About this blog

This blog is just a few random musings about my interests: technology, science and software. It's also a place for me to put random information so it's accessible to anyone who might find it useful. If you want, you can contact me here. --Andy Jenkinson

Pairing IKEA Tradfri plug with Hue bridge

Recently IKEA updated the firmware on a number of their devices to support ZigBee 3.0, including their smart plug as of firmware 2.0.022. Turns out it will now happily pair with the Hue bridge and be controlled in the Hue app.

Hacking Parrot FreeFlight Pro to stop update nags

I've been experiencing issues after updating the firmware of my Parrot Disco to 1.7.0 - flight data is not being uploaded to My.Parrot so I can't review flights. So I downgraded to 1.4.1.

IKEA Tradfri 24V transformers work with Hue

I was out shopping in IKEA this week (Milton Keynes, UK) when I happened across a few new additions to the Tradfri range of smart lighting: LED drivers!

Using IKEA Tradfri remote or dimmer with Hue

There are a number of articles around the web about how to use the (cheaper) IKEA Tradfri bulbs with the Philips Hue hub after a firmware update. However, after doing this they will no longer be controllable by any Tradfri equipment. I have not come across anybody who has been able to use Tradfri remotes and dimmers with the Hue hub (or any lights paired with it).

IKEA Tradfri colour bulbs now available

IKEA have now made their new "colour and white spectrum" bulbs available to buy more widely. They have been available in some locations around Europe, but now they are available online. At the moment they are only available in a dimmer set containing one E27 bulb and one remote control. They were on display but out of stock in the Reading store today, with more due to arrive next week.

Using Amazon Dash buttons to make Google Home say something

I've been spending some time researching the confusing world of home automation and in particular smart lighting. In the UK it is in a rather confused state - lots of bulbs with nifty features, but quite poor human interface usability, because of the complete lack of compatible available retrofit solutions for light fittings that can't have their bulbs changed (or use a large number of bulbs), and existing UK switch fittings and wiring. But that's another story...

Google Home Mini has no audio out

Over the past couple of years my household has become more and more invested in the Google ecosystem. It hasn't always been this way, it's simply because products came along that were the best solutions to my tech desires. Android, Shield TV, Google Photos, and Chromecast audios. Unlike on phones, Voice at home is genuinely useful, so I could hardly pass up it finally being adopted by the 'big guys'. But I did not take the plunge with Amazon's Alexa because my educated bet is that Google is naturally inclined to have the better solution - for two reasons:

Sony W805C - List of bugs

Since receiving this TV a couple of months back I have experienced a number of issues with the Android OS. Going by the discussion on various forums, it seems I am not the only one...

There are missing features - features promised to be here by now and no sign of yet. There are also lots of software defects, some minor and some major. Some are intermittent, some persistent. I thought I should compile a list as a useful reference, and tick them off as and when they are fixed. So, here we go.


Sony Bravia W805C 2015 Android TV: first impressions

Recently I've had my eye on Sony's new 2015 range of Android TVs. My opinion of TV manufacturers' software features hasn't been so good. I never use internal tuners because DVRs are much better, and I find the implementations of their "smart" features are often half-baked - typically only supporting certain combinations of video containers and codecs, handling subtitles improperly etc. The support timeframes are also shockingly short.


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