Welcome to the Tinaja Labs’ Blog.

At Tinaja Labs we are developing wireless sensor networks and a platform to support data acquisition and analysis.  Here we share what we’ve learned, how we learned and highlight those who have helped us along the way.  Visit the wiki for ongoing updates.

Visit us at the Maker Faire

Maker Faire 2019 is upon us. Our booth is named “The Sense of Things.


We will be presenting our latest fun with home automation systems integration.  In addition to our ongoing  updates to the Node-Red coordination component we’ve made improvements to the MQTT publish/subscribe protocol which makes it more efficient for the things to communicate;  some things publish their events and state changes, and some things subscribe to those events and state changes.  It works so well.


Rocket.chat – ChatBot

We’ve also hooked up a chat system (Rocket.chat) with a chatbot called Hubot (we’ve named it Tinaja) so we can have a chat with our home automation system.


Graphite Grafana

On another Raspi we’re running Graphite/Grafana.  These components provide some excellent charts based on all the collected data.  One can see trends over time from all the sensors.

Screenshot from 2019-05-14 17-35-35

Amazon Alexa

Finally, based on the tricks learned with command execution through the chatbot, we’ve extended the same methods through the Amazon Alexa Interaction Model.  With this hookup, we can now say, “Alexa, turn on the light in the dining room”, and… it feels like magic.  Interestingly, because the chatbot and the alexa system share some common code and events, when activating events through Alexa, the chatbot reflects the status change.


Thanks to Terence Shek, Larry Quantz, and Russell Darrin who have agreed to help at the booth so we can all share some time experiencing some of the awesome creativity at the Maker Faire.

60 Watts by Ed Rusch

60 Watts by Ed Rusch

This image by Ed Ruscha evokes a simple life in a remote location.  How wonderful if we could all run our homes on 60 watts.