How to configure Ubiquiti mPower PRO outlet names without an mFi controller

Unfortunately, the mFi line got to the end of the road back in 2017, see is MFI dead?. That doesn't mean it doesn't mean it stopped working, but support sure is gone. This is unfortunate, and the Ubiquiti name is still generally beloved, it's just that this particular product line has run out of…

Apr 25 2020

First look at the Ring Stick Up Cam

This article is a work-in-progress, please come back and refresh. Shop for the Ring Stick Up Cam on Amazon. If you find value in the article and/or video below, please consider using one of these links when buying your own Ring Stick Up Cam, available in black or white with wired, solar, and…

Dec 10 2018

First look at the Ring Alarm Home Security System

If you find value in the article and/or video below, please consider using one of these links when buying your own Ring Alarm Home Security System, available now on Amazon, Best Buy, and directly from (non-affiliate-link) ring.com. My first Ring products were the Ring Video Doorbell and the Ring…

Jul 5 2018

Ubiquiti EdgeRouter Lite (UBNT ERLite-3) Update - still works great for my family, and for my VMware vSphere, Windows, and Linux home lab

This article was originally intended for my audience at The Greater Boston Network Users Group at their July 11th meetup. Until I'm able to do a complete configuration walk through, this spot in a recent "Network Enthusiast" EdgeRouter video I created gives you a good look at how DNS is…

Jul 11 2017

How to fix DNS short name lookup failures on Ubiquiti EdgeRouter firmware v1.9.1

Ubiquiti EdgeRouter Lite Available at Amazon, B&H, and Newegg for under $90 USD. Which EdgeRouters? There are other members of the Ubiquiti EdgeRouter family that use this same v1.9.1 firmware, so this article likely applies to those folks as well, including: ERLite-3 and ERPoe-5 ER-8,…

Jan 1 2017

Holidays Shopping 2016 - TinkerTry Tech Savings

The information in this article is subject to change through year end. Press Ctrl+F5 to refresh your browser, to be sure you're viewing the latest info & images. Most of the on-sale items featured in this article are about products I've blogged about extensively. None are perfect, but they are…

Nov 19 2016

Ring Video Doorbell users also have PC and Mac apps, faster than unlocking your phone

In case you hadn't spotted this yet, Ring made an announcement on their blog: #AlwaysHome, Even from Your Desktops May 02 2016 by Yul at Ring featuring a nice functionality overview of the free apps, and download links for the Windows and Mac App stores. I've been using the Windows version on…

Sep 8 2016

Replaced my Linksys router with an eero 3 pack after also testing Luma mesh surround Wi-Fi, faster wireless in every room has arrived!

The eero 3 Pack is available at Amazon, Best Buy, or eero for ~$500 USD. The Luma 3 pack is available at Amazon, Best Buy, or Luma for ~$400 USD. Backstory It's been 3 years since my family moved up to 802.11ac with the careful decision to go with the Linksys EA6900 AC1900 Dual-Band Wi-Fi router.…

Aug 21 2016

First look at Ubiquiti mPower Pro power strip, home lab pricing, enterprise features, uncertain future

Ever wonder if there's an affordable power strip that you could add to your home network that would give you insight into the power usage of up to 8 devices, and allow remote power on/off operations? If you're willing to tolerate a bit of initial setup pain that requires a back-level Java and a…

Aug 17 2016

Summer 2016 is heating up with ecobee3 and Ring Pro Video Doorbell updates, mesh WiFi tinkering, quiet 10GbE switch, 1TB M.2 NVMe, and falling DDR4 prices

There's a lot of great content coming up soon. To keep up to date, subscribe to the TinkerTry Weekly digest. My home's ecobee3 smart thermostat, 1 year later After Nest, what came next? The ecobee3 thermostat, with remote room motion and temperature sensors. Here's my latest updates on my 1 year…

Jul 13 2016

Smart doorbell owner heard audio from other house thanks to a weird bug

It's been a bit of a rough week for IoT. On a recent Home Gadget Geeks podcast, I was lamenting the fact that home WiFi routers don't yet have a way to isolate all your cloud connected IoT gear off onto their own subnet, since such consumer tech tends to eventually succumb to various firmware…

May 14 2016

My Ring Video Doorbell story starts a new chapter with Ring Video Doorbell Pro

This article will be updated, with additions below this original article, and closing thoughts at the end, the arrival of 1080p cloud recordings, and my podcast guest appearance video. Firmware 1.0.50 that arrived on May 6th does seem to resolve issues I was having, along with moving from a 16 volt…

Apr 29 2016

My ecobee3 HomeKit WiFi thermostat with remote motion and temperature sensors makes cents for my home

Updates to this article appear below. Order The ecobee3 with homekit is available at Apple Store, Amazon, Best Buy, ecobee shop, Home Depot, and Lowe's. Review If you have multiple members of your household that are home at various times of the day, then you likely have some familiarity with…

Jul 19 2015

Insteon Hub Pro now available for pre-order with HomeKit

[June 3 2015 Update - please revisit this page and press Ctrl+F5 to refresh, since many additions are being made below this original article.] Ok, now this looks more interesting than the little Hub II ever did. Apple Homekit-enabled. Easier to set schedules. Extended RF range, using a mere 2 watts …

Feb 25 2015

Featured on “Home: On #038 – Insteon Revisited, with Paul Braren”

June 2013: I had the opportunity to talk about my home automation tinkering with my CES 2012 friend Mike Faucher, over on his podcast, BYOB Episode 125 “Home Automation”. Another guest on that very same episode was Richard Gunther, from The Digital Media Zone. Very grateful for that opportunity. DMZ&…

Dec 12 2014

Insteon Hub II appears first in November 2014 Smarthome catalog

As of Nov 26, the new Insteon Hub became available at Smarthome, click on the image to jump to their site. Got a catalog from Smarthome in the mail today. I know, right? It's actual paper. Right there on the cover is the "New and Improved" Insteon Hub II. Peculiar though, as it would …

Nov 17 2014

Chose the Insteon Hub in 2012, now they've announced Nest integration for 2014

 March 13 2014 Nest owners who purchase and install the Insteon Hub for their homes, as well as download the free Insteon app for both iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, can simply add an installed Nest product to their list of remote-controlled devices in the Insteon app. You may recall my …

Mar 28 2014

Insteon Smoke Bridge 2982-222

Insteon Smoke Bridge 2982-222 on Amazon here. The marriage of a smoke alarm and an Insteon home automation system can allow you to get automatic alerts on your smarthphone. Wouldn't you like to know whenever a smoke, fire, or carbon monoxide alarm goes off at your home, even when you're far from …

Aug 21 2013

Insteon Leak Sensor 2852-222

Insteon Leak Sensor 2852-222 on Amazon here. This is going well. First, Smarthome kindly replaced my Insteon hub, to make good on the promise of an easy configure smartphone + cloud home automation solution, chronicled here. Because of some early-adopter pain I had with the first revision of that…

Aug 20 2013

TinkerTry featured on BYOB Episode 125 "Home Automation"

Here's Mike Faucher's bold announcement. BYOB 125 is out and all about Home Automation.  Special guests, Richard Gunther from the DMZ and Paul Braren from TinkerTry.com.  Great show and a pile of information.  You have to listen to this one. Mike Faucher and I decided to try a little something di…

Jun 24 2013

Superguide: Insteon Home Automation

My home automation experiences started painfully, with thirteen years of mixed luck with X10 devices. I finally cut over to Insteon products in 2008. My first device was the 2413U and the clunky HouseLinc software, and an always-on Windows system to run it. While it controlled my Insteon devices …

Jun 23 2013

My home's First Alert ONELINK system for smoke and carbon monoxide detection includes voiced warnings, with optional smartphone alerts

Back in April of 2010, the time had come for me to assess the value of crawling into my attic and basement to replace my home's 1994 vintage fire detectors. Yes, that's well beyond the recommended every 10 year replacement interval. Because the detectors were hardwired to one-another, the prospect…

Jun 14 2013

Insteon Hub first impressions, easier home automation, configured right from your smartphone

Insteon Hub Item # 2242-222 [click to view on Amazon] Insteon Hub - Initial configuration, creating a Christmas lights scene for my living room, from my smartphone. It's a busy time of year. But my Insteon Hub 2242-222 arrived today, an early gift. I knew it was going to be at least December before …

Dec 22 2012

Finally found an efficient, attractive, and affordable ceiling fixture, with 3 LED bulbs, totaling just $88

Short version, if you're replacing a ceiling fixture, consider heading to Home Depot if you live near one, or head online, to try: Qty 1 of $46.97 Progress Lighting Renovations Collection Antique Nickel 3-light Flushmount Qty 3 of $13.97 EcoSmart 13-Watt (60W) Warm White (3000K) A19 LED Light Bulb…

May 28 2012