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October 3 2022


Welcome to the newsletter

Matter has been in the news recently and so I thought I would start the newsletter with a quick overview and some resources

Matter, formerly Project Connected Home over IP (CHIP), is a royalty-free home automation connectivity standard.Matter aims to reduce fragmentation across different vendors, and achieve interoperability among smart home devices and Internet of things (IoT) platforms from different providers. WikI

This video gives a good overview

This article explains Matter in more detail

Matter explained

Although it has been delayed there are devices appearing with the Matter logo but if you’ve been waiting for Matter then you might be disappointed

5 ways Matter will disappoint users at launch

Matter will only run on IPV6 networks with should be a problem as almost all modern devices and operating systems support IPv6.

You can find an overview of IPv6 on my other site here. I will be adding a tutorial to this site specifically for home networks in due course.

Quick Question on IPv4

If we incorrectly configure two hosts which are on the same physical network with the following IP addresses and mask.

Host 1 IP= Mask
Host 2 IP= Mask

Then host 1 thinks it is on network 192.168.1 and host 2 thinks it is on the network 192.168.

So what will happen if host1 tries to talk a host3 with IP address

If you don’t know the answer then you may want to read more about subnets here

Routers and switches

There seems to be confusion regarding these two devices and so I will be doing a quick tutorial and maybe a video soon. In the meantime I just wanted to say that there should be only 1 router on your home network. All other Ethernet devices should be switches.

Of course there will be exceptions but not many.

Two Routers on The Same Home Network

Let me know what you think and what else you would find useful. Again please use the suggestions page

That’s all for now.

Best Regards


September 19 2022


Welcome to the newsletter

With the growing number of people now working from home there is a growing need to have a second internet connection and the most common way of doing this is using mobile.

Backup Internet For Home Networks

One of the trickiest networking concepts is that of ports and I attempt to demystify this in

Network Ports Explained

I made the decision several years ago to purchase Sonoff Wireless switches but would I do the same today? I’ve put together some research notes that may be of help if you are looking at Wi-Fi switches.

Sonoff vs Shelly Quick Guide and Research Notes

Home Automation Survey Results

I’ve closed the poll but will probably run it again early next year to see if the landscape has change but the clear winner was Home Assistant followed by Google Home.


A tweet to Think About


Let me know what you think and what else you would find useful. Again please use the suggestions page

That’s all for now.

Best Regards


September 5 2022

I just came a cross and article – 30 key Pros and Cons of Smart Homes Which i thought interesting and is well worth a read.

I have created a summary table below:



increase in convenience Significant installation costs
Full control over all smart appliances with only one device Reliable internet connection is crucial
Higher quality of life Security issues
Notifications in case of trouble Technological problems in connected homes
Energy savings You may lock yourself out of your own house
Safety improvements compared to conventional locks Helplessness if technology fails
Smart homes may be suitable for disabled persons Some people may not like smart technologies
Resale value might increase Maintenance and repair issues
  Compatibility problems between devices
  Technology may become outdated soon
  Privacy concerns


September 5 2022

A while ago I bought my mother some very inexpensive remote controlled sockets like these

She has a habit of turning her TV and standing lights off at the plug before she goes to bed so I thought it would make it easier.

Anyway after a few months she was still turning them off manually so I installed them in my house as the wife likes lots of table and standing lamps.

I must admit they work great and using a small remote is far easier than doing it from a mobile phone.

Doesn’t work with Alexa , Google home etc but I find them incredibly practical and well worth considering especially if you have elderly relatives.

23 August 2022 -Video- Static vs Dynamic IP Addresses

22 August 2022

If you have ever needed to set up port forwarding on your home router you will have encountered ports.

But what exactly are they? You can find out more in my  understanding port forwarding tutorial.

20 August 2022


Do you know how your network is configured? If you don’t then it will be very difficult to fault find. So if you haven’t documented your network you should do so now before you get a problem.

It doesn’t have to be elaborate or incredibly detailed or done all at once but the more information you have on the network layout and components then the better.

You can find out more in my tutorial documenting your Home Network.

Segmenting the Home Network

I’ve  created two tutorial on this with guest networks and VLANs.

Here is an article from Stacey on IOT which covers mesh networks and extenders to segment a network.


  1. Hi Steve,
    May I ask you a question?
    I have 8 dashboard switches on my NR-dashboard. Every switch present a value in byte order. So the first switch must send a 1, the next 2, 4, 8. I want to add all the values of these switches to 1 number (0-255). If I unswitch an switch I want to substract that order value from the total. So the value represents the state of these 8 switches. I
    My problem: If i change a switch, how can I scan all those others switches to get the total value?
    Canb you help me? Kind regards

    1. Hi
      You need to store the value of each switch in a context variable and using a function node. You ca also store the sum. When one switch changes just update the sum.
      This may help

      If you are still stuck let me know and I’ll put together a simple flow using inject nodes to simulate the switches.

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