Turning off the alarm system – and the lights come on!

Following up on the previous post about pulling sensor data from sensors in a Verisure alarm system, here is a slightly more hardware focused post.

The Verisure – USB – ESP8266 sandwich

One use case that the new Verisure alarm system does not handle nicely is machine-to-machine notification when the alarm is disarmed (turned off). Such notifications are sent to the mobile app – so the data exists somewhere. The problem is that it’s all undocumented and thus hard to build something on top of.

Let’s hack a solution instead – be aware, some soldering required….

Continue reading “Turning off the alarm system – and the lights come on!”

Reading sensor data from a Verisure home alarm system

I recently upgraded our house alarm system to the latest model from Verisure.

Pretty nice actually, the new system comes with a good mobile app, remote querying of both alarm status and status of the various sensors (smoke, movement etc) that are included in the system. Oh, the new system actually cost less per month too, compared to the old one. Go figure.

Being the geek that I am, I immediately wondered if it was possible to get hold of the sensor readings (temperature and humidity) that were shown in the mobile app.

Turns out it is pretty simple. There is a REST API which can be queried, and from there you get back all kinds of status for the system. With that data nicely structured in a JSON it’s then a breeze to send the data to a MQTT pub-sub broker for later use by whatever system that might need it. Easy in theory.

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Butler Cache Warmer + Docker = True

More Docker in the Butler family!

Today version 2.0 of Butler CW was released, including a Docker image and configuration files needed to run Butler CW as a Docker container.

Feature wise the stand-alone Node.js app and the new container-based solution are identical, it’s just way more convenient to run it as a Docker container.

Additional info is available in the GitHub repository.

Yesterday the original Butler tool was Dockerized, today Butler CW… Do you see the trend?

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Hey Butler, please meet Docker

Before the summer the Butler tool turned two years old – time flies!

Over those years I have installed, tweaked and upgraded a fair number of Butler instances… Not a problem per se, but maintaining a production grade Butler instance does assume a certain level of experience around Node.js, Linux, networking etc.

The most recent Butler version (v2.2) attempts to make it easier to deploy and operate Butler.  This is achieved by deploying Butler as a Docker container instead of a regular Node.js app.

The Docker image (from which a container is created) contains exactly the same Node.js app that you can run right on your server or laptop – i.e. there is no functional difference what so ever between running the Node app natively, and running it as a Docker container.

There are some significant benefits of running Butler under Docker:

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SOLVED: Not possible to install new nodes in Qlik Sense June 2018 environment

I worked out the issue preventing me to add additional nodes to a Qlik Sense Enterprise suystem whose central node had been updated to June 2018.

The June 2018 version of Qlik Sense Enterprise relies on a database called “SenseServices” to be available in the Postgres db (as in earlier versions, Postgres can run on the central node or on some other server).

When running the June 2018 installer on a new server (which is to be added as a new node in a Sense Enterprise cluster), the installer verifies that the SenseServices database exists. If it does not, you get an error half-way through the installer:

SenseServices db is missing

 

Maybe there is info somewhere that you need to create a new “SenseServices” db in Postgress before installing additional Sense nodes… but I looked (a lot) without finding anything.

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Butler SOS v2.0 – Real-time error and warning dashboards for Qlik Sense

This one is long overdue, but finally here: Butler SOS v2.0

The new version is an almost complete re-write of v1.0. Changes are plentiful and include

  • All warnings and errors stored by Sense in its log database are now pulled into Butler SOS, from where it can be graphed and acted upon.
    This is a big deal, as it was previously not possible to get notifications or alerts when errors or warnings started to pile up in the logs.
  • Operational health metrics are still pulled from Qlik Sense, but this is now done directly from the QIX engine rather than via a hard-to-secure virtual proxy.
  • Using certificates for authentication with Sense removes potential security issues with v1.0.
  • Config file is now YAML instead of JSON. More human readable and with inline comments.
  • Config file now allows for more fine-grained control of Butler SOS.
  • Several bugs fixed, especially around sending metrics to MQTT.

The readme file on GitHub has all the details, here are some screen shots to get you started though:

 

The new version is available on GitHub.

 

PS. This is blog post # 100. Yaaay!!!