Adding centerfire, increase and decrease to your smart Bellfire fireplace solution

In previous article series I provided an overview and step by step instruction how to make you Bellfire fireplace with Mertik Maxitrol controller smart. This project that was presented during the Home Assistant Conference 2020.

In the article series and presentation I focused on the essential controls, basically turning the fireplace on and off. I received number of requests to extend the controls to support increasing and decreasing the fire and also activating the so called center burner.

After doing some research and trial and error I’ve found the combinations for the relays to add these features to your smart fireplace.

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Migrating from Zwave2MQTT to Z-Wave JS for Home Assistant

I’m on a quest to decrease the number of points of failure in my home automation setup. Moving everything as close to Home Assistant core functionality.  Recently I moved to ZHA for Zigbee support and removed external bridges like Xiaomi Gateway and Philips Hue.

Now it’s time to remove a Raspberry Pi that’s running Zwave2MQTT. I want to start saying that  Zwave2MQTT has always worked very well for me, it never let me down. I just don’t trust Raspberry Pi’s anymore, SD-card get corrupted and they sometimes just die on me. This is also a reason why I prefer embedded solution with ESP boards.

I noticed Z-Wave JS in the release notes of Home Assistant 2021.2. After a quick read I got excited and was ready to move from Zwave2MQTT to Z-Wave JS.

A few of the garden lights, our bedroom window and a few power plugs are on Z-wave.

Most important are the lights downstairs that are all controlled with Fibaro Dimmer 2. These are lights used by the family every day and are also included in automation for automated turn off and on based on presence. So this migration needed to go seamless.

I documented my steps for future reference and to help others. To be hones the installation was pretty seamless. For continuity I choose to rename the entity IDs to match the old entity IDs. All details and steps can be found below.

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Why C-suite alignment is necessary for smarter technology investment decisions

The role of the technical trusted advisor

Recent data has shown that business and consumer digital adoption has jumped five years forward due to COVID-19. Organisations that prioritised the shift towards digital technologies before the pandemic have adjusted quickly, with arguably less disruption to their business. At the same time, those who stagnated in the adoption of digital technologies were on the backfoot, urgently finding quick solutions for their needs. When it comes to marketing initiatives, this tactic could work in the short-term, but organisations will inevitably have to re-budget, rebuild and fund additional investments to fix problems which have arisen from having chosen less-than-ideal short-term solutions.

As martech platforms continue to develop, becoming broader and more technical to use, it adds further complexity to an already difficult decision for stakeholders when selecting what solutions the business needs for the future. With the plethora of marketing challenges that need to be addressed by the assistance of technology, there are two that stand out.

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Build a cheap air quality sensor using ESPhome, Home Assistant and a particulate matter sensor

This article will provide a walkthrough of how you can build a Particulate Matter Air Quality meter that integrates with your Home Assistant for under 20$, without any soldering or coding skills needed.

The sensor will provide multiple air-quality measurements directly visible in Home Assistant.

After seeing all kinds of air purifiers in the market, like the one from Xiaomi and Philips. I got interested in the topic air quality. First, I needed to learn more about how and what to measure, followed by actually measuring the air quality in my home. I don’t want to buy a air purifier if the quality of the air in my home is not bad. But how do you measure air quality?

What is a Particulate Matter sensor?

My search started with looking for a particulate matter sensor. A particulate matter sensor measures tiny particles or droplets in the air that have a specific size in microns or micrometers (µm). Like inches, meters and miles, a micron is a unit of measurement for distance. There are about 25,000 microns in an inch.

Particulate matter is the sum of all solid and liquid particles suspended in air many of which are hazardous. This complex mixture includes both organic and inorganic particles, such as dust, pollen, soot, smoke, and liquid droplets. These particles vary greatly in size, composition, and origin.

Source: www.greenfacts.org

Particulate matter (PM) is generally classified into two main size categories: PM10 and PM2.5. As an example, the particulate classified as PM2.5 is the size of 2.5 µm and would be thirty times smaller than that of a human hair.

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Why C-suite alignment is necessary for smarter technology investment decisions [publication]

This week my article on CIO and CMO alignment is necessary for smarter technology investment decisions got featured on Digitalisation World.

Article published on Digitalisation works

When it comes to smarter technology investment decisions, how can CIOs and CMOs find common ground? Learn more about the importance of having an expert that can speak to IT and marketing, read the article.

Working 10 years at Sitecore

amazing technical marketing team

With the start of 2021, I just hit the 10-year milestone working at Sitecore.

While normally I would just let this pass and focus on the next big things that we need to deliver, I want to take a moment to reflect on my 10 years at Sitecore and thank a number of people that inspired me along the way.

Reed the original article with comments directly on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/10-years-sitecore-pieter-brinkman/

My journey at Sitecore has been amazing. It started as a pre-sales consultant in The Netherlands, to quickly join co-founder Lars Nielsen to build the MVP program, moving into Product Marketing to grow and strategies Technical Marketing.

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Bellfire home automation project

This article provides you with an overview and links of all articles published around the Bellfire fireplace (Mertik Maxitrol controller) project that was presented during the Home Assistant Conference 2020.

Although this solution is presented around Home Assistant you can easily use the same solution in OpenHab, Domoticz or any other open home automation platform.

Slides

View Automate Everything! How to make your stupid device smart on Notist.

Introduction articles

The steps

Shopping list

  1. The ESPboard: ESP8266 board or ESP32 if you also want to use Bluetooth features on AliExpress.com, Banggood, Amazon.com or Amazon.nl
  2. The 4 channel relay board. Make sure you select the 5V version The relay: 5v relay board AliExpress.com or Banggood
  3. If you don’t want to solder order:
    – Mini breadboards AliExpress.com or Banggood
    – Dupont cables male-female AliExpress.com or Banggood

Optional tools