Thomas makes, writes

Home Assistant Multi room audio


A picture says more than a thousand words

Adding sound to a smart home used to be a thing of fancy smart-home solutions sold with their own audio server appliances that are wired up to multi-room speaker set-ups. Nowadays cloud connected voice assistants bring music and notifications to peoples homes.

If you can live without the fancy voice control and enjoy setting up some Linux services, then adding some of the more classic audio features is a doable task, soon to become easier due to a home assistant add-on.

I was able to cook up a fun setup controlled and automated with Home Assistant!

  • Multiple room synchronised audio speakers (fixed, portable Bluetooth and phone/tablet app)
  • Internet radio, Spotify and local music playback
  • Sound notifications for Doorbell, garden gate sensor and home alarm.
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openHASP touch display build

openHASP running in a 3D printed case

openHASP running in a 3D printed case

I discovered HASP - open hardware edition while I was searching for projects integrating touch interfaces with Home Assistant.

With this opensource firmware, you can easily and cheaply make a network connected touch control panel to control devices or show values.

When I bumped into a nice 2.8" TFT Desktop stand enclosure on thingiverse, I remembered I had an unused 2.8" ILI9341 display with resistive touch layer from a previous project.

Connecting the dots... I had all the necessary parts in my workshop, this would make a nice project to make over a weekend evening.

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lighting scene / mood control proof of concept

twatch running lighting scene selector

Lilygo twatch 2020 running simple lighting scene (mood) control proof of concept

I discovered a lovely smart watch development platform; the Lilygo t-watch 2020. It's an ESP32 based hackable watch, with a small capacitive touch display.

I had already played with the idea of building a small home automation control and status display that fits into the existing switch cover plate, so clicked the order button and leveraged the open source watch firmware to quickly hack together a proof of concept.

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Home assistant based hands-free alarm


image: cover from

I wanted a basic home security system (burglar alarm) to offer me some piece of mind at night.

My Home Assistant instance has enough sensors to figure out what we are up to, so it was possible to create an alarm system that works autonomously. The system automatically arms and disarms while we sleep during the night and when we leave and return to the house during the day.

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Reviving my Standing stats project


I've been using an Ergotron standing desk for 6+ years now. Several years ago I started building a sensor device to track how much time I spend standing up versus sitting down in my chair. The hardware prototype finished, it got shelved since I found other fun things to do with my limited hobby-time.

Recently I noticed that I sit down 99% of the time when working from home. To revive my healthy habit of working upright part of the time, I decided to pick up my parked project by re-printing the enclosure I made on my own printer and leveraging the power of esphome on a ESP8266 and home assistant to make the hardware useful.

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Mutually Exclusive Media Players in Home Assistant

hass rpi mpd

I have Raspberry Pi's in different rooms, and one thing I use them for is to play music to speakers.

Each of them has two music player services on it (MPD, Spotify), and it's a bit annoying that I have to stop a player when I want to listen to the other one.

Since I'm running home assistant as an automation hub, I wrote two short automations that stop the already playing service when the second one kicks in.

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Home Assistant Touch Screen

Touch display on the wall

My 2017 Christmas present was a voucher for the local electronics shop. I spent it on an 'official 7" raspberry pi touch screen display', which is a nice capacitive touchscreen that you can hook up to a raspberry pi.

I 3d-printed an enclosure from thingiverse for it, and fitted an RGB LED string around the edges as an extra.

Initially I created an AppDaemon HAdashboard config to control my Home Assistant instance with it.

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