How do you use these again?

Soooo … you don’t really come to realize how dependent you become on home automation until you don’t have it. I just have a cute little story I thought I’d share. I’m still enduring an ongoing lashing from my husband for this.
Tuesday morning, I’m awakened by the sweetest peck on the cheek, then a shake followed by “You probably want to get up. Your bullets are broken.”
06:00 wake up statements shouldn’t include smart home complaints.
So, I stagger out of bed and struggle to find my glasses in the dark because oh yah … no lights.
As I shuffle to the basement steps in the early morning light, the basement looks cavernous and dark. Because it is.
Where the hell was that light switch?
Meanwhile … The HAF is declining rapidly. I can tell this by the subtle hints he’s dropping as he moves throughout the rooms of our home.
“Kitchen lights won’t turn on.”
“Bathroom light isn’t working.”
“Front door didn’t lock.”
“Garage lights didn’t come on”
“Can’t see into the closet.”
:roll_eyes: :face_with_raised_eyebrow:
I get it. We’re in a broken home. :rofl:
Since a girl has to have a normal life, I have two environments. Doesn’t everyone?
So … anywho … my rules live happily on a rasberry pi yet because as often as we make changes, things need to be in the graces with HAF. It’s blinking. It’s on. But, nobody is answering the door. No network connection. Strange.
So, I’m out of time. Shower and off to work. Later in the day, my cleaning lady calls me. “Uhm … I normally wouldn’t complain, but your house is broken.”
Ah shit … you too? Domestic Assistant Acceptance Factor tanking now? What next? I pay you!
Finally home to cook a quick dinner and get things back on line only to struggle with no lights on in the house. HOw? Did this happen? We haven’t touched a light switch in 3 years. What are these 3 switches for? (click… click… click)
The struggle is real.
In the end, I decided to transfer my rules to another unnamed system for now until I have more time. I still need to get the other services up that were on my pi. I feel like that will get a humane burial in the drawer of shame. I think I’m hard on equipment. The drawer is getting full.
I hope it brought a smile to your day and just know that I’m exhausted. I was smart homing until 02:00 this morning. Let’s not talk about that.


The humor is real.

Way to make the best of a bad experience! You rock!

1 Like

Awh thanks. Maybe it’s more like the mechanic drives the klunkiest car in the neighborhood type of story? The irony is not lost.

I have also been there so I can relate, it really sucks, especially if this happens in the beginning where all of that good will you worked so hard for just gets washed away in an instant it seems.

I am curious however how you are going to make your system more robust. I love RPi’s don’t get me wrong, but I have always been skeptical to their reliability, so if you discover any methods to make them more reliable or find another system to host the many HA micro-servers I would very much be interested.

That, my friend, is a work in progress. :wink:

Mine is a 3B+ that I fitted with a 124gb powered ssd. It was running very well, but I kept getting a low voltage warning on the pi. I feel like maybe something was bad with the pi itself. I was able to harvest my flows from it with no issue. For now, I fired node-red up on an i3 Windows 10 mini pc where I will also load my vpn software yet again. I’ve got a server waiting for me to configure, but time has not been on my side. They will come to rest there eventually. The fix is only temporary. I am happy that the options for install are so open.

1 Like

@aaiyar sold me on odroid, and there is no going back!

1 Like

@napalmcsr Do tell … you … you … tease.
No details?

Soo … your thoughts on this? Why is it better or worse? What are you doing with it? I’m truly interested.

Node red and thinking about homebridge… I am sure it can do loads more than that, but I am a kiss person…
And it has been easy to use…

I googled it and people are setting up media and storage with them. I never knew that they existed. I need to get out more.

I don’t know if it will be more reliable, but i am using emmc and that had to be better than the sdcard I had on my pi.

1 Like

Odroid is what the Home Assistant team sells as their “Blue” branded device right?

FYI, if you use PiVPN, they have a backup option where you can import/export your key-pairs and transfer them between installs. No clue if they are encrypted though so I am unsure if they are safe to keep a backup just on the system.

I’ve been using wireguard. It’s pretty easy to set up and I’ve only one connection. It’ll be, hopefully less painful than this node red thing was.

Do you use the Node-RED project feature to backup your flows to GitHub?

Do you use the Node-RED project feature to backup your flows to GitHub? Using this it was painless for me to get back up and running. The only issue I had was downloading dependencies, which the notification was larger than my screen, and I could not dismiss it, so I had to change my screen resolution to see it all.

Also PiVPN allows for OpenVPN or WireGuard (they recommend WG) in the backend, it is purely a front-end CLI management system.

1 Like

Yah … can’t keep up with all of the debian stuff when my life from 8-5 is immersed in Microsoft. Hard to switch gears all the time. So, I’ll nod my head and smile and say … I like wireguard no matter how it’s installed.
I’m terrible with backups. I just grab the flows and keep them in a file. I back up some flows individually and name them with the names of the nodes that accompany them. After I hadn’t made many changes I hadn’t done it for while, so I worried a bit when my Pi croaked.

I would highly recommend their project feature; it is super useful and forces you to annotate changes whenever you upload to GitHub.

Here is the project documentation if anyone is interested:

I have been on backup kick as of late, backup shell scripts, cron scheduling, the whole shebang, due to my RPi not being able to boot on power loss without user intervention, which I only recently got time to reset and restore to a fresh Raspberry Pi OS install.

Out of everything, the most annoying has been Grafana since I have not found any way to access/backup my dashboards from a CLI. I have just had to manually copy the JSON from the GUI and save it manually, which is annoying. It is very strange too because they have version control built into their saving system, comments and all.

1 Like

You may want to look at this as well! I have not tried “restoring” from this backup (and hopefully I don’t need to!)

I strongly recommend that you do. How else do you know for sure that it works as intended? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen/heard where someone didn’t test their backups only to find they didn’t work when a real need arose. I suggest you create a test instance of NR to try restoring your backup to.