Cynics Soapbox

Random thoughts...

Home Assistant Energy

Home Assistant Energy

Recently HomeAssistant released a new feature, energy management. As we've been tracking our energy usage for a while and have never managed to find a good way of representing things, this was a huge change. Over the last few days I have finally found the time to look at integrating things. As with most things in HA, what seemed like a great feature that will be easy to use turned out to need a lot more work than anticipated. HA...

Crowdsec Hints

Crowdsec Hints

I've written before about Crowdsec but for one reason and another had let my initial experiments drift. Until last week. I noticed they had a new release out and thought it might be time to bring things up to date. 0.3.5 to 1.1.1Not as simple as it could have been, but along the way I learnt a lot and probably ended up with things closer to how I would like them as a result. However, if...

Growing Home Assistant Disk Image

Growing Home Assistant Disk Image

Since changing my HomeAssistant installation from the RaspberryPi to a bhyve vm running on FreeBSD things have been going well. The vm works well and everything just works. Over time I've added more sensors and automations which has increased it's usefulness. Of course with more sensors you get more data. Add in the system snapshots for the regular updates and the original 32G disk image starts to fill. I started seeing warnings from the system a few weeks ago. Removing...

CNC, Easel & Linux

CNC, Easel & Linux

We've toyed with the idea of getting a small CNC machine for a while and recently decided to take the plunge. After looking around we decided to get a Genmitsu 3018 ProVER (apparently the numbers reflect the size of bed the machine has, i.e. 30cm x 18cm). Once the kit arrived assembly took a while (certainly not the 15 minutes they advertised) but all tools needed were provided together with some excellent instructions. SoftwareThe machine operates using grbl, an...

Home Assistant on FreeBSD

Home Assistant on FreeBSD

After working for a couple of months the SD card in the HomeAssistant RaspberryPi died. Annoying. Of course without a suitable replacement how do we get the HA working again? We have a small server in the house that runs FreeBSD so that seemed like a good solution apart from the lack of docker support to install HA. However, after spending some time with web searches, the HA forums and wiki pages, it turns out to be possible. The following...

Crowdsec Dashboard

Crowdsec Dashboard

The Crowdsec dashboard is great. The instructions provided are simple enough that it took only minutes to setup and start viewing the data. That was a few days and on my home desktop machine. Now I'm in a different country on my laptop and find that I didn't save the the 64 character password generated during the setup process anywhere :-( As the dashboard is powered by Metabase I did a quick search and found this page that details how...

Crowdsec

Crowdsec

Earlier this year I decided to start using the IPv6 connection that my hosting provider has been providing for the last few years. It had been something I'd been meaning to do for a while and for some reason it felt like the right time to look at it. As it turned out, it was as simple as adding a few lines to various configuration files and all was well. I wasn't sure how quickly I would see any IPv6...

Snap?

Snap?

The current state of package management on Ubuntu isn't great. I get the arguments about snap being superior but it does seem a little too systemd like for my liking :-( Today I ran into an issue where the vlc snap has a permissions issue that prevents it using the onboard webcam without a fix. Oddly the apt version has no such issues and in all the years I've had vlc installed have never come across such an issue. The...

Modbus: 2 Readers, 1 Producer

Modbus: 2 Readers, 1 Producer

Our Solax inverter talks to the power meter via 2-wire modbus. It works well but the inverter really does want a constant stream of information so the requests flow at a high rate. We want to monitor our consumption of electricity, which means we want to look at data from the power meter at the same time as the inverter. This isn't how the Modbus protocol works though. Only one Reader (not the term used in the spec but I'm...

Protobuf

Protobuf

I've been trying to talk to a network device that uses Googles Protocol Buffers for it's data exchange. Fair enough and thankfully someone had already done the work and created the needed protocol file. Of course, it was created a while back and protobuf has moved onto proto3! Enter proto3!After copying the original proto file across to my project, I edited it to adapt to the newer proto3 specification and pressed on with actually using it. syntax="proto3"; package...

Remote VS Code on FreeBSD

Remote VS Code on FreeBSD

I've been using VSCode as my primary code editor for a long time, but recently I've been doing more and more working on code that will run on remote machines. The whole edit, rsync, edit cycle ws getting a little boring so I finally looked at using the remote extensions. I added the Remote-SSH extension, added the first host (a RaspberryPi)  I needed and suddenly I was editing the code directly on that machine. Simples! Why didn't I do this...

Solar Control

Solar Control

We've had our solar PV panels installed for over a year now and they've been working well. The same cannot be said of the battery installation. Our setup is pretty standard. Solax X1 Hybrid 3.7kW Inverter12 solar PV panels totalling 3.6kW2 4.5kW Solax Triple Power batteriesOur inverter has stopped talking to the meter (which was giving incorrect data anyway, though it has now been replaced) which means that the batteries are essentially useless at present :-( While...