eWelink Camera App Recycles Your Old Smartphone into a Remote Camera

Old devices often end up in drawers or shelves collecting dust, but as we’ve seen before there are better ways to recycle your unused gadgets, from giving it to friends or family to selling them on eBay, or re-purposing them for specific purpose. For example, we’ve previously covered Haven open source app that transforms smartphones into smart security cameras or baby monitors. eWelink, the default app used with Sonoff wireless switches, smart plugs and light-bulbs, now happens to support a similar feature. So if you’re using the stock firmware on your Sonoff device and control them with the Sonoff app, you don’t need an extra app to use your old smartphone(s) as IP camera(s). It looked easy enough to setup, so I gave it a try. First you need to download & install eWelink Camera app, only available as an apk at this time, in your old phone. Once the app is installed, you’ll need to login with your eWelink …

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Getting Started with Temperature & Humidity Sensors on ESP8266 using ANAVI Thermometer

ANAVI Thermometer Air / Humidity / Water

ANAVI Thermometer was launched on CrowdSupply in January.¬† It is an ESP8266 WiFi board with a built-in DHT22 temperature and humidity sensor, support for external DS18B20 waterproof temperature sensor, as well as other sensors thanks to three I2C sensors. I received the ANAVI Thermometer starter kit last month, and I’ve only found time to play with it in the last few days. I’ll start with a unboxing, assembly guide, before showing it action, and I’ll try to make it interface with Home Assistant over MQTT. ANAVI Thermometer Starter Kit Unboxing The kit comes with ANAVI Thermometer board, a plastic stand, a USB to TTL debug board, an I2C OLED display, a few nuts and bolts, and a couple of KiCad and ANAVI stickers. Leon ANAVI also added a traffic light board and LEDs, but it’s not normally part of the kit ūüôā ANAVI Thermometer board include an ESP8266 module, AM2302 (wired DHT 22) temperature and humidity sensor, a terminal block …

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How to Import Google+ Account and Communities to MeWe

Google+ Export Data

Google+ for consumers is going to definitely shutdown on April 2nd, and as written previously I had been looking for an alternative, and ended-up going with MeWe Ad-free, Privacy Focused Social Network. I created my own account, as well as two groups for development boards & SBCs and mini PCs & TV boxes. Many users have joined MeWe because of Google+ upcoming closure, so it made sense for the company to create an importer so that all posts, and communities can be imported from Google+ into MeWe. Mark Weinstein, MeWe CEO & founder, has now announced the release of Google+ Importer and instructions in a PDF sadly written in Microsoft Word… The steps are fairly simple: Go to https://takeout.google.com and click on “Deselect All” Select Google+ Circles, Google+ Communities, and Google+ Stream (apparently Google+ Likes is not needed), and make sure to check the format to JSON whenever possible as shown in the screenshot below. Click Next Step, and make …

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ClockworkPi GameShell Review – Part 1: Unboxing & Assembly Guide

ClockworkPi Gameshell Review

ClockworkPi Gameshell is a portable retro gaming console kit designed to be hackable being powered by Allwinner R16 processor to run Linux, as well as an Arduino compatible Atmel AVR MCU. It’s partially open source hardware with PDF schematics, and firmware source code available on Github. The device launched last year on Kickstarter, raised close to $300,000, and started shipping to backers last summer. The company has now sent me a sample for review, so let’s have a look. The first part of the review will be more than just an unboxing, since the game console is meant to be assembled by the end user, and I’ll report my experience doing so. ClockworkPi Gameshell Unboxing The kit comes in a fairly large package that reads “GameShell – Redefine Portable Game Console” and lists the main specifications with quad core Cortex A7 processor, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, 1GB RAM, 16GB micro SD storage with OS,¬† micro HDMI output, and a 1,200 …

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How to Upgrade Xiaomi Mi A2 to Android 9 Pie

XIaomi Mi A2 Android 9- Update

I read Xiaomi Mi A2 got an official upgrade to Android 9 Pie in India around mid November. This got me interested in reviewing Xiaomi Mi A2 with the latest Android operating system, and GearBest sent me a sample for this purpose. However in the first part of Xiaomi Mi A2 review, I only got a security update to November 5 2018 security patch level, but the operating system remained Android 8.1. I was a disappointed, but I did not look into it so far since I was busy with other tasks, but this morning I finally got the update! Hooray! If like me, you are based in Thailand or another country stuck to Android 8.1, and would like to upgrade Xiaomi Mi A2 to Android 9, you can follow those simple steps which I have tested personally: Book a flight ticket to Hong Kong Board the actual flight and land in Hong Kong Purchase a tourist SIM card with …

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How to Make a Low Cost DIY SD Card Duplicator

If you have to duplicate many SD cards for example to boot Raspbian on multiple Raspberry Pi board, one option is buy one of those SD card duplicators, but the problem is that they are not really cheap, for example the Systor 1-to-7 cards model sells for $540. Bob Brown, a retired senior lecturer, is now teaching K-12 students how to get started with Raspberry Pi boards, and must prepare bootable SD cards for his class. In order to save time, a duplicator would have been nice, but the price is too high, so instead he went with a DIY solution. You’ll first need some hardware, including a powered USB hub with the number of cards you want to duplicate, and corresponding SD card reader, and a larger micro SD card to hold Raspbian and/or other operating systems (optional, only for Raspberry Pi based duplicator). Mr. Brown made a 10-port SD card duplicator (1-to-9) for just under $100. One the …

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Arduino Releases Command Line Interface (CLI) Alpha Preview

arduino-cli

So far, AFAIK the only official ways to program Arduino boards were through the Arduino IDE program, or the cloud-based Arduino Create which works in your web browser and does not require any installation on your computer. While graphical interfaces are nice and user-friendly, many of us are more productive while working using the command line,¬† especially if commands can be scripted. So Arduino decided to work on a command line interface (CLI) for professional users, and have just announced a preview release. arduino-cli works in Windows, Linux, and Mac OS, and allows you install libraries, boards, and cores (e.g. esp32 Arduino core), compile the code, and upload the binary to the target board. If you want to get started quickly, you can download the binary “alpha” releases in the announcement board, but instead I opted to build the client myself as explained on Github. Everything below is done in Ubuntu 18.04. I don’t have a board handy right now, …

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How to Make a Cheap Single Channel Gateway with an ESP32 LoRa Board

ESP32 to ESP32 LoRa Communication

Actual LoRaWAN gateways based on Semtech SX1301 concentrator¬† can be pretty expensive,¬† and even if you take a LoRa gateway design based on Raspberry Pi for indoor placement or experimentation, price is still around $200. A much cheaper way (~$70)¬† is to use a single channel LoRa gateway, which as the name implies only support one channel, which limits the number of nodes, and forces you to set the nodes at the same frequency as your gateway. Those are not really suitable for commercial offerings, but if you manage your own gateway and nodes that should be usable. If you only plan to implement a network with a dozen nodes or so, you could even use much cheap ESP32 LoRa board like the ESP32 LoRa 1-Channel Gateway sold on Sparkfun for $29.95. Hardware specifications: Connectivity WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2 LE via ESP32-WROOM-32 module with integrated PCB antenna LoRa @ 868 / 915 MHz with Hope RFM95W LoRa modem controlled via …

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