Do NOT Recommend Using These!

For those looking for another network jack, do NOT buy a Ethernet splitter. Buy a mini switch for just a few dollars more. The splitters have nice drawings that show how they work! But they don’t! The only case they would work is if the existing jack is wired for such purpose, in the case of older networks where it could work, it would make the whole network slower.

Had a good laugh yesterday when customer requested a splitter, even sending an Amazon photo. All the network people huddled and asked what would happen. Because all our networks are all Poe, it would be dangerous! Very likely causing damage to anything plugged into it..

Also there are mini hubs and mini switches. Hubs are slower basically acting like an old scanner moving data from one port, then the next. Would recommend a Switch any day!

Just passing on info.

MQTT Progress

After a weekend of diving into things I should have learned years ago, I’ve made progress. One of the things I’ve always wanted to be able to do, it update graphics realtime from a webpage, and if needed convert text to graphic. Finally did it, ImageMagick and open source project. One of my customers uses ImageMagick to take ID Photos then insert text over the image. They use a script converting camera images. In my case I am taken data, and creating images of text.

The hard part was setting up the server (which is now Windows, since all jobs currently held by Macs are being converted to Windows). And I am still learning MQTT, which is turning out to be very useful and now I GET IT, very easy.

We’ve converted an old Raspberry Pi with connected Arduino, with a connected Weather Shield to all work with MQTT, almost 100%. If you’ve see my other posts you can see the weather station has been around. And now for some odd reason it isn’t sending Wind Speed. I haven’t given up hope. Just need a break from dealing with that equipment.

Also from another post, I have temperature sensors, and weather stations that use 433 mhz scattered all over the property. Now that I’ve learned to properly format MQTT, I can start posting their real time data…. I was using FEEDS in RapidWeaver, but it wasn’t built for what I am doing, so tossed that idea, and now I am using PHP and Python..

Will give more details and instructions when I complete it.

MQTT – Finally

Finally able to Subscribe and Post Data to a MQTT broker/server.

As always, examples found on the internet, are incomplete, or are just copies of someone else’s post. One of the most popular examples has both Post and Subscribe in one, but of course doesn’t really work without a great deal of review.

Basically you have a server, what they call a broker, that receives all the MQTT traffic., then it allows others to subscribe and monitor the data being posted.

So my setup has a rtl_433 receiver that collects all the sensor data from 433 devices and parses it. Sensors include weather stations, remote temperature, door switches and motion detectors. At present all I am handling is the temperature sensors. Each sensor has an ID which I track, noting it location on the property. Then they also have temperature (of course) and humidity. The sensors sends a lot of other data, but that is all I really need. I then send the data back to broken parsed, into another channel for my use..

The coal is to parse the incoming data into a control panel that will display sensor data, like a dashboard. Basement sensor always in same location, for example. Graphically.

Sensor appear to just send data in a timed manner, once every few minutes. They don’t care if anyone receives it, just throw out over the airwaves. The SDR receives the data, parses it, the Posts to the Broker. The Broken in turn basically doesn’t the same thing as the sensor, it just rebroadcasts the data for anyone that has Subscribe to that Topic. My webpage Subscribes to the Topic and reparses the data and displays it.

Getting there!

Problems with RING, again!

A few months ago, after having more problems with one of the battery power security cameras, I decided to replace it with a powered unit. Little more effort to install, but I hoped it would be worth it..

Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Plus

It worked fine, almost for a month. It would appear on the Web and iPhone versions of RING App, but not on the computer version. I shrugged it off and just used it as is, until about 2 weeks ago, the camera stopped working.

After an hour of attempting to rejoin the network I called Ring, always a pleasure (sic). Finally after an hour of retrying everything I ready did, I was told it was my network, specifically my wifi. So all the other wireless Ring hardware continues to work, but not this NEW device. Tried replacing access points and wifi networks. Nope still not happy. Ended up having to install a totally new wifi network and a new device, to finally get the camera to appear on my iPhone and Web, it still doesn’t appear in the app.

For the price you pay for these things you’d expect them to last longer, why did they update the firmware to kick it off my network.. beyond me..

And they try to upsell, or newer stuff.. sorry if I can keep the older stuff working I aint buying all new AGAIN.

So don’t think I’ll be buy more ring equipment. Will keep you informed as to what replaces it. Any suggestions?

So it begins, I hope!

Back in 2010 I purchased a old Jazzy Select Elite wheelchair base, in hopes of using it as a base for a robot. Using that a old Vex robot parts left over from my kids high school days, and winter. Now might be a good time to start.

Jazzy Select Elite

From what I can gather from images and PDFs online, it appears the normal chair, uses two batteries. One for each of the two powered wheels. Increasing power to one, turns the chair on opposite side, kinda like a tank. Will be fun to control with a computer. Mar Rovers use sensors to calculate the amount of turn, need to figure out how to do something in between..

So, planning now.. Will try to keep world updated.