesync, chrony and ntp) whether explicitely or automatically through a DHCP server. Also covers adding the local server as a time source in Tasmota [...more]

GNATS, a Tiny Basic ESP32 GPS Based NTP Server

Last Update: July 21, 2023. Original version: June 13, 2023

A tiny and very basic NTP server based on a GPS receiver (ATM336H 5N-31) and which runs on the SeeedStudio XIAO ESP32C3 or XIAO ESP32S3 [...more]

A Wi-Fi Switch for Domoticz using a XIAO ESP32C3 - Part 4

Last Update: May 24, 2023. Original version: April 24, 2023

Commands - version 0.0.8
This post contains a list of commands and their syntax valid for version 0.0.8 (12_with_mqtt). [...more]

A Wi-Fi Switch for Domoticz using a XIAO ESP32C3 - Part 3

Last Update: May 27, 2023. Original version: April 20, 2023

Better User Experience
After a long delay, part 3 is completed. It contains a long-winded discussion of some major improvements to the basic version. These include a logging module, a Web console and command interpreter à la Tasmota, and user managed settings. In addition, the techniques used to avoid blocking methods such as HTTP requests are presented [...more]

A Wi-Fi Switch for Domoticz using a XIAO ESP32C3 - Part 2

Last Update: April 20, 2023. Original version: April 20, 2023

Asynchronious Web Page Updates
Finally, part 2 is completed. It covers a) Asynchronous JavaScript And XML (AJAX), b) Web Sockets and c) Server-sent events (SSE) as a means of dynamically updating data on the Web interface without reloading the complete web page. As before the source code for the project is made available on GitHub [...more]

A Wi-Fi Switch for Domoticz using a XIAO ESP32C3 - Part 1

Last Update: June 24, 2023. Original version: March 25, 2023

Demonstration Projects
On creating a XIAO ESP32C3 based Wi-Fi switch that will run a Web server and integrate into the Domoticz home automation system. It's not just a matter of turning a LED or relay on or off with a button on a Web page; numerous examples of that can be found on the Web. Whenever the state of the light is changed locally with the button, the light's status has to be updated on the Web page displayed by all clients connected to the Web server and in the home automation system. Similarly, if the toggle button on a client's Web page is clicked, then the hardware controlling the light must be activated accordingly and the light's status must be updated in the home automation system and on all connected clients' Web page simultaneously. Likewise, if the virtual light switch in the home automation system is toggled on or off, the actual relay or LED on the Wi-Fi switch must be updated and the new status of the light must be shown on all connected clients' Web pages. This is the first of what should be multiple posts as functionality such as over-the-air updates and MQTT support are added [...more]

For older posts see the Archivesarchives.