I was recently asked what the geekiest thing I’ve done recently is.

My response:

Ever. That’s a hard question. Probably the most challenging has been building an HA OpenStack cluster. The geekiest though, would be..

I use Home Assistant for my home automation platform. I bought a Xiaomi Smart Home kit to integrate into it (I don’t speak Chinese, so I had some help), but I wanted it on my guest wifi and not my trusted wifi (where HA lives). Due to the way Xiaomi employs multicast for device discovery/control, you can’t simply route traffic to the gateway, and I had to expose a second interface into a docker network attached to my HA instance.

That’s not the geeky part though..

Part of the Xiaomi package was a “wireless switch”. Basically, it’s a power outlet controlled from the hub.

I have an old Raspberry Pi B, which is hooked up to an awesome little Dayton DTA-1 amplifier and runs Shairport-sync, allowing me to airplay music to a pair of speakers in my dining room. I attached the wireless switch to the amp, and wrote small start/stop scripts for Shairport, using the Home Assistant API to turn the switch on/off when I was streaming music.

End result - the amp is turned off (and not using any power) under normal circumstances, but when I start playing music, the amp automatically turns on. It turns off again when the music stops.

Definitely the geekiest thing in recent memory ;)

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