Alarm Panel Triggering Scenes

I’m currently using the location services built in to Fibaro HC2 to perform tasks like set the alarm when no one’s is at home, turn the heating down etc. This works quite well but due to iPhone battery drain my partner often turns off mobile data, so the alarm does not get set and the heating stays on…

I have been thinking for a while how I could make the whole process more reliable. While sat on a train on the way to London I’ve had a few more ideas and one that I think will work quite well. I had been thinking about putting a Fibaro Button in the hall that can simply be pressed on the way out of the front door. This would be fine for turning all the lights off, setting the alarm etc., but I don’t really want to unset the Fibaro alarm in this way, not very secure. Another thought was to use a Fibaro Swipe, at lease there would be a few gestures to unset the alarm. But I now have a new idea.

How about install a Fibaro Universal Sensor into the house main alarm panel? It gets set when you leave the house, unset when you get home. After playing with the idea in my head for a while I’m going to try this when I get some time. My home alarm has a LED that is either ON or OFF depending on the status of the alarm, unset or set respectively, so this could be used one of the inputs and potentially move the LED to the out put. This method should give a really reliable scene trigger.

The other input could be wired into the tamper switch on the main panel, or as another thought, how about a door bell, could even hide a temperature sensor in the outside door bell switch…

An added advantage is that the main alarm panel has a 12V supply that I could use to power the Universal Sensor.

Another project to add to the list 🙂


SCVMM WSUS Error ID 7053 KB3159706

Currently building out a number of 2012 R2 SCVMM standalone servers for a customer. The SCVMM server also hosts it’s own local SQL DB and WSUS for patching of the hosts and the local SCVMM infrastructure.

Today I ran some tests, patching the SCVMM server via remediation in the console. All went well until after reboot where I rescanned the SCVMM server, nothing had updated, still not compliant. I then noticed that the WSUS service was not running, the WSUS console would not show my server and there were lots of 7053 errors for the WSUS service.

After some digging I found one of the installed updates had broken WSUS (KB3159706). Removed the update, rebooted and all is well again.

Oh and I have not declined the update and updated the base lines in SCVMM.

Just putting it out there.


Looks like there are some post steps that need to be performed:

I’ll get these tested


Follow the instructions in the article above and WSUS will spring back into action.

StorSimple Fails to Register With Azure

I learnt a valuable lesson yesterday… Make sure your StorSimple Manager type matches the StorSimple appliance you are trying to register! That is if it’s a physical 8000, make sure your SSM is Physical… Too busy talking about how great the technology is and the SSM got created as type Virtual and we were going to be adding a 8000 -Doh!

You’ll get this message:


Authentication to StorSimple Manager service passed but registration failed. Please check if you are registering the device to a StorSimple Manager service for 8000 series physical devices. If this is verified, then wait for a few minutes and retry the operation. If the issue persists, please contact Microsoft Support.

Thought this was worth a note as it baffled me for a while.

Fibaro OTA Firmware Update is Coming

Just installed some Fibaro Dimmer 2’s. I’m running firmware v3.2, as I brought them a while ago. Some blogs suggest v3.3 fixes the issues I have and I note at v3.4 is the current version, but how do you update??? Well it looks like it is coming with the next version of HC2’s software v4.083.



Home Structured Cabling

I’m in the middle of a home extension, at the first fix stage and I’m taking the opportunity to flood the place with cat5e. Wi-Fi is ok but you can’t beat a copper twisted pair! At weekend I went through 305m of cable, ran out with one run to do so I have more on order, won’t go to waste as I’ll be slowly working through the house.

Early stages but I’ve just done a test connection as per T568B and it works :). Using a cat6 patch as I find they are neater and give the cables better support.


Removing Powder Coating

The A bar on my LandRover had see better days. Water had got under the powder coating and it was rusting. I though I’d just strip it and then pain it, but how do you get powder coat off?

I tried head guns, blow torch and gasket remover. Nothing really touched it. I’d see that some people had got it to move with powerful pain stripper, so I searched for just that on Amazon and found Polycell Max Strength PainStripper and though I’d give it a go.


I can confirm it does the trick, quite quickly too, within half an hour. I first went over the powder coat with a wire brush in my drill to score the coating, then applied a liberal coat of the stripper. I found it best to leave it about half an hour then scrape it off. Then while the coating is still soft I went over with the wire brush again, remember to protect your self from this stuff, it’s nasty.


A wipe over with white sprit and a coat of red oxide and it’s looking good.


Just needs it’s top coat now.

GoPro vs EE Action Cam

To day I nipped into a EE shop to pick up my PowerBar, basically a unit you can charge up at home and use it to give your phone a power boost on the move.

While I waiting for a customer rep to be available I was looking round the store and saw a camera in a case that looked a bit like a go pro. I say a bit because the bezel round the lens was similar, but compared to my GoPro 3 Black is was big, back to front I’d say a good 50% thicker. The buttons looked very plastically too, not like the stainless ones on the GoPro housing. I didn’t look any closer as it just looked like a bad imitation in my opinion.

I then got called to pick up my PowerBar. I was also asked if I knew what a GoPro was. Yes was my response, I have one. I was then asked if I’d be interested in a EE Action Cam. This time my response was; No… it massive. I also added I’d like to changing my GoPro 3 Black for a GoPro 4 Black. I was then told, well ours is the same spec. What 4K I asked? Yes I was told. At this point I said I was not interested and left.

I always check details and I can tell you the EE Action Cam is not 4K. Yes you can stream data over 4G but a lot of the places I use my GoPro there’s sometimes a 2G signal if that.

Now I’m not saying if it’s any good or not but if you are in the market for an “action cam” do your home work. Have a look, hold them, as I say compared to the GoPro 3 housing it looked big, and the GoPro 3+ and GoPro 4 casings are smaller than mine. Plus the GoPro 4 black does full 4K and you can use the app on your phone as a view finder, and dump your files.

People have asked me in the past why a GoPro and not something else. My response has always been it’s the industry standard and it’s what the BBC use.

In my opinion you can’t go wrong with a GoPro, and I’ve never looked back. Some of my most treasured photos have been taken with my GoPro.

It’s Getting Hot In Here!

As the UK gets its 3 days of summer and the temperatures go through the roof I’m left wondering “what do I do with all this hot water?”

A few years back I fitted solar hot water to my roof, one of the best things I ever did, for about 8 months of the year I get all my hot water from the panels. The rest of the time they are helping so the boiler only has to boost the temperate a little more, the saving are massive, a much better investment than solar PV.

However yesterday, the hottest day of the year 2015 so far, I had 230 litres of water at +70 C. It’s not good for the system so I’ve found a way of dumping the heat without having a specific heat dump. Anyone out there that has a similar problem may find this interesting or not but I thought I’d share.

It basically works by running your central heating in reverse, don’t worry it’s nothing bad.

First turn your boiler off, this stops the boiler from firing and heating the system even more.


Next you need to set the thermostat on the storage tank to Max.


Then turn up the main central heating thermostat to Max too.


Now turn on the central heating and hot water heating.


What all this does is use the hot water in the storage tank to heat the radiators through out the house. I have all the radiator thermostats set to low so the heat is just dumped to my radiator that does not have a rad stat fitted in the bathroom.

My next job is to automate the whole process, I know how to I just need to find the time…

Hope this helps someone out there.

Fibaro Location Services on iOS App – UPDATE

Some time has passed since the last post on this subject:

I’ve been meaning to put an update out there, along the lines of “Massive App update to V2.5 and it still doesn’t work”… However yesterday I opened my Fibaro App and a strange thing happened… It asked if I wanted to enable location services!

Of cause I said yes and then went straight to the App Store to see it the app had had an update. Yes,on the 26th June my Fibaro app had been updated to v2.5.1. The great news is that this version works and I can now track and trigger sense based on location.

Thank you Fibaro 🙂

Fibaro Location Services on iOS App

I have a Fibaro HC2 and I have to say it’s brilliant. However I locations services just don’t work as they should and therefore I can’t use my location as a trigger.

I’m running iOS 8.3, on a iPhone 5S and my Fibaro App and HC2 are both at the latest software levels. It’s really beginning to annoy me so I spent some time trying to work out what’s going on.

For a while I’ve know it must be a issue with location services as it looses its settings, this is what I have found.

If the App is not running and you go to location services there will be no settings as shown here, it there are no setting:


Change this to Always and location services will then show like this:


And that’s how it should remain. However if you then open the App and then go back to the location services you’ll then see the settings have been lost:


So now if we open the App, leave it open, then go to location services, set to always we’ll see this


As shown a purple arrow, showing that the app has recently used the location services, you’ll also now be able to trigger and see your location in the home section of location services. It will then go grey if it’s not used it and at this point you could close the App and the location services will remain in this indefinitely:


However there is a but, if you return to the App and it needs to reload data:


Or you have closed the app and re open it you’ll be back to square one and location services will have no settings: