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932 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 1859294 5-Sep-2017 22:39
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Interesting to read about the differences between the gen 1, 2, & 3 bulbs from Philips: https://www.howtogeek.com/255141/whats-the-difference-between-1st-and-2nd-generation-philips-hue-bulbs/

 

TLDR: Gen 2 are much brighter and more responsive than Gen 1, Gen 3 have better blues and green.


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  # 1859358 6-Sep-2017 08:18
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I'm getting a little confused about what constitutes an automation 'Hub'.
It seems like an Amazon Echo or Google Home running Wemo devices could be considered a hub. But then there different bridges, with varying abilities to operate different types of OEM equipment. Put a 'computer' on top of that, beit a Raspberry Pi or more sophisticated, to tie everything together and I not surprised that I am bewildered about what is the best way to start.
In the end it has to be family friendly, because my home AV system is complicated enough that only I fully understand how it all fits together.
Is getting to the point where the 'enthusiastic amateur' (me) is going to have to to expert advice.




Areas of Geek interest: Home Theatre, HTPC, Android Tablets & Phones, iProducts.

 
 
 
 


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  # 1859369 6-Sep-2017 08:40
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Amazon Echo and Google Home will only convert your voice commands into device commands. For a hub you want something with automation capability to react to other events, schedules etc and run orchestrated processes.

 

I use a Vera Edge - it's ok and the local support is good.

 

Fibaro make something similar and there some low cost or free software options that run on Raspberry Pi or your home PC (if the latter can be guaranteed to be running 24/7).

 

 

 

 


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  # 1859372 6-Sep-2017 08:44
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Its come a long way but I wouldn't call HA family friendly.


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  # 1859492 6-Sep-2017 10:06
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kryptonjohn:

Amazon Echo and Google Home will only convert your voice commands into device commands. For a hub you want something with automation capability to react to other events, schedules etc and run orchestrated processes.


I use a Vera Edge - it's ok and the local support is good.


Fibaro make something similar and there some low cost or free software options that run on Raspberry Pi or your home PC (if the latter can be guaranteed to be running 24/7).


 


 



I have an HTPC that runs 24/7. Can you give me an example of HA software that will run on a PC? Windows 7 actually, because I wanted to retain the Media Centre functionality.
What additional hardware is then required?




Areas of Geek interest: Home Theatre, HTPC, Android Tablets & Phones, iProducts.

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  # 1859496 6-Sep-2017 10:11
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I use openHAB but have been reading a lot of good things about Home Assistant. Sounds like HA is especially good for beginners and is easy to get up and running. Whereas OH can be a bit more of a steeper learning curve, but IMO is probably a little more powerful (but I have never used HA so that is a completely unqualified opinion!).

 

I would start with HA, see how you get on. You don't need any hardware to start off, it will pick up things like Sonos and other IP connected devices automatically. If you want to use Z-Wave then you will need a Z-Stick USB dongle.


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  # 1859499 6-Sep-2017 10:13
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Openhab.

 

If your devices are WiFi based then probably no additional hardware required for your hub pc. If you have z-wave devices you'll need a z-wave usb stick.

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  # 1859505 6-Sep-2017 10:23
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So far with Vera I have not had to resort to programming it with a text editor. It knows already about all the devices I have and the scenes can be assembled with a bit of point and click GUI.

 

It does seem to me that with HA and OpenHAB that you are going to be editing config in text files?

 

 

 

 


932 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 1859525 6-Sep-2017 10:34
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I've been using Home Assistant (home-assistant.io) and love it. I can't comment on whether it's better/worse than OpenHAB, but what I like about HA is that it's easy to install on many different systems/platform, it's easy to configure, and supports many different sensors and components. On the downside, you need to have a working understanding of the YAML syntax, which is fairly easy to pick up but can get confusing at times. In saying that, HA is starting to move some of the configuration into the GUI but it's still early days.

 

 

 

 


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Uber Geek

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  # 1859526 6-Sep-2017 10:36
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Yeah - I have moved from OpenHAB to HA as well... It's MUCH easier in my opinion to configure and use. I use it on an Odroid C2 (Raspberry Pi on steroids)

 

Cheers - N

 

 





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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.


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  # 1859529 6-Sep-2017 10:44
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The weakness with Vera's scene builder is that it can't do much procedural stuff. If you want to effectively write a program for a scene you need to use LUA or some other plugin. How are HA and OpenHAB when it comes to scripting something with if/then/else type flows?

 

 


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  # 1859530 6-Sep-2017 10:49
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Talkiet:

 

Yeah - I have moved from OpenHAB to HA as well... It's MUCH easier in my opinion to configure and use. I use it on an Odroid C2 (Raspberry Pi on steroids)

 

Cheers - N

 

 

 

I tried OpenHAB 1.8 ( the real text based one) then HA, and since I was used to text for all the MQTT based devices found HA really hard to move to.  The addition of zwave and chromecast type devices in HA it made more sense.  By this stage OH 2 had come out which included the same sort of discovery type features for certain bindings.  

 

But again going MQTT based, you're down to text files, and with restructuring, mine are a lot simpler and structured by device type.  In HA I got the impression everything just went into one file - which I wasn't keen on.

 

So there's plus and minuses to both....and a lot of it will depend on how "consumery" your devices are, ie has someone written a defined function (binding) for your device - eg zwave, or have you rolled your own (ie DHT22 sensor communicating over MQTT where you'll need to subscribe to a topic for readings).

 

 

 

 





Previously known as psycik

OpenHAB: Gigabyte AMD A8 BrixOpenHAB with Aeotech ZWave Controller, Raspberry PI, Wemos D1 Mini, Zwave, Xiaomi Humidity and Temperature sensors and Bluetooth LE Sensors
Media:Chromecast v2, ATV4, Roku3, HDHomeRun Dual
Windows 10
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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Uber Geek

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  # 1859532 6-Sep-2017 10:53
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kryptonjohn:

 

The weakness with Vera's scene builder is that it can't do much procedural stuff. If you want to effectively write a program for a scene you need to use LUA or some other plugin. How are HA and OpenHAB when it comes to scripting something with if/then/else type flows?

 

 

 

OH is essentially java code.  Can be a little complicated figuring out the objects etc, but I find the community excellent for help (you know some forums you'll post something and never get a reply - I'm looking at your Plex Forums, Openhab it's normally within a few hours, much like here).

 

They're supposed to be doing some rules engine which is supposed to be more user friendly, but that doesn't phase me too much.

 

Also I have mine talking to homekit so technically could have some automation defined in the Apple Home app, but haven't yet.

 

 





Previously known as psycik

OpenHAB: Gigabyte AMD A8 BrixOpenHAB with Aeotech ZWave Controller, Raspberry PI, Wemos D1 Mini, Zwave, Xiaomi Humidity and Temperature sensors and Bluetooth LE Sensors
Media:Chromecast v2, ATV4, Roku3, HDHomeRun Dual
Windows 10
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


932 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 1859534 6-Sep-2017 10:54
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kryptonjohn:

 

The weakness with Vera's scene builder is that it can't do much procedural stuff. If you want to effectively write a program for a scene you need to use LUA or some other plugin. How are HA and OpenHAB when it comes to scripting something with if/then/else type flows?

 

 

These are automations in Home Assistant - each automation can have multiple triggers, conditions, and actions, which is effectively gives you if/then/else flows.


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Uber Geek

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  # 1859537 6-Sep-2017 11:01
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plas:

 

Its come a long way but I wouldn't call HA family friendly.

 

 

On that I would agree. My wife still refused to talk to Alexa to turn off the hallway light set so either I have to do it or I installed a remote controller for my Insteon embedded wall switch which she uses. Part of the issue here is, I never managed to get the Insteon switch installed so that you could control the lights either from the wall switch or via automation and it knew the state it was in. Probably a wiring issue since there is a sense cable that detects any live voltage going to the bulb from the switch so it knows the state.

 

 

 

Might be complicated by the fact that there are 3 switches controlling the lights and I didn't wire the microswitch into the master.





Staying in Wellington. Check out my AirBnB in the Wellington CBD.  https://www.airbnb.co.nz/rooms/32019730  Mention GZ to get a 10% discount

 

System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR and Plex Server running on Gigabyte Brix (Windows 10 Pro), Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Pioneer AVR, Raspberry Pi running Kodi and Plex, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma, Google Chromecast

System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen, Denon AVRS730H 7.2 Channel Dolby Atmos/DTS-X AV Receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast, Odroid C2 running Kodi and Plex

 

 


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