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t0ny

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#196791 12-Jun-2016 21:35
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So i have decided that i need some level of automation to manage my central heating and power consumption (iam with flick). Basically what i want to achieve short term is:

 

1. Turn the positive air system on/off based on overall temperature of the house

 

2. Turn the daikin central heating on/off, adjust temperature (iam getting the skyfi card installed) by getting temperature readout from various locations around the house and average them out

 

3. Turn on lights on/off in lounge/kitchen when motion is detected

 

4. Get a handle of power consumption for the devices

 

My shopping list so far is:

 

  • Aeon Micro Double Smart Switch
  • Raspberry Pi Controller Pack (includes the Aeon Zwave stick)
  • Aeotec MultiSensor 6
  • Aeon Gen5 Smart Switch Plug

Is there anything else i should be getting. I will be using openhab.


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Talkiet
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  #1570754 12-Jun-2016 22:20
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Sorry... This reply is not helpful but instead of hitting watch I just wanted to add I'm about to start building a house and I am keen to know what the basic entry level automation stakes are... So I'll be keeping an eye out here... My initial requirements are going to be some lights (maybe all, dunno), Heating (central heating and perhaps HRV?), certainly power consumption recording and display. I'd also like a smart deadbolt and doorbell but they seem to be readily available as standalone devices

 

 

 

Cheers - N

 

 





--

 

Please note all comments are the product of my own brain and don't necessarily represent the position or opinions of my employer, previous employers, colleagues, friends or pets.


SumnerBoy
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  #1570776 13-Jun-2016 00:29
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What version of the Pi is in the controller pack? I would push for a RPi3 as it will give you a lot more headroom for running openHAB. A RPi2 will be fine I am sure, but once you start adding more bindings to your system and your rules start to grow, you will be thankful for the extra horsepower. 

 

That list of hardware is a decent place to start IMO. The beauty of something like openHAB is it is very easy to add-to and extend as time goes on. Just add the new binding JAR and define some extra config. What I mean by that is you don't need to design your whole system up front, you can start small and build it up over time. And this is something else that is great about Z-Wave - once you have the controller you can easily add extra switches, sensors, etc when you find a need (or find the money!).

 

What are you going to use for temp sensors for driving your heating rules?

 

One last thing, I found the Fibaro in-wall relays a bit smaller than the Aeon Labs ones, so easier to install.


 
 
 
 


chimera
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  #1570777 13-Jun-2016 01:18
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Talkiet:

Sorry... This reply is not helpful but instead of hitting watch I just wanted to add I'm about to start building a house and I am keen to know what the basic entry level automation stakes are... So I'll be keeping an eye out here... My initial requirements are going to be some lights (maybe all, dunno), Heating (central heating and perhaps HRV?), certainly power consumption recording and display. I'd also like a smart deadbolt and doorbell but they seem to be readily available as standalone devices


 


Cheers - N


 


I would go to all LED bulbs before automating light switches as you sound like you want to reduce power since you want power consumption monitoring. Definitely go straight to zwave or similar for light switch control later though would not bother with wireless switches unless you have a small house, I don't think the wemo for example scale well (they work perfectly fine). Once I can justify the cost for zwave switches I want to do for my whole house as well, just too expensive for now will wait for the price to come down per unit (the couple wemos I installed initially - more for a play around - will get replaced over time)
Forget HRV, invest in a heat pump with wireless control for easy integration into openhab. Good for "V", not so good for "H".
I've found that doing home automation is contradictory, the advantage is that you can build it up slowly so don't need to fork out all at once plus you learn as you go, the downside is its highly addictive so you gotta hold back from buying all the toys up front!!!
And whilst these would not be deemed part of a "starter kit", I would add an Amazon Echo and Harmony hub to the next list up. While not home "automated" devices, being able to ask Alexa to turn off and on the TV, or Netflix (or lights and so on) etc is damn handy
Wireless dead bolt you won't get much change out of ~$500 give or take. That's a fair amount of cash just for a door lock.




 

 


t0ny

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  #1570811 13-Jun-2016 07:47
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The controller pack comes with Pi3 (http://www.activeautomation.co.nz/raspberry-pi-controller-pack). I was going to use the multisensor to get the temperature reading


SumnerBoy
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  #1570843 13-Jun-2016 09:26
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t0ny:

 

The controller pack comes with Pi3 (http://www.activeautomation.co.nz/raspberry-pi-controller-pack). I was going to use the multisensor to get the temperature reading

 

 

 

 

That is a really good deal - RPi3, case, power, and a Z-Stick. A fully operational Z-Wave hub for under $200. 

 

The multi sensor will work fine for temp readings. The only issue with them is battery life. If you want accurate temp then you need to be sending temp readings every 5-10 mins, but this will chew thru the battery. I have all my Z-Wave *multi-sensors* (both Aeon and Fibaro) setup to just report motion and this extends their battery life into years, rather than months.

 

Although the Aeon MultiSensor does support a micro USB power supply which would eliminate this altogether.

 

Sounds like you are ready to take the plunge!

 

 


mclean
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  #1570848 13-Jun-2016 09:43
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I have found the Fibaro switches to be much more reliable than Aeon.

 

Fitting the switches in standard wall boxes is next to impossible, especially if you want to use PDL 681MT10PB momentary pushbuttons in the front-plate, which is the logical one to use. The only solution I have found is the have the switch hanging outside the box, which is far from ideal and makes it hard to get to.

 

 





McLean


chimera
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  #1570852 13-Jun-2016 09:58
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SumnerBoy:

 

t0ny:

 

The controller pack comes with Pi3 (http://www.activeautomation.co.nz/raspberry-pi-controller-pack). I was going to use the multisensor to get the temperature reading

 

 

 

 

That is a really good deal - RPi3, case, power, and a Z-Stick. A fully operational Z-Wave hub for under $200. 

 

The multi sensor will work fine for temp readings. The only issue with them is battery life. If you want accurate temp then you need to be sending temp readings every 5-10 mins, but this will chew thru the battery. I have all my Z-Wave *multi-sensors* (both Aeon and Fibaro) setup to just report motion and this extends their battery life into years, rather than months.

 

Although the Aeon MultiSensor does support a micro USB power supply which would eliminate this altogether.

 

Sounds like you are ready to take the plunge!

 

 

Where has your NZ smart things web site gone Sumnerboy?!  I actually thought you had changed it and owned Active Automation!

 

Still a good deal regardless.

 

 





 

 


 
 
 
 


SumnerBoy
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  #1570862 13-Jun-2016 10:20
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chimera:

 

 

 

Where has your NZ smart things web site gone Sumnerboy?!  I actually thought you had changed it and owned Active Automation!

 

Still a good deal regardless.

 

 

 

 

The arrival of a baby girl has meant I had to shut down the site unfortunately. Just didn't have the time to run it. I sold all my stock to the guys at Active Automation and they are really good to deal with, hence why I recommend them whenever anyone asks.

 

I am still very active in the HA space, just not selling anymore.


chimera
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  #1570866 13-Jun-2016 10:26
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SumnerBoy:

 

chimera:

 

 

 

Where has your NZ smart things web site gone Sumnerboy?!  I actually thought you had changed it and owned Active Automation!

 

Still a good deal regardless.

 

 

 

 

The arrival of a baby girl has meant I had to shut down the site unfortunately. Just didn't have the time to run it. I sold all my stock to the guys at Active Automation and they are really good to deal with, hence why I recommend them whenever anyone asks.

 

I am still very active in the HA space, just not selling anymore.

 

 

Fair enough. Congrats on the daughter. Hope you enjoyed the sleepless nights laughing

 

Since you're here,... slight thread hijack... what do you think of the ZME Z-Wave USB sticks vs the Aeon Gen5 ones? Clearly cheaper, but just as good? 

 

 





 

 


timmmay
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  #1570869 13-Jun-2016 10:31
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You're looking at a lot of extra effort for minimal gains.

 

1. Just use a regular timer, you can guess well enough. $10 from Mitre Ten.
2. Ah yeah, you could, or you could just use a timer.
3. Easy.
4. Pretty easy to guess.


Blanch
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  #1570872 13-Jun-2016 10:34
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t0ny if you are getting started with openhab and zwave have a read of http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/getting-started-openhab-home-automation-raspberry-pi/

 

this and the guys who have responded to this post got me up and running with openhab ;)


SumnerBoy
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  #1570880 13-Jun-2016 10:49
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timmmay:

 

You're looking at a lot of extra effort for minimal gains.

 

1. Just use a regular timer, you can guess well enough. $10 from Mitre Ten.
2. Ah yeah, you could, or you could just use a timer.
3. Easy.
4. Pretty easy to guess.

 

 

 

 

Yes but that is not nearly as much *fun*.

 

You are right, the financial gains for doing this sort of thing vs the amount of money it costs to implement, mean it will often take many years to *break even*. However this doesn't factor in the enjoyment of building the system, and for me at least, is a most rewarding hobby - which like all hobbies requires a bit of $$.

 

The other thing to consider is that by automating things (assuming it is done well) you usually end up with a far more comfortable environment. I.e. just having a heater on a timer won't account for abnormally cold/warm days, but making decisions on whether to heat based on actual temperature readings inside your house, makes for a much more accurate system.

 

I have rules that check the weather forecast every morning at 4am and if the forecast max temp for the day is < 10 then I give the underfloor heating an extra boost for a few hours before we get up. This ensures that on very cold wintery days the house is extra toasty. Little things like that are very easy to implement with openHAB once you have everything *connected* and really do make a difference IMO.

 

Another rule recently implemented is heating in the nursery. The heater in there turns on when the temp < 17.5 and off when > 18.5. So the temp is a nice constant 18 degrees and we don't have to worry about it. However I noticed the wife was opening the window to air out the nursery during the day which would often cool it down and trigger the heater (which is a complete waste as all the heat just flies out the window). A quick addition of a Fibaro Door/Window sensor and now the heater will only activate if the window is closed. As well as warnings if we go out or go to bed and the window is still open. All relatively easy to implement and very useful.

 

Just my 2c ;).


timmmay
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  #1570882 13-Jun-2016 10:53
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Sure, at hobby level it's fine. I spent a bunch on a greenhouse that will never make a return.

 

Having a heat pump heat on a timer does still make for a comfortable environment, works fine for me. Air conditioning we do on demand, because it's expensive and relatively less necessary.


SumnerBoy
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  #1570886 13-Jun-2016 10:59
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Agreed - if a heat pump is your primary/only source then it makes sense to just leave it on (or use the builtin timer) and let its own thermostat run the show. It might be nice to dial down the temp a few degrees when you are out however, since what is the point keeping your house at 22 degrees if no one is home. And then automatically ramp back up when you get home. This is where automation can help save (but again we are not talking megabucks).

 

@chimera - I have never tried the ZME stick - have only used the AeonLabs S2 and now the Gen5 sticks. For $120 I find it hard to argue with the cost of the Gen5 stick - it is very reliable and has great range (much better than the original S2). I wouldn't recommend anything else, but like I say, I haven't tried anything else ;).


t0ny

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  #1570916 13-Jun-2016 11:26
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Thanks everyone for their input.I went with the following as my starter kit:

 

     

  1. Raspberry Pi Controller Pack x 1
  2. Aeotec Multisensor 6 x 1
  3. Fibaro Motion sensor x 1

 

The Aeotec would basically sit in the roof space to allow better management of the PPV system (using temperature and humidity readings) while the Fibaro will give me temperature readings for downstairs. I will use the reading from downstairs and upstairs central heating controller to get an average reading for manipulating the central heating. 

 

Hopefully there are some home automation suppliers at the Auckland Home Show later in the year where i can pick up other items for a discount.


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