Yet another wall mount: simple, cheap, + clean (HomeHabit + Mike’s + fireHD)

(Crossposted from openhab forums. Thanks to @igor for making a great product!)

After searching around for a long while, I’ve finally settled on a wall mount to meet my criteria:

  • Runs HomeHabit!
  • Flexible
  • POE or low voltage powered
  • Affordable (costs add up when you need a half dozen units or more!)
  • Clean install

The base tablet units are Amazon Fire HD 7s or Fire HD 10s. I came across these units thanks to Dylan_Thurston [from OH forums] and his great magnetic wall mount project. As he stated, these are great wall mount tablets since they can be rooted and are ultra low cost ($50-70 refurbished). Performance is awful out of the box, but once you remove the bloatware, they work great as home control tablets.

For mounting, I originally wanted to go the magnetic wall mount route as well, but I came across these great 3D printed cases from Makes by Mike, so I gave them a shot. I was originally a bit apprehensive since PLA quality is not always the greatest, but I tried them out, and these cases have been great! Bonus points because they’re easy to mount to existing electrical work boxes and they include several power options, including POE.

After rooting, the tablets have been modified with the following features:

  • Hands-free wake is triggered by tasker and MQTT from motion sensors in OH
  • When motion is detected in certain zones (front porch, etc), live video overlay of that zone pops up over the dashboard. Also triggered by OH events pushed via MQTT.
  • For longevity, battery charging is limited using ACC: https://github.com/VR-25/acc
  • Sound for each tablet is output through bluetooth speakers paired in respective rooms
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Roy, that looks great.

One of the cleanest setups that I’ve seen.

  • When motion is detected in certain zones (front porch, etc), live video overlay of that zone pops up over the dashboard. Also triggered by OH events pushed via MQTT.

Can you please expand on this? mqtt to tasker? then tasker opens an app outside of HH?

@mikeoz thanks for the compliments. My intention was to keep user friendliness high, so homehabit is perfect for that. Most other dashboards try to cram too much in. Hope I can inspire others with some new ideas.

Ah, yes, forgot to credit the app writer for this outstanding function! You’re right, I set it up so an app opens outside of HH for triggered events. For this, I took the following steps:

  1. openHAB sends events to MQTT
  2. MQTT client triggers a video pop-up event in tasker. I’m using the “MQTT Client” android app to receive events (built-in support for tasker)
  3. For the video pop-up, I found a great app called “Overlays.” It’s perfect because it includes built-in support for tasker and is fairly flexible. Overlays draws a window over whatever app you have in android, so in this case, the video is simply an HTTP mjpg feed from blueiris.

A few notes on Overlays, specifically for people on old versions of Android (common for wall mount tablets):

  • The current app store version does not support Android 5 (lollipop) since it’s so old.
  • I contacted Lior, the developer of Overlays. He was great about uploading a special APK built for old versions of Android to his website
  • Because overlays floats above any other app, it PERFECTLY solved a problem for me, which is to have context-aware actions on the wall tablet (No knock against igor of course! I know how difficult it would be to build context actions into HH.).

I’m really happy with the HH + overlays combination. It’s awesome because the possibilities are endless and takes wall panels to that next level of polish and user friendliness. For instance, you can add in a music player widget on top of HH when music is playing and hide it once the music stops.

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@Roy_L Thanks so much for the detailed answers, gave me lots of ideas.

My HH panel says hi, looks like we’ve gone for similar setups :slight_smile: . I’m using a HD8 with Linage.

Nice! Looking good!

How do you like Lineage on the HD8? I tried it for a week, but it was SOOO slow. Perhaps I had a bad flash. Are you on the 7th gen or 8th gen model?

I wound up going back to stock fire OS, but stripped it of all the bloat. It works quite nicely now. The upshot is this way I can still take advantage of amazon’s proprietary OS optimizations, but I still prefer vanilla android if there’s a good option out there.

Looks good @Roy_L could you showcase your widgets a little more and which ones you are using for different situations?

I only have two overlay widgets so far: one for motion on the front door and one for motion in the rear.

Here’s a quick sample (please excuse the video quality. had to shoot one handed while manually activating the trigger in OH):

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Damn, those overlays look great!

I’m on a 8th Gen, Lineage 14 runs great but I haven’t compared it to FireOS as I flashed it as soon as I received the unit :slight_smile:
It’s a bummer cause newer units can’t be rooted/flashed, so watch out for firmware updates.

Thanks for the info, I’ll play with the mqtt client/overlays and will let you know how I get on.

Cheers.

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@Igor, we need some popup overlays like this as a standard feature mate!!!

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I agree :slight_smile:

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I’d love this. I have a front door camera, with video on one of the pages, but to have the video pop up on a sensor state change would be awesome. Its the most obvious omission from my multiple dashboards around the house - when the doorbell goes or movement detected.

Hi Roy,

I had some time to play with your setup today and it works great - Thanks for sharing.

Just a quick one, what URL are you using on blueiris ? I’m using:
http://blueiris/livestream.htm?cam=front

And it doesn’t look anything like yours, I’ve tried with both the web page and web app on overlays.

Cheers.

Awesome! Glad you got it up and running.
Did you find the fading configuration?

Oh, good question on the URLs. I use feeds written into a custom webpage fed through a proxy server so I can play with the dimensions. Without messing with all that, the best “out of the box” URL from Blue Iris is probably the mjpg stream:

http://blueirisserver/mjpg/frontdoorbell
where frontdoorbell is cam short name.

Thanks Roy!

Yep, I got the fading to work, I had to reduce the animation times in Developer settings and set a trigger to turn it off, it’s working great now.

I knew you did some funky manipulation as your fade in/out looks awesome :slight_smile:

http://blueirisserver/mjpg/frontdoorbell <-- This url didn’t work for me,

Documentation has it here but it doesn’t work for me either, I have to use HLS which is 5-10 seconds behind.

http://blueirisserver/mjpg/frontdoorbell/video.mjpg

Thanks so much Roy.

Hrm, that’s odd. I didn’t need to make any changes in developer settings to get the fading to work.

I just verified both Blue Iris URLs work for me. I’m on version 5 with UI3. Maybe that has something to do with it? There is a lag with the BI mjpg streams, but definitely not 5-10 seconds, ouch! The lag is probably about 1-3 seconds.

If your camera has ONVIF service, you might even be able to stream the single feed from the camera itself?

EDIT: Oh, just remembered, you may need to adjust your BI webserver’s permissions to allow your other clients to access the mjpg streams. It probably doesn’t allow anonymous access by default. If you have a username/password set, you can use a format that looks like this:

http://blueirisserver/mjpg/frontdoorbell?user=username&pw=supersecretpassword

Make sure to check that. Of course, the internal webserver in BI also needs to be turned on. You can check that in BlueIris -> settings/info -> Web Server -> Advanced

Wow, that works great. Thank you!

If your camera has ONVIF service, you might even be able to stream the single feed from the camera itself?

This won’t work atm, as ONVIF requires a RTSP stream. At the moment the overlay app doesn’t support RTSP on the media player yet (apparently it’s coming) - So we can only display in a browser. I might look up an mjpg url for the camera.

But everything is working great, You have put together an awesome feature, have you been playing with anything else?

Cheers.

No, haven’t had time/need to play with the tablets much afterward. After I set up all the stuff above, I’ve been pretty happy with it thanks to Igor’s great software :slight_smile:

In case you do find an mjpg URL straight from your cams, you can use this basic code in your HTML file. You don’t even have to spin up a web server for it, you can dump your custom *.html file in the blueiris program files directory and use the built in webserver there. The (default) path is something like: C:\Program Files\Blue Iris 5\www

I don’t really recommend it since I’m not sure it will survive updates, but worth a shot.

If you create custom html, it will include at least this code to display your video. In my case also added divs + styling to display real time item status pulled from openHAB (lock status, door status, etc)

<img src="http://mjpgurl" style="max-width: 1280px; max-height:720px;">

Great stuff, really appreciate the help Roy.

Cheers.