Posts in DIY


How to Make Mycroft run Offline to Have Real Privacy

Posted on 19th Sep 2020 00:11:56 in DIY, Home Assistant, Tutorial

In a previous post, we demonstrated building a voice assistant out of open source components. One of the issues that we didn't address at the time is that there are still dependencies on the cloud for some of the critical functions, such as the Speech to Text engine. Here we will see how we can modify that system to operate (almost) completely offline. 

How to run Mycroft Offline to Have Real Privacy

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How to Build a Voice Assistant That Respects Your Privacy

Posted on 16th Sep 2020 18:24:39 in DIY, Tutorial

There are many different voice assistants available, but they share one common trait that seems so difficult to escape: a required connection to the cloud. Today we are going to build a voice assistant that can work completely offline, but we will explore setting up your own TTS and STT servers in a future article. For now, we will use the Mycroft servers which claim to respect user privacy by anonymizing every request and requiring an opt-in to their data collection program.

The finished product

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How to Build a Cheap Thermometer and IR Blaster For Home Assistant

Posted on 14th Sep 2020 18:41:50 in DIY, Home Assistant, Tutorial

The situation seems so familiar: you have an air conditioner unit that uses an IR remote, but you want to control it via your own thermostat. At least then you could manage it remotely or start cooling the air before you get home from work. This was the situation I was in, and to solve it, I built a temperature sensor with an onboard IR blaster, allowing it to also send commands to my portable air conditioner. All of this can be done for under 20$ as a relatively simple DIY project.

The finished product

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How to Easily Connect Siri to Home Assistant

Posted on 7th Sep 2020 13:31:47 in DIY, Smart, Tutorial

As with most things, Apple has its own protocol for smart homes. Personally, I do not find any of the current hub offerings to be worth purchasing, which is unfortunate because the software is pretty well designed. The Home app on both the Mac and the iPhone are super well integrated with Siri and other Apple services, so it would be really great to be able to connect it to your existing smart home. Lucky for us, with Home Assistant it really is super easy to get your Home Assistant devices into the Home app.

Hey Siri, how do I connect you to Home Assistant?

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4 Great Ways to Setup Offline Home Automation

Posted on 9th Aug 2020 23:30:55 in DIY, General, Smart

Home automation is really awesome. Who doesn't want things to happen automatically around the house? One of the common questions about home automation is if it can be used offline. The answer is a resounding, yes! There are a lot of ways to do this, and they vary significantly in cost and difficulty, so I encourage you to really dig into each option to decide which is right for you.

Offline Home Automation No WiFi

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