Categories
Home Automation

Is this $5 Smart Bulb the Best bang for your buck??

So I was walking through Walmart the other day and on the end cap between Hardware and Electronic (a very fitting place for this) I found this little nugget of Gold!

For just $5 ($4.66 since it is Walmart) I was able to add this puppy to my collection. The Merkury Innovations Smart WI-Fi LED Bulb which appear to be made by Greeni.

You can purchase the same one on their website located here and the color one for $12 here.

Now I must admit that my expectations were really low considering the cheapest LED smart bulb I had ever encountered before was the IKEA TRADFRI which starts at $12 a bulb.

Upon first inspection the bulb itself felt like it should and is about the same weight as the TRADFRI. Upon plugging it in the light turns on like normal and then starts to blink… I assume this is a pairing mode. The instructions want you to install a smart controller app called Greeni App which looked oddly enough like the same screen that Smart Life or Tuya use.

Having a few products that work with Tuya I thought what the heck and opened my app. As soon as I did it found the smart bulb and asked if I wanted to add it to my managed devices which I did and because of that it was automatically added into my Google Home…. Bonus Point!!

From my app I was able to control the brightness and even turn it on and off which is awesome.

For now I am very happy with this decision and I think if you want to get into the smart home market this is a great way to start. All you need is the Device and WiFi. Now if you want to get fancy with automation and rules you can start to do that from the app, however there are limitations.

If you are interested in learning how to do more complex automation reach out to me using the Contact us form.

Categories
Home Assistant Home Automation Z Wave

UPDATE!! Home Assistant: Open Z Wave Add-in 0.5.0 not working

So I just ran into this issue with my Home Assistant Setup. I logged in for the first time in about a week and found that I had an update available for the Open Z Wave Add-On. Oddly enough the check box that says Auto Update does nothing.

Anyway so I updated thinking everything would be okay….. WRONG!!!

After doing the upgrade and rebooting the appliance the Open Z Wave admin console would fail to load and the service would not start. I tried several times as that is normally what I have to do. Which by the way the the start on boot up also never works.

I checked the Home Assistant forums and found this thread. It turns out that the the issue is actually with MQTT. Apparently MQTT is presenting an invalid response which is causing Open Z Wave to barf. One of the options listed was to use an MQTT Browser to delete the entry and that has worked for some people to varying levels of success.

It did not work for me, but here is what I did:

  • Back up your configurations before you do any of this.
  • Step 1: Uninstall Open Z Wave from Supervisor > Add-ons
  • Step 2: Uninstall MQTT
  • Step 3: Reboot Home Assistant hardware
  • Step 4: Install MQTT again and make sure it is configured and then Start the services.
  • Step 5: Install Open Z Wave and make sure it is pointing to the correct ZWave Antenna and start service.

I then checked the Z Wave log to make sure the error was gone (and it was!!)

UPDATE!! Within about an hour of making this post I discovered that my whole Zwave setup was not working and the service eventually crashed. This morning I ended up doing a fresh install and I was able to pull down OpenZwave 0.5.1 and that seems to be working. I will update once I have more information.

I hope you found this post helpful, and if so please share with your friends.

Categories
Home Lab Virtualization Vmware

Home Lab 2.0 – The Beast

Continuing on our series on my Home lab we now move into present day. Well…. a few months ago at least. As I mentioned in my previous post about my Razor Blade 15, I used that as my home lab until I was able to procure parts for my current hyper converged VMware Home Lab.

Below is my part list for The Beast:

Once all the parts came in I managed to get it all hooked up relatively quickly and without issue. I must admit that this is the first time I have ever used a Noctua Cooler, but it is whisper quiet, and nowhere near as expensive as I thought it would be.

So moving away from the hardware I then installed Window 10 and after 4 hours or so of Windows updates I was finally able to install VMware Workstation Pro 15. Well, almost…. it turns out that Virtualization Support was not enabled by default. But I can get into that at a later time. I then built out a Domain Controller (another 4 hours of Windows Updates) and 3 Virtual hosts (no Windows Updates). Once the hosts were built I then deployed a VCSA appliance.

Now I think I have everything I will need to play with VMware Products. That is until I remembered I don’t have Shared Storage for my Virtual hosts. What ever will I do?!

Stay tuned for my next post in this series, especially if you are looking to build a home lab on the cheap.

I hope you found this helpful and if so please share it with your friends, we could really use your support.

Categories
Virtualization Vmware

Whats new in Pricing, Metering, and Reporting:…

Whats new in Pricing, Metering, and Reporting: June 2020 Update

Whats new in Pricing, Metering, and Reporting:…

We just started the first webinar in the “Whats new in Cloud Provider Pricing, Metering, and Reporting” series. In this blog we’ll visit what was discussed and as well as provide the action items that partners can perform today to plan ahead or make monthly reporting easier. We’ll cover what’s […]


VMware Social Media Advocacy

Categories
Virtualization Vmware

DevOps: Culture – Collaboration, Empowerment,…

DevOps: Culture – Collaboration, Empowerment, Autonomy

DevOps: Culture – Collaboration, Empowerment,…

Organizations that have successfully transformed their technology delivery through DevOps consistently recognize that it requires much more than tool and process change. We repeatedly find that leading indicators for DevOps success correlate directly with cultural changes required to support […]


VMware Social Media Advocacy

Categories
Virtualization Vmware

Kubernetes as a Service

Kubernetes as a Service

Kubernetes as a Service. How you can request, deploy and manage Kubernetes Clusters and Namespaces with vRealize Automation using the self-service catalog.


VMware Social Media Advocacy

Categories
Virtualization Vmware

Join VMware at the AWS Public Sector Summit Online

Join VMware at the AWS Public Sector Summit Online

Government agencies with their sights set on IT modernization will reap great value from attending the AWS Public Sector Summit Online. We’ll see you in the Partner Discovery Zone!


VMware Social Media Advocacy

Categories
Virtualization Vmware

How to patch Intel NUC 10 with latest ESXi 7.0…

How to patch Intel NUC 10 with latest ESXi 7.0 update?

How to patch Intel NUC 10 with latest ESXi 7.0…

vSphere 7.0b was just released last week and one of the important fixes was to resolve an issue where Nested ESXi VMs were crashing upon powering on an inner-guest VM. This looks to have also affect newer generations of CPUs including Intel’s 10th Gen Comet Lake which is also found in the latest […]


VMware Social Media Advocacy

Categories
Raspberry PI Raspbian Tools VMUG

VMUG Controller and how I finally got it working

So a last year one of the projects I was working on that consumed me was trying to set up a VMUG Controller. The VMUG Controller is a Raspberry Pi appliance that allows you to check in and events and has a printer to print out a name badge. The whole system is a closed environments which means to access the web page you need to be connected to the vmugc Wifi. The whole process for setup has been very well documented by Dan Barr of the Central PA VMUG. You can find the instructions here on his Github.

However no matter how good the instructions are there are a few issues that need to be addressed.

Hardware: You need to use either a Raspberry Pi 2 or Pi 3 B+

Operating System: Rasbian Jessie – In order for the installation script to work you need to find the right version of Raspbian Jessie (I think this is the right version). If not you can find older versions of Rasbian here.

Do not Update the OS or this will break the whole thing. You will also need to install PHP7 as Jessie only has PHP 5 which you can find instructions on how to do that below.

How to install php7 on Raspbian
://help.nextcloud.com/t/upgrade-php5-to-php7-on-raspbian-jessie-8-0/24537

Once this is complete you can proceed with following the installation script.

Once the install has completed you will then see the new WiFi SSID VMUGC which you will need to connect to in order to access the web page.

After that it should just work.

I hope you found this post helpful, If so please share it with your friends. We could really use the support and to get the word out there.

Categories
Virtualization Vmware

VMware Cloud on AWS – Getting Started Hands-on Lab

VMware Cloud on AWS – Getting Started Hands-on Lab

VMware Cloud on AWS Hands-on Lab. Hands-on Labs are the fastest and easiest way to test-drive the full technical capabilities of VMware products. These evaluations are free, up and running on your browser in minutes, and require no installation.


VMware Social Media Advocacy