Completed Gate Control using Apple Siri

Got the assistance of SinChew Alarm Technicians to isolate and trace the trigger for each of the side and main gate. I returned to build an interface for the control of these gates.

I programmed the unit to respond to Siri commands:

“Open/Close the main gate” and

“Open the side gate” (since you’ll need to manually close the side gate after entry.

Check out the videos for the completed project.

Siri enabled dining lights

Just installed my dining lights and the results are amazing! The house is finally looking more complete. The open wall area is gonna feature a painting, it will be a collaboration with my wife :D, more on that when we complete it.

In the meantime, this dining light joins my stable of Siri enabled devices, again, built from the ground up. The architecture I chose was:

SmartDevice → MQTT→ HomeAssistant → HomeBridge → Siri

The SmartDevice is built from an ESP8266 chip.

Lego WIFI autonomous tank

DIY #Lego WIFI enabled autonomous tank

MQTT controlled vehicle. Vehicle unit is subscribed to topics to move and turn.. The 3 button controller on the right publishes MQTT commands to the subscribed topics.

I'm powering the unit using a portable charger. Gives almost an hour of fun!

Making the Creative IKEA Gottgora Light talk Siri

The completed Siri enabled IKEA Gottgora Creative Light (approx. 3 hours of assembly and programming)

Click here for PART 1 of the making of this Gottgora Night light

I started the project with a quick scope out of the requirements.

  1. Needs to talk MQTT to join my home automation network
  2. Chose ESP8266 as controller for WIFI
  3. Also needs homebridge to enable commands with Siri
  4. A simple enclosure to make the project usable and visually appealing

Some parts and progress of the build:

Left to right: Project box, USB mini cable, ESP8266 with relay, push button switch, power socket female, male

Assembled parts in box:

Once assembled, the firmware was uploaded into the ESP8266 and the home automation hardware was reset to recognize the new component.

So now, all you need to say is “Hey Siri, turn on corner light!”, and the nightlight is now complete!

Thank you for reading..

Siri voice control for home

Taking baby steps, I initially created a MQTT server to link up my home-brew Wi-Fi devices. To date, I have simple on-off switches, a bridge for 433Mhz devices and an interface to WiWo smart switches. My speakers and Spotify are connected as well. I subsequently built a home interface to control each controller via iOS and Android app.

However, I would love to have the devices controlled via Siri. In order for me to setup Siri voice control, I needed a more powerful raspberry pi, so I ordered a couple of RaspPi3 from element 14. Once the units arrive, I began building the interface for Siri.

Now that it’s done, my home automation project responds to commands like:

“turn on kitchen light”

“Turn on living room fan”

“Set study fan to medium”

“Turn off all devices” is useful when I need to head out of home in a jiffy.

I will try detail the entire build process when I find some time.

A WIFI to 433mhz bridge


I have 5 ceiling fans in my home and they are controlled by 433Mhz controllers. I love my fans, except that with this kind of tech, the controller is essentially “married” to the fan unit. You see, for 433mhz, each mode of operation (On/Off, Fan Speed etc) is hard coded to a particular “code” and that is why the controllers are NOT interchangeable.

433Mhz is relatively cheap and used in many applications like doorbells, electrical appliances etc, its key benefit is that it does not require line of sight to operate, as opposed to an infrared controller (TV remote).

An early prototype
Completed WIFI to 433Mhz Bridge

This inspired me to build a “universal remote” of sorts for 433Mhz devices (my daughter jokingly said that the fans would be cheating on their controllers lol). Not just that, but also bridging it up to WIFI and controlling it over MQTT. This way, my smartphone can be used as a universal controller to control all the fans. It will bring a new level of ease and convenience to using these devices.

Continue reading “A WIFI to 433mhz bridge”