HA Adventures

Posted: December 16, 2014 in HA, Hacking and playing
Tags: ,

So the foray into other HA platforms continues. I wrote in November that I was playing with Domoticz. I eventually bought a new Aeon Labs Z-Stick, excluded a couple of sensors and a switch from my Veralite and built up a small Z-Wave system controlled by the Domoticz platform running on a RPi.

Loved the system, clean but usable interface, didn’t seem to struggle running on the RPi. Lots of updates, so obviously still actively developed and the ‘blocky language’ allowed me to build some fairly complex queries and rules without resorting to Lua. I have to say that I came very close to moving everything off of the Veralite and across on to the RPi.

I then managed to throw myself a curveball. EvoHome.

I also wrote about us installing this new heating system and while loitering around various forums I saw that people had managed to persuade their EvoHome systems to spit out the temperature data via simple scripts.

A bit of a play later and I had some JSON with the reported temperatures for every room in the house direct from EvoHome. Niiiice!

The trouble was that I couldn’t figure out how to get the info back into Domoticz. To be honest I didn’t even bother with the Veralite – that just wasn’t going to happen. I hoped that I could create a virtual object or some kind mapping that would allow for the live temperature data to be integrated into the platform. I couldn’t figure out a way to do it without seriously re-writing blocks of the Domoticz source code. I even tried to go around the problem by pushing the data into my Mosquitto MQTT broker on the same device and then trying to access it from there. While I could see the data, I had no way to get it into the system where it could be used.

While I’m struggling and failing with this particular scenario at home, I’ve been asked to get involved with a discussion about Automated Homes at work. Now I should stress this was without doubt the most painful professional experience of my life – a bunch of “creatives” and “strategists” trying to discuss HA…. and having absolutely sweet bugger all idea of what it is. They obviously have watched Iron Man and decided that J.A.R.V.I.S. was doable on a RPi and wouldn’t it be just fabulous to do it. To be fair, this was almost the same group that I had to help with “gaming” the week before (the second most painful professional experience, although it was the first until this week). That particular meeting started with me having to explain the difference between a console and a PC as a gaming platform, why the XBox (360 & One) weren’t PCs and that Amazon TV wasn’t quite the same as a PS4….. Suffice to say it went downhill from there…..

Anyway, rant aside, one thing I did end up doing as an “action” from that meeting was to compile a list of HA platforms for them to examine (which they will ignore… and then they’ll probably send someone to the US to look at what is available over there, buy a Wink hub and wonder why it doesn’t work anyway…. ). Sorry, you can tell I’m a bit jaded by this whole fiasco.

Bottom line, I ended up looking at the OpenHAB platform again.


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