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sonoff home automation products

I’ve discovered a really cool product that is cheaper to buy than what I was making them for. ¬†Plus it looks a lot neater and is probably safer seeing as I’m not a qualified electrician. ūüėČ

These sonoff “smart switches” (link) are exactly what my home automation system is looking for. ¬†Basically, the sonoff switches has a mains to 3.3v regulator, relay, ESP8266 and a button/LED all on board. ¬†For about $5. ¬†The manufacturer has even¬†broken out the serial pins so it’s easy to upload your own code. ¬†I’ve bought about 10 of these little devices after hearing great reviews¬†about them from the internet.

I intend on automating as much as I can with my home. ¬†I’m going to make all the automation switches MQTT compliant which make it easier to expand and/or change things around later. ¬†I’m going to be making a personal companion (much like Siri or Alexa) that can answer useful questions and do some cool things around the house. ¬†Eventually, small remote control modules likely running raspberry pi zero’s will be placed around the house so you can pick one up and ask the house to do things.

I’ll post an update when the sonoff modules arrive and post heaps of pictures!

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What is free Software?

I strongly believe in the philosophy of open source and free¬†software. Most of the projects and code I publish on this site and my GitHub are released under the GNU GPL v3 or later license. What is this GNU GPL you say? Well, it’s a type of software license you must abide by. If you’ve ever downloaded a program that asks you to accept something, it’s likely the license agreement. The GNU GPL is great, it lets anyone do anything they want with the software, as long as they pass along the same freedoms.

 

GNU GPL v3 Logo
The GNU GPL v3 logo

 

Free software generally has no price attached to it. This means you can download and use the software at no direct monetary cost. However, the greatest benefit is having the ability to modify the code and make changes. This allows you to improve the software and release an even better version for other people to use. This may include adding new features, or fixing problems like bugs and security flaws.

That was a quick overview of what “free” software is and why I love it so much. For more information and some great reading I suggest checking out the GNU project’s website by clicking the link: www.gnu.org

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First post!

Hey!

This is my first blog post. The aim is to fill this blog with heaps of projects and lots of random tips and tricks that I find during my day to day hacking. I will also list all the hardware/software I make and make it available for download and/or purchase. Thanks for visiting! ūüôā