L8 Lateness


Since the very beginning of https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/l8smartlight/l8-smartlight-the-soundless-speaker/ the founders of this project/company have been appalingly slow in responding to *anything*.

The product was delivered close to 2 years behind schedule, and in many cases backers had to plead for updates, and would often get one update every 2 to 3 months.

Suffice to say, the final product is somewhat lacking. But hey, it’s Kickstarter, so I’m not expecting an Apple class product. I am expecting decent communications from a company that has a Marketing and PR expert as a Co-Founder though.

One of my units was defective, so I emailed them for replacement guidance. A month and half later they emailed me with instructions…

It was subsequently posted, and I heard nothing. A month later I emailed to ask if they’d received it. Nothing. A month and a half later again, I email to demand a response. Still nothing.

So here’s my solution, there’s three co-founders, and they have a somewhat limited public presence. The best that I can glean is what’s listed below.

I’ve messaged 2 of them several weeks ago regarding my replacement unit, and they’ve not bothered to reply. What other L8 victims do with this information is now up to them.

Carlos Kuchkovsky – Co-founder – Software Design



Carlos Conejero – Co-founder – Industrial Design


Alvaro Martinez Esteve – Co-founder – Marketing & PR



ESP8266 Links


What with the recent buzz around the latest ESP8266 chips, I thought I should compile a list of handy links here…

The manufacturer of ESP8266 – http://espressif.com/
Manufacturer discussion forum – http://bbs.espressif.com/

Community forum – http://www.esp8266.com/
Lua based firmware – http://nodemcu.com/index_en.html
Discussion regarding MQTT on the ESP8266 – https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/mqtt/Uy985KUpG64
ESP8266 Github wiki – https://github.com/esp8266/esp8266-wiki/wiki
Working GCC Toolchain – https://github.com/esp8266/esp8266-wiki/wiki/Toolchain
Open source SDK – https://github.com/pfalcon/esp-open-sdk
Native DHT22 and LED I/O using Lua – http://harizanov.com/2014/11/esp8266-powered-web-server-led-control-dht22-temperaturehumidity-sensor-reading/

Buy one (UK) – http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00O9DSZBA/?tag=thelod-21

Avaya 4621SW Config by DHCP


I’ve been fiddling with an Avaya 4621SW IP phone recently, and I wondered if it would be more appropriate to pass settings to it via DHCP options, rather than editing the 46xxsettings.txt file that it always downloads via TFTP.

Previously I had the following in my 46xxsettings.txt file

SET SIPDOMAIN glasgownet.com
SET SIPPROXYSRVR voip.vpn.glasgownet.com
SET SNTPSRVR pool.ntp.org

In an effort to transition this to DHCP, after a few minutes of experimenting this was the final outcome that went in to the top of my Debian dhcpd.conf file. It handles the Option 176 that Avaya phones use to get parameters passed to them.

option space Avaya;
site-option-space “Avaya”;
option Avaya.custom code 176 = string;
option Avaya.custom “SNTPSRVR=pool.ntp.org,SIPPROXYSRVR=voip.vpn.glasgownet.com,SIPDOMAIN=glasgownet.com”;

The last line there contains my SIP server settings as I’m using the SIP software stack on the phone. Equally, I’ve tested the following with the H323 firmware, and it works too

option Avaya.custom “MCIPADD=,MCPORT=1719,TFTPSRVR=,L2Q=1,L2QVLAN=10″;

Now, http://www.voip-info.org/wiki/view/Avaya+4602+configuration states that the 4602s can be configured independently by manipulating sip_.txt, but I’ve yet to see any requests for those files. Worst case scenario is that I embed SIP_USERNAME1 and SIP_PASSWORD1 into option 176 for each client. Nasty…

Compiling boblightd on Ubuntu Trusty


Some notes regarding the installation of Boblightd on Ubuntu Trusty

mkdir ~/src/
sudo apt-get install portaudio19-dev libusb-dev libusb-1.0-0-dev libx11-dev libxrender-dev libxext-dev libgl1-mesa-dev
svn checkout http://boblight.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/ ~/src/boblight
cd ~/src/boblight/
./configure –prefix=/usr
make install

Restore /etc/init.d/boblightd from backups
chmod +x /etc/init.d/boblightd
update-rc.d boblightd defaults

Restore /etc/boblight.conf from backups

MQTT to Zabbix Gateway


For a while now I’ve been wanting to try and monitor home automation parameters by using Zabbix. I already use it to monitor, graph and alert on servers and services at work and at home, so it was a logical extension to use it for home automation. I hope to deploy TinyTX sensors around the house, and by using my mqtt-rfm12b gateway I *should* be able monitor and alert on their battery voltages when things start to run a bit low. Firstly though, something is required to push the data from MQTT to Zabbix.

The first thing that you’ll need is a working Zabbix instance. This is somewhat outside the scope of this blog post, and the documentation is fairly good. You’ll need a host configured, so add one and give it a name, or alternatively use localhost that I think Zabbix comes preconfigured with.

Clone my mqtt-zabbix repository, and you’ll find a XML Zabbix template that can be imported into your Zabbix install (import via Configuration -> Templates). It won’t do anything drastic other than 10 or so Zabbix keys.

Once the import is completed, Configuration -> Templates will contain a template called “Template App MQTT”. This has the 10 items, all of which can be edited to suit. The important part is the “Key” – which must match what you put in the keys.csv later on. Simply put, when Zabbix receives data with a specific key, it gets stored against the item with that key defined. It’s not terribly complicated :-)

If you’re happy with Zabbix and the template import, follow the mqtt-zabbix README to get the rest of it installed. It’s really just a glorified script with some init scripts. Put all the files in the right places, edit keys.csv to match between your MQTT topic and your Zabbix key name, and start the application.

mqtt-zabbix subscribes to the root wildcard topic at /# so possibly isn’t very efficient on systems with massive amounts of traffic, but for home use it’s quite sufficient. I may change this method of working at a later date. In the meantime, the moment something arrives at your topic it will be forwarded on to Zabbix. A log of the event will also be found at  /var/log/mqtt-zabbix.log and it will tell you if the key was successfully inserted or not.

To view your data in Zabbix, click on the host, click on Latest Data, and it should be listed under – Other -. You can then choose the graph option on the right, or you can edit your own custom graphs and include the MQTT items.

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