Enhancing Sonoff TH16 Functionality and Domoticz Integration

In my previous blogpost, the Sonoff worked, but was lacking a manual override. The switch could only be triggered by Domoticz. Since it also has a physical push button (connected to GPIO0 (D3)), it can be switched by hand. All that needs to be done is:

  1. Create a new switch device in the Sonoff
  2. Enable 'Rules' in the Tools / advanced settings
  3. Create a rule
  4. Change the On/Off commands in the switch parameters in Domoticz
Posted on January 1, 2018 and filed under Hardware, Programming, Raspberry Pi, Tips'n Tricks, Domotica.

Flashing the Sonoff TH16 Wireless Switch

The Sonoff TH16 is an inexpensive piece of hardware that can be controlled over WiFi. Apart from the switch (that's capable of handling electrical currents up to 16A) there's an interface for temperature and humidity. The actual temp/humid sensor is sold separately (in most cases).

Posted on December 31, 2017 and filed under Gadgets, Hardware, Programming, Raspberry Pi, Tips'n Tricks, Domotica.

Add Routes To Ubuntu Server

Routes (non-default ones) can be added to the platform by using the interfaces configurations file.

Just add the following to the interface configuration:

up route add -net <destination_network> netmask <netmask> gw <gateway_address>

Example:

$ cat /etc/network/interfaces
# This file describes the network interfaces available on your system
# and how to activate them. For more information, see interfaces(5).

source /etc/network/interfaces.d/*

# The loopback network interface
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

# The primary network interface
auto ens160
iface ens160 inet static
        address 192.168.168.1
        netmask 255.255.255.0
        network 192.168.168.0
        broadcast 192.168.168.255
        gateway 192.168.168.254
        # dns-* options are implemented by the resolvconf package, if installed
        dns-nameservers 192.168.0.1
        dns-search mydomain.com
        up route add -net 172.16.16.0 netmask 255.255.255.0 gw 192.168.168.30
Posted on September 15, 2017 and filed under Linux, Tips'n Tricks.

Reset Apple macOS Spotlight

The macOS Spotlight service might loose its touch. E.g. when some applications or documents won't show up when you <CMD><SPACE> them. Reason could be that the service or its database got corrupt for some reason.

The following 4 commands will reset the Spotlight service and database. So after you issue those commands the PC/laptop will be re-indexed (which could take a while).

sudo mdutil -a -i off
sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.metadata.mds.plist
sudo launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.metadata.mds.plist
sudo mdutil -a -i on

Now, wait a bit, and everything should be back to normal.

Happy Spotlighting.

Posted on August 1, 2017 and filed under Apple, Operating Systems, Tips'n Tricks.

E-Mail Spam Prevention

E-mail spam is still annoying as hell. Especially when someone else is sending e-mail on your behalf, and even more annoying if your e-mail address is used for phishing purposes.

From a protocol (SMTP) perspective, there's not much that can be done. SPAM wasn't something they thought of when they developed it in the early 80's. But there are several enhancements that can be used to prevent others by abusing your e-mail (domain). These enhancements are:

  • Sender Policy Framework (SPF)
  • Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM)
  • Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC)
Posted on May 10, 2017 .

Think Tank Retrospective 7 with Macbook Pro 13" (late 2016)

Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.12.23.PNG

The Think Tank Retrospective 7 camera bag holds an iPad, 11" Macbook Air or something similar according to the specifications. But the new Macbook Pro 13" (from late 2016), also fits (like a glove) in the back compartment of the bag.

It does take some effort in inserting the Macbook Pro for the first time. Especially if the bag is brand new. But after inserting it a couple of times, the fabric loosens a bit and it becomes easier to insert and extract the laptop from the compartment.

NOTE: There might be some scratching involved on the laptop over time while opening opening and closing the zipper (because of the 'fits-like-a-glove' thing).

Posted on April 4, 2017 and filed under Photography, Review, Gear, Tips'n Tricks.

Juniper SRX and DHCP Client Challenge

A couple of years ago I wrote a post about a dual ISP config with a Juniper SRX firewall. At the time I ran into some challenges regarding the DHCP client functionality of the SRX. For some reason it couldn't get a lease from the Ziggo ISP DHCP servers. Any other DHCP server on my local network worked just fine. Since I created a work-around at the time (by using an additional NAT router and static IP addresses) I didn't give it much thought.... Until last week.

Last week I ran into a networking challenge that kinda freaked me out. For some reason my Apple TV wouldn't connect to my NAS, but it could connect to the Internet. For some reason my Apple TV got a public IP address while it was located on my internal network. The public IP address was completely unknown to me. So, WTF was giving my Apple TV a public IP address?

Posted on February 13, 2017 and filed under Internet, Security, Tips'n Tricks, Junos.

Configure NGINX as a Secure Reverse Proxy

NGINX (pronounced as engine-x) is a versatile (reverse) proxy service for Linux which can be used for many purposes. This post gives a relative small and easy example that I use at home for accessing insecure web services in my home. These are:

  • Domoticz
    Free and opensource Domotica software
  • SabNZBd
    Free and opensource software for downloading binaries from usenet. Available for multiple operating systems
  • Sonarr
    (former NZBDrone) is a so-called PVR (personal video recorder) for Usenet users, which checks multiple RSS feeds (also called Indexer) for new episodes of the shows you're following.

These services run on different platforms and are not protected by username/password or encryption. Something that's not done if you want to access this over the Internet.
To get secure access to these services you might want to use a VPN solution into your home, but you can also achieve this by using a reverse proxy that 'protects' these services.

I run my NGINX reverse proxy on Ubuntu Linux, but it will also run on the average Raspberry Pi.

Posted on January 29, 2017 and filed under Internet, Security, Tips'n Tricks.