If this then that

How can I get a text message when my solar power system goes down?

Solar Power System

Episode 1660

Scott from Laguna Hills, California

Scott has solar power and occasionally, the system will pop a breaker and go off. But he won't get notified that it's happened, even though he has an IP based system. How can he set up a text message that can notify him when it happens?  Leo says if it was public, you could use a service like If This, Then That, to send you a text. But since it's private, then you may have to create your system using an old computer or raspberry pi to run a process that would ping your system to see if it's up and running. 

How can I get notified audibly that I got a call?

Phone notification

Episode 1445

Lee from Big Bear, CA

Lee wants to know how he can be notified of a call on his iPhone 7. Leo says that if he looks at his phone icon, he'll see a red dot with the number of calls. Then he can tap it and see what calls he missed. What about an audio notification? Leo says that If This Then That may be able to give him what he needs. He should try the iPhone app, but Apple is pretty restrictive on opening up the iOS architecture. So that could be something it just won't let him do.

How can I have my Hue lights interact with my security cameras?

Raspberry Pi

Episode 1428

Brian from Charleston, IN

Brian has several Rasperry Pi computers for a DIY security camera network. Leo says he shouldn't DIY to save money anymore, he should just do it to have fun. Brian had an intruder (a critter) come in last night, and it wasn't lit very well. Leo says he'll want an infrared camera. Motion sensor lights would be a good idea as well. Leo says that half the fun of making is to figure out what's next and how to make it better.

What can I do with my Amazon Echo?

Amazon Echo

Episode 1195

Karen from Tustin, CA

Karen finally got her Amazon Echo and she loves it. Leo says he just got his as well. This market of smart assistant technology has really been driven by Siri, Cortana, etc. Echo is the smartest one so far, Leo thinks. Leo says Amazon seems really committed to it.

There's also a great free service called IFTTT (If This, Then That), which will allow Karen to create recipes and set up automated tasks.