This page last changed on Nov 14, 2014 by timjwatts.

Hi folks, Please excuse the probably newbie question. Did have a read around, but I need to assess this quickly and I could not draw a conclusion.

I like Z-Wave - I have an Aeon 4-1 Multisensor and a TKB TZ88 UK socket switch and power meter. I am inspired.

However, the Vera Lite I ordered with these got sent back because it was not exactly a shining example of stability or good design (nice hardware, shame about the software). I'm reading similar complaints levelled at the HomeSeer Zee and the Fibaro Lite (HC2 to way too expensive). They all seem like you have to hack on them to get anything to work (I certainly had to reflash the Vera with an awful Windows XP tool trying to run on VMWare in my linux laptop before I could even get it stable).

So, here's what I want to do - be very grateful if you could tell me if OpenRemote is a good fit for me (either on a Debian 7 amd64 server (have this now) with a ZStick or on a RazBerryPi?

1) I need to get something simple up and running very fast, like in 2 weeks. Simple remote control of the TZ88 and remote monitoring of the Aeon and TZ88 including from an android phone.

2) Simple time/date scheduling of the TZ88 (about 4 eventually).

Later next year, and no objections at all to spending some time on this:

3) Graphs of power readouts from several TZ88s and graphs from the sensors in the Aeon (probably get 2-3 of these).

4) More advanced control logic.

I'm a linux sysadmin - that's not a problem. I also code a bit (Perl, C, but can turn my hand to anything that has some semblance of documentation or enough examples).

I have plenty of public IPs on my home net - so this will be sitting direct on the Internet (possibly behind an Apachy proxy on my other server) and will be reachable by me from anywhere.

Do you guys reckon an OpenRemote would get me 1+2 in a stable fashion with not much effort?

I don't have doubt that I can get 3+4 done - but I'd be interested in an opinion of how much effort it's likely yo cost me

Many thanks for any opinions

Noone?

Posted by timjwatts at Nov 15, 2014 08:28

The milage can vary. If your main complaint against Vera or others is the stability, the OR can be even more fragile. It is OK when you know what you are doing, but for sure it is not idiot proof. Soemtimes you can bump against a bug which you need to solve yourself.

But, if you manage to learn it a bit then you will have probably the most powerful IoT controller available for such a price, i.e. free. There is nothing better IMHO. With a bit experience with Openremote 1) & 2) can be done just in few hours. 3) is also feasible either with emoncms or rrd4j and 4) can do miracles with the drools rule engine. It took me for example about a week to integrate Smappee into OR with rules giving me virtually sensors to every appliance in my home for a price you cannot beat.

Therefore, I would say, it all depends on you whether openremote is something for you. One is sure, you linux background would be very advantageous.

Posted by aktur at Nov 15, 2014 12:44

Thanks for the candid and honest response Michal

I think I'd better go for Fibaro Lite for the next few months just to keep stuff under control.
I can always sell it on ebay later, it's not a huge expense...

For the cost of a Z Stick I can easily play with OR when I have some more time - possibly starting as a secondary master (if that's possible) - if not, I will just pull a couple of devices off the Fibaro.

I think long term, I will be happier with OR or maybe OpenHAB - I can play with both

Posted by timjwatts at Nov 15, 2014 12:53

OR or maybe OpenHAB

For me OpenHAB is no option. It supports only 2 EnOcean profiles (rocker and temperature). OR has much more, although not all and usually if you want to use the "bleeding edge" devices then you need to add a profile. But by any means it is ahead a lot comparing to OpenHAB.

Posted by aktur at Nov 15, 2014 16:21

Cool - saved me some trouble... Thanks

Any opinion on http://www.domoticz.com/ while we're discussing the competition

To me, this whole game is a bit like an OS war. There are many good choices and there are many sh*t choices. One makes a choice, hopefully from the good ones, then spends a lot of time to get good at it

Posted by timjwatts at Nov 15, 2014 16:37

Any opinion on http://www.domoticz.com/ while we're discussing the competition

This is even less for me than OpenHUB. From their WiKi:

At the moment only the EnOcean Serial Protocol Version 2 (ESP2) is supported.
This means you need a TCM-120 USB stick or similar.

Posted by aktur at Nov 15, 2014 18:39

Thanks for the recommendations. I just got my Z-Wave switches installed and working with OpenRemote, however I am now looking to move to the Fubaro Lite myself as I just learned that my Aeon 4 in 1 Multisensor is not supported by OpenRemote.

http://openremote.wiki-neon.adaptavist.com/display/forums/aeotec+4+in+1+multi+sensor?focusedCommentId=22888014

I wish I had paid attention to that before I spent so much sweat getting OpenRemote up and running.

Posted by gbinder at Nov 18, 2014 01:21

Guys - too much fragmentation...

ZWave and friends are great concepts... But from an "outsiders" point of view, there are way too many home automation projects running, commercial and open source. Too much dividing of resources.

Look at Linux - one of 4 families of OS (MacOX, Windows, Linux and *BSD).
Linux Window Managers - 3-4 majors KDE, Gnome, XFCE and LXDE maybe. And those can inter-operate to some degree with notify widgets, common menus etc.

With all due respect - if there were one or two really major back end zwave libraries that could seriously help. Then different projects could focus more on middleware (event/logic/scheduling) and frontends.

This is not a criticism of any one project - but if you could pool resources, the results would be several great alternatives

Posted by timjwatts at Nov 18, 2014 09:31

Guys - too much fragmentation...

As the core mission of OpenRemote is to be THE Integration & Visualisation platform you are at the right spot Stay, and help this community to move forward...

Posted by pz1 at Nov 18, 2014 15:44

Guys - too much fragmentation...

ZWave and friends are great concepts... But from an "outsiders" point of view, there are way too many home automation projects running, commercial and open source. Too much dividing of resources.

And therefore you have Openremote. The idea of Openremote is to buy any hardware which you like and add it to the home automation you already have, regardless if this is z-wave, zigbee or anything not-existing yet. People which look for a 'holy grail' protocol for IoT are doing all wrong. They simply don't understand what IoT is. As an example, about 2 weeks ago I've purchased a Smappee smart energy monitor (it can detect appliances connected to your home electricity network and create events when an appliance is switched on or off). They have API so I've took a time and integrated this into my existing Openremote controller. Now, my first morning coffee from my Senseo switches TV on and shows latest news (home cinema is switched on alongside for the sound). Now, has this example anything to do with Z-wave or any holy protocol or with IoT? Would apple home-kit allow me for this app? Would another new low power bluetooth extension range to 1km allow for this??

Posted by aktur at Nov 19, 2014 10:24

As an example, about 2 weeks ago I've purchased a Smappee smart energy monitor

I looked into this one with great interest. The Base version indeed is very attractive also regarding the price.

My understanding of the device is that the analysis is done via a Webservice. So I wonder if your Senseo procedure still functions if you are disconnected from the internet. Since I do live in a rural area I am concerned about autonomy.

Posted by pz1 at Nov 19, 2014 11:20

I wonder if your Senseo procedure still functions if you are disconnected from the internet

It does not work at the moment as they provide only the cloud based API now. But technically, a local API is possible (you can connect to the web server of your Smappee without internet). I've already asked them for the local API. However, if more people would ask then it might become available sooner.

Posted by aktur at Nov 19, 2014 12:25

While the device is quite intriguing, I am not yet ready for it, as in my situation it will be rather expensive. I would need it for a 3 phase 230V connection. I already have two Solar monitors, for which I have written a couple of rules. I understood Smappee supports a.t.m. only one solar panel. And above all I don't own a Senseo

Posted by pz1 at Nov 19, 2014 13:37

as in my situation it will be rather expensive

If you have a BTW number then buying it through their web shop would save you VAT.

About solar panels support I have no idea as I don't have one and would not have in the near future.

And above all I don't own a Senseo

Yeah, how about this. Thanks to Smappee I've discovered the silent thief of my electricity which I was not aware off. I've noticed that some appliance was switching on for 2kW for periods of about 5m all through the day. Smappee calculated that it would consume 620 kWh through the year (ca. 142 EUR). I've started wondering what it can be and after few days discovered that it was a water heater installed hidden in my kitchen. I simply forgot about its existence after installing it about 15 years ago. It is convenient to have a hot water in the kitchen immediately, but it comes at the price. Therefore the first thing I did was to put a smart plug on it and switch it off for the night and switch on only when somebody is detected in the kitchen. It should give me about 30-50% savings not counting holidays - were I was switching off my fridge+freezer (costs according to Smappee about 100 EUR/yearly) and leaving this bastard on because it was not visible! Now I'm the boss and my Smappee already paid for itself

Posted by aktur at Nov 19, 2014 15:12
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