Subaru Remote Start with Home Assistant

We own a 2021 Subaru Forester and it includes the STARLINK remote start.  Throughout our home we have a number of smart devices, Amazon, Google and Home Assistant.  

I wanted to figure out a way to allow me to remote start our car without the need to use the Subaru app.  I discovered that Home Assistant ( https://www.home-assistant.io/) had an integration to Subaru, however it was only to pull data.  Then I discovered that someone else created a STARLINK integration – which supports remote start!  (https://github.com/G-Two/homeassistant-subaru)

I successfully configured the integration and was able to create an Automation that allowed me to call the subaru.remote_start service with the payload being vin:MY_VIN.  I created a webhook trigger so I can call it from other services, such as Alexa or Garmin.

 I configured the APICall widget (https://apps.garmin.com/en-US/apps/ac9a81ab-a52d-41b3-8c14-940a9de37544) for Garmin to allow me to trigger the web service and start the Forester.  I also created a stop vehicle one to shut it down if needed.

Please let me know if you have any questions!

Tandemkross Victory Trigger

Review of Tandemkross Victory Trigger

TL;DR – 10/10 – Worth the hassle of installation.


Yesterday I received my TK Victory Trigger and Challenger Charging Handle. I also run the Tandemkross Game Changer Pro. Last night I installed the trigger. I have zero gun smithing knowledge and after reaching out to TK they published the installation instructions and video.

The most challenging part of the install was removing the roll pins to pull the trigger assembly. Even with a punch it was a lot of work. I ended up leveraging my bearing press and some chunks of wood to press the pins out. Once I got the them out, I followed the instructions and installation was a breeze.

One thing I did notice was the instructions have you install the set screw that preloads the trigger from the top, which is what I did, but unfortunately makes it impossible to adjust without disassembling the gun. It feels like their installation was meant to have the head of the screw exposed in the trigger body but after testing, there isn’t enough clearance to do that.

With that said, expect to have to take the trigger out multiple times to get the adjustment of the preload perfect. Don’t push your pins in until you dry fire it a few times to make sure it feels good. 

Once the trigger is installed you can adjust the trigger pull with the trigger installed. I ended up breaking two roll pins installing them back in. Harbor Freight sells a set of roll pins and it includes ones that are perfect, I think they are the 5/64 x1 pins. They seemed to install fine and be more durable than the stock pins.

The Challenger Charging Handle took about 15 seconds to install. Press an Allen key in the rear hole, remove the stock peice and replace with the charging handle. 

Today I took it to the range today and I LOVE the way it shoots. The preload was always annoying, having to pull the trigger in what felt like an inch until just before the point of firing made for a not so great pull. It’s worth noting that this is a safety feature that you are bypassing.  

With the Victory trigger, I have the preload adjusted to right before the trigger is engaged, allowing me to simply squeeze the trigger and shoot. It is a VERY crisp feeling shot with the new trigger.  

The texture of the trigger is a lot more aggressive than the stock trigger, allowing for a positive and repeatable finger position.  

Was the trigger install worth fighting with the roll pins and having to buff out a few slight cosmetic scratches on the lower assembly? While I am a novice when it comes to firearms, difficulty in installation is in no way the fault of TK, and from a product standpoint, I say yes, 10/10.

NEJE Master Enclosure

Last week I purchased a NEJE 20w Master Laser from NMCLasers (LINK) and so far I am really happy with the quality of the engraving and cutting of this machine.  Having come from a NEJE 1.5w laser cube, which had a tiny working area, the open design of the Master is much nicer.


After my first project, which was to burn the grid on the cutting board I had mounted the laser on, my wife instantly complained of the smell of smoke from my office/maker space.  She is very sensitive to smell, so I had to come up with a solution.  Opening the window and blowing a fan seemed to help out a lot but wasn’t a long term solution.

I first started looking at solutions that I could build an the community provided some nice examples.  Then I started thinking of what I could use off the shelf.  That’s when I remember seeing “mini rack-mount cabinets” when I was looking at building a home lab and went to see what I could find.

I ended up stumbling upon a 6U Rack Enclosure on eBay (LINK) and it had the dimensions I was looking for, and a fan for ventilation!

After placing the order – I then started thinking about how I was going to do ventilation.  This turned into a trip to Home Depot.  I found some 4in Dryer Vent and a Square Duct in the section near the hot water heaters and duct work.  The idea was to couple the vent on the exhaust of the 120mm fan on the top of the case and vent out of the window.  Unfortunately I was not able to find anything that would fit the bill – so for testing I purchased a cheap vent and cut it to fit the top of the enclosure, as you will see pictured.  I am currently in the process of printing a 120mm to 4in Duct Adapter on my 3D Printer.  I will post an update once I complete that.

The enclosure arrived and needed to be assembled.  A lot of the reviews I read about the case said they had damage from the factor, fortunately mine only had one slightly bent rail that I was able to fix.  Assembly was easy, took me about 10 minutes and I did not install the server rails – as I was not going to need them.  

After assembly, I was pleased to find that the laser and cutting board fit perfect! 

I installed some cheap USB LEDs from Amazon (LINK) that are made to go on the back of a TV on the top inside of the case.

All of the wiring is hooked up to a GoSung Smart Powerstrip (LINK) which allows me to use my Alexa Routine and say, “Alexa, Fire the Laser” and power on my setup.  I ended up having to punch out one of the panels in the rear to fit the power cord for the fan through – which I plan on 3D printing a proper block-off to fill back in.

The sides come off of the enclosure, and the door is easily removable, making it possible to do oversized items that wouldn’t fit the width or length of the case.

I then mounted the temporary coupler on the top of the fan exhaust with double sided tape and hooked the duct hose to it, attaching the vent to the opposite end.  I was pleased to feel decent air output with the stock 120mm fan – as I was going to order a high CFM fan if needed. 

I plan on building something to fill the remainder of the gap in my window when I have the vent in place.

After everything was in place, I did a test on a piece of wood with laser at 100%, making sure to create smoke.  I could see the smoke being sucked up towards the fan, clearing from the path of the beam and vented out of the top.   I let the laser run for a bit and asked my wife if she could tell I was running my laser – SUCCESS!   I then tried some Acrylic – something that I could smell and I could not tell I was burning plastic – AGAIN, SUCCESS! 

Material List:
NEJE 20w Master Laser
eBay 6U Rack Enclosure
4in Dryer Duct
Rectangle Duct Vent
120mm to 4in Vent Coupler
GoSung Smart Powerstrip

Project To-Do List:
3D Printed Vent Coupler – In Progress
J Tech Laser Shielding (LINK) to replace the glass – Ordered

I am sure for most people who use their setup for small projects, this is overkill.  However, if you are using your laser in your house and would like to vent smells (and potentially toxic fumes) outside – this has so far worked great for me!  I will continue to update this post as time goes on and I make modifications.