Getting started - basic hardware

Yeah, by RF I mean 433MHz.
Sonoff switches for instance do implement a feedback - could be useful in some “smart solutions”…but those are not wall switches. [quote=“1technophile, post:7, topic:15305, full:true”]
That’s why i went for 433mhz cheap sensors. Another solution to explore could be xiaomi gateway with xiaomi sensors
Xiaomi do look like an attractive option. Do you use RF switches with feedback ? did you manage to find those ?
What RF sensors do you use ?

Hi there! I’m getting into the discussion, since I’m in a similar situation - noob on EU standards (well, Italian substandards… :frowning: :smiley: )
I’ve been testing some funky automations/integrations with Roku, ChromeCast, Telegram, OwnTracks dd-wrt … Exciting, really, so I decided to get - and now I have at home - the both RM Pro and RM mini from Broadlink (it was an affair!)

I can’t use any wall switches for now, but I’d like to get a motion and door sensors.
I’m interested in Xiaomi devices, but the need of the gateway is somehow disturbing me… :frowning:

Would be interesting to hear some more experienced voices also. I’m sure their input will be very valuable for all the beginners.

There is this thread about beta XIAOMI gateway Integration :

But I’m not sure what’s the final status of this beta integration. The thread is 4 miles long (1,500 messages).
Does someone know is it fully integrated or what are the limitation of the integration for the current moment ?

I’m using this type of sensors:

And I’m satisfied with them.

I’m using pilight to control most things (20 sockets, 10 lights/dimmers, 4 door mag senors and 4 PIRs all 433Mhz), tellduslive as a backup and a Orvibo for IR and a Broadlink RM Pro for odd stuff that pilight can’t control (2 sockets and 2 dimmers again 433 but pilight just can’t detect them) and lots of remotes. I also also have 1 zwave motion/temp/lux sensor paired with a usb zwave stick and some NodeMCU sensors (temp/pressure/smoke/humidity) using MQTT and a sonoff controlling my bathroom light via a connected PIR sensor and MQTT.
I’m pretty happy with the setup, tho’ with HA constantly evolving it can be a challenge to keep everything running smoothly :). My next project is to fit a Door lock and sort out the greenhouse :slight_smile:

Thanks a lot for sharing
it seems that you don’t use the HA. Pilight proved itself to be more stable ?
Your sensors, are they “DIY type” ? Does it look good, after the installation ?

Yep I use HA to do the automation and pilight to do the control, tho’ you can do it all in pilight it’s not as sophisticated as HA. My NodeMCU is the only thing that’s DIY and I will eventually put it in a box when I find the right one :slight_smile: Generally I think you pay for what you get, Zwave Fibaro sensors look nice but each sensor costs £35+/- which gets very expensive very quickly. My door sensors are much the same as most (but were £30 for 4). My PIR sensors have external antenna so don’t look very nice, but then again they sit in the corners of rooms and don’t really get noticed (4 for £16). Most of my sockets are controlled with Status external sockets, again they don’t look nice but usually are round the back or under/inside furniture etc (£30 for a set of 3). The ceiling roses just look like normal ceiling roses (they don’t do LEDs but work very well with halogen bulbs for dimming again £30 for 6 and I’ve only got 4 lights that need them :slight_smile: ) You then need a PC of some type (laptop/desktop/PI/CHIP) for the 24/7 automation and hubs for the various sensors/switches/dimmers. My installation was very much a growing experiment so there was no design involved and I’m on a very limited budget, so don’t have a huge choice.

In case you were starting over again your home automation project (from scratch), what would you do differently and how your architecture would look like ?

Hmm good question, I’m tempted by the Xiaomi Gateway and associated components, but I don’t think they do a UK plug, so probably out, it maybe only the gateway that needs power tho’ so it might be possible with an adaptor. Zwave is to expensive. So I would probably still go with 433. Now if I had a 3D printer I could come up with some funky boxes and would probably go wifi and mqtt with a lot of wemos d1 minis and at megas/nodemcus with lots of sensors. My other problem is that I live in a rented flat so I can’t retro fit sockets/wires etc, so I’m limited as to what I can fit where. I’m also limited by asbestos walls and ceilings, making drilling holes for things fun :frowning: .

Thanks for your experience! I didn’t know about NodeMCU… I was still “stuck” with Arduino Uno.

Damned Asbesto!

NodeMCU has a 8 useful digital IO pins and 1 analogue pin + the I2C pins and SPI, so it has plenty of options :smiley: I use it via the Arduino IDE. I haven’t played much with the mega 2560 yet but would seem to have even more options :smiley:

It took me a while to read the device list that could be controlled by 433toMQTTto433 and also how to build this gateway
Very impressed by the number of compatible devices that could be potentially controlled from HA, using this solution.

Do you think Broadlink RM PRO could be used instead of the DIY part of this solution (arduino + transmitter/receiver modules) ? The RM PRO already has transmitters/receivers for IR & 433MHZ

Hello, You mean to replace the software inside the broadlink to have something compatible with mqtt, or to use the broadlink instead of the gateway?

To use Broadlink instead of the gateway
(Without touching it’s software, so that Broadlink’s capabilities provided by vendor would remain)

Yes you can integrate it with HA if you prefer off the shelf products, here the list of gateway available for 433mhz:

  1. So by using Broadlink rm pro as a gateway instead of the 433toMQTTto433 gateway, will the same device list still be compatible as described in the early attached thread?:

  2. If a good friend of yours would like to make a basic home automation, what architecture, software, platform and hardware (hubs/gateways…)would you recommend ?
    (:sunglasses:Your friend is from IT area, spent more than a decade programming on various languages, does have a soldering iron but unfortunately doesn’t have a lot of free time for diy struggling, not pricey, his basic needs are listed in my 1st post on this thread…hmmm, do I know this guy :wink: ?)
    …we are talking about 100m2 apartment (no long distances)

Thanks in advance…

1- I don’t know, never tested it and some search on the web doesn’t helped me more

2-I’m dividing the home automation into 3 main components, sensors/actuators, gateway, home automation software.
Following what you prefer you can decide where you put the DIY part, you can buy Off The Shelves sensors, build a DIY gateway and plug it to Home Assistant, or make your sensors, build a mysensors gateway and plug it to OpenHAB or buy OFS sensors, buy OTS gateway and plug it to Home assistant.
All depend where you prefer to pass your time keeping in mind that in all the case setting up the home automation software will take a big part of it.
If you haven’t time we can say that you can go to OTS sensors and Gateway, in this case the xiaomi gateway and sensors, or 433mhz sensors/actuators + (RFXCom) are good ways to go.
If you want to DIY the gateway you have OpenMQTTGateway or RFlink.

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Home assistant has native mysensors support. Why would one need to use OpenHab for mysensors?

just a combination example not to take as a compatibility constraint

Thanks for all the participants (@1technophile, @keithh666, @martinhjelmare, @Tinkerer, @blakadder, @ghiglie) for all the inputs, it really helped a lot to figure out some things.
I’m sure this thread will also be useful for other newbies as well, so I’ll write how I will get started with home automation - in case someone have some tips for finetuning my way - please advise

I’ll start with a little POC, order a few basic sensors and start learning about HA (HA Documentation) and MQTT while waiting for the delivery (it will take about a month).

  • The software (HA+MQTT) will be installed on an unused laptop (windows/Linux - not sure yet).

  • The POC scenarios: I’ll automate the lights in a toilet and the entrance door lights (inside the apartment). The lights will also continue working with wall switches.

  • Purchases:

  • XIAOMI Gateway and it’s sensors (2X temp/humidity + 2X door + 2X motion detectors)

  • 2X RF433 wall switches (w/o feedback…I came to an understanding that currently it’s really not needed)

  • Broadlink RM-Pro (for controlling RF433 switches and IR controlling my TV / set top box / AC)

After the POC,I guess I’ll go for a @1technophile’s MQTTopenGate solution - a lot of things could be controlled in bidirectional ways. Also, will get RPI running.

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