Good and Geeky

David Allen Wizardgold

David Allen Wizardgold

How to Be Good and Geeky One Step at a Time

Nest thermostats and home security cameras

Table of Contents

Good and geeky

My son’s house has a Nest Thermostat and I would be tempted to get one for my house. The cost would be around €250 for the Nest and I would probably have to spend more so I had wifi in the garage for the Nest to work. I have lots of brick walls and solid concrete floors which block a lot of the wifi signal. The trouble is I live in a hot country, well hot in the summer and for the most of the year I don’t use the heating. We have solar panels for the hot water. Even in the winter if the day is sunny it will give hot water. So I am not sure if the technological advantages of the Nest would pay for itself over even the long term. If I got Nest it would be because I wanted the fancy tech gadget. For me that’s a good reason. I also wonder about the noise of the pump if the heating is switched on but not heating the water. The pump keeps on going pushing around the hot water to the radiators – I think so anyway. The question is – Do I want to lash out the cash on this. I am in the process of saving money for the next Apple Mac desktop computer. There is only so much money in the pot and it is necessary to prioritise purchases. I’d love to get my hands on photovoltaic panels and a battery system to generate and store my own electricity too. That can wait though on account of the Spanish government taxing and discouraging solar power.

Maybe I can get the Raspberry Pi into security

I also looked at the cameras from nest and they look great. I wouldn’t want to spend the money on the monthly fees to record the video. It could be good enough to have the notifications when someone arrives at the door and be able to talk with them from the app. I doubt if they are HomeKit compatible but that might not matter. Perhaps I’ll work on the Raspberry Pi I have to set up a camera. It will take more work to set it up. That’s part of the fun though. I even have one of those dummy security camera units in which I will put the camera. The last project I did with the Raspberry Pi was to make a home made Amazon Echo. It worked a treat except for it not having built in speakers and nor was it able to listen always for the command. I did have speakers connected externally. That leads me to mention the Google Home device which is not available in Spain. It has been reviewed as working well, but is still a work in progress. It looks nicer that the Amazon Echo anyway. I still wonder if Apple will bring something like this to the table at some point. My son and I wonder if there is much point in these home devices? When you have a phone in your pocket with which you can talk to Siri or to OK Google why do you need a standalone device?

A cheaper option for security camera

So Should I Take Steps to Have an Automated House?

For the security end of things I think it’s going to be good idea to have something in place. Last week I did hear there was a house broken into in the neighbourhood. It will be worthwhile to have motion detectors and cameras. All need something that will alert me if something is moving in the house and give me pictures. I want to have alerts sent to my phone and I’ll decide if I need to ring the police if I’m away from the house. Seeing as I have the Raspberry Pi already I can give that Raspberry Pi Home security system a try first. If it is up to the job then I’ll stick with it and possibly buy more raspberry Pi computers to add more cameras. Otherwise I’ll have a look at various security systems and see what they offer. My neighbour has one which seems to be quite good and it sends an SMS message if there is something happening around the house that shouldn’t be. There are a lot of possibilities with cameras and Internet of things devices. It would be nice to have Home Kit to compatible devices to give me perfect compatibility with my Apple based system. I have another thing to look into called Home Bridge which makes various devices work with home Kit.

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