Home Automation and Networking News,Videos and Tutorials

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There are many tutorials and videos on home networking and home automation published each day on the Internet.

These are the ones that I’ve come across and found useful :

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.

Interesting idea- Using Telephone Wiring for Ethernet

Does it Matter?

Matter the home interoperability standard has been delayed till later this year See  Stacey on IOT newsletter for more details

RJ45 Ethernet SnapPlugs -How to Wire Up Ethernet Plugs the EASY WAY! (Cat5e / Cat6 RJ45 Pass Through Connectors)

If you have ever terminated an Ethernet cable you will appreciate Ethernet snapPlugs and wonder why it took so long.

How Amazon Outage Left Smart Homes Not So Smart After All

A recent network outage at Amazon left many people without working smart home devices which is why I prefer local control and not just  cloud control. See here

Motion Sensors Reviewed

Motion Sensors are one of the most popular sensors found in the Home. Here is a video review of some popular sensors.

Wi-Fi 6 Features

What is so good about Wi-Fi v6 and how does it compare to Wi-Fi v5

BLE to MQTT Gateway

Gateway will gather data from BLE devices and send it over MQTT. See here for more details.

Video-Creating a Geofence With Node-Red


Video- Tasmota Node-red and MQTT Project

The project page is here

Video -Simple Keypad for Node-Red Flows

Shelly Switches for Beginners

If you are thinking about using Shelly switches in your project then you will find this review of the different switch types very useful.

Disabling UPnP And Games

Very good writeup for anyone who takes part in online games and is worried about UPnP security. read more

What is Wi-fi 6

Death Of the Wired Light Switch

Timely article and I think a very accurate predication as home lighting is probably one of the first projects most people undertake… read more

Wireless Switch Installation

This video shows how a wireless switch is installed

Light Switch No Wires and No Battery

Interesting video as I had never come across a switch that didn’t require some form of power source.

ZigBee Smart Home Products from..Lidl!? – Lidl Smart Home Review

Two Factor Authentication Without a Smart Phone

You have probably come across two factor authentication already where you login to a site and it send you a code via SMS which you need to type in to access the site.

This tutorial shows you how to do without a smart phone and SMS.

File Sharing on Windows 10

Wi-Fi 6 -Is it Much Faster/

If you are looking into WI-FI 6 devices and wondering it the cost is worth it then have a read of this article first

Control AC Devices with Arduino SAFELY – Relays & Solid State Switches

Very interesting video if you are using arduino for controlling AC powered devices. Arduino starts at about 16:50.

IOT API Basics For Beginners

Node-Red Using the Status Node for Flow Control

Configuring Raspberry Pi as a VPN Server

This is very useful if you need to securely access devices on your home network from the Internet.

Has Broadlink Just Changed The Smart Home Industry Forever?

Interesting video on broadlink devices that don’t require an App and provide a Wi-Fi Mesh.


Understanding Home Router Types for Beginners

Check you local networking speed. -This video shows how to check the speed between your computer and router/switch. It doesn’t show how to check the speed across the network but it is still interesting as it easily overlooked.


Wi-Fi 6 – if you are looking at replacing your Wireless Access point or router and are wondering about wi-Fi 6 or just interested to learn more about it then take a look at this article on Wi-fi 6 -How fast is it.

Presence sense technology detects your presence in a home and adjusts your home accordingly. Interesting idea but not sure what happens when the entire family shows up.. read more here.


75% of US couples fight over the thermostat -I wonder who wins!

The IoT Smarthome Battlefield: – More on the smart home standardisation efforts of Google,Apple etc with a interesting overview of the Zigbee and Thread protocols.
The Smart Home is Too Complicated – Amazon thinks it is still too complex and I agree. However the smart home device market is still growing at a strong rate.

Arduino are introducing a new modular platform targeted as IOT- techcrunch


Apple,Google,Amazon and many others are teaming up to develop a new smart home standard.- The verge

Exactly what will be standardised isn’t known but it will be based around the IP protocol.

However my guess would be that it is device registration and commands so that all devices have a standard way of being discovered and a set of standard commands.

I also can’t help wondering if MQTT-SN will be adopted here.

The work is being undertaken by the Zigbee alliance and there is an FAQ here.

Sonoff have added a new basic device that supports Zigbee and not Wi-Fi.- Notenoughtech

Amazon last year also added Zigbee support in the echo plus. Which means it can be used as a home hub for Zigbee devices. –Alexa developer.

So it looks like Zigbee is establishing itself as the home automation Wireless standard.


If you are thinking of wiring your home you may find this video useful. It takes a different approach to most home wiring videos and shows you how to do it without having to do major renovations afterwards.

Although I probably wouldn’t adopt this for an entire house I did use this approach many years ago for connecting my basement to the rest of the house, but that was before homeplug adapters were available.

The dark side of the cloud -The dangers of relying on free cloud services to control your smart home devices


Good review of he smart home market...link

IKEA have created a new smart home business unit which could see a big increase in smart home offerings.. link

Sonoff have released a new switch called the Sonoff mini which is much smaller than the familiar sonoff basic and more importantly supports DIY mode which lets you use the switch without the Internet

Here is a good video that also shows you how to flash it to Tasmota firmware using OTA upgrade.

The shelly switch is an alternative to sonoff and it supports MQTT without the need for flashing.

It is slightly more expensive that sonoff but even smaller.

Here is a good video that compare the shelly switch to the old Sonoff (not the mini).



  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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