Brent Saltzman


Interested in all things technology with a passion for analog, design, audio, and anything that sparks creativity and imagination.


  1. Easily find the MAC address of an Amazon Dash Button

    Every now and then Amazon puts their Dash buttons on sale for as little as $0.99. At that price it's hard to pass them up for little buttons to trigger whatever you might want in your home automation setup. I've written before on how to get these connected to…

    on Dash Buttons, Home Assistant, Home Automation, SmartHome

  2. Notification when a Windows Media Center Recording starts using Home Assistant

    I'm a long time user (and believer) in Windows Media Center as the primary method to consume Cable TV. Coupled with a cable card tuner such as the SiliconDust HDHomeRun PRIME you can create a fantastic, flexible user and stable Cable TV experience with Windows 7 and Windows Media Center.…

    on Home Assistant, HTPC, SmartHome, Home Automation, Alerts

  3. Adding a Z-Wave Door Sensor to your Backyard Gate

    I spent some time looking for a Z-Wave sensor for my backyard gate. I didn't find much for something that was rated for outdoors and all weather so I made my own. The key here is utilizing my favorite Z-Wave Door Sensors by EcoLink because they have an internal connection…

    on Home Assistant, Home Automation, SmartHome

  4. Leveraging Home Assistant During Severe Weather

    Let's take a look at how I started to use the alerts monitored condition of the Weather Underground component in Home Assistant. I remember when this functionality was first included in Home Assistant. I was very excited to have this additional data point in Home Assistant because unless I was…

    on Home Assistant, Home Automation, SmartHome, Weather, Notifications, Alerts

  5. Sending Channel Combination Commands with the Harmony Hub in Home Assistant

    With the Harmony Remote Component in Home Assistant, it makes it possible to send commands to devices controlled by your Harmony Hub using automations and scripts. Here's a script that will send a series of numbers representing a channel and the "OK" button which on my Windows Media Center PC…

    on Home Assistant, Home Automation, SmartHome

  6. Proactive Future Rain Notifications in Home Assistant with Dark Sky

    I hate leaving the house and getting caught in the rain without a rain jacket. I don't check as much as I should before I leave in the morning and even if I watch my local morning news, I'll still probably forget. This is why I made this automation and…

    on Home Assistant, Home Automation, SmartHome, Weather

  7. Cheap IP Camera from Amazon

    The SV3C HD IP Camera on Amazon is really a great deal if you're willing to put up with a little patience when getting it configured (being a pretty basic, likely unsecure network camera) I have one in my garage so I can peak in on the garage door as…


  8. Connecting Amazon Dash Buttons to Home Assistant (via Dasher)

    Amazon recently has been having a number of sales on their Amazon Dash buttons making these little IoT devices able to be picked up for 99 cents. Using a great open source program called Dasher, you can use these buttons to control pretty much anything in Home Assistant (or any…

    on Home Assistant, Home Automation, SmartHome, Dash Buttons

  9. Home Assistant Automations based on Solar Elevation Angle

    I use Home Assistant for all of my home automation and control needs. If you haven't heard of Home Assistant, it's pretty awesome and it supports a ton of stuff. One of the neat things you can do on the automation side is control components based on the Sun. The…

    on Home Assistant, Home Automation, SmartHome

  10. Make your Doorbell smart for about $27

    I recently became a first time homeowner and like most people I've been allured by the Ring Video Doorbell. Despite the steep price, I have thoroughly considered purchasing one and after plenty of homework I decided that the Ring Doorbell wasn't for me. There are 3 main reasons why I…

    on Home Automation, SmartHome, Home Assistant

  11. The biggest problem with the Hue Dimmer Switch and how to fix it!

    The Phillips Hue Dimmer Switch is probably the best accessory for your Phillips Hue Lighting. It lets anyone adjust the lighting in the room (including recalling scenes) without having to use the app. It's super convenient, especially in bedrooms. There's one major flaw though... As nice as it is that…

    on Home Automation, SmartHome, Phillips Hue, DIY

  12. Helping people around the world with their computer's microphone

    Happy New Year! In a previous position at work I maintained a blog where I posted topics, tips, and tricks surrounding the use of the system I managed. One of these tips was how to properly adjust a microphone input level within Windows XP, Windows 7, and OS X. I…