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Chris 'n' Steffie

Gaming, adventuring, DIY

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Automation

The ovens are in!

Once the other units were placed, getting the tall unit for the oven fitted was a little bit easier. On the sides, were some finishing pieces: first, a cut was made at the bottom to make is square to the floor and walls; then the top was cut. It was slightly too deep, but rather than risk another cut, it was decided to move the tall cabinet out slightly with some packing pieces.

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And here it is with the ovens fitted! It is not quite complete, we received the wrong colour decorative pieces which fill the gaps in-between the ovens. These simply stick into place, so fitting them at a later date should be easy enough (Update: 2019 – turns out they don’t make ones in the correct colour!)

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The top oven is a microwave convection oven grill. It can do all the normal things an oven can do – it can even use the microwave and oven at the same time to reduce cooking time. Another nice feature is that it can automatically cook food – tell it what you’ve put inside, press “pizza”, and walk away!

The bottom oven has the automatic cooking too, it also has a meat thermometer for more accurate roasts! It can also be remote controlled via our phones (OK, you still have to put the food in at some point, but it’s useful for pre-heating) – on, off, or any of the cooking modes. Going a step further, it also integrates with our Google Home voice assistant, so we can operate it by speaking to it. Nest also integrates with it, so, should a fire be detected, the ovens (as well as the boiler) will be shut off.  The integration does open up some interesting possibilities – currently, the lights are set to quickly blink once the food has finished cooking – time will tell if it is going to be a blessing or a curse!

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Hello, Nest Hello

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We installed our Nest Hello. It’s a fancy doorbell.

It can be powered by existing doorbell wiring, although we didn’t have one to start with. Transformers are easy enough to find though.

It was chosen because it integrates with our Google Home devices, phones, watches, etc… The facial recognition is a pretty cool feature, it will tell you who is at the door before they have even pushed the button.

Our WiFi signal isn’t very strong outside of our house, so we have to use it at a reduced bitrate, but the video quality is still pretty good. There is currently about a 2 second delay from button push to announcement inside – not too bad.

We hope to bury the wire when we get around to re-pointing the front of the house.

Another Google Home!

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During Black Friday, the Google Home Mini was going cheap if you bought 2. So, we thought it’d be a neat idea to fit one into the bathroom. It actually works really nicely mounted on the ceiling.

The 2nd mini was placed in the bedroom – all three can work together when playing music, which fills the house with sound more evenly than just one at a higher volume.

New garage door + automation!

We had a new garage door installed. It took a little longer than we wanted to get around to it, but it is nice to not have leaves blowing inside your house! We needed a door that would make the best use of space, so an up-and-over style wasn’t going to work. We decided to go with a roller door – the one we picked:

  • Matches the colour of our windows
  • It rolls up tight so as to maximize space in the garage
  • Has an intrusion alarm
  • Can be opened or closed without power if needed
  • Fully weather sealed
  • Detects objects in the way

We wanted to go one step further, we need it to be convenient. We added in a WiFi plug (which in turn integrates with IFTTT and Google Assistant), which toggles a power supply. As far as the door is concerned, it is being operated with a key switch, but for us, we gain a lot of convenience!

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