I have been a big fan of SonicWall products for the last 18 years. Even after being taken over by Dell, I still use Sonicwall in my office and at home. You may say its overkill to have one in my home, but I tend to model my home lab environment to my office environment. I like to think of my home network as a sandbox for testing things in the office.
This year we are making a big push for better security around the office and one topic that came up was the office WiFi. Currently the office Wifi shares the same LAN connection as the rest of the network. Even worse there is only one SSID for both the staff and guests. Even worse than that the SSID password has not been changed for 10+ years!
A project was commissioned to segment the WiFi network from the LAN, however it is important to allow the staff that works in the office access to the LAN via WiFi when needed.
Sonicwall – I have a NSA2600, but any modern NSA device will do. If you’re not sure which Sonicwall to purchase, this is a great starter.
Welcome to part two of my post. Previously I spoke about building a security system using a Raspberry Pi Zero and MotioneyeOS. (Read Here) I built and installed the system in February and it was working great. I even caught some Ass-Hat driving over my lawn and trash (Read Here). I ran into one issue with this system. Once Summer was here and the outside temperatures hit 90° (32°c) The processor temperature of the Pi Zero was topping 161° (72°C) and lack of cooling was causing my Pi Zeros to crash
According to the Raspberry Pi foundation the boards are specked to approach 80°C but mine were failing in the mid 70’s. So now to work on a solution.
How to cool your outdoor Motioneye camera
My first attempt was an obvious one – Paint the camera white.
The waterproof boxes I was using to house the camera had a clear cover. To reduce the amount of sunlight, I simply painted the box white
Painting the box was helpful and kept the system cooler , but it still wasn’t enough. The next step was to vent the box simply by drilling a few small holes at the bottom. I know this compromises my “waterproof” concept, but I am hedging my bets if any rain water was to enter the box, it would remain at the bottom and not touch the electronics.
Still not good enough! I want to add a fan, but I only want the fan to run when the CPU hits a specific temperature. There is no need to run the fan on cool nights or during the winter. So I decided to use the GPIO pins on the PI Zero to control the fan.
Controlling the cooling fan via GPIO pins
5 Volt cooling fan
1 NPN Transistor
1 1KΩ Resistor (or equivalent)
Soldering iron / solder
How to assemble
Its probably not a good idea to connect a fan directly to one of the GPIO pins, so I used a simple transistor and resistor to help limit the current being drawn via the pin
Camera systems are so inexpensive these days that it may make sense to purchase a Zmodoor Arlo system from Amazon and call it a day. What fun would that be? I love making little electronic projects and then improving on them as I go. Rather than install a pre-packaged surveillance system, motioneye here we come.
My system consists of four Raspberry Pi units running MotioneyeOS. Three of the four units are Pi Zeros that are my actual cameras, and the fourth is a Pi 3 that aggregates the feeds to one central monitoring station. The benefit of this is there is only one IP/domain that needs to be accessed in order to monitor all the cameras on my system. Continue reading “Motioneye Raspberry Pi Zero Security System”
I have been making mason jar night lights for at least 10 years. I try to make them in various colors and styles. In addition to my Sun & Moon, Red, Green, White, Purple and Flickering Candle I have now added Emerald Green!
I know LED’s can be programmed for any color of the rainbow, however there is still something special about the standard 5mm led. I enjoy finding unique colors and adding them to my creations.
These emerald green buggers are truly a special color. Just look at the image below that shows the contrast between the emerald green and standard led.
Coming soon in another post I’m going to detail how I made a home surveillance system using a few Pi Zero’s, MotioneyeOS and some odds and ends around the house. The system is partially up and running with one camera on the house since the beginning of January and I have already captured a few interesting clips.
This particular one is of an ass hat making a k-turn in my driveway, driving over my lawn and then proceeding to run down my trash.
Cleaning out the basement yet again I stumbled on an old 20″ iMac. By today’s standards this thing is a huge piece of junk. 250GB hard drive, 1GB RAM, Core 2 processor. At 11 years old its better suited as a boat anchor then a functional computer. However the standard equipment iMac Keyboard does function as a blue tooth keyboard and can be used with other devices.
I happen to like the iMac keyboard, it feels a little small at first, however once you get accustomed to the feel it makes a great companion to any device.
The keyboard is relatively easy to pair to your device if you follow these simple steps.
Laptops and Notebook computers cost a fraction of what they did years ago. A decent general purpose laptop can be had today for around $500. However as time marches on our older computers can begin to feel slower due to more resource demanding applications and operating systems.
Maybe its not time to toss out that used laptop! With some easy modifications you can spruce up your laptop and get a few more years of good service life out of it.
Modern cars offer a ton of on board self diagnostic equipment to help point us in the right direction when things begin to fail. However it seems that most auto manufactures would prefer the diagnosis of the dreaded “check engine” light left to the professionals. I don’t believe this should be the case. If you own the car you should be able to diagnose issues and make decisions on how and where to have them repaired.
Fix your check engine light with a $20 ODB2 scanner
During my college days I worked in Radio Shack part time to help pay the bills. Its unfortunate Radio Shack has gone extinct, however when you are unable to adapt to the changes in the market only the strong will survive. During my career at The Shack one of the products that fascinated me was the police scanner. I spent hours behind the counter dialing up different frequencies and listing to calls all over New York City.
It was the dawn of the digital tuner age where a listener could punch up a frequency for police or fire and be right in the action. 476.3875 – BOOM.. you’re listening to NYPD! 482.04375 – Fire dispatch on the air! A few more clicks of the keypad and 482.2437 EMS is coming in loud and clear
If your parents are like mine they are tech savvy enough to get by. What I mean by that is they know how to launch Fire Fox and surf the web, maybe play checkers or chess and print a few documents when necessary. The problem arises when something goes wrong with their computer. Maybe they click on something they shouldn’t and get a virus or malware infection. Then again a Microsoft update could change some setting they are not familiar with and causes stress and a phone call to you. These days you have your own family and live an hour away from your parents and really can’t make the trip back home right now. This is where a remote solution comes into play!
Next time you are at your parents house, install one of these remote solutions and be prepared for the dreaded “my computer is broken” phone call.
Microsoft’s free video-calling software doubles as a very decent screen sharing program. Although you can’t directly interact with your friend’s desktop or take control of their computer yourself, you can view their screen as you both continue speaking, which makes the troubleshooting process more straightforward. And with the recent revamp of its appearance, Skype is easier to use than ever. SKYPE.COM
Chrome Remote Desktop
This extension for Google Chrome can go beyond the web browser to share anything on a computer screen with someone else. Chrome Remote Desktop gives one user full control over the other computer for an experience almost like sitting in front of your mom’s machine. CHROME REMOTE DESKTOP
Businesses use the professional TeamViewer tool, but it’s simple enough for anyone to use. And for personal, use—like helping out Dad with computer problems, it’s also free. It allows full control of the remote system TEAMVIEWER.US
Remember when installing any remote viewing tools to keep passwords safe and out of prying eyes. Other than its nice to visit Mom and Dad for a few hours and fix their computer, a remote solution can come in handy when time is short or distance is long.