Episode one of Life as a Nerd, in this episode I showcase the House Remote. A Web based control application that allows me to manage this house, lights and other activities.
I have several HP Stream 7 Windows Tablets in my home running this web app in full screen.
Time has come, Ambilight 1.5 has met the end of the road...
With the advent of a new TV on the way, its time to revisit the Ambilight once again, this time a full rebuild.
As for a teaser, the new system will be comprised of the following.
1x Teensy 3.2 (to replace the arduino running Adalight, this has a faster CPU and can handle the increased light count)
1x Arduino Micro (this will actually only control a 5V relay, allowing me to shut off the optional "behind the speaker" LEDs)
420 RGBW (CW 6,000k-7,000k) LEDs. 300 for the TV itself and 60 behind each speaker (30 zones, 2 LEDs per zone)
This will all sit behind a new Samsung 65inch 4K Curved TV, and I will post build pictures and video during the process.
The first installment of Life as a Nerd, a brief intro video. More to come as I go in depth into how I build, craft and create the projects and items you see here.
Category: Techtips Published Date Written by Administrator
I was working on my Home Automation project, adding a status panel for all playing media in the home. I had originally kept this to myself, but came across an IRC user looking to do the same. I figured I would share my findings.
First, we need to have the URL to pull the Plex information.
You need your Plex Account Token for this to work outside of your network (or inside while not authenticated)
Once you have your token you will be able to pull your session status from Plex with the following
The out put will be in XML format.
I wrote a quick simple VBS to parse the data from there and spit it back into a basic text file for my home automation app to pick up.
Again, this is a quick and dirty VBS script, but it does what I need.
Dim plex_titletype_reg, plex_titletype_col
Dim plex_username_reg, plex_username_col
Dim plex_gptitle_reg, plex_gptitle_col
Set plex_titletype_reg = New RegExp
.Pattern = "title=\""(.*?)\"" type=\""(.*?)\"""
.Global = True
.IgnoreCase = False
Set plex_username_reg = New RegExp
.Pattern = "User id.*title=\""(.*?)\"""
.Global = True
.IgnoreCase = False
Set plex_gptitle_reg = New RegExp
.Pattern = "grandparentTitle=\""(.*?)\"""
.Global = True
.IgnoreCase = False
set objHttp = CreateObject("Msxml2.ServerXMLHTTP")
objHttp.open "GET", "http://server:port/status/sessions", False
If objHttp.Status = 200 Then
Set plex_titletype_col = plex_titletype_reg.Execute(objHttp.responseText)
Set plex_username_col = plex_username_reg.Execute(objHttp.responseText)
Set plex_gptitle_col = plex_gptitle_reg.Execute(objHttp.responseText)
Set objFSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
Set sr = objFSO.OpenTextFile( "C:\Status\plex_titletype.sts", 2, true, 0 )
For each objMatch in plex_titletype_col
Set sr = objFSO.OpenTextFile( "C:\Status\plex_username.sts", 2, true, 0 )
For each objMatch in plex_username_col
Set sr = objFSO.OpenTextFile( "C:\Status\plex_gptitle.sts", 2, true, 0 )
For each objMatch in plex_gptitle_col
The end result is 3 files, each with different information.
Depending if it is an MP3 or TV show you will have a GrandParent title, no the case with a movie.
Example of an mp3 output
User id="3511930" title="gle453"
For those sqlite fans, a friend of mine in IRC provided me with this to pull the same data.
sqlite3 /opt/plexpy/plexpy.db "SELECT friendly_name, state, grandparent_title, title from sessions"
Build 5 of my Home Automation Application is complete. This includes updates to the Main screen and Info pages as well as additional functionality through out the application.
Category: Public Projects Published Date Written by Administrator
The time has come to replace my current 4 bay NAS an aging Patriot Javelin S4.
First things first, I had to decide my end game... What did I want to gain from the new device, how could I future proof it and how can I get the biggest bang for my buck?
What I wanted to gain was;
What I decided on was FreeNAS and a home built NAS box. And following this guide I was able to locate a few items on eBay to suite my needs.
I settled on a SuperMicro Server, an X8DTN+ to be exact, with the following specs;
Seeing how all the FreeNAS junkies recommend the IBM M1015 (LSI 9240), I was sure to grab the LSI9240-8i as well.
And lastly I opted for 6 5TB Seagate Enterprise drives for storage, and will be using a dual parity setup once I get down to brass tacks on the volume configuration.
The hardware has been ordered and shall be here in the next week or so. Follow along as we build the new array for CrackedConsole
I've made a new video of Build 5 of my Home Control Application for my home automation system, it is nearing completion and once done I plan on doing a home walk-thru showing the app in use through-out the house.
A sad and somber day...
I put the nail in the coffin on the CableMaters HDMI over CAT6 adapters, they just did not work for my application. After several tests, cables, lengths and scenarios... I was only able to get active video once.
I've now opted for the AVUE HDMI Extender, abit more cost wise but I have higher hopes of success. Once I can get a successful video test at range, I will begin to address some of my other issues (audio and USB).
Category: General News Published Date Written by Administrator
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Forums, more pictures and video and more articles for you!
Well, for now I have caved. I'm going the Video cable to GPU route for 1 of my VM Game machines. I still do plan on testing and toying with the PCoIP / VMWare View VMs with the Quadro 4000 cards.
But this new VM will have a AMD card and utilize HDMI over CAT6 direct to the monitor and USB passthru with a USB extension cable for Keyboard/Mouse. Thus Keyboard,Mouse,Monitor and Audio (via HDMI) will be connected directly to the ESX host, and routed to the Office upstairs.
The items purchased include;
Cable Matters HDMI over CAT6 Adapter $64.99 (Single CAT6 cable)
2x 3 feet HDMI cables (for Host to adapter A and adapter B to Monitor)
50 foot powered USB extension cable
and a 50 foot HDMI cable
I'm curious how well just using the 50 foot HDMI cable will work, possibly with a keystone /wall plate in the office. Thus I will test with both the HDMI over CAT6 and the 50 foot HDMI cable, and once they arrive and testing is done I will report my findings.
With my current configuration of 2x Quadro 4000s and 1x Radeon 5450, the Radeon sits in the 4x PCIe slot and the Quadros taking up the 2 16x lanes. Once I am sastisfied with my setup and testing, I am going to purchase a XFX R7 250-270 and move it into PCI slot 1 to push it up to 16x and move the Quadros down accordingly. And yes, I am going with the XFX as it kinda sorta matches the Quadro cards I have. (well atleast when mounted in the case lol)
I've had the cable drops ran for a few days, but today I finally cleaned up the patching and while I was at it, re racked all the gear in the cage and cleaned up the wiring.
24port CAT6 patch panel, with CAT6 STP cable punched down.
Once the cable runs were done I began to shut down the network and pull everything out, all in all it took about 4 hours start to finish. I did move all the shelves, install the Netgear switch for future use and install the hardware pfSense box for future use.
Future plans include 10Gb NICs for each ESX host connected to the Netgear switch and then it connected via Fiber to the Cisco "client" switch. I would also like to figure out a way to have a fail over pfSense box (utilizing the physical box shown above) so I may work on ESX01 with out losing Internet connectivity. ESX01 currently hosts my VM of pfSense that acts as the primary firewall and runs Snort. Due to the high CPU requirements of Snort, I do not wish to move it off the VM as it has a 5GHz CPU (2cores). Thus the hardware firewall will be a failover device only, in use during maintenance and the even of a host / system failure on ESX01.
Now with the network rack complete, I plan to clean up the office and living room wiring abit and then focus again on gaming VDI and finalizing (HA...ha...) the code for my home automation system.