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I have used a Geekom Mini PC, or as some people call them NUCs but that's term that seems have caught on like everyone calls tissues, Kleenex. So back to it, my previous model i5 8th Gen runs my various ADSB and video transcoding docker containers on a Debian OS for a couple years now without issue. This newer model packs a bigger punch bringing an i7 12th Gen to the table, more than doubling the performance.

Geekom did send this product for review but no funds were exchanged for this review and the opinions and thoughts are purely mine without any editorial review. I mean how many things I did spell wrong?

Specs wise in the model I received are as follows:

  • i7-1260P CPU/iGPU
  • 2x8GB DDR (16GB total)
  • 512GB NVME
  • Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX211 with Bluetooth 5.2
  • Intel i255-V 2.5 gigabit Ethernet
  • Windows 11 Pro Pre-Installed

Purchase yours from Geekom Directly or on Amazon (affiliate links)

During my testing I used Windows 11, but I did re-install it fresh from a legit copy from Microsoft's site. Nothing against Geekom, as even if I had a brand-new mainstream Dell computer, I would still load my own fresh copy of Windows. Being the powerhouse this thing is, it is stupid fast to boot up Windows in seconds and handle all your regular desktop PC tasks with ease. I did have one issue with the CPU throttling during testing. This might be due to the processor model itself but I do not have another exact model to test it against for comparison. More about this in the screenshots towards the end of the article.

Would I use this with Home Assistant OS? LOL Probably not as it would be a major waste of CPU, it sure would compile an ESP32 bin on ESPHome crazy fast though! What would I use this for if I was not going to do the typical Windows desktop thing? One killer use would be a media player and mount it behind a TV and use a wireless pointer mouse, but many might argue that Roku or other Google TV options are much cheaper. The real usage that I believe several of us would agree on, use it with a Linux build of some sort! Proxmox to do all the things or even just running Debian on it with Docker Compose to handle all of your self-hosting needs.

My use case for this? I believe it is time to dive into Proxmox again, it has a been a few years since I have dabbled in it and I feel this would be perfect to learn more about Proxmox. Where's tteckster when I need him?!

Power Usage

Being a mobile style processor I was pretty impressed with the power usage. Inside Windows Measured with a Kill A Watt Meter

StateWatts
Off/Sleeping1.6 watts
Idle at Windows Desktop7 watts
Processing Video via iGPU35 watts
Crunching Video via CPU73 watts
Crunching Video via CPU After Throttling43 watts

Let's look at some teardown/guts pics and then some more words and stuff... because it's Cool & Stuff

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The Why?

Why do we need a bluetooth proxy for Home Assistant? The answer is simple! Sometimes Bluetooth Low-Energy devices have craptastic range. Many of us have spend time, effort, and money to build out excellent Wi-Fi coverage in our homes and even backyards. So why not harness the power of this coverage and use it to communicate with Bluetooth devices. This is exactly what Bluetooth Proxies do! You can put some SwitchBot temperature sensors in the backyard or even a Bluetooth pool sensor in the pool and have all the data automatically brought into Home Assistant. Any many other Bluetooth HA compatible devices. While you can easily place a NodeMCU ESP32 board outdoors to accomplish this, it might not always be ideal for cosmetic reasons or even for water proofing reasons.

Other Bluetooth HA compatible devices FCC ID of 2AUIU-WLPPO1

This is where the Wyze Outdoor Plug comes into play. It's IP64 dual relay plug with power monitoring, LUX sensor and since it has an onboard dual core ESP32 chip we can use it with ESPHome as a bluetooth proxy for Home Assistant. It also comes with a little better quality WiFi/Bluetooth antenna than your standard PCB antenans. And yes, we have a no soldering solution! Let's get started!

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***UPDATED Guide to Load ESPHome all over the air on Tuya Beken SmartHome Devices

The entire process we covered 3 or 4 months ago just became 10 times easier thanks to efforts of the Libretiny and Tuya-CloudCutter developers!

Remember the days of Tuya-Convert where you could obtain a Tuya based Wi-Fi Smart device, run a quick exploit via a Raspberry-Pi and load your own copy of Tasmota or ESPHome firmware right on the device? Things were patched unfortunately and then later the chipsets were changed to a Beken based chipset that wouldn't run Tasmota at all. So we resorted to chip swapping with hot air guns, soldering, etc. to install our favorite local & open source firmware on the device. Things are now going full circle again where we can load firmware on the Beken chipsets with an over the air exploit called tuya-cloudcutter It is such an awesome process and down right addictive!. Then the bigger accomplishment is the LibreTiny project has it all working with ESPHome! No additional firmware to learn is awesome especially for the ESPHome veterans! Plus it all integrates with Home Assistant like any other ESPHome device does.

Supported Known TUYA Module List: BK7321N, BK7231T, CB1S, CB2L, CB2S, CB3L, CB3S, CB3SE, CBLC5, CBU, WB2L-M1, WB1S, WB2S, WB3L, WB3S, WBLC5

Overview of the Process

  1. Create the Tuya-Cloudcutter Exploit Device using a Rasperry Pi or other Linux Based setup

  2. Install / Update Tuya-CloudCutter

  3. Install ESPHome Kickstarter firmware on the Device

  4. Use LT Chip Tool to configure the device

  5. Install ESPHome Add-On or Docker Container

  6. Install the ESPHome Firmware and Integrate into Home Assistant

What do you need?

First a device that is Beken based and on the list of exploitable devices with tuya-cloudcutter (more are being added all the time!). In this example I'm using the Globe Motion NightLight Plug Second a laptop, NUC, PC, etc or Raspberry-Pi to run the exploit and also load the ESPHome firmware.

Device I've Cloudcut and put ESPHome on

NightLight Plug WB3S - https://amzn.to/3KC5ajh
XMCosy Landscape Lights - https://amzn.to/44aUONW
Lumary Downlights - https://amzn.to/47HGNKr UltraPro Switch - https://amzn.to/44fI4W7
Xenon Power Strip - https://amzn.to/47P97ea
Cree 5 Button Switch - https://amzn.to/44i15rh
UltraPro Switch - https://amzn.to/3sbh8JQ
Fan/Dimmer Controller - https://amzn.to/3sddaAp
Feit Power Strip - https://amzn.to/45xGlfT

The instructions below are based on using a Raspberry-Pi, if you are using a different computer you will need to adapt by using a different OS flavor but the concept is all the same. If you are more of a full-video type of person and want the complete walk through view the video below.

Full Video

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Home Assistant devs have released an official docker container to install the Matter Server necessary for the Matter integration in Home Assistant. No more building your own container since you don't use HAOS! The Python-Matter-Server repo is available on GitHub. This allows you to integrate the various available and upcoming Smart Home Matter devices with Home Assistant no matter what type installation method you use in your home.

Matter Devices - (https://amzn.to/3pm86sB) *affiliate
Matter Certified Device List - (https://csa-iot.org/csa-iot_products/)

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Installation Methods

IPV6 needs to be enabled on the network adapter used!

UnRaid

Search for Matter Server in the UnRaid CA Apps store - follow the prompts to install the container and make sure it is set to Auto Start.

alt text

Docker Compose

version: '3'
services:
matter-server:
container_name: matter-server
image: ghcr.io/home-assistant-libs/python-matter-server:stable
restart: unless-stopped
security_opt:
- apparmor=unconfined
volumes:
- /opt/matter-server:/data
- /run/dbus:/run/dbus:ro
network_mode: host

Docker Run

mkdir data
docker run -d \
--name matter-server \
--restart=unless-stopped \
--security-opt apparmor=unconfined \
-v $(pwd)/data:/data \
-v /run/dbus:/run/dbus:ro \
--network=host \
ghcr.io/home-assistant-libs/python-matter-server:stable

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After searching through many mmWave sensors, some bad, some great, some expensive, I've landed on the LD1125G. An inexpensive sensor and stupid quick! In the video below I cover the testing process, building and installing open source ESPHome software on the ESP32. No cloud, no additional apps, and 100% local.

The use of a PIR has plagued my bathrooms from time to time with lights going out too early based on various activities in the bathroom. One cheat I did was to use the humidity sensor that drives the fan to force the light to be on when the humidity is high. This has worked well for the most part but I've been looking to fix the pain point in the smart home world for quite some time. I've finally found a sensor that works quick, easy to install and use. This has unlocked various new automations for the bathroom such as; turn on the vent if someone is in the bathroom for more than a minute or two, turn off the light once the person leaves and still allow the vent to run to pull down the humidity. Fully automating the light and fan in the bathroom may sound silly to some individuals but it is the thing that makes the home a true Smart Home and not use a remote controlled one.

Full Video

Wiring Diagram

alt text

Thanks Caleb for the awesome diagram! For a power source, I'm currently using a 5VDC power supply in my attic that powers many ESP based projects around the house in the walls, ceiling, etc.

What do you need?

*Affiliate Links

  1. mmWave LD1125G - Make sure to choose HLK-LD1125H-24G! or Aliexpress #2
  2. ESP32 NodeMCU Dev Board or ESP32 NodeMCU Dev Board
  3. 2.0mm to 2.54mm Pitch Female to Female Jumpers
  4. Optional BME280
  5. Optional USB Screw Terminals
  6. 5VDC Power Source

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***UPDATE 05/28/2023 - LibreTuya renamed to LibreTiny

Remember the days of Tuya-Convert where you could obtain a Tuya based Wi-Fi Smart device, run a quick exploit via a Raspberry-Pi and load your own copy of Tasmota or ESPHome firmware right on the device? Things were patched unfortunately and then later the chipsets were changed to a Beken based chipset that wouldn't run Tasmota at all. So we resorted to chip swapping with hot air guns, soldering etc to get our favorite local non-cloud firmware on the device. Things are now going full circle again where we can load firmware on the Beken chipsets with an over the air exploit called tuya-cloudcutter It is such an awesome process and down right addictive!. Then the bigger accomplishment is the LibreTiny project has it all working with ESPHome! No additional firmware to learn especially for the ESPHome folks. It all integrates with Home Assistant like any other ESPHome device does.

What do you need?

First a device that is Beken based and on the list of exploitable devices with tuya-cloudcutter (more are being added all the time!). In this example I'm using the Globe Motion NightLight Plug Second a laptop, NUC, PC, etc or Raspberry-Pi to run the exploit and also load the ESPHome firmware.

The instructions below are based on using a Raspberry-Pi, if you are using a different computer you will need to adapt by using a different OS flavor but the concept is all the same. If you are more of a full-video type of person and want the complete walk through view the video below.

Full Video

Read more 👉

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Testing 24 different sensors with temperature and humidity in various environments from the refrigerator, freezer, room temperature, outside, and even the shower for the ultimate humidity test. I've included several Grafana graphs to help determine your BEST sensor for the environment and use case you have.

Full Video

Sensors Specs

Click Open in New Tab for larger images

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