Matt Horan's Blog


Taming Steam Heat with the Shelly TRV

home-assistant shelly automation trv hvac

Anyone who has lived in New York City is likely familiar with steam heat. Many buildings in the city are fitted with steam heat, and in Manhattan, ConEd even provides district steam to some buildings. Heat in these buildings is generally controlled by a central thermostat which often results in overheating. Many New Yorkers resort to simply opening their windows to control the heat. This was a practice that became common during the 1918 flu pandemic. However, there’s a less wasteful alternative to controlling steam heat. Thermostatic radiator valves have been common in Europe for years but are far less common in the United States. Combined with the Shelly TRV and Home Assistant, I’m able to reliably control the heat of my apartment throughout the winter.


Coffee Bean Counter

home-assistant shelly automation coffee

As I wrote in my last post about setting up a remote door buzzer, Shelly’s WiFi-enabled relays caused me to catch the home automation bug. In addition to the relay used for that project, I picked up a Shelly 1PM relay (and bought four more since then!) A fellow espresso enthusiast told me about their Home Assistant setup to estimate how many espresso shots they could pull before needing to restock on beans. Having limited space at my coffee station, I wanted something compact. I’ve been using TPLink Kasa devices with power metering elsewhere in my home, but the Shelly 1PM was the prefect choice for this project since it could be tucked away in the junction box.


Remote Door Buzzer with Home Assistant

home-assistant shelly automation

Over a year ago I bought a Shelly 1 relay with grand plans: set up a remote door buzzer for my apartment. I live in an apartment building with an intercom system (see below.) The front door can be unlocked from a central control panel in my apartment. However, I’m not always in the living room where the control panel is located when someone calls my apartment. Also, sometimes I’m at the front door and my keys are inaccessible. Since I don’t have a fancy remote controlled door opener, I wanted to come up with my own solution.


Automatic TLS certificate rotation with lego on FreeBSD

lets-encrypt lego certificates tls ssl automation freebsd

I’ve been using Let’s Encrypt to manage certificates on my systems for some time now. I started off using the excellent acme-client, which hasĀ  since been integrated into OpenBSD. Previously, there was a portable version which had been ported to FreeBSD, but this is no longer maintained. I continued running it for some time without realizing this. Fortunately the FreeBSD port has since been removed.


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