This page last changed on Jan 08, 2014 by jules_bike.

Hi OR community some advice needed please!

I have OR up and running nicely with Lighting/Music using DSC, Sonos, Legrand and a few other devices. Very impressed with the tool.

Next challenge - I have a swimming pool which is about 20 meters from the house with a machine room which has its own wiring including a lighting circuit for the pool. I want to automate the pool lighting using a wireless link. What would be the cheapest way of setting this up with OR. I guess I have to choose between Z-wave, En-ocean etc. Range will be fairly important - at the moment my wifi does not reach as far as the pool so would need improve on that.

Thanks

I guess I have to choose between Z-wave, En-ocean etc. Range will be fairly important - at the moment my wifi does not reach as far as the pool so would need improve on that.

From my experience both Z-wave and EnOcean have worse range than WiFi. The worst is Z-wave (very sensitive for computer generated noise) with EnOcean in between. You would need some dedicated bridge to cover this 20m to your pool. WiFi offers solutions which I usually use on my holidays (easy picks signal from 100 meters) http://hawkingtech.com/long-range-wifi-solutions/index.html
My device of choice is http://hawkingtech.com/products/hawking_products/hi-gain_wireless_networking/HAW2R1.html

Posted by aktur at Jan 08, 2014 21:36

Thanks - if I can get wifi working to the pool house then I would still need some sort of wifi based actuator do you know what is available?

Posted by jules_bike at Jan 09, 2014 10:00

Well, my technology of choice is EnOcean and the actuator which I love is FSVA-230V (http://www.eltako.com/fileadmin/downloads/en/datasheets/Wireless_datasheet_FSVA-230V.pdf)
It has beside a switch a power meeter and repeater. You can try to reach your pool with EnOcean repeaters, but IMHO with wifi it would be easier task. It is hard to say remotely without testing on site. 20m for wifi should be no problem, especially 11n or 11ac. As wifi is a more widely used technology than any other wireless (EnOcean, Zigbee or Z-wave, etc), using it for range extension will be cheaper for sure.

Posted by aktur at Jan 09, 2014 12:28

Hi Michal I still don't get how I could do it with wifi? Would I need some interface for OR?

Posted by jules_bike at Jan 09, 2014 14:46

I'm not sure i understand your question. Michal has given a link to a wifi connected actuator. You would connect the wifi actuator to your network via wifi (assuming you have a wifi network). I would assume your open remote controller runs on your network. so your open remote controller should be able to connect to the actuator (test this using ping).

It looks like the enocean setup for openremote is in the forums: http://openremote.org/display/forums/Cannot+find+EnOcean-Controller?focusedCommentId=21859200#comment-21859200

Posted by jasonn1234 at Jan 23, 2014 17:35

It looks like the enocean setup for openremote is in the forums

How about OpenRemote 2.0 How To - EnOcean?

Posted by pz1 at Jan 23, 2014 18:31

Sorry I should have been more explicit - what I was wondering is there is wifi actuator that exists which does not need a third party controller, perhaps with an web interface. I've seen they are now producing lights which have their own IP address.

Posted by jules_bike at Jan 23, 2014 19:05

Sure there is http://www.belkin.com/us/p/P-F7C027/

Posted by aktur at Jan 23, 2014 21:48

Ah, I think I understand now, OR only talks to an enocean gateway and not the end device. This means you would need to buy the gateway. You are looking for OR to talk directly to an end device.

I'm looking for the same thing, except a 3 way light switch.

Buying gateways seems to me to be counter to the desired end goal.

In my industry (High availability data acquisition across WANs), we call these gateway devices FEPs (Front end processors). They are problematic because it is another device 'in the middle' which can go wrong and troubleshoot. And if they are store and forward types, and not routing, this means you can receive 'old' data.

I like how OR has connected to irtrans(which I have), directly to the device.

Of course if manufacturers use proprietary protocols beyond their gateways, talking directly to the device is more difficult, and requires reverse engineering of the packet between the gateway and the end device.

end of rant.

so maybe the belkin above can be connected to by OR http commands?

Posted by jasonn1234 at Jan 24, 2014 16:31

I bought one of those belkin devices for my dad recently it worked fine but I had to use the belkin interface on IOS or Android - I was not aware they had an api that you could hook into?
Also pretty expensive if you are going to buy more than one or two. I was hoping to find something around €30 or less. Given they can build a Raspberry pi for this you'd have thought it would be possible!

I agree on the Itrans I've got that working nicely too. I've also got a gateway for lighting from Legrand so I'm trying to avoid yet another one. Legrand has a zigbee api but crazy prices and the range apparently not too great.

Ultimately I think if you are going to have a reasonable number of lights then a gateway makes sense, mine from Legrand is rock solid and bounces back up in seconds after a powercut. Whereas my openremote platform is at least 2 minutes to boot and being windows based can fall over.

Posted by jules_bike at Jan 24, 2014 17:17

end of rant

Imho your "rant" is unjustified. If I understand their website correctly it is Belkin that has made a choice for a proprietary protocol using Wifi. It seems the user is stuck with the control software they provide.

Posted by pz1 at Jan 24, 2014 18:25

That is my rant: no easy way to talk to the end device. It is done by the manufacturers of the devices by design.

In my industry most manufacturers have their own protocols, but they make them public because the customers demand it. For the exact reason, OR exists: no one wants 10 different apps running on their smartphone. And no one wants only one manufacturer of devices in their home

Although in the belkin case, you may be able to reverse engineer the packet via wireshark if it is a simple protocol.

Posted by jasonn1234 at Jan 25, 2014 02:56

Although in the belkin case, you may be able to reverse engineer the packet via wireshark if it is a simple protocol.

Wireshark is the hardcore way. Google in my case is enough, just few minutes gives this https://github.com/ericblue/Perl-Belkin-WeMo-API, http://developers.belkin.com/wemo/sdk, https://github.com/issackelly/wemo, etc.
Quite few interesting links.
Unfortunately, because WeMo uses SOAPACTION header it is not 'yet' possible to drive them directly from OR through the HTTP protocol. However, with command line protocol sky is the limit. The first link contains a shell script how to switch WeMo with wget or curl commands. I've tested the curl example and it works for with my Belkin devices.

Posted by aktur at Jan 25, 2014 10:14

However, with command line protocol sky is the limit

I assume you mean Shell execution protocol ?

I found a few of such hacks (a.o. on hackaday) yesterday evening. Those seemed a security breach to me.
Something that is making me feel less happy about home automation.

Posted by pz1 at Jan 25, 2014 10:58

Yeah, it is the Shell execution protocol.

I don't believe that SDK from Belkin is a security breach. IMHO, they are trying very hard to come on IoT arena. For example they are first to offer IFTTT connection. I don't know how useful it would be but could be the next hype, you never know.

Posted by aktur at Jan 25, 2014 11:06

Hi Michal the belkin is certainly interesting if I can hook into to OR. What is the range like on your device? Would you be able to get feedback from the switch to know its status?

Posted by jules_bike at Jan 25, 2014 12:29

Jules, I've received my Belkin devices 2 days ago and I'm testing them now. At the moment I can turn the switch on/off from command line, so it can be uses from OR with the shell protocol. The status reading must be possible too. I'll investigate it too.
The range depends on your WiFi setup. For sure it will be much larger than any EnOcean or Z-wave solution. And with the range extenders available for WiFi it can be easily up to km range.

Posted by aktur at Jan 25, 2014 13:50

For sure it will be much larger than any EnOcean or Z-wave solution

For some funny reason my Z-wave goes much further than my Wifi (Fritzbox7170). This longer distance of Z-Wave is mostly due to the mesh architecture. The single Z-Wave hops are indeed shorter. That distance only matters if I have to include a new device. If I have to I just take my RaZberry closer to the device. Z-Wave tends to operate much better if you have more (permanently powered) devices. I have 15 at the moment.
The RF signal of my Somfy remote for the sunscreens do even better than the other two.

PS: Read about the IFTTT. Interesting. Agree on the hype potential.

Posted by pz1 at Jan 25, 2014 14:33

This longer distance of Z-Wave is mostly due to the mesh architecture.

This indeed is the case of HA network. However, if you want to bridge a longer distance without any device in between (this is what originally Jules want to do), then WiFi seems to offer the cheapest and most robust solution. Next step is to use WiFi sensor and actor.

Jules, BTW, the python code from my last link https://github.com/issackelly/wemo has a possibility to read the switch status.

Posted by aktur at Jan 25, 2014 14:52

I'm thinking the belkin solution is a bit of a risk - at the moment they only really have a couple of devices and I guess if they don't sell then this will fizzle out. I think z-wave is probably a better option even if it does mean adding another controller. At least they have a good range of products you can call on as you expand.

Whilst looking I came across a couple of things on kickstarter that might be of interest if you fancy a gamble!

N3rd

angelblocks

Posted by jules_bike at Jan 28, 2014 08:53

Sorry, I think I've misunderstood your original question. My impression was that you were searching for the cheapest solution for your swimming pool lighting. Anyway, a nice thing with OpenRemote is that you don't really need to marry with any particular technology. If you prefer Z-wave then go with it.
And I don't agree with your statement that Belkin solution is a risk. The devices are on market and they work, so what is the risk? BTW, there is no risk investing in WiFi, you will need it anyway.

Posted by aktur at Jan 28, 2014 10:46

Digging a trench for a lan cable is a good exercise On a 10 year old Cat5 cable I still get 100M after some 50 meters.

Posted by pz1 at Jan 28, 2014 10:57

Only problem is that my iPad does not have Cat5 socket

Posted by aktur at Jan 28, 2014 14:41

I just installed AEOTEC Z-Wave Extender. I can now control a wall plug in a building almost 20 meters away. Distance between the extender and the plug is some 25+ meters. (I do use RaZberry)

Posted by pz1 at Jun 24, 2014 13:06
Document generated by Confluence on Jun 05, 2016 09:34