Z Nope

I was excited to start setting up the Z-Wave bridge. That excitement has dimmed. I’m got the device in the mail, whipped out the installation instructions, plugged it into my Pi and…

The first step was to run a curl command to a http site and pipe it to sudo bash. Eeek.

I mean I know people joke that the “S” in IoT is for “Security” but this wasn’t funny.

I’d never ever do such a thing on a device and trust that device again. I proceeded against my better judgement to see how far the rabbit hole went. (I’ve since disconnected the Pi from the Ethernet and will reflash it soon.)

The next red flag was that although installing the bridge plugin went smoothly, the iOS Home app warned me that the bridge was not certified. Strike two.

I was about to try adding a Z-Wave device to the bridge when I just stopped. I was not going to trust this with access to my home’s devices.

Maybe I can write a bridge for this Pi peripheral myself and now I am curious about what Apple requires for certification:)

Till next time…

A Photogenic Z-Wave Bridge

We’re moving away from Z-Wave tech and investing more deeply in Apple HomeKit. Part of that will include using a Raspberry Pi to act as a Z-Wave bridge until we (eventually) replace the Z-Wave devices with devices supported by HomeKit natively.

And because it would be boring just to plugin in a headless Raspberry Pi, I decided to have it do double duty as a digital picture frame using a neat little touchscreen by EVICIV.

This article covered most of the setup needed to use feh and xscreensaver, although I did need to do one tweak, probably because I am running a relatively new version of Raspbian (Raspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)) that was released after the article. Instead of finding the autostart file in ~/.config, it was in /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE-pi

Here’s what it looks like:

Yeah, I should put some real photos in there, not memes 🙂

.NET 5 + Blink an LED

Microsoft announced the release of .NET 5 today… and included an example with the quintessential “blink an LED” that is the Hello World of the embedded IoT space. Can’t wait to try it on one of my development boards.

https://devblogs.microsoft.com/dotnet/announcing-net-5-0/

https://github.com/dotnet/iot/blob/master/samples/led-blink/Program.cs

STM32WXX Project

I’ve been working on a ARM Cortex M4 based weather station with APRS transmitter as part of my Masters in Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington. I’m making good progress. It is FreeRTOS based and I’ve gotten all the tasks and queues running and time, location, and weather data flowing. I integrated with the real time clock just to find out that it drifts 5 minutes per hour – looks like I’ll need to periodically re-synchronize that with the GPS signal, LOL.

This is a complete rebuild of the Texas Instruments Tiva based project with a better  sensor for weather and an MCU from the much more popular STM32 family.

Next step is to write an AX.25 packetizer and the modulator. You can follow my progress here or on GitHub: https://github.com/allendav/STM32WXX