Nest Thermostat Can’t Connect to Nest Protect


2021-01-16

TL;DR: I had to delete the Nest Thermostat from the Nest app, then set up Nest Protect first. After that, I re-added Nest Thermostat in the Nest app.

I ordered a Nest Learning Thermostat and four Nest Protects at the same time. I ended up installing the thermostat a few days before I had time to install the Protects.

When I attempted to add the first Nest Protect in the Nest App, the directions never told me to pull the battery tab to power on the Protect, so of course the thermostat could not find it to assist in setting it up.

I figured the Protect at least had to have power, so I pulled the tab so the batteries could make the connection and power the device. Still, the Nest Thermostat could not find either of the first two Protects I tried to set up.

I figured the app also accounts for people setting up a Protect with no thermostat or other Nest device set up yet — so I deleted my thermostat from the app. Once it was gone and not “assisting” me, the Protects were added without trouble.

I re-added the thermostat using the app, the first Protect successfully “assisted” me in setting up, and we’re off to the races. I still don’t know what went wrong originally, but all five devices are set up now.

Setting up a Wyze Cam v2 with Zoneminder


2020-10-31

Updated with new Wyze firmware (Nov 30 2020)

I bought a Wyze Cam v2 on a whim today. I usually run PoE cameras that record to my local server running Zoneminder. I wanted to see what the other world was like: a wireless camera that records to the “cloud” (a.k.a. some other guy’s server). It has its perks:

  • No server to configure, maintain, etc.
  • Easy access to camera feed outside of your local network (don’t need to get your ISP to open ports).

Unfortunately, I wasn’t that impressed right off the bat. I should have read the reviews more closely. When setting up the camera, I realized if you don’t buy a Wyze Plus membership, the camera records 12 seconds on motion detection and then has a five minute cooldown! The 12 second recording didn’t bother me much, but you can miss a ton in the five minutes after that.

So I googled “Wyze onvif”, without much hope, to see if I could get this camera working with Zoneminder. Lo and behold, Wyze has kindly released a beta firmware version for their v2 camera. I followed these directions to get it set up to provide an RTSP feed for Zoneminder (original link from Wyze – Wyze Cam RTSP):

  • Download the beta firmware for the camera: Wyze Cam v2 RTSP Firmware or Wyze Cam Pan RTSP Firmware
  • Unzip and rename the file to demo.bin
  • Put the file on an SD card. Put it at the root directory, not inside any folder on the SD card.
  • Hold the “Setup” button on the camera as you are plugging the camera’s power cable in. When the status light turns blue, you can let go of the the “Setup” button.
  • Wait 2 to 3 minutes for the camera to install the firmware.
  • Open the Wyze app and go to Settings -> Advance -> RTSP
  • Enable RTSP and copy the url. It will have you enter a username and password for the RTSP feed. My url looked like rtsp://username:password@192.168.1.112/live
  • Enter that in the “Source Path” of the “Source” tab in Zoneminder’s monitor set-up window.

And bam! Mine was receiving the feed after those steps. The Wyze v2 Cam is 1080p so that’s what I set mine to in Zoneminder. I’ll be testing it over the coming days/weeks so I will add any other tweaks I find necessary to this post.

If you’re interested in the camera, you can check it out on Amazon here: Wyze v2 Cam (compatible with Zoneminder).

Zoneminder Fills /dev/shm 100%


2020-10-29

After adding a third camera (a Reolink RLC-520) to my Zoneminder server, I found that I couldn’t get all three cameras to come up at the same time. I would restart and 2 would successfully enter the “Running” state but a third (not always the same one, either) would not.

I then noticed that /dev/shm was red and at 100% in the status bar. After some research, I found that this is usually caused by the cameras’ resolution being set to high for the RAM the server has.

I lowered my resolution to 1080P on two cameras and 3MP on the third. This dropped the /dev/shm usage to what is seen in the screenshot above.

My server has 8GB of RAM, which I may upgrade soon. If you run into this problem, try lowering the resolution of your camera(s) in Zoneminder’s config for each one.

The Anatomy of a counterfeit Gameboy Advance Cartridge


2020-07-30

My second childhood is ruined. Thanks, ebay and bradlebon-5.

Missing the days of my youth and hours wasted playing Gameboy Color and Gameboy Advance, I decided to buy a Gameboy Advance SP. I foolishly sold my original GBA back in 2005. I also foolishly thought a new GBA SP would be $20 or something, right? Nope. You’re lucky to get a beat up specimen for $60. I paid $61 for this one:

And I thought games would be $5 to $10 a pop without boxes and manuals, right? I was wrong again. But I didn’t find that out until after I had bought Metroid Fusion (eBay), for $9.99 plus shipping. That’s your first sign, for those keeping track of tips on how to spot a fake Gameboy game:

If it’s too good to be true, it’s fake

Search eBay for “Buy it now” listings and compare prices. If everyone wants $55 for The Legend of Zelda: The Minnish Cap except one guy is selling it for $10… then the $10 one is fake. See the screenshot below and play “Spot the asshole selling a counterfeit game”:

Next step: What condition is it in?

If you’re simply looking for a game to play and not trying to collect cartridges in mint condition, then a little bit a wear on the cart is a good sign that it’s real. Take a look at this one that was for sale for $41 versus my $10 version:

See how the bottom one is worn and faded but the top one looks immaculate? It’s because the top label was printed in 2020 and the bottom was printed in 2002 and spent some time in a cargo pant pocket, most likely.

Check out the inside

Another dead giveaway is what the inside of the cartridge looks like, specifically the PCB (printed circuit board). Most current fake cartridges will have a big black spot that looks like dried tar. This is not there on authentic cartridges.

Notice that the counterfeit cartridge above also has “© 2002 Nintendo AGB-E05-01”. This was previously thought to indicate an authentic cartridge, but no more. Now many of the fakes have this printed on them.

Now I’m all for reproduction games that the seller clearly tells you is not an original, authentic copy. This would help many of us get games to play in situations where we can’t afford the real version. However, it needs to be printed on the label and disclosed in the listing for games sold online. Something like “Reproduction Warning: This is not an original copy of this game”. But, the seller that duped me with Metroid Fusion did not say this. Now that I re-read the description, he seemed pretty guilty by saying “Game plays just fine!!!”. And the “Cartridge comes in factory plastic case…” is misleading. Yeah, it’s “factory” but not Nintendo’s factory!

Description:

With this purchase you will receive “Metroid Fusion” game cartridge for use in a Nintendo Game Boy Advance System. U.S. VERSION Cartridge comes in factory plastic case, but no other packaging included. Will ship in padded envelope and I ship only within the US… using First Class USPS only. Will ship within 2 business days. Game plays just fine!!! You may message me with any questions you may have before purchase is complete. Great way to stay busy while confined to the house. Takes you back to your younger days!!!

So good luck out there finding authentic Gameboy cartridges. The counterfeiters are getting more sophisticated every day. Let me know in the comments if you have any other good methods for determining if a game is a fake.

Fitbit Notifications with iPhone


2020-07-13

I recently decided to start using my Fitbit Charge 3 to receive notifications from my iPhone again. When activated, the Charge 3 can receive SMS, Calendar, and call notifications from your iPhone.

I had the settings in the Fitbit app on my iPhone set to “All Day Sync” and notifications turned on but I still was not receiving notifications on my Fitbit.

I searched online and followed all of the guides that would supposedly fix this, but none of them worked for me.

I finally realized the Fitbit itself had the Notifications setting set to off. All I needed to do was hold down the button when on the Notifications screen, pictured below:

So if you have exhausted other solutions, make sure the Fitbit’s setting is set to receive notifications on the device itself.