Hello, I am Thomas, welcome to my website! Here I try to write about things I learn, configure, build, and find fascinating.

Homelab ventilation project

The homelab is in my home office, man-cave, workshop — which is in the basement. The room is pretty well insulated, and heat generated here, mostly by the homelab, stays here. I needed a way to keep the temperature down in the hot summer months and during the cold winters. Well — this is it!

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Rebuilding the exhaust ventilation

I used to smoke cigars in my home office, and the ventilation was pretty much set up for that. My duct fan was connected to an active carbon filter in the ceiling, to make sure the smoke would not be noticeable outside and leak back in when the bedroom windows were open in the summer months. That happened once, and the girlfriend did not approve.

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The homelab adventure begins!

I first got the server rack back in 2011. At the time I lived alone in a house; I had a UPS, single server, a few cheap NAS’ and a switch in it. When I met my girlfriend, and we moved together about two years later the rack went into storage. And it stayed in storage until we bought our house late 2014, where we currently live. The rack was put to use in my home office in the basement, but not really utilized much. It’s only lately, and after I found /r/homelab, that the rack was truly put to use in my current homelab.

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Christmas decoration with flickering LEDs

My mom has a miniature elf house that she takes out every Christmas, and it has become a tradition that all her grandkids partake in the elves moving in. She has tried to mount lights in it before, using a battery powered LED strip, but the lights turned out too bright, and the light was pretty cold. So I ordered some orange flickering candle-like LEDs from eBay and got to work :)

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WiFi MQTT controlled relay for Home Assistant

I’ve wanted to use an ESP8266 WiFi module in a project for some time now, and after reading about the WeMos board, I figured this was the easiest way to get started. The WeMos D1 mini is quite small and much easier to interact with and program than the ESP8266 devices. So I built this single relay controller, with internal temperature reporting. I am communicating with it using MQTT, which makes it really easy to implement it into things like Home Assistant.

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Getting the Raspberry Pi ready for IoT

There are a few things we need to do with the Raspberry Pi single-board computer before using it in IoT projects. Here is a short guide of what I typically do, mostly as a reminder to myself — but it might be of use to others as well :) This article assumes that the Raspberry Pi will be headless, so no GUI.

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Lync status light — bigger and brighter

This project is an improvement to my previous Lync status light, built back in May 2016. It worked fine, but it only had three 5 mm LEDs. People who knew about the module noticed, but many people didn’t, so it did not have the effect I was looking for. That’s why I decided to upgrade it, and this time use bigger and brighter lights!

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Network infrastructure upgrade, UniFi FTW!

When watching a few Linus Tech Tips videos on YouTube, I noted that he mostly used UniFi wireless access points. So I started reading about this series of products, and it didn’t take long fore I realized that I had to have it. I was already looking to replace my current router, as I wanted the WiFi access point to be placed more central in the house. And that didn’t work with a combined router and WiFi device. In the end, I replaced all my network infrastructure :p

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