This page last changed on May 18, 2014 by johnnyssh.

Hi,

I'm brand new to OpenRemote but before starting to install and play I wanted to get some ideas on the compatibility of the software.

Currently I have been suggested to go with Control4 using their Zigbee system for (I should say cableless otherwise sounds like I'm talking about wifi ) controllers for lighting, heating etc....

Without using Enocean what would be compatible with OpenRemote?

To elaborate more are there any types of wireless switches and controllers on the market that are compatible with OpenRemote... something similar to Rako perhaps is what I'm asking for in a full package that will be a retrofit solution to go "inplace" of already installed switches, thermostat etc... but that also has that high quality look to it like C4, Vimar, Jung.

Rather then going "closed source" I would prefer to use an OpenSource solution (in terms of OpenRemote) as I've been an advocate of OpenSource software and technology for a long time now and would prefer to keep things community based

  • Also I think OpenRemote will be a good idea for me as I can completely run it on Linux without the need to configure everything in Windows first which is typical for the aforementioned vendors.

Sorry if this questions seems to be an easy one but I'm still learning about Home Automation/Integration so outside reading online documentation I don't have much experience yet.

Thanks for any suggestions.

The nice thing with OpenRemote is that you don't need to marry to a particular manufacturer of 'the best technology' at the time. Openremote can talk to almost any protocol you need, and if it is not there then it is quite easy to add a new one. I personally use WiFi Belkin WeMos together with my EnOcean and Z-wave devices (more on my blog which you can easily Google). My attitude is just to go online and choose the best price/quality device for my needs. Sadly, it never was a Zigbee device as they are quite expensive and manufacturer dependent. Personally I'm very fond of EnOcean devices as they are WTG IMHO.

Posted by aktur at May 18, 2014 17:18

Many thanks Michal

I had a look at your blog, nice information!

Though I still need to find a nice looking wall switch that OpenRemote will support.

Perhaps if I ask from this angle it might be better; what is the best wireless protocol around at present? Zigbee needs to be configured in a mesh topology and according to what I've read doesn't have much of a range. However, is there something out there which performs like 802.11 wifi?? - where you have one controller/access point with an antenna and devices connect directly to that?

Been reading about Z-wave but not sure if that functions in that manner. Perhaps One-Net though will start reading on that now?

Posted by johnnyssh at May 18, 2014 18:44

Hi Kaya - I've been looking for a similar solution - there are some wifi based solutions that could possibly work directly with OR but the one's I have found would end up being more expensive than going with a existing protocol such as Zigbee or Z-wave. My preference at the moment is z-wave as they seem to have a good range of products that are quite affordable. Z-wave as far as I am aware can act as a mesh. For a low cost controller you could go with a Pi with a Z-wave board.

Posted by jules_bike at May 20, 2014 22:17

Z-wave as far as I am aware can act as a mesh

It DOES act as a mesh. There is no choice!.
Mesh networks tend to become more reliable if you have more devices. More devices means more routes for communication between devices. In my house I have a backbone of mains powered Z-Wave wall switches. Those were needed for a more faithfull communication with my battery driven thermostatic radiator valves.

Posted by pz1 at May 21, 2014 08:01

Many thanks for the responses!

To be honest I'm not worried about cost, just functionality and also looks. If I could find something that had the same design as Vimar or Control4 switches and sensors that would be awsome.

Reason I don't want to lock myself into one of those vendors is that I can tinker around with OR where as with a vendor solution the amount of leeway you are given is quite slim. Eg. try messing around under the hood of M$ Windows, it just doesn't work or you break the OS.

To run OR I will use a SuperMicro ATOM based system with 1 to 2GB RAM so that's not an issue... just don't know much about electric wall based light switch vendors and other modules.

Also as long as the switches and sensors can work up to a 20 meter range (65 feet) that would be good too.

Posted by johnnyssh at May 21, 2014 19:58

if looks are important - one option could be something like fibaro who have relays that you can put in a standard wall box. You could then put any normal 240 switch on the front which would operate the circuit manually whilst also being hooked into z-wave.

Posted by jules_bike at May 21, 2014 21:04

Thanks a lot. I checked that out and it's a nice idea.

That also gave me an idea for a new search which I found this:

http://www.adselectronics.co.uk/plates.html

doesn't seem to be wireless though as needs RJ45. Guess I'll just have to keep Google'ing until I find exactly what I'm looking for; which is kind of 1x standard connection with multiple other buttons which only transmit and control the programmed relay. Don't know if something like that exists though??

Perhaps something like this:

http://followgood.manufacturer.globalsources.com/si/6008846124587/pdtl/Home-automation/1075365636/Z-wave-3-gang-Touch-Switch.htm

though I don't tend to trust unknown brands - especially from China as too many are made cheaply and break easily.

Posted by johnnyssh at May 21, 2014 21:35

Hi, I just wanted to say thankyou to everyone who offered advice!

Z-Wave seems to be a good way forward and I think I have found a good range of products that will work:

http://www.smarthome.com/_/Dimmers_Lighting_Appliance_Control/Dimmers_Wall_Switches_Keypads_Touchscreens/_/z/1QV/nav.aspx?No=96

http://www.smarthome.com/39645/Evolve-Guest-Controls-LCD-1-Z-Wave-Single-Gang-Wall-Mounted-5-Button-LCD-Controller/p.aspx

http://www.evolvecontrols.com/devices/control-devices/glass-series

Since it is Z-wave it seems to be compatible with OpenRemote but now I simply have to work out how to connect everything together.

My thoughts are:

using some kind of z-wave to IP gateway then OpenRemote should be able to work in conjunction with the scene controller without any issues.

Posted by johnnyssh at May 24, 2014 15:54

you might want to check first if you live in Europe whether US z-wave products are ok in Europe I seem to remember reading that there may be problem re frequency??

Posted by jules_bike at May 25, 2014 14:29

Just google a bit and you find: http://www.sigmadesigns.com/zwave_frequency_coverage.php

Posted by pz1 at May 25, 2014 14:36

Thanks for the responses

I was going to actually ask the company whether the device was sold in Europe as they mention that some of their products are available.

In addition I also found:

http://www.bticino.com/products/wiring-devices/livinglight/

which is ZigBee based.

A little research on Google led me to this:

http://openremote.org/display/forums/adding+openwebnet+support

so, apparently there was some work done last year on integrating the devices though where it stands currently I don't know.

It might be worth getting an actuator with a Legrand USB OpenWebnet/Zigbee controller and playing around a little to start understanding how to setup the devices.

Posted by johnnyssh at May 25, 2014 15:19

I have the bticino/legrand myhome wired lighting system which is pretty good with a huge range of switches which work using a low voltage bus wiring. I am very happy with it. The switches have a blue and orange led so you can see them at night and also tell which lights are on or off.

There was a student working on an improved OR interface which gave feedback which is currently missing (for the moment you can just turn and off lights). I tested his protocol which seems to work although it still needs to be integrated into the OR live environment.

My electrician is due to give me a quote for the Zigbee interface so I'll know more in a couple of weeks because I may end up using that if it compares reasonably to the z-wave solution. I think if you already have myhome and the webserver it might be a good choice but I don't know.

Posted by jules_bike at May 25, 2014 19:54

Thanks so much for the information. This is really useful as it's giving a real-world perspective.

If it would be possible, when you get the solution quote if you could share the parts list (not quote
eg. Switch, USB or Bus interface to Ethernet, OR) and also if you end up using it then what your thoughts are regarding the system and how well it integrates into OR.

It would be really great if it integrated fully with OR as most other solutions need to be run on closed-source based software while OR can be run on Linux easily; which for an OpenSource engineer like myself it just means that I will have full access to all features.

Posted by johnnyssh at May 25, 2014 20:58

No problem - will pass on the information when I get it. What are you looking to do exactly? Do you already have a lighting system or are you starting from scratch?

I seriously looked at Control4 and got close but the fact that you had to use an integrator put me off. I think if you are starting with nothing then Control4 is not bad but in my case I already had amplifiers/tvs/projector etc which I have had to tie in using a mixture of interfaces (IP, IR and Serial). That would have been pretty time consuming with Control4 dealing through a 3rd party and specifying each element.

I think the great thing with OR is that you can easily add components as you go along. Also if you know how to program even better as the possibilities are huge. The only area I think most would agree needs improving is the designer which is quite time consuming to use especially if you want to support multiple screen resolutions.

Posted by jules_bike at May 26, 2014 20:15

Sorry for the late response!

Currently I have nothing, only standard mechanical switches on the wall hooked up to the mains supply.

What system I do have though is a bunch of servers of which my phones/multimedia and other stuff is all tied into.

I'd also like to avoid going the integrator route since my background is in network and server design, I prefer to do this kinda stuff "hands-on" otherwise getting someone else to do it for you takes all the fun away.

Perhaps I should just install OR into a VM and start playing around and getting to know the system first, then finally when I understand more I can look at implementing a solution.

What I really want to do is to tie my heating and lighting into the system initially, then look at stuff like security too....

I think there's even a plugin for XBMC too which virtually means full control from anywhere!

Posted by johnnyssh at May 28, 2014 19:51

Additionally you can look at the following for hardware part:

Posted by atamariya at May 29, 2014 07:49
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