Motioneye Raspberry Pi Zero Security System

Camera systems are so inexpensive these days that it may make sense to purchase a Zmodo or 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”

Weekend Project – Clean The Echo GT-2000 Exhaust Port.

I purchased my Echo GT-2000 trimmer almost 18 years ago and it has served me well. I’m usually if it ain’t broke don’t fix it kind of guy and haven’t done any maintenance on my GT-2000 ever. For the last 18 years its been pull the cord and start on the first try! That is until this season. I was able to get the trimmer running but it would stall the instant I would throttle it up.

Thinking to myself this is the end for the GT-2000, I actually started to look for a replacement. I looked  in Lowes and Home Depot but they weren’t selling the Echo brand. I decided to take a chance on fixing the unit and began looking for possible causes.

The Exhaust Was Oily and Black

Continue reading “Weekend Project – Clean The Echo GT-2000 Exhaust Port.”

MotioneyeOS Cam Working As Designed, Catches Ass-Hat driving over my lawn & trash!

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.

Where did you learn to drive?

Continue reading “MotioneyeOS Cam Working As Designed, Catches Ass-Hat driving over my lawn & trash!”

Weekend Project – Check Your Check Engine Light For $20

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.

ODB2 PORT

Fix your check engine light with a $20 ODB2 scanner

Continue reading “Weekend Project – Check Your Check Engine Light For $20”

Remote Fix Your Parents Computer (from the comfort of your own home)

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!

Remote Solutions

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.

Skype

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

TeamViewer

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.

Thank you for reading my blog,
Joe

 

BONDO – Its not just for 1970 auto body repair!

If you’re as old as I am you may remember some of the auto body repair techniques of the late 70’s and early 80’s. It was an era of body fill ,shape and repair rather than today’s replace replace replace.  While Bondo is still used in the automotive industry there are so many other uses for this stuff its ridiculous.

What I like most about Bondo is the fact it will not harden in the can and you are able to store it almost indefinitely. The other amazing quality about this stuff is it hardens  and is ready for sanding and paint in under 15 minutes.

Repairing The Porch With Bondo!

Recently I noticed the columns holding up my covered front porch were showing signs of rotting at the very bottom. Apparently some of the caulking around the top of the column weathered and was allowing moisture in the pole and causing rot.
Continue reading “BONDO – Its not just for 1970 auto body repair!”

Weekend Project – 2011-2014 Dodge Charger Backup Camera Replacement

Over the last few months the backup camera on my wife’s 2014 Dodge Charger has been intermittently failing to send picture to the console display. The radio / head unit is functioning normally for climate control functions and AM/FM/ and Satellite is working OK too, so I began to troubleshoot the wiring.

During the troubleshooting process, with the backup camera active I disconnected the unit from the cars wiring harness and then reconnected it. At that point the camera begins transmitting again. (think reboot) The next time the camera is activated it fails once again.

This leads me to believe the unit is bad and needs to be replaced. A call to the Dodge dealership quoted me a price of over $350 for parts and labor. I quickly sourced the part on Amazon for around $170

OEM – Mopar  2011-2014 Dodge Charger / Chrysler 300 Backup Camera – $169 at Amazon

 

Tools you can use:

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Securifi Almond Wifi Router, Extender, Access Point – Review

About two weeks ago Amazon had their annual Prime Day 24+ hour sale, and like many Prime members I was looking for some bargains. Recently my family had been complaining that the WiFi signal in the upstairs of my home was not strong enough. At times they would find a better data signal on the cellular network causing everyone to use a ton of extra data each month. I decided I was going to give the Securifi Almond+ a try if it was on sale during Prime Day.

If you read my blog regularly you may have noticed I wrote an article regarding Google’s mesh Wifi System. The Google system is excellent and I highly recommend it for most home users, and at $270 for 3 units the price is great too. However in my case Google Wifi was not going to cut it because I wanted to keep my primary router. (Google wants to take over the entire home network)

RELATED READING- GOOGLE WIFI ONLY FOR BASIC USERS

Introducing the Securifi Almond+

Continue reading “Securifi Almond Wifi Router, Extender, Access Point – Review”

Weekend Project – Wash & Wax Your Car!

If you frequently read this blog you know I enjoy computers and I am also fond of cars. For the last 20 years I especially enjoy wasting some time on a Saturday or Sunday detailing my ride.  I feel the art of detailing cars has been lost. Most drivers tend to visit the car wash and let the automatic machines pound the dirt off the finish. I’m not saying that the car wash is a horrible place to take your precious ride, however a hand wash and wax in the driveway is the kinder gentler approach to keeping your vehicle looking like new!

The Wash: – Supplies

All soaps are not created equal. When washing your car use a soap that is specifically designed for the task. Dish soap or Mr. Clean are NOT good choices since they tend to strip any wax or protectant that may already be present.

My favorite soap is ArmorAll Wash & Wax. They claim it adds a coating of Carnauba Wax while it washes. In all the years I have used this stuff I have never seen it add a “Wax” coating to the paint, however it at least doesn’t strip the wax off the paint.   It’s also relatively inexpensive at about $14.00 for a large bottle.

You are also going to need a good bucket, preferably one that has a segregated wash and rinse side. Or this cool bucket I found. It has a screen at the bottom for filtering out the dirt as well as casters to easily roll the bucket from one side of the car to the other.  Automobile paint is easily scratched and the grime coming off the car can easily scratch the paint if not rinsed completely. Its a bit pricey at $44.99, but your cars finish is worth it!

They make plenty of different car wash cloths, hand sponges and Microfiber towels to do the washing. I prefer to use an old T-shirt as my cloth of choice. However if you need a good wash cloth you can’t go wrong with Microfiber. Only $14 for two dozen!

The Wash: – Procedure

Continue reading “Weekend Project – Wash & Wax Your Car!”

Weekend Project – Broken Stick Hockey Trainer

Trainer

My children love Ice Hockey! Basically in my house its all hockey all the time. When they are not on the ice for games or practice,  street hockey in front of my house will do. On many occasions we have had sticks break under the stress of vigorous play and we tend to keep broken sticks around and re purpose them for other fun projects.

Today I will show you how to make this cool stick handling trainer out of a few scrap parts you may have laying around.

Materials:

StickBroken WOODEN street hockey stick

 

2x Hockey pucks Continue reading “Weekend Project – Broken Stick Hockey Trainer”