BREL or Somfy

Hi,
I am currently in the process of buying screens. Of course the need to fit within my domotica system (HA) abd getting some kind of lost.
The vendor offers two options for the automation. Using the BREL or a Somfy. For as far as I understand;

  • BREL needs to be conrolled directly (But I cannot find how) or do I need some kind of BREL transmitter?
  • Somfy can be controlled by Connexoon of Tahoma Box.
  • BREL is cheaper then Somfy (but same quality motors)

My Questions:

  1. Advice or opinion about the two
  2. is there a template within HA for both
  3. which is best to be used within HA (I have both Domoticz (purpose datalogging) and HA (purpose automation) running)

Does anyone has some advice, which to take?
Thanks in advance
Alaric

I am not familiar with BREL but have several Somfy motors integrated into HA, controlled redundantly (I consider this a mission critical integration) by a ZRTSII box via ZWave and a MyLink box via wifi and the HA integration. I am happy with the the overall functionality and the automations I can do with HA far exceed what is possible with the Somfy devices and software. If sourcing the Mylink box yourself, be absolutely sure you do not get the V1 model as the first firmware update with brick it.

Somfy’s business model is to promote use of contractors for installation and configuration. I have done most of the work myself (all but the first curtain) but they do not make this easy. Sourcing parts without contractors is sometimes difficult (although eBay and some other online sources are beneficial) and the configuration is far from intuitive. However, it is more satisfying to do it yourself and you can save a lot on the overall installation.

EDIT: The ZRTSII and Mylink boxes are expensive when sold on their own. However, if you can get either as part of a package from one of the online retailers, they are virtually given away for free.

I don’t know if you already made your choice but I have successfully integrated Brel motors with the hub into home assistant using the serial rs485 port to send commands to it. I use bi directional motors. The benefit of this is that you can send 40% to the motors and not have to push an rts signal. By using direct commands to the motor they will never get out of sync.

If you or anyone needs help please contact me I will help you.

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Thank you for sharing your experience @sygys. I am about to buy brel motors, but I am not sure what kind of hub I need. Do I need the brel hub, or do other hubs also suit? Did you connect to the serial rs485 port of the hub?

Hi dutchguy I used the Brel hub with rs485 port. You need a few additional hardware components to get it done like a usb to rs485 stick and also a rj9 connector with cable that goes in the Brel hub. I contacted Brel a few days ago and they told me this cable can also be bought directly from them. Next you setup a node red integration on your home assistant and add the serial request node and let it trigger from home assistant how you like. And can give you the codes that need to be put in. Maybe it’s easier to talk more about this over at the home assistant discord. You can find me as John H. there. If you send me a pm we can talk in dutch. I can post you my codes and screenshots if you like

Hello Sygys,

It would be great if you could share some tutorial or whatever.
I also got the Brel bi-directional motor mounted, but have not succeeded yet to integrate it into HA.

Many thanks for your support here.

A +1 for the request of a tutorial. I’m in the process of selecting my new window blinds (inside).

IKEA - great! Zigbee, however, not adjustable or sold in the correct length.
SOMFY - Sold in NL with the RTS (radio freqyency). While perfectly integrated into HASS by RFLink for example, no bi-direct communication is a downside.
BREL - when selecting the birectional, no idea what protocol?! But it sounds like best of both worlds - bi-directional so reliable, and integrated into HASS with some additional tools.

IKEA left aside, Where BREL seemed to be the most economic choice of the two, with the additional hardware it might be a break-even.
So I probably will order the BREL and try to integrate it this way :slight_smile:

Hi Sygys, I too would like set up a Brel configuration, so great if a tutorial came about. Jeroen

Are you sure Somfy does not provide bi-directional communication? I thought their new protocol (io-homecontrol) does provide feedback. So as long as you buy Somfy products that talk io-homecontrol and connect them to HA via the Tahoma hub, you should be fine.

Their new product(s) may indeed, however when I selected my covers/blinds, the supplier was still using the older models.

Hi all. With the help of some of the people in this topic, I’ve got it to work, and over WIFI instead of RS485! What’s needed for this is your BREL blinds and a hub DD-7002B. Though it might work with the other one too? As we are not using the port. Didn’t test that!

  1. BREL blinds connecting to the BREL Hub - pairing as described, and connecting the hub to WIFI etc.
  2. Find your ‘key’ in the BREL app by clicking ‘about’ 5 times
  3. Build your automations in e.g. Node-RED to: a) read broadcast UDP messages from the HUB (for reading current status and battery levels) and b) send UDP messages to the HUB (for setting the new percentage of the position)
    For this, you need to create “input numbers” (covers/blinds itself) and sensors (battery level) manually in HA, then ‘feed’ (or trigger based on) them with the UDP messages.

The WIFI guide in this git may help a lot on the process: https://github.com/alexbacchin/ConnectorBridge/tree/master/doc/Wi-Fi%20Local%20Access
It will describe how to get the key, how to generate the accesstoken, and then how to format and interpret the JSON messages.

What I’m still working on is streamlining the automations and may be try to do it in HA itself instead of using NodeRED.

Hi twist3d
do you have the app on android or iOS, cause on iOS i can’t seem to find about anywhere?

I have iOS, and you’re right :slight_smile: In iOS, you need to multi-tap on the “version x.x.x(xxxx)” grey info, which is showed at the bottom in the ‘me’ tab (last of 4). Just touch that version about 5 times and the “reminder” comes up, showing the key.

The 5 Times tapping does not work for Android. At least not in the Brel app. I used the sniffer function on my router and read the whole communication of the hub and app. Somewhere in a command you will find the token. It took me about 15 minutes to get this done. After that make sure you write this down somewhere. @tw1st3d I also made all automations in home assistant. If you have sliders that node red listens to you can just build an automation to set a different value to this slider in which node red will pick it up.

At the moment I’m trying to get the current positions out of the motors so that the right values are shown in home assistant when you change the blinds using the Brel remote. The problem is that when operated with the remote the motors don’t report their positions back to the hub until you make a request. The only solution to this is making a request every few seconds. But this not really an option because it will drain the motor batteries…

I also got the battery stats out of the hub. But I don’t understand the numbers. They are giving a value of 850 - 745 back. I’m not really sure what these values mean. I first thought that it needed to be decided by 10 and that gave the percentage but I don’t think that is right. I’m in contact with Brel to get this figured out

@sygys, not sure if you received an answer from Brel yet, but my contact at Brel informed me that the battery level value is the current motor voltage.
I have a 12V battery myself and the value is 1118. This equals to 11,18 volt. I found some battery state charge diagrams for 12V lion batteries online, according to these diagrams my battery percentage is somewhere between 0 and 10%. What I find strange is that in the “Brel Home” App on my Android Phone the battery status icon seems to show a value around 40%.

As you are seeing levels between 745-850, I am guessing that you have a 8.4V battery, is this correct?