Nest Protect smoke/CO2 detector

When I installed the ADT Pulse system in 2011, it came with monitored smoke/heat and CO2 detectors. Since then I’ve been paying the monthly monitoring fee to ADT and have had to deal with inexplicable false alarms (usually in the middle of the night and ADT’s answer was always “just change the battery”). This was …

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hp Pavilion 24-r014 All-in-One PC

For the past few months our family PC (the Dell XPS 18 all-in-one) had been giving my daughter fits. It was time for a change. I looked at the latest Dell all-in-ones but wasn’t able to find one that acted like a tablet like the XPS 18. It was pretty convenient for my daughter to …

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Rachio sprinkler controller

Earlier this month while visiting my in-laws I helped my father-in-law connect his Rainbird ESP-Me sprinkler controller to his wireless network and then showed him how to use the mobile app on his Android phone. After doing this I realized: I’m the techie/networking/home automation/IoT guy in the family … why haven’t I installed an internet-enabled sprinkler controller …

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Amazon Echo

For Father’s Day I got an Amazon Echo, Amazon’s voice-activated smart home speaker. You may know it (her?) as Alexa. If you’ve followed the blog, or even just glanced at it, you know I love tech gadgets and am also no stranger to dabbling in home automation so the Echo has been a fun toy to play …

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Nest 3rd gen learning thermostat

I’ve been wanting to try the Nest learning thermostat since the first one was released back in 2012. At the time, though, I had just installed my ADT Pulse and Z-Wave home automation system. Putting in the Nest would mean using a separate app to control my home’s temperature outside of Pulse with no integration …

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Intel NUCs

Since getting my standing desk at home last last year I’ve been thinking about getting a new, smaller PC that would fit on top of my desk instead of under it (like my old Dell Inspiron from 2008), eliminating cable clutter.  With the upcoming release of Windows 10 I had been thinking more about this and also replacing …

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Dell XPS 18

Our family laptop (an hp Envy 14 Beats Edition) has taken a beating (no pun intended!) over the past few years and recently (thanks to be carried around by the screen by my daughter) the LCD has gone wonky, requiring a bunch of futzing to get the display to work properly. The recent tax-free weekend here …

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Dropcam Pro

More cameras as my replacement project continues! I’ve been using the TRENDnet TV-IP422W cameras inside for the past few years but really hadn’t been using their pan-tilt-zoom features. Rather than replace them with fixed, high-resolution PoE cameras like the TV-IP572PI and continue to possibly overload my ZoneMinder installation, I decided to give the Dropcam Pro a try.

Ubiquiti UniFi AP

My current home wireless setup had been in-place and stable for about two years. And while everything was working fine, my incessant need to tinker was overpowering so I decided to do a little re-design and simplification. The real reason for the re-org was because I wanted to try out the Ubiquiti UniFi AP, an 802.11n …

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