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Hidden door sensors

The default directions for installing doors sensors, involves using the included double-sized tape directly stick the sensor to doors and windows.

I personally, wanted these sensors to be out of sight, and out of mind. So, I decided to recess them into the doors themselves.

Home Assistant Alarm

So, you want to have an alarm for your house. But, you don’t want to give your money to ADT/Ring/SimpliSafe/etc… and you want to build it yourself, with components you can easily service and replace, right? If so, this is the article for you.

I have a few Reolink cameras. Recently, I noticed the time of many of the cameras was not set correctly.

Since, I keep all of my IOT and Security devices isolated from the internet, they are not able to communicate with the pre-defined external NTP server. However, I do have a NTP server running on my opnsense firewall which they do have access to.

But, it appears the ability to set a custom NTP server no longer exists in the reolink’s configuration page.

Home Assistant – Programmable Thermostat GUI – Part 2

A while back, after converting my primary thermostat over to z-wave, I found a creative way of managing my thermostat’s schedules using the scheduler-card.

Well, I recently installed a new mini-split for my bedroom/office, and needed to integrate and maintain my schedules via home assistant. So, I decided to redo my schedules a bit.

I found the scheduler-card has a “make-scheme” button, which is far more intuitive for creating schedules then what I put together in PART 1. In hindsight, this feature existed then as well…

Adding "Bifurcation" to a Dell R720XD

Wait, the R720XD doesn’t support bifurcation?

And- you would be correct by saying that.

However- There are special PCIe cards you can acquire, which will perform the bifurcation.

Credit for this idea goes to THIS POST which was brought to my attention by a fellow redditor. (I couldn’t find the comment from a month ago..)

As a note- this isn't specific to the R720XD, this guide/hardware should work in any hardware with the proper PCIe slots, which does not support bifurcation out of the box.

Rack em up - Adding a proper rack

I have a few pieces of enterprise gear for my home network. I have my server, a few 10/40G POE switches, and some other odds and ends. So far, its been stacked on boxes and buckets inside of my spare bedroom’s closet.

So, over the last two weeks, I started a project to clean everything up a little bit.

Full local Z-Wave HVAC Control


My house has had a Emerson Sensi thermostat for the last 6 or 7 servers. While, this thermostat has served its purpose, and worked reliably (locally), I have had the ongoing issue of having to integrate it into my Home Assistant by using it through the Smart Things Integration. This cloud integration randomly stops working, and does not give very much warning regarding its status.

Normally, this wouldn’t be a huge issue, but, a few years back, I automated my fireplace. So, my fireplace will kick on during the day, to avoid heating the entire house, saving energy. Since, the fireplace bases its temp on the MAIN thermostat located in the center of the house, its important to have somewhat accurate details.

So, I have decided to upgrade both the fireplace, as well as my thermostat, to leverage z-wave.

Automate Holiday Lighting using Home Assistant

This week, I started installing WS2813 individually addressable LEDs around the house. I made a few simple patterns containing colors relevant to Thanksgiving and Christmas.

After manually turning on the lights for the 3rd day in a row… I thought to myself… This is automatable. So- I started down the quest to make it happen.