Author Archives: Heath

Ambilight with WiFi on ESP8266

TL;DR I built an Ambilight clone that listens for MQTT messages over WiFi when it’s not receiving serial data. This allows it to be controlled by Home Assistant and vicariously the Google Assistant. The code lives at https://github.com/heathbar/tv-backlight. Board Swap My first Ambilight clone served me quite well. I started with a system like the one…

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Vizio SmartCast Node.js API

I have begun work on a Node.js module to interact with Vizio’s SmartCast devices. Please report issues on the GitHub issues page. NPM: https://www.npmjs.com/package/vizio-smart-cast GitHub: https://github.com/heathbar/vizio-smart-cast  Made possibly by the reference guide here: https://github.com/exiva/Vizio_SmartCast_API…

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Making Amazon Echo Alexa Sing to openHAB2

Update OpenHAB2 has an official Alexa Skill. You should use that instead. https://community.openhab.org/t/official-alexa-smart-home-skill-for-openhab-2/23533 Preface The documentation on openHAB2 is somewhat lacking and scattered. But I was able to complete my journey so I thought I’d add another article to the noise. There are a number of approaches to integrating the Echo with openHAB. I have tried some…

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Basement Accent Lighting

When I built out my basement man-cave, I wanted to do something unique with accent lighting. I designed and built three light boxes that I attached to the ceiling. On the bottom are dimmable warm-white LEDs, randomly dispersed to mimic stars. This creates a great ambiance for watching movies. Around the edges of the top…

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Making Squeezelite play well with KODI under Linux

The default settings for Squeezelite on Linux require it capture your sound card and hoard all audio for itself. This can be frustrating when the computer’s audio is shared with other programs. Sharing is caring The good news is that the latest version of Squeezelite (1.8) can be configured to release the sound card when it is not…

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