Automating my home: Ring Pro Video Doorbell

I have been very opposed to video doorbells for sometime now, it just seemed like an odd place to put a camera, and I couldn’t find one with live video stream, most operated based on the doorbell being run, and more recently on motion, but I wanted to be able to use it as a traditional camera.  I was also a little concerned by the original model requiring recharging and whether I would remember to actually charge it. Recently, my wife mentioned that she was surprised we didn’t have one, and it seemed like a good idea.  With the release of the Ring Video Doorbell Pro, and the live stream update, I decided to jump in and give it a shot.  The worst case I could always return it, but I had high hopes.

The packaged arrived, and of course I could hardly wait to get it opened and take a look.  Installation was a little disappointing, only because it was so simple.  My youngest son removed the old doorbell, and we took off the 24v wires, connected them to the new doorbell, and attached it to the house.  The app walked me through connecting the device to wifi, and we tested it.  The only problem we found was the mechanical chime only rang once, rather than twice as before.  Reading the directions quickly, it appeared that there is a “pro power adapter” which we needed to install in the chime itself.  Again this was almost disappointingly simple.  Once I wired it in, everything just worked.

It has only been a few hours, but I am impressed with the quality of the video, the ease of use, and the simple integration.  I have invited my wife to create an account, so her testing will be important to make sure it is successful.  I also dug out an old iPhone 5 which I locked down to basically the Ring App.  I am planning to mount it in a common area, so we don’t lose functionality.  I would love to see an Apple TV and Roku apps, but those would be tough since it is there is no way for two way audio yet.

Installing this has me considering the Ring Stickup Camera.  The simplicity of the app, and the impressive web interface would make it a perfect fit.  My two hesitations are the 720p camera, and again the battery.  On the cameras, I could deal with the battery, but to replace my 4 Samsung Smartcam HD I want 1080p video.

This is an absolutely impressive product, I am looking forward to seeing what more Ring brings to market.  I am going to experiment with Stringify or IFTTT next to see what new integrations I can do.

Automating my home: Ring Pro Video Doorbell

Updating the Raspberry Pi Unifi Controller to 5.4.16

With the recent release of UniFi’s 5.4.16 controller software, the Java version has been updated to version 8.  On the Raspberry Pi controller, this causes the controller to fail to start after the upgrade.  After some digging on the forums, it seems to be a common problem, but easily resolved.


To upgrade, it is a simple update command if you followed my previous post on Building a Unifi Wireless Controller with a Raspberry Pi 3.  The upgrade is simply as follows.

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade -y

Fix the issue:

To resolve the issue with java, you will need to first make sure you have Oracle Java 8 installed.
sudo apt-get install oracle-java8-jdk

Then make sure the new version is set as default.

sudo update-alternatives --config java

Select Oracle Java 8.

Restart the service.

sudo systemctl restart unifi

This is a very simple fix, but hopefully this saves some frustration on configuring your Raspberry Pi 3 UniFi controller.

Updating the Raspberry Pi Unifi Controller to 5.4.16