Smart Home Dashboard with Home Assistant, MQTT, Certbot and Nginx Proxy

Home automation, monitoring and control requires a user interface that is easy to use. There are numerous commercial solutions for this.

My Smart Home Dashboard

If you have high requirements for data security and privacy, a self-hosted smart home solution is the way to go. I tried a few open-source solutions and ended up happy with “Home Assistant”. In this post I want to explain how to get a minimal instance of Home Assistant, MQTT, Certbot and Nginx Proxy up and running with Docker Compose.

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Balcony Power Plant in Schwetzingen

Until a few months ago, I was happy with my previous electricity provider. A short time later, however, came the nasty surprise. My monthly fee went up from 42€ to 66€. This meant that the previous contract was no longer attractive.

I want to generate my energy with the power of the sun in the future

I’ve been interested in having my own solar panels on the balcony for a while. I have so much unused space. Due to the energy crisis, bureaucratic hurdles in Germany for balcony power plants were removed. The stars were right and I took this opportunity to become a little more self-sufficient.

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Give good tidings to the patient, who, when disaster strikes them, say, “Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return.”

Baqara, 156

Today my grandmother Gülhanım Ördek passed away. May Allah have mercy with her.

Confucius said: “He who preserves the old and at the same time is able to gain new knowledge and new experiences can be a teacher and an example for the people”.


LoRaWAN Antenna Holder for Balcony Rail

I recently bought a LoRaWAN antenna that I mounted in my balcony for testing. The antenna works very well, although my balcony is just a few meters above the ground.

Before: Antenna is attached temporarily on my plant shelf

The antenna was temporarily attached to my wooden shelf. I wanted to build a proper mount and set about modeling.

The result of this work can be found on Thingiverse.

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Introduction in LoRa, LoRaWAN, The Things Network and Helium Mining

The Internet of Things is a term for objects, sensors, “things” that sit around somewhere and send data to a network to build applications or business models with that data.

Architektur von LoRaWan, Bild: Elutz

The LoRa network and LoRaWAN as a protocol is a very exciting technology that promises to send sensor data over an energy-efficient wireless network. “LoRa Gateways” are used to receive these signals. The gateway has access to the Internet and persists this data in an application server of a LoRaWan network. “The Things Network” (TTN) is an open LoRaWan network where anyone can provide their gateway and where anyone can connect their sensors with existing gateways around the world. Also there is “The People’s Network” with which you can even earn passive income as a gateway operator. I recently purchased several LoRa modules and a gateway. In this article I would like to discuss the different aspects of LoRa and evaluate it in the context of my battery powered interet devices.

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Recycling: Hot water bottle sealing

We recently had a hot water bottle, which no longer served it’s duty. How can a hot water bottle can no longer work? The seal on the cap wears out. The hot water bottle drips when you fill it with water.

Another small plastic part, which leads to the unusability of the whole object. For us, an object does not end up in the trash because of such small parts. It’s time to get down to business.

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Alternatives to Raspberry Pi and Arduino

For developers and tinkerers working with electronics, it has become a permanent condition that there are no more Raspberry Pis or Arduinos in stock at reasonable prices. According to announcements, Raspberry Pi parts are going so fast that they only sell to B2B customers.

It’s time to permanently look for alternatives. I would like to present a few good alternatives that are currently in stock and are at least as good (or even better) than their Raspberry Pi or Arduino counterparts. Watch the video here.

Modular Kitchen Organizer

Everyone has some things lying around in the kitchen. In our kitchen, these are things like rolls of garbage bags, rolls of aluminum foil, towels or cooking spoons.

This needs a solution to organize the items. I built a modular design, which provides a solution for all this. This solution can be attached to the wall, but also via modules to any furniture such as Ikea kitchen frames. This is the first product from my local-manufacturing venture. In this blogpost I want to introduce this solution. The Modular Kitchen Organizer can be downloaded on Thingiverse. Here is my Youtube video about this project.

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