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2 posts

Wannabe Geek


Topic # 221425 10-Aug-2017 12:34
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Hi all

 

 

 

Im about to start down the HA track and im wondering what Hub to go for?

 

Initially I want to be able to monitor power use of devices, control switches and lights and see/do all of this remotely when away from home.

 

Initially i was thinking of a Fibaro Hub or Vera but now I'm thinking of a Aeotec Z Stick (on a laptop/minipc of some kind) with some fibaro/Aeotec controllers and sensors. Then with some software I purchase such as HomeSeer or OpenHab. 

 

How good are these at reporting on power usage?

 

I'm also interested in what mobile apps people use?

 

 

 

Any advice is much appreciated.

 

 

 

Thanks

 

Nick


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  Reply # 1843502 10-Aug-2017 12:42
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The new range of in-wall relays from both Fibaro and Aeotec report power usage over Z-Wave. And something like openHAB or Home Assistant can receive those readings for you to view/manage/persist however you see fit. 

 

BTW - there is nothing to purchase software-wise - OH and HA are both open source and free. OH comes with a native app for both iOS and Android, and the HA web UI is designed to render nicely on any mobile device (so no need for a native app).

 

I use InfluxDB and Grafana for persisting and graphing my power usage. The readings come into OH via Z-Wave, OH then writes them out to InfluxDB, and I can view the time series data in Grafana. This is a pretty common setup and works very well.

 

TLDR; if you are happy to learn a bit and spend some time tinkering, go for the Z-Stick + OH/HA and start playing around, that will do everything you need.




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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 1843541 10-Aug-2017 13:28
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Thanks Summer Boy much appreciated.

 

Happy to tinker but just wanted a good base to start with. You use a Zwave stick? What device do you leave it hooked into?  I was thinking a NUC with a small UPS?

 

Do you know if the Fibaro and Aeotec external plugs do the same power reporting as the in wall versions?

 

How are OH and HA for remote management and cloud based backup? Do they have that functionality

 

Cheers


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1843549 10-Aug-2017 13:39
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I have an aeotec smart switch (the plugin one) and yes it reports power readings.  I also have Aeotec Nano Switches (in wall) and Fibaro Dual Switches.  Both of these also do power readings.

 

I also use OpenHab (V2) with an Aeotec USB stick in a gigabyte brix (AMD A6).

 

I've not tried OH via remote management - apart form using a VPN to access home.  Though lately I've had some items exposed to the internet via Apple's Homekit. And "cloud based backup", well if you can count me copying the installation folder from on machine to another which is then covered by CrashPlan, then yes I have that too.

 

I tried HA, and it was ok for discovery based devices, but I found it's manual configuration difficult for other items - of which I have a bunch of custom sensors and devices that have been built/put together and use MQTT as a connecting transport.





Previously known as psycik

NextPVR/OpenHAB: 
Gigabyte AMD A8 Brix --> Samsung LA46A650D via HDMI, NextPVR,OpenHAB with Aeotech ZWave Controller
Media:Chromecast v2, ATV4, Roku3, Raspberry PI temperature Sensors and Bluetooth LE Sensors,HDHomeRun Dual
Windows 2012 
Host (Plex Server/Crashplan): 2x2TB, 2x3TB, 1x4TB using DriveBender, Samsung 850 evo 512 GB SSD, Hyper-V Server with 1xW10, 1xW2k8, 2xUbuntu 16.04 LTS, Crashplan, NextPVR channel for Plex,NextPVR Metadata Agent and Scanner for Plex


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  Reply # 1843553 10-Aug-2017 13:55
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I have a dedicated server running Proxmox (with OpenVZ containers) which is where all my home automation and local servers live. My Z-Stick plugs directly into that and is made available to my openHAB container.

 

As @davidcole mentioned, the external plugs report usage as well (I only have the Aeotec ones but they work great). 

 

As for remote management and cloud backups, that is a task outside the scope of OH (and I think HA). I have all my OH config in a git repo which means I have an inherent backup plus versioning and history.

 

Best to install it and start playing around - the best way to learn!


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  Reply # 1843556 10-Aug-2017 14:00
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SumnerBoy:

 

I have all my OH config in a git repo which means I have an inherent backup plus versioning and history.

 

 

A private repo?  Yeah I should look at that.  I did have my OH1 system in my own SVN, but fell out of using it.  I should move my OH2 system to do the same.  Though I kinda have versions by backing up every day - just no comments as to why I did stuff that would be present with SVN/Github commits.





Previously known as psycik

NextPVR/OpenHAB: 
Gigabyte AMD A8 Brix --> Samsung LA46A650D via HDMI, NextPVR,OpenHAB with Aeotech ZWave Controller
Media:Chromecast v2, ATV4, Roku3, Raspberry PI temperature Sensors and Bluetooth LE Sensors,HDHomeRun Dual
Windows 2012 
Host (Plex Server/Crashplan): 2x2TB, 2x3TB, 1x4TB using DriveBender, Samsung 850 evo 512 GB SSD, Hyper-V Server with 1xW10, 1xW2k8, 2xUbuntu 16.04 LTS, Crashplan, NextPVR channel for Plex,NextPVR Metadata Agent and Scanner for Plex


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  Reply # 1843559 10-Aug-2017 14:05
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Yeah - running Gitlab on another container and use that for all my repos. Even have it setup so the old mans OH config is on there and have allowed his OH RPi remote access - so I can make changes to his config locally, push to his repo, and then click a switch in his OH UI (remotely) to trigger a `git pull` to update his system. 


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1843568 10-Aug-2017 14:17
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I run Openhab v2 on a PI and use the habpanel addon for a mobile/web app.

 

An example of the interfaces you can build. https://community.openhab.org/t/custom-theme-in-habpanel-2-1-example/31100

 

 


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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1843599 10-Aug-2017 15:10
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I've running Samsung Smartthings. Yes, Samsung, with its marketing and financial clout it should still be around in a couple of years.

 

The hub and add-on devices can be ordered via their website or from amazon.com 

 

You simply connect it to your router using an ethernet cable and then setup an account on their website to use.

 

Works with plenty of other devices straight out of the box - like Wemo, Philips Hue, Sonos, IFTTT, etc - and also plenty of other other devices that people have managed to integrate - like Netatmo, Nest, Dlink, etc. 

 

Very active and supportive forum. 

 

 

 

 

 

It supports the american frequency version of Z-Waze, so I've disabled this as its a no-no in New Zealand. If anyone has connected the kiwi frequency version of Z-Wave, then I'm interested!!

 

Not officially supported in New Zealand, yet.


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  Reply # 1845223 11-Aug-2017 14:31
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Roger - Samsung don't make an NZ/AU Smartthings hub and have pretty much said they won't, which is a shame.

 

I'me using a VeraEdge. I mainly went that way as I didn't want to spend the extra time learning/setting up OpenHAB. It's reasonably easy to set up, unless you want to get into LUA or other scripting options. So far haven't needed to. I can also control it by voice using Amazon Alexa which is a major improvement.

 

But... it drives me nuts how expensive z-wave devices are compared to wifi. Does anyone make equivalent in-wall micro wifi switches that can be wired and tucked in behind light switches like the z-wave ones?

 

 


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  Reply # 1845233 11-Aug-2017 14:45
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kryptonjohn:

 

Roger - Samsung don't make an NZ/AU Smartthings hub and have pretty much said they won't, which is a shame.

 

I'me using a VeraEdge. I mainly went that way as I didn't want to spend the extra time learning/setting up OpenHAB. It's reasonably easy to set up, unless you want to get into LUA or other scripting options. So far haven't needed to. I can also control it by voice using Amazon Alexa which is a major improvement.

 

But... it drives me nuts how expensive z-wave devices are compared to wifi. Does anyone make equivalent in-wall micro wifi switches that can be wired and tucked in behind light switches like the z-wave ones?

 

 

 

 

There's a bunch - the itead sonoff for example.....but would you trust something like that controlling 240v uncertified - which the zwave ones officially imported are?





Previously known as psycik

NextPVR/OpenHAB: 
Gigabyte AMD A8 Brix --> Samsung LA46A650D via HDMI, NextPVR,OpenHAB with Aeotech ZWave Controller
Media:Chromecast v2, ATV4, Roku3, Raspberry PI temperature Sensors and Bluetooth LE Sensors,HDHomeRun Dual
Windows 2012 
Host (Plex Server/Crashplan): 2x2TB, 2x3TB, 1x4TB using DriveBender, Samsung 850 evo 512 GB SSD, Hyper-V Server with 1xW10, 1xW2k8, 2xUbuntu 16.04 LTS, Crashplan, NextPVR channel for Plex,NextPVR Metadata Agent and Scanner for Plex


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  Reply # 1845239 11-Aug-2017 14:51
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Correct - the Fibaro and Aeotec in-wall relays are compliant and certified to work in NZ. You are in effect paying for this certification and piece-of-mind, as well as the very small form factor which makes them useable inside standard flush boxes. It is not easy packing that much tech (i.e. Z-Wave radio, controller, relays, 240VAC-DC power regulators) into such a small device.

 

I for one am pretty happy to pay the money for something so small and functional (and safe). 


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  Reply # 1845242 11-Aug-2017 14:54
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davidcole:

 

kryptonjohn:

 

Roger - Samsung don't make an NZ/AU Smartthings hub and have pretty much said they won't, which is a shame.

 

I'me using a VeraEdge. I mainly went that way as I didn't want to spend the extra time learning/setting up OpenHAB. It's reasonably easy to set up, unless you want to get into LUA or other scripting options. So far haven't needed to. I can also control it by voice using Amazon Alexa which is a major improvement.

 

But... it drives me nuts how expensive z-wave devices are compared to wifi. Does anyone make equivalent in-wall micro wifi switches that can be wired and tucked in behind light switches like the z-wave ones?

 

 

 

 

There's a bunch - the itead sonoff for example.....but would you trust something like that controlling 240v uncertified - which the zwave ones officially imported are?

 

 

From what I can tell those units are a simple switch. The z-wave ones are a bit smarter as they work with the existing wall switch so no matter what the current state is you can always change it both with the switch and with the automation hub. 

 

Have heard the bad stories about cheap wifi switches - crappy terminals melting etc. Our lights are all low power LED so the very low current shouldn't be melting anything., you'd hope.


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  Reply # 1845258 11-Aug-2017 15:13
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kryptonjohn:

 

davidcole:

 

kryptonjohn:

 

But... it drives me nuts how expensive z-wave devices are compared to wifi. Does anyone make equivalent in-wall micro wifi switches that can be wired and tucked in behind light switches like the z-wave ones?

 

 

There's a bunch - the itead sonoff for example.....but would you trust something like that controlling 240v uncertified - which the zwave ones officially imported are?

 

 

From what I can tell those units are a simple switch. The z-wave ones are a bit smarter as they work with the existing wall switch so no matter what the current state is you can always change it both with the switch and with the automation hub. 

 

Have heard the bad stories about cheap wifi switches - crappy terminals melting etc. Our lights are all low power LED so the very low current shouldn't be melting anything., you'd hope.

 

 

https://www.itead.cc/sonoff-wifi-wireless-switch.html

 

Yeah you might be right, I'm not sure what these do when behind a switch - or if they are a replacement to the physical wall switch.





Previously known as psycik

NextPVR/OpenHAB: 
Gigabyte AMD A8 Brix --> Samsung LA46A650D via HDMI, NextPVR,OpenHAB with Aeotech ZWave Controller
Media:Chromecast v2, ATV4, Roku3, Raspberry PI temperature Sensors and Bluetooth LE Sensors,HDHomeRun Dual
Windows 2012 
Host (Plex Server/Crashplan): 2x2TB, 2x3TB, 1x4TB using DriveBender, Samsung 850 evo 512 GB SSD, Hyper-V Server with 1xW10, 1xW2k8, 2xUbuntu 16.04 LTS, Crashplan, NextPVR channel for Plex,NextPVR Metadata Agent and Scanner for Plex


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  Reply # 1845265 11-Aug-2017 15:25
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Given you can wire two simple switches to one light, I would have thought you could use these sonoff switches in conjunction with a dumb wall switch... with the proviso that you might be switching up to switch on if previously switched off by the hub. It's just a bit of extra wiring complication whereas the z-wave ones are idiot-simple.

 

But given they have a programmable microcontroller I don't understand why they don't wire between the switch and the load and sense the manual switch like the aeotec and fibaro z-wave ones do?

 

 

 

 


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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1845277 11-Aug-2017 15:44
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rogercruse:

 

I've running Samsung Smartthings. Yes, Samsung, with its marketing and financial clout it should still be around in a couple of years.

 

The hub and add-on devices can be ordered via their website or from amazon.com 

 

You simply connect it to your router using an ethernet cable and then setup an account on their website to use.

 

Works with plenty of other devices straight out of the box - like Wemo, Philips Hue, Sonos, IFTTT, etc - and also plenty of other other devices that people have managed to integrate - like Netatmo, Nest, Dlink, etc. 

 

Very active and supportive forum. 

 

 

 

 

 

It supports the american frequency version of Z-Waze, so I've disabled this as its a no-no in New Zealand. If anyone has connected the kiwi frequency version of Z-Wave, then I'm interested!!

 

Not officially supported in New Zealand, yet.

 

 

 

 

I don't have any z-wave devices.

 

and that Samsung Smartthings also supports Zigbee. Which is nice because New Zealand uses the same frequency as the americans. 


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