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HomeSeer 3 and openHAB


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#1 rsw686

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 04:06 PM

With Haiku being discontinued and SmartThings cloud somewhat unreliable I'm looking for a new rule engine / iPhone app / web interface. I've looked at both HomeSeer 3 and openHAB, which have drivers for my OmniPro II, Lutron RadioRA 2, Z-wave locks / plugs, and Amazon Echo devices. I liked what I saw with Home Assistant, but it is missing drivers and I'm not sure I have the time to develop them, especially since I don't know python.

 

If HomeSeer 3 had a good web dashboard / mobile app with push notifications it would be a no brainier. The OmniPro II and RadioRA 2 drivers just work and pull down the names. It also supports multiple Z-wave controllers, which means finally my shop and home devices can be combined in one unified interface. Additionally the automation rules are extremely flexible. I did see there is HSBuddy for push notifications / iPhone app so that might work.

 

I'm currently running the trial on a Pi3 with Z-Stick. It appears I can upgrade from the limited 5 plugin version by purchasing the standard and extracting it over the current install. It also looks like I can purchase additional Pi3 and Z-Stick and roll my own Z-Net using ser2net.

 

Looking at openHAB the setup requires manual configuration all my zones and devices. The dashboard functionality is awesome and the iPhone app supports push notifications.  The big issue is it only supports one Z-wave network. The only solution I saw is to install two instances and pub/sub with MQTT. I'm also unsure of the Z-wave support for changing lock codes, etc.

 

I'm planning to add some MQTT temp/humidity sensors using the ESP8266 and DHT22 so I can control the ceiling fans and exhaust fan in my shop. Having to connect to two controllers, puts me back into the same issue I have with SmartThings.

 

Any thoughts on which way to go? If HomeSeer 3 had the same openHAB dashboard and iPhone app I would have purchased it already. Side note I'm jealous over Home Assistant's push notifications with the ability to specify an action. Ex. I can send an alert for the doorbell and show a prompt to unlock the door.



#2 pete_c

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 09:27 AM

I would give Home Assistant, openHAB and Homeseer 3 a spin.

 

Currently testing mcsMQTT with DIY'd Node Reds doing MQTT running on RPi's doing OWFS (with 1-wire devices) and SonOff basic WiFi modules modded removing the 120 VAC switch to using the GPIOs.

 

Homeseer is working on a new mobile application while here utilizing Homeseer Touch designer with my tabletop touchscreens.

 

Are you still using the Samsung Smartthings hub?

 

Here it is enabled still running on an ARM CPU.  No issues except that it sends out emails only for a time corrections.  Nothing else though.  Using most current version of Mono on it.  Would that cause an issue with Email?



#3 rsw686

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 01:53 PM

I tested HomeSeer 3 the other day and just spent last night testing openHAB. I really want to like openHAB, but it is just a mess. I was able to get it communicating with the OmniPro and RadioRA 2 controllers just fine. I even have the ESP8266 pushing temp and humidity with MQTT.

 

The issue is every time I change an item or change anything in an .items file it goes to - status. It only goes back to the correct status if I restart openHAB, delete all lines and re-add them, or physically change the device status. I even setup mapdb persistence with everyChange, restoreOnStartup. 

 

Also the HABpanel sliders show the correct numeric value, but the slider stays at 0 until some event causes the page to update. Basic UI was updating when devices changed, but not it is not. It seems that if I restart openHAB it is hit or miss if the push updates work correctly.

 

These are show stoppers for me. HomeSeer 3 item status always just works, but the UI is horrible. I either need a good UI for HomeSeer 3 or I need to figure out how to fix the above openHAB issues.

 

I'm still using SmartThings, but would like to move everything over to one of these platforms. SmartThings has been down occasionally and frankly I'm tired of having to build groovy apps to do more complicated rules. The other platforms have if then rule engines out of the box.


Edited by rsw686, 12 June 2018 - 01:54 PM.


#4 JonW

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 02:12 PM

rsw686 - I never have to restart OH.  If I edit .items or .sitemap, OH automatically reloads the data as soon as I hit save on my file.  Seems something is amiss with your config.



#5 rsw686

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 02:58 PM

rsw686 - I never have to restart OH.  If I edit .items or .sitemap, OH automatically reloads the data as soon as I hit save on my file.  Seems something is amiss with your config.

 

I'm running OpenHABian 2.3 and it is fully updated. If I change the label in .items file the UI reflects the change, however it shows -, NULL, or NaN for all items in the file I was editing. If I cut all lines, save, and then paste all lines, and save the UI correctly shows the items again with the proper status. Or if I manually turn on/off a light the status will be fixed for that one item. 

 

I've also tried the database item config in the Paper UI, which suffers the same issue.

 

Any thoughts?



#6 picta

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 09:16 PM

I have also been evaluating different options since Haiku got discontinued, including HS3, HomeAssistant and OpenHab (thanks to JonW!). All of these have some issues and I think it's a matter of prioritizing things for your individual situation. OH UI quality seems to depend on the browser used, as I tried it on 3 different platforms and neither was perfect. I am running OH in parallel with HaikuHelper and plan to eventually integrate it with Home Assistant.

 

HS3 plugin does not fully work for my setup, so I dropped it from consideration for now. It may still work for you, especially if you care about zwave, which is Homeseer's forte. I am learning the ropes of Home Assistant, and it looks really promising. The best part is that even there are no dedicated drivers, it can run 3d party python scripts, and there are many available for all kinds of things. There is even a python script integrating with Omnilink library that is used by OpenHub. But at the moment Haiku is still the best OP controller that I know, too bad it got dumped.



#7 rsw686

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 09:56 PM

What wasn't working for you with the HS3 Omnilink plugin? I only need Z-wave for my door locks and a few holiday plugs. I have rules in SmartThings that confirms all locks are locked when the system is armed, etc. The other issue with all these controllers is they aren't built to mimic the security side. No way that I've seen out of the box to prompt for PIN codes to arm / disarm, etc.

 

I'm planning to try Home Assistant next, but the RadioRA 2 driver is very limited in functionality and it is missing the OmniLink driver. It should be trivial to expand the RadioRA 2 functionality as the framework is there. I'll have to checkout the OpenHub OmniLink driver. I also saw that Indigo has a python OmniLink driver as well.

 

It looks like MQTT could become the standard for interfacing with IoT. I'd like to see this happen and an IETF standard developed for device types and what they would pub/sub over MQTT. Instead of developers focusing on rewriting plugins for every controller / hardware combination they could build it once and you would be free to choose your controller.

 

It has crossed my mind to take the HAI C# SDK, which I've used for the HAILogger, and interfacing it with MQTT. What is holding me back is the lack of standard. ThingsBoard wants you to post topics one way and Home Assistant has another. Additionally the Home Assistant MQTT HVAC component is write only and would need to be built out to support reading of thermostat modes, etc.

 

Decisions decisions...



#8 picta

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 11:17 PM

The HS3 plugin won't get all my units, and there is no way to configure them, so I am missing 16 units. It also takes a very long time to initialize, the somfy shades protocol is not fully supported (no stop command), unnamed flags cannot be used, etc.etc, but It does seem to support all security functions. I also did not see a way to interact with plugin from HS API.

 

My hope is I could modify the Indigo plugin to work with home assistant. For me the ability to create my own scripts to be interpreted by the controller is very important. I used to be able to do it with HS 2, but HS3 for some reason does not fully expose its API. I also do not see how it would be possible to write my own drivers with OpenHab, so this leaves HomeAssistant as the sole contender at the moment.



#9 rsw686

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 07:01 AM

I tested out Home Assistant for an hour or so. I got it connected to my RadioRA 2 controller and a GE and Leviton Z-wave outlet.  I'm happy to see it uses yaml for configuration as I use that daily with Ansible scripts. The dev documentation is incomplete in a number of areas, so it probably will take some digging around and looking at existing code. The iPhone app looks to be a web browser wrapper as the interface is the same and defiantly not as fast as a full featured app. They do seem to rely on plugins auto discovering / configuring devices. It also needs to be fully restarted for some configuration changes to take effect. The logbook and history views are awesome that they are built in.



#10 picta

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 09:10 PM

Sounds encouraging. I plan to do more testing on the weekend



#11 pete_c

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 12:04 PM

@Ryan...should I abandon the Smartthings hub / HAI Logger / Smartthings stuff and maybe just get the Leviton HAI email board?

 

Here have always run it on Ubuntu.  That said have updated Mono a few times since the beginning and updated the OP2 firmware as it came out.

 

That said only getting time sync and smarthings off line messages (emailed) and nothing else.  Configured another CT member with similiar setup (OP2 et al) and he too is only getting the same as me relating to emails.



#12 rsw686

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 08:33 PM

@pete_c My HAILogger / SmartThings integration is still in use today. I use it extensively for Alexa control of my lights. I don't have the email notifications enabled. I'll turn them back on and see if I can replicate your issue.



#13 pete_c

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Posted 16 June 2018 - 12:09 AM

Thank you Ryan.

 

Yes here demo'd the Amazon Echo / Smartthings hub connectivity to my son last week. 



#14 rsw686

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Posted 17 June 2018 - 09:20 PM

After some thought I'm going to go forward with adding MQTT bridge code to HAILogger. I know C# and how the OmniLink code works so this should be the path of least resistance. I'm going to try to implement the Home Assistant MQTT discovery as well so it should just auto configure most devices. I keep reading on Node-RED and I might move all my automation rules over to this. openHAB has a post on using it as a rules engine. I even found a SmartThings to MQTT bridge that runs in docker. This would allow me to get up and running with my current two SmartThings hubs and OmniPro II with Node-RED for my rules. I can then add in HomeAssistant to bring it together in a central app with dashboard functionality. Long term I'll probably move from two SmartThings hubs to two HomeAssistant Pi3 sharing states with the MQTT eventstream for intercommunication.



#15 pete_c

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Posted 17 June 2018 - 11:11 PM

Great news Ryan.  Been tinkering here with Node Red, Mosquitto, OWFS and SonOff switches lately.

 

Goofing here installed Mosquitto on a tiny micro test router with OpenWRT. Works well.

 

Did you get a chance to test the email functions on current release of HAILogger?






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