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Removing a stripe from a zfs pool

In my quest to optimize on power usage, One of my servers has a zfs pool consisting of 4x 8T disks, in striped mirrors configuration.

For this particular pool, IOPs and performance is not needed. As well, I am using barely 10% of the available space in this particular pool.

So- I decided to remove a pair of disks, to save a miniscule amount of energy.

Reusing EMC Drives in other systems

So, I picked up a EMC-branded 1.92TB PM1633 SAS drive off of ebay, to toss into my ceph cluster.

After acquiring it, I slapped it into my Dell MD1220, and was surprised that it was not appearing in proxmox.

This is a short post to help correct this issue.

Building a ceph cluster

My adventures in building out a small clustered ceph environment for redundant VM / Container storage.


Ceph is a great way to extract 10,000 IOPs from over 5 million IOPs worth of SSDs! -XtremeOwnage

2023 Prime Day Deals

Interested in home automation? Here are a few of the prime day deals I would personally recommend.

Note, this is not a kitchen-sink post full of non-relaxant links, but, rather, a list of things I have hands on experience with.

Every single product linked below, will work with Home Assistant, 100% LOCALLY, without any required cloud services or subscriptions.

If, you need reasons as to why required cloud services are bad, see Reasons to avoid cloud products

Lessons learned from a local disaster

Continuation of the home solar project.

Around Midnight, Saturday June 17th, a very strong storm passed over my house, and hit my town and surrounding areas with a 115mph wind gust.

Power was out for around two and a half days, in which case, I powered my house fully off-grid.

While- this doesn't sound like a huge deal- do note, I was able to maintain climate control in my home, along with my ENTIRE rack of servers.

FADD - Feline Area Denial Device

My wife presented me with a unique challenge recently.

"The cats keep getting on top of the kitchen table, and getting hair everywhere!"

So- the logically minded person I am- I decided to build a home-assistant integrated device for keeping cats off of the table!

I present to you, the FADD. Feline Area Denial Device!

Pioneer Minisplit control using ESPHome

Around a year and a half ago, I installed a Pioneer Mini-split and integrated it with Home Assistant

I used a local integration, which had a cloud dependency for the initial setup. And, since installation, it has been working flawlessly.

However, last week, it completely stopped working and I was unable to reinitialize it.

So- Today- I will be replacing the midea dongle, with a device running esphome.

Using ESPHome on critical devices, such as networking gear

In an effort to monitor the consumption of everything- I ran across an unusual problem.

When connecting my core switch to a ESPHome flashed smart switch, I noticed two things-

  1. It is very easy to accidentally turn the switch off.
    • This is a problem, because you cannot turn it back on remotely! Since, wifi connects to the core switch.
  2. When flashing updated firmware, the relay will quickly toggle for a very short duration.
    • This can cause devices to power cycle.

So, I set out to see how I could customize my configuration to be suitable for managing my core switch.

I will be implementing:

  1. A button to power-cycle the core switch.
  2. Configuration to prevent the relay from toggling during firmware updates / ESPHome restarts.
  3. Removing toggle switches.

How to start your A/C compressor off-grid.

Starting your A/C compressor generates a massive inrush current. Many inverters will have issues getting the motor spinning.

In the case of my 3.5 Ton unit, the L.R.A. (Locked rotor amps) is 112.0 amps @ 220v (24,640 watts). This is far more current then my inverter can provide. This is the amount of amperage which it can potentially take to start the compressor motor.

This post, describes how to install a soft start, which will allow your compressor to easily start off-grid using your solar array with inverter and batteries, or via a smaller generator.

Installing Solar-Assistant

Per my home solar project, I needed a method to collect data from both my batteries and inverters, in near-real-time, with no dependency on the internet.

Since, my inverter's connection relies on cloud applications to move data around, I decided to give Solar Assistant a try after reading of its support for the solark-12k.

Finished Energy Dashboard: