Getting a Tuya based video doorbell integrated into Home Assistant

A while back my step father gifted me a Geeni Merkury Doorbell (The CW014 before it got renamed to Doorpeek).  Geeni is basically a Wal-Mart rebrand of Tuya smart home equipment.  So instead of using the actual Geeni app I just used the Smart Life app and figured Home Assistant would add it to my devices like the plugs I already have with the Tuya integration.

However, doorbells aren’t officially supported by the Tuya integration and the information in the Smart Life app wasn’t helping either.  It didn’t even give me the internal IP address. It only contained the external IP address of my modem.

It took a some digging to find the resources I needed and piece it together.  So I figured I’d share the process in case anyone else was looking to do something similar.

Find the IP Address

I used Net Analyzer (for iOS) but you can use WireShark or even the list of devices on your router.  I just went through the list of unknown IP addresses

Login to Web UI

The next step is to login to the web based user interface.  I just had to type in the ip address into the address bar and it came up.  If that doesn’t work for you the try using the iSpy Camera Connection Database.  This is a great idea because this is how I discovered the login credentials for my camera.


You’ll definitely want to change the default admin password and create a second basic account with less rights to access the feed.  That way if anyone ever gets your credentials they only have your visitor account.

Once I logged into the web portal I clicked the gear icon above the video feed.  I then click on the Setup heading to expand it and then clicked on User Permissions.

On the password line for the admin account I entered a new password.  Then on the next line I created a guest account with a password.  Then I clicked on the permissions line to make sure the drown down option was Visitor.  And then click Save.

Video Stream URL

Now for the important part, finding the URL to the video stream.  The first thing you need to do is navigate back to the video stream.  For me that meant clicking on the Video Camera icon on the tabs at the top of the screen.  I then right-clicked the center of the video and selected "Inspect" since I was using Chrome.  The section of code that is highlighted should be what you're looking for.  For me this was the format I found:

http://[Device IP Address]:8099/cgi-bin/videostream.cgi&user=[Username]&pwd[Password]

So just copy that URL to your clipboard and you're ready for the next step.  I also saved it into the documentation I keep for ALL my Home Assistant Integrations

Use MJPEG Integration

Now we just add the stream URL to the MJPEG integration in Home Assistant and we will be ready to go!

Method 1 - Automated

  1. If you are on the same network as your Home Assistant instance then you can just go to the web page for the MJPEG integration and click the  button.
  2. Follow the directions to be navigated to Home Assistant webpage or mobile app
  3. Enter a unique name you want to use for the camera
  4. Paste the URL you copied earlier into the line labelled MJPEG URL
  5. Click Submit
Method 2 - Manual
  1. Open your Home Assistant instance (via webpage or app)
  2. Navigate to Settings... Devices & Services... Click the blue "+ Add Integration" button at the bottom right of the window.
  3. Enter a unique name you want to use for the camera
  4. Paste the URL you copied earlier into the line labelled MJPEG URL
  5. Click Submit

Then you can just search for that device by name and add it to whichever dashboard you want.  I just searched the devices list, clicked on the device to open its page and then clicked "Add To Dashboard" and used the default entity (picture-entity).

Good luck automators!


R+F Expenses (How To)

This is a tutorial on how to setup an R+F Expenses tracker. All you need is an iDevice that supports the Shortcuts app (iOS 12 or later) and a Google account to log into Google Sheets and IFTTT (If This Then That).

Here is the link the to the instruction manual: https://goo.gl/7R8Kcb

=TIMEVALUE(SUBSTITUTE(" {{OccurredAt}}"," at ", " ")) + DATEVALUE(SUBSTITUTE("{{OccurredAt}}"," at ", " ")) ||| =TEXT( TIMEVALUE(SUBSTITUTE(" {{OccurredAt}}"," at ", " ")) + DATEVALUE(SUBSTITUTE("{{OccurredAt}}"," at ", " ")), "MMMM") ||| {{Value1}} |||{{Value2}} ||| {{Value3}}

#Expenses #R+F #Taxes


Grilled Ginger Sesame Chicken

While planning this weeks meal plan I wanted a new idea for chicken. I could have swore my cousin Foo had one on her blog. Instead I found one on her Pintrest board called Grilled Ginger Sesame Chicken Salad. I really only liked the chicken recipe. So I took it and made it with some rice.

I wasn't able to find all the ingredients at our no frills type grocery store. I'm going have to plan ever further ahead to try new recipes so I have the chance to go to a store with a wider selection.

The items with strike through I didn't have or didn't use.

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons sriracha
1 teaspoon salt
2 chicken breasts
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup scallions, minced

I put it in a ziplock bag with 5 breasts in the fridge for a couple hours.  When on the grill it turned out like this:

My wife liked it and so did my toddler (though it was heavily dipped in BBQ sauce).  I'm certainly going to make this again. Next time I will get the sesame oil or use sesame seeds, score the breasts before putting them in the bag, and of course let it marinade for longer (like overnight).


Last Weeks Meal Plan (Apr 29 to May 3)

Yes, you are reading right. This was last weeks meal plan. I'm feeling lazy and taking a week off meal planning. But this way I can tell you (mostly) how last week went.

Since last week my wife was on the late shift our family wasn't walking through the door until 6 pm. So it was a slow cooker week.

Monday - Lasagna
This is a staple on the late shift. Lasagna is one of my all time favourite meals and translates fairly well to the slow cooker. I finally got ricotta cheese to go in and made the cheese mixture the way it's supposed to be made. To be honest it wasn't very good. Some foods should NEVER be used in a slow cooker recipe. Softer cheeses like ricotta should never be in a slow cooker.

My final tip for this recipe is to make sure you leave sauce on the top layer and NOT cheese. It will burn around the edges.

Tuesday - Chicken Pot Pie
This recipe was a total miss. I let the chicken cook in the mixture instead of cooking it beforehand like I normally. I think I'll do it again in the future. But the cream of chicken soup went weird. And no crust made this dish a flop. I need to look for a new one or make a real pot pie ahead of time and just heat it up.

Wednesday - Whirly Twirly Pizza
We wound up switching nights along the way and had this on Tuesday because my wife had a staff meeting. So my daughter and I went straight home. But being home by myself I wanted something super easy I can heat up while my daughter is in the other room.

Big time kudos to my cousin Foo for brining this recipe to my attention. I love it and (once I figured out how to cook it properly) so does my wife & daughter. I'd like to get better at making the dough thinner before rolling up the log. It always seems so thick once its cooked.

The only issue I have with this recipe is that my usual grocery store (Food Basics) doesn't carry the raw pizza dough in a bag so I need to make a special trip to No Frills one day during the week.

Thursday - Shepherds Pie II
We didn't make this one and I'm not sure why.

Friday - Herb Orzo & Sausage Sautée w Roasted Red Peppers
We didn't make this one because we went to Swiss Chalet for dinner instead. I plan to make it Tuesday this week instead.


Meal Plan - April 22-26

My cousin started blogging about food a while back. So far I've found it an awesome source of new recipes to try and motivation to do meal planning.

Here is this week:

Monday - Chicken Vermicelli Stir Fry
I just boiled the pasta and chicken the night before. Then the night of some frozen veggies in a wok with water and a lid. After a while I threw in the chicken, pasta, and stir fry sauce. It came out pretty good and I have left over pasta & chicken for the weekend.

Tuesday - Taco Salad
We love this and so does my daughter! We just take all the fixings for tacos (shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, crumbled whole wheat corn chips, shredded cheese, sour cream, and found beef with taco seasoning), put it in a bowl, mix it up, and serve it. Not nearly as messy as real tacos but just as filling.

Wednesday - English Muffin Pizzas
I'm going to be away so this will be an easy dinner to prepare. I think they are planning on doing chopped kolbasa & pineapple.

Thursday - Leftover Pasta
I made a LOT of pasta the other week. So we put it in the freezer for nights like this when we need something quick because I'll still be away.

Friday - Pork Chops
Not sure what yet. Prolly a mushroom soup & rice bake since I'll not have much time to prep the night before.


Skillet Lasagna

Lately I've been trying new recipes in an effort to expand my repertoire as a cook as well as to find healthier options for my family to eat.

With our toddler in daycare and my wife's shift changing week to week we normally have a limited amount of time to eat dinner by the time we get home. So most of my recipes have been for slow cookers.

But this week she was on the early shift so I was able to try some recipes that take slightly longer to make. We had tacos that I'm thinking I'll try as a taco salad instead (since they fall apart in UR hands anyways).

Last night I wound up trying the recipe for Skillet Lasagna that my cousin had posted a month or so ago. For the first time in I don't know how long I actually followed the recipe without changing or substituting ingredients (aside from adding some spices for flavour).

It turned out NOTHING like the picture I saw. I think I was supposed to leave the lid off while it simmered because it wound up being VERY watery. After leaving it in the skillet during dinner and dishes afterward the noodles absorbed most of the juices and was much better.

Perhaps next time I'll try this on the weekend and/or with the lid off. We like our pasta. So I refuse to give up on a different method of cooking one of my all time favourite meals.


Twirly Whirly Pizza

So I tried this recipe posted by my cousin on her blog (http://foolovesfood.blogspot.ca/2012/12/whirly-twirly-pizza.html). It didn't turn out exactly as planned. But I did like the overall idea of it. It just needs some tweaking.

First off, I used regular flour for the counter instead of cornmeal. But I liked the tip of using olive oil on my fingers to keep the dough from sticking. So I put it on the knife when when I cut the log and it worked out pretty good. I also used regular pasta sauce instead of "pizza sauce".

For ingredients, I used finely chopped bell peppers and shredded sandwich ham. When I put the logs sections in the dish I covered them with the chunks of ingredients that fell out when I rolled the log. Then I put extra sauce and cheese on top.

I put it in the oven and after cleaning up for a few minutes I put on the timer for 15 minutes. When the timer went off I just turned off the oven and let it sit there for about 10 minutes while got ready for dinner.

The bummer part is it didn't cook all the way through. :( it's probably because I cooked it in a corningware casserole dish instead of a glass one. It only cooked around the edges. Which thankfully wound up being enough for each of us to have a full serving. So while we ate I put it back in the oven at 350 for another 20 minutes.

I like the way it fills the dish I used. So next time I'm going to skip topping it with more sauce and cheese (it wound up being too cheesy). I'll add some baby spinach (or some other green). I'll prolly drop the temp to 350-375 and doubling the time to 40 minutes. Because what came out the oven the second time was really good.