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3671 posts

Uber Geek


  #1437867 30-Nov-2015 14:11
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just email them, they were out of stock when I first wanted one, but they got them back in stock a week later.

oh, and stay well clear of, they went bust and kept a bunch of peoples money without sending out the orders, started a new business (they were bust as   there prices seem insanely good, but thats because you might not get your order :)  


You will find anything you want at MightyApe (affiliate link).

47 posts


  #1448671 11-Dec-2015 12:12
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So I got an Aeon Labs multisensor, Z-Stick and Smart Switch from (thanks Ben - and note they're having a sale right now!) and set them up in my temporary home (10 more days!) to have a play.

Setting up OpenHAB with the Z-Wave bindings was a bit of a learning curve, but once I found their surprisingly good Z-Wave documentation pages it was reasonably straight forward, and without too much hassle I had it reporting all the sensor information to my phone, saving temperature graphs, logging movement including sending iOS push notifications via my.openHAB (which I have to say doesn't seem incredibly reliable push-notification-wise), and controlling the switch (bedroom lamp) remotely.

It was very cool to see it all working, and I can definitely see the possibilities once I'm in my new place. I've got some more sensors already, but am holding off ordering more switches/relays until I know how many single vs. double relays I'll need.

However, the thing that had me unreasonably excited was hooking the switch up to HomeKit. I grabbed the OpenHAB/HomeKit bridge that's available on GitHub, and got it running in no time. Added the switch to HomeKit, and now I can say "Hey Siri, switch on my bedroom lamp", and it works - even from at work! That is just so cool.

I'm really looking forward to getting into my new place now, and setting up many more things like this. 

So next question: What is the best place to buy z-wave stuff from? So far I've got them from, but your range is a bit limited Ben. Is the recommended source? Small order to try and avoid GST/Duty, or just suck it up and pay to avoid excess shipping? Any other sites recommended, or NZ-based sources?

Also, is there anything that's not z-wave that people have had fun looking at, playing with for, or found useful in a smart home?

For example: I've got a few Arduino's, a bunch of RFID tags, and an RFID reader. My tinkering brain wants to try setting that up for something, and I'm sure I'll find a use for it.

And again, thanks for all your advice so far! Now I really need to get friendly with an electrician...

  #1448693 11-Dec-2015 12:40
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Hey Tarlen,

Sounds like you have got the bug - good work! And nice work setting up the HomeKit integration - I am all Android but that is encouraging to hear how easy it sounds to get Siri working with openHAB.

I guess our range is a little limited, but that is mainly due to a lot of manufacturers not producing devices in AU/NZ Z-Wave frequencies. Fibaro and Aeon Labs are good in that respect, they tend to release most of their products in all frequencies, although we are still waiting on the Fibaro Smoke Sensor and their Wall Plug - which has been available in Europe for years.

What sort of devices are you after specifically?

I have found in my own home I have ended up with quite a range of different protocols and technologies - e.g. I have a Raspberry Pi (+ 4xrelay board) in my garage speaking MQTT to openHAB which acts as my irrigation controller. I have an Arduino based weather station in my front yard (using Moteinos) speaking MQTT to openHAB. I have energy monitoring using an Arduino and a shield from, and a load of Z-Wave relays and dimmers for controlling all my lights, and door/window/motion sensors for detection presence etc. I am using Owntracks for location/presence detection, and have a heap of other devices which are *openHAB-ready* - e.g. Yamaha receiver, Squeezeboxes (x3), UPS, XBMC/Kodi clients etc.

If I were you I would start looking into MQTT - it is a really great protocol for sending data around your home. You can easily run your own MQTT broker on your network so there is no need for any cloud based services, and there are great libraries for Arduinos and RPis for speaking MQTT. Plus of course openHAB has an MQTT binding.

Best regards,


47 posts


  #1448717 11-Dec-2015 13:25
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Interesting - I guess I shouldn't be surprised NZ/AU frequencies are under-served, but for some reason I am.

What sort of devices are you after specifically?

Hmm... the main thing I can think of that I want soon are smoke/fire detectors.

My primary needs are door/window sensors, switches, and the motion sensors I already have. I'm toying with the idea of door locks, doorbell cameras and so on, but for now they are "stage two" devices.

Irrigation is a possibility, as is a weather station of some kind.

This is why I asked the second question really - I have my primary goals in mind but am keen to look at secondary options too.

Another question - how would you go about integrating this kind of stuff with an existing alarm system (minus the PIRs, which aren't pet safe)? Is there any way to use the alarm controller (for siren etc?), or would it be better to rip it out and go for a "properly integrated" system.

I'm guessing the answer here is going to be "it depends on what alarm it is", but I figured I'd ask anyway. :-)

  #1448726 11-Dec-2015 13:50
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Really depends on what you want to *integrate*. I have an old Bosch alarm system which I integrated with openHAB via a couple of Fibaro Universal sensors - these things are actually pretty awesome for their price. You can parasitically monitor two binary sensors enabling you to report their state back to your Z-Wave network. They can also have up to 4 DS18B20 temperature probes connected (one-wire) allowing you to monitor 4 temperature points.

For example I have an alarm PIR in my garage just above my internal garage door. So I put one of these sensors inside the PIR housing (they are that small!) and it monitors the PIR state as well as a cheap little reed switch on the internal door. It also has a DS18B20 temperature probe (a couple of $) so that one device for $95 tells me if there is any motion in the garage, if the internal door is open/closed, as well as the garage temp!

You can also mounted inside your alarm panel which would allow you to monitor the state of your alarm - i.e. whether the siren/strobe is going and thus indicating the alarm has been tripped. They are very useful little devices.

I had a spare RF dongle which I hacked together with an Arduino and a couple of relays which I control via MQTT from openHAB to arm/disarm the alarm. Not the prettiest solution but it has been working flawlessy.

So yeah, in an ideal world you would have a nice IP connected alarm. There is an openHAB binding for a few alarms, DSC is one that I remember off the top of my head. But if not, with a few of those Fibaro Universal Binary Sensors and some creative tinkering you can get everything pretty well hooked up!

  #1448728 11-Dec-2015 13:59
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The other thing I would consider is a flood sensor or two. I can't believe more people don't invest in these. I have a couple in my place, one under the washing machine and one under the hot water cylinder. I have seen first hand the damage a leaking HWC can do, the old man rebuilt his place (earthquake rebuild) and a connection on the HWC failed after a few weeks. His lovely timber floors were wrecked in the space of a day as the leak wasn't detected while they were at work - so there was water sitting/pooling for 5-6 hours before they got home.

He now has 3 flood sensors.

Water can cause so much damage and for the price of a Fibaro Flood sensor you get piece of mind that you will be alerted anytime it detects even a droplet! It will also report temperature and tamper events. They can be easily moved around and the batteries last an age - mine is still going after 18 months. It was one of the first things I installed when I started playing with automation and Z-Wave.

254 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #1448772 11-Dec-2015 15:01
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I was going to ask if anyone was using the Tyco RESIDENTIAL IP ALARM COMMUNICATOR TL-150 or the EYEZ-ON EVL-3 - Envisalink Internet Alert Module for DSC & Honeywell Security for their alarm systems, I still need to get the basics sorted first i.e. stage 1.

1082 posts

Uber Geek

  #1562560 30-May-2016 19:21
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Hey Blanch - did you ever get an Envisalink? I'm about to order one (and have listed here in case anyone is interested in buying one at the same time + sharing shipping)


I see at least someone from NZ has recently done a bit of a review of it,







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