Welcome to my little place on the web.

I'm a software developer and occasionally when time allows, I like to blog about my various coding project here. I also like to tinker with home automation, retro gaming and more.

I have also shared some of my software, which I hope may be of use to others. It's on my software page.

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Multi-room Audio with ChromeCast Audio and Lepy (Poor man's Sonos)

I currently have an ageing TEAC AG-980 amplifier that has 4 zones. I have never been that happy with it. I had planned to use the serial port to control it via HouseBot home automation software, but I could never get this to work, so had to resort to IR to control that could be very temperamental at times.


I had looked, from time to time, to see about upgrading to something better, like Sonos for example, but I cou... read more

World Weather Online plugin for HouseBot updated to version 1.0.4

Just made an update to the World Weather Online plugin for HouseBot.


Thanks to some investigation from TonyG over on the HouseBot forums, it come to light that the api key version has changed on the website, and breaks the plugin. The new v2 key uses a new URL and the response XML is different.

Because of this I have updated the code to support both v1 and v2 api's. So if you're still using the old api key, there is no need to upgrade, however you can if you want.

Head over to the s... read more

USB motion sensor to wake Kitchen touchscreen using a Arduino and PIR

Now that I have the touch screen fitted in the Kitchen, I needed a convenient way to wake the tablet. I was hoping that just swiping the screen would wake it up, but unfortunately not.


After a little bit of internet searching, I came across a blog entry on dotmana.com. The site goes through the steps to create a motion detector to wake the screen, using a Arduino and PIR sensor. This was almost perfect, except it ... read more

Kitchen touch screen fitted

It's been a few months since my post about the custom bezel arriving in the post. Today it's finally all fitted. Another project done!! Pictures below.


I'm very pleased with the outcome, and very relieved I didn't cut the wrong size hole and have to re-buy the cupboard door! Over the next few weeks I will be finalising the software and getting my HouseBot software remote to fit the new larger screen resolution. Below are some more photo's taken while cutting and fitting.

... read more

Kitchen touch screen almost there

Ever since we fitted the new kitchen I had planned to fit a touch screen that would run a software remote to control lights, heating, etc. Over a year ago I picked up a Acer Iconia W500 tablet from ebay. This has been upgraded to Windows 8.1 and runs the HouseBot software remote, plus many other touch friendly apps that I think will be useful in the kitchen.

The tablet has been sitting under my desk as one of the many to-do project. The plan is to flush mount it in my boiler cupboard door. Before I could do this, I needed to get a custom bezel cut to fit around the hole, that also needs to be cut. Over Christmas I finally go... read more

HouseBot has just stepped into the world of Android

While writing my post over on the HouseBot forums about my setup, I discovered that the author of the software has just releases an Android remote!

I feel this is something that has been lacking from HouseBot for a number of years now and was making HouseBot seem a little out in the cold. What great news! I feel this will open up HouseBot appeal massively. Time for me to create some new software remotes that use the high definition resolutions that Android brings. Some exciting times ahead for HB!

... read more

My home automation setup

I have been a user of the great HouseBot home automation software for a long time now, and for years I have been meaning to showcase my set-up. I just never seemed to have the time; same could be said about a large number of projects I have planned! In fact the post over on the housebot forums took a number of weeks to complete!


HouseBot is a fantastic piece of software. It still amazes me that it has not really changed much since the Meedio days, but I feel the application still does out-perform many of the current home automation softwar... read more