Tell us about your home automation!

Discussion in 'Home Automation' started by Mike, Dec 2, 2014.

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  1. badmop

    badmop Getting the hang of it

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    I'd like to do some home automation myself, not sure what I would like to do. I could get some ideas of things once I look at other's setup.
     
  2. pfer10

    pfer10 n3wb

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    Been using some different stuff over the years. IE X10, ninjablock (of course right before they release info about ninja sphere ) and some other HA software. Use to run an Acer Aspire Windows Home Server and got tired of all the "flexible" software needing linux. Finally said screw windows home server as the only thing I used worth while was the shared drive. Formatted that and got Ubuntu up and running on it. Used motion for a while with the old x-10 cameras and some old android phones. Moved to a new house and tried a few more HA programs and finally ended up with Domoticz running full time a couple years ago on the Acer. Using it has been a pleasure as it seems the other programs were good at one thing and not others. Domoticz has been perfect.

    Domoticz now does:

    X10 lighting control
    Log temperatures around the house from a RaspPi using JSON and a Jeenode to receive wireless data from cheap LaCrosse IT+ 915mhz wireless temperature sensors
    Geo thermal furnace performance logging via RaspPi (In and out water temperature, In and out air temps (all from one wire sensors) and water flow)
    Geo thermal heat control via a wireless thermostat from Radio Thermostat (custom ramps that won't turn on backup heat and using the blower only to take advantage of the sun load on sunny days)
    Log geo runtime each day
    Log degree days for each day for historical data to see how house improvements are working out
    Whole house energy logging via Z wave Aeon labs power meter
    Geo thermal energy logging via another Aeon labs power meter
    Integration with Motion to record activity in the barn from an old camera and email me a pic when the Domoticz motion switch is triggered.

    I travel some for work so keeping an eye on the house when I am gone has worked well with a simple VPN and Domoticz. I have been impressed with Domoticz and now with finding some of Nayr's work I will have more things to integrate as I have just been getting into some decent IP cams! I'll probably take advantage of my extra Beagle Bone Black from the Ninjablock and use it for some garage door control out in the barn. Probably integrate some more security features like door sensors along with the cameras. Need to incorporate some more security in the chicken coop as it just has a simple automatic door on a lamp timer. :peaceful:
     
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  3. hmjgriffon

    hmjgriffon Known around here

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    I'm still looking into things, trying to figure out what a good flexible automation system would be. I'm not a coder but i'm pretty computer savvy, I can do stuff with linux, not afraid of the command line or config files and stuff, but I also don't want something that takes me forever and a bunch of google to do every little thing. this is why I run blue iris instead of an NVR box, it's flexible and does a lot but not all that complicated. I think I've settled on zwave, and i'm gonna look into this domoticz to see if it's a big pain or not. to start off I don't want to do anything too crazy, mostly just get some zwave sensors that will send me alerts when they are triggered and or trigger IP cams. I've been reading a lot of really cool stuff that people are doing over the past few days. I especially like the idea of big data and censors to look at historical data and see what various things are doing.
     
  4. tangent

    tangent IPCT Contributor

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    Software that runs on a real pc or something like a pi is going to offer you a lot more control and be more versatile than the automation hubs you see for sale everywhere. Domoticz is a good free option. If you don't mind paying you might consider homeseer.

    As off the shelf devices go samsung smart things is probably the best option, but I'm not crazy about anything in the cloud having access to my home automation data or being dependent on an internet connection.
     
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  5. randytsuch

    randytsuch Pulling my weight

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    I have a VERY small, simple zwave system running domoticz on a Pi. I have a zwave stick plugged into the pi. At this time, a few light switches, and a few appliance control modules.

    It's pretty simple to add stuff, and I will do more over time, as my budget allows. Right now money is going into the cam system instead lol. I want to add some custom arduino based modules for sensors, but we will see how that goes.
     
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  6. hmjgriffon

    hmjgriffon Known around here

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    Having to have access to the internet will not fly.
     
  7. hmjgriffon

    hmjgriffon Known around here

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    Did you buy the zwave stick they recommend on the domoticz site? I'm currently reading through the wiki, the install looks pretty easy and then it appears to just be a web interface, I have a pi and pi b laying around but I'm wondering if there would be any good reason to run it on a full on computer even a weak one, also I remember @nayr saying you can run each install like an independent node, anyone tried that? I haven't come across anything about it in the wiki yet.
     
  8. nayr

    nayr IPCT Contributor

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    running it on a Pi gives you GPIO's and a low power consumption, they dont need much power really.. I find my CuBox to be more than fast enough.

    I'm running many slaves, my OpenSprinkler is running it in the garage with a few sensors, my Front door display is running it and has a few sensors and a relay for turning on/of the monitor, and my fishtank has a slave too.

    Setting up Device sharing - Domoticz

    I'm using a Aeon Z-Stick, the older one.. they didnt have the ZW+ model and I havent seen a need to upgrade yet.
     
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  9. hmjgriffon

    hmjgriffon Known around here

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    Not to hijack the thread but yeah so I am thinking this, as for my want to be able to use the zwave sensors with my cameras, I was thinking of going one of two ways.

    1. have domoticz sent http string to BI to trigger a certain camera when certain sensor is tripped, from things I have read around here I believe that is pretty easily possible?

    2. have domoticz PULL snapshots from certain cameras when certain sensors are tripped and attach them to emails the way BI does but doing it from domoticz. I'm not sure if pulling lots of snapshots and emailing them off would overload an pi though. I'm also not tied to a pi, I just happen to have 2 laying around collecting dust, I could get a beaglebone or something with a little more power. As for having GPIO on it, I got the pi's to mess with that and then never did because I didn't learn enough python to do anything with before I went off on a tangent lol so I'd probably need some help doing anything useful with GPIO.

    @nayr what way do you think would be better to go, or are they both about the same?
     
  10. nayr

    nayr IPCT Contributor

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    I use domoticz for emailing snapshots instead of the cameras, but if your happy w/BlueIris then i dont see the point.

    Ive got plans for writing a smtp server that I can run on my home automation server, its going to take all the emails generated by stuff and encrypt it w/PGP and then send it off to my gmail.. this way I can store this stuff as backup in cloud, safely and securely.
     
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  11. hmjgriffon

    hmjgriffon Known around here

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    I'd prefer an offsite FTP server because of all the emails but Gmail is free so lol and if I can get false alerts down it won't be that bad.
     
  12. Dodutils

    Dodutils Pulling my weight

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    Just discovered this thread about home automation so let's go and excuse my poor english !

    My installation is more than 15 years old at a time Zwave Zigbee and all those "automation boxes" didn't exist, started slowly to learn and find usage to keep grand'ma at home as long as possible (no way for me to send her to those horrible nursing home).

    I did it first as cheap as possible on my own (not much money), mostly 1-Wire and X10 technology and installed 12 x DS18B20 1-Wire Temperature sensors in the house including in the fridge, the gaz boiler and the freezer down to the cave, thru a **very** long 2 x wire.

    I record and graph them every minute and that produced about 12 x 1 500 000 records that is usefull when I do have some database test/bench to do ;-)

    This graph helped to understand many things happening in the house (now a country house as grand'ma passed), especially how it react when boiler is turned on each Friday, how the house get hot, how long it takes for heat cycles become stable.

    And answer is "12 hours", first circle is very long, long enought to reach the max water Temp of the boiler and stay there, second circle show the walls are now warmer and it takes lesser time to reach target temp, third circle show a stabilized cycle 12 hours later, with a 2 hours cycle including 30 mins of heat (yes this house need some energy saving enhancement) :

    upload_2017-1-17_22-28-23.png


    And also when the cave has been flooded and freezer sank, it's amazing the amount of information you can guess from temperature curves !

    First square on the left, no more power in the house because of the water reached the motor of the freezer, shortcut pushed main power down, the bottom line is the freezer, the one up is the fridge, then I got an alert (my little server and DSL router are on UPS), second square power is back (called a neighbour, country house, I am not here), third water continue to flood the cave and freezer started to float and toopled and water is a very good heat conductor, next square I am at home, open the freezer to check in and close it fast, last square i get all the stuuf and move it to my neighbour's freezer, as you can see, those T° curves are an open book when you know how to read them :)

    upload_2017-1-17_22-15-41.png

    Other example is when the guy from the boiler's maintenance came for its yearly visit made a mistake in boiler heat settings, this appeared immediately on the curves, power has been set to 50% instead of 80%, was in winter, had to call him back to fix the problem.

    X10 still in place to check all doors/windows opening including freezer and fridge that trigger an alarm in case they are open too long.

    Installed also many IR sensors to check last room activity and detect if grand'ma stand too long in a room where she should not (2H in bathroom in not normal for example, did she fell ?) or check if she wake up on time and moved around in the morning (she's still in bedroom at 10 a.m ? let's give her a call to check if she's ok and just want to stay a bit more time in bed but not because she feel bad).

    Once I got an alarm because she was not at bed at 11 p.m (not normal and old people have their own same day-by-day timing), I checked living room camera and saw she fell on the floor, so I took the car and here I go.

    I also installed an infrared emitter to control the TV (useless today but usefull to setup the prefered channel and tv show at the right time coz grand'ma was too mind lost to use TV remote control anymore).

    Added also a flush counter to check if she go there "enough" (many old people died because of "intestinal blockage") then call a nurse if something go wrong.

    Then I added an Asus EEE-PC with skype running full screen automatically when incoming video call from familly (and IR transmitter turned TV off at same time) so grand'ma could talk easy without touching the netbook with no disturbing TV sound.

    Had also to make some limnous path at night so when she wake up and wanted to go to the bathroom during the night she did not need to find the light switches, small light turned on as she put foot on the floor and walked (all IR sensor based).

    Of course many IP cams where there (not in bedroom nor bathroom), mainly Axis, not a lot of choice at the time and expensive 330€ each (but I do not regret as they are still running 10 yers later except one !), I had also to develop my own VMS/CMS-like system coz existing ones were expensive and did not have all the features I needed so I started my own from scratch.

    upload_2017-1-17_23-12-19.png

    Today I am playing with micro controllers (Arduino/ESP8266) and also Raspi so I make my own IoT modules for example with the very usefull tiny and cheap BME280 that is an all in one Temp/Humidity/Pressure I2C sensor and I send data to Thingspeak :

    upload_2017-1-17_22-51-40.png

    I will soon buy a dehumidifier that I want to fully follow/control remotly and know how long it run per day (so you much it cost), check the water level and get warned when tank is full and may be add a water level monitoring (many ways to do it but i'll try with a small VL53L0X distance lazer sensor, extremly precise up to 2m) to check how fast tank get filled and calculate some "full tank" ETA just for fun, may be I could also add some pump system with a long flexible pipe to empty the tank if it get filled to fast in the week when I am not here (rememeber... country house).

    Home automation is more fun when you DIY :)
     

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  13. Ryan00

    Ryan00 Getting the hang of it

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    I have been doing Home automation for over 6 years it's been one of my favorite hobbies,I love when people start conversations like this.

    Devices that I have are
    15 hue bulbs (white)
    6 hue bulbs (color)
    4 echo dots
    3 full size Amazon echos
    3 Logitech harmony controllers (these can also control lights / scenes
    5 sonos play 1s (one in every room)
    8 ip cameras hikvision and dahua on BI
    10 zwave switches (dimmers)
    Zwave garage door opener
    9 zwave motion sensors with temperature reading
    4 zwave motion sensors outside
    Garage door to enter house has a zwave lock with keypad
    4 zwave smoke and carbon dioxide alarms
    1 ecobee3
    4 wall mounted tablets for home automation and BI
    6 zwave water sensors

    Some of my scenes are

    If any door/window is opened it sends a push notification with what door/window was opened : example if the door do is open my Amazon echo will say: front door opened or bedroom window was opened ect...


    Also I didn't want to buy a ring doorbell so I put a zwave motion sensor on my porch when someone walks up to the front door the echo will say (someone is at the front door) we also get a push notification to our phones in case it's the UPS guy or someone checking to see if we are home to break in. When I get this notification I always check the camera to see what's going on.

    We use our phones as president sensors so if both mine and my wife's phone are not home it will automatically shut off all lights and if we forgot to shut the garage door within 2 minutes it will send a text saying you left with the garage open. Again only does this if are phone are gone.

    If we leave and the Windows are open and it's has a 50% chance of raining that day or higher and both phones left it will send a push notification saying it's going to rain and windows are open.


    In my living room I have motion sensor with a lux reading once the lux in the living room gets below 150 lux it puts the whole house into what we call "night mode" and night mode uses the motion sensors in the house to turn on/off the lights, so we walk into a room the motion sensor sees motion, it turns on the lights, once their is no motion for 3 minutes the lights turn off. This is something we have in every room and is nice if you have kids that leave lights on.


    If any door is left open for 10 minutes it sends a push notification with what door. Also nice if you have kids that leave doors open running in and out.


    If bathroom humidity reaches over 70% it turns on the exhaust fan



    Once My wife and I plug in our phones to charge at night, this will trigger the home alarm to be set and also turn off all lights and devices


    In the morning when I unplug my phone this triggers all the lights to turn orange and slowly dim up over a time frame of 45 minutes so my eyes can adjust to the lighting. It also starts my coffee machine and gets it warm. Turns on the sonos to my favorite tech new station. 30 minutes after my phone is unplug my garage opens only does this (m-f workdays) ( between certain hours )


    We have water sensors so if their is ever a water leak it will send a push notification to our phones also shut off the main water valve this is handy if your on vacation.


    I'm also afraid that our fridge will go out and stop cooling the food, and we would waste 200+ on food. So I put a zwave motion sensor with temperature in the fridge once the fridge temperature goes above 45 degrees , we get a push notification to our phones saying the fridge just died. Same with the freezer this way we know if they stop cooling.


    If we have someone doing repairs or someone needs in the house I can open the garage remotely and give them a temporary pin for the door lock.


    When we open the coat closet there is a zwave sensor that detects the door being open or closed once the door opens Sonos will play the weather forecast so we know to bring a coat or rain jacket ect...


    All my porch lights turn on/off automatically at sunset / sunrise



    Of course we can do all that Alexa tricks ,Alexa lights on Alexa lights off / dim . I can run any scene with Alexa


    Okay so this is just a few automations in my house I can do, this is just kinda of hitting the surface here there is tons more things you can do your mind is the limit. Have fun with it !
     
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  14. randytsuch

    randytsuch Pulling my weight

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    I'm using the newest Aeon zstick, and a pi3, although a pi2 might be fine. The built in wifi in the pi3 is nice though. Once you configure the pi, everything can be done remotely, so you really don't need a full blown PC.
     
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  15. hmjgriffon

    hmjgriffon Known around here

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    Yeah I got too busy today but I will load it up tomorrow and play with it, perhaps just go ahead and order the stick and pick some zwave device, maybe a PIR since I want to use that for a few things.
     
  16. hmjgriffon

    hmjgriffon Known around here

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    What zwave PIR sensor does everyone recommend? any certain brands for zwave to avoid? I may buy a few different devices to play with.
     
  17. randytsuch

    randytsuch Pulling my weight

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    When I did this, I had to build Domoticz with openzwave. The version of Domoticz that was available did not include openzwave, and I'm not sure if it has changed since I did this.

    I wrote this blog
    Randy's home projects: Domoticz Installation
    which describes what worked for me. Once its built, you can update to newer versions without rebuilding.

    I also have this blog
    Randy's home projects: 02 Raspbery Pi Setup
    Which describes how to setup a pi. So if you've never used a pi, it should help.

    I also have some instructions on how to setup domoticz
    Randy's home projects: Domoticz Configure
    Should help you get started on domoticz

    BTW, although it takes effort, I find having these blogs really useful when you don't use domoticz for a while, and then want to do something with it.
     
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  18. hmjgriffon

    hmjgriffon Known around here

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    according to their wiki you do still have to add open zwave but it looked pretty easy, actually that was for linux, for the pi it looks like they have a script that does it all for you, I dug out my pi3 but have not had a chance to install it yet.
     
  19. randytsuch

    randytsuch Pulling my weight

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    It would be nice if someone made it easier, but once I figured it out it really wasn't bad.
    My links are probably old now though, should be newer versions than I used.
     
  20. nayr

    nayr IPCT Contributor

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    they have prebuilt pi images, just burn the SD card and boot.. dont get any easier than that.
     
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