Inside a smart Infrared heater


A circuit board with springs.

I've been experimenting with Far Infrared heating. The panel itself is fairly boring technology. A large solid-state "thing" which turns electricity into Infrared energy. But what's the "smarts" in it which allows it to be controlled? TO THE SCREWDRIVERS, ROBIN! There's a single board hiding in the boring grey shell. It's a QNQ010W - which […]

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Gadget Review: ASAKUKI Essential Oil Diffuser - with WiFi!


A diffuser lit up blue and bellowing smoke.

All gadgets have to include WiFi now. That's the law! Does your home smell horrible? Would you like it to smell lovely? Well, friends, the good folk at Asakuki think that I'm the sort of person who knows lots of putrid people. So they sent me this Essential Oil Diffuser. It's pretty plug-and-play. Pour some […]

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Experiments with Far Infrared Heating


LED display with lit up buttons.

What with the situation in the world, I've been trying to reduce our domestic gas consumption. Looking through our smart meter readings, our biggest usage is heating (in winter) followed by hot water (showers and baths) then cooking. We have a Tado smart thermostat which turns the heating off when we're out - but I […]

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Blimey! A WiFi smoke alarm for twenty quid!


Smoke detector and instruction manual.

After my rant a few weeks ago, I finally found a cheap WiFi smoke alarm. A few disclaimers before I get into this review: It was shipped from China, not from the UK as stated. The device doesn't exist on the manufacturer's website. Stock on Amazon keeps appearing and disappearing, so may be difficult to […]

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Whatever happened to IoT smoke alarms?


In app warning that my Nest smoke alarm needs replacing.

I've had a Nest smoke alarm for about 7 years. It connects to my WiFi network and occasionally pings a message to my phone that I've burnt my toast. Nifty! But, due to planned obsolescence regulatory requirements, it needs to be replaced. Back in 2014, the Nest cost £100. In the exciting world of 2021, […]

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How many connected devices do you have at home?


Five years ago, I wrote that I had 30 connected devices at home. How has that changed over the last half-decade? Some of my devices have consolidated. My Eufy security cameras have a hub - so despite having more cameras, They're using fewer IP addresses. Similarly, I've replaced most of my LIFX bulbs with Zigbee […]

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Hacking your Smart Meter - Part 1 - Zigbee


Zigbee menu items.

I have a new Smart Meter to measure my electricity and gas usage. It's the Honeywell AS302P. It's a SMETS2 meter, which means it has a number of interesting features. ALCS (Auxiliary Load Control Switch) - this means that a car charger can be remotely started and stopped based on network demand. DCC connection - […]

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What's the most annoying gadget you own?


A bulb with circuitry.

Let me preface this post by saying that I am a lazy idiot. I have a problem, I keep leaving the fridge door open. I've come home a few times only to discover my half-hearted push hasn't properly closed the door and it has swung back open. Our new house has a built in fridge, […]

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"Alexa? Which bins do I need to take out?" - Reverse engineering the Bexley Council bin collection API


A row of recycling bins.

A few years ago I wrote an Alexa skill to see what bin day it was. The skill only worked with my local council - Oxford. I've since moved house and wanted to recreate the service for my new council - Bexley. Demo Brilliant, eh? The API Bexley Council don't publish an API. I initially […]

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Mixing Hue and Innr Smart Lights


A lot of boxes.

I really wanted to write a rant about how incompatible smart lights are ruining the world. But... errr... Everything just works. Previously on my smarthome adventures, I kitted my house out with LIFX Bulbs and some WisQo Switches. I've moved home and none of my bulbs are compatible with the existing sockets! What else am […]

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