Home Assistant vs Everything else

I like it! Sure if you don’t mind posting your config. It’ll help me wrap me head around the whole process and might help someone else as well.


I think what @RobDYI is doing if very cool as well. May tinker with his implementation

Here is a example from my switches.yaml

- platform: command_line
      command_on: gpio mode 2 out;gpio write 2 0
      command_off: gpio write 2 1

The reason I did the command line control was the relay module I use is basically backwards. Grounded is on, 5V is off.

The relay module I use is like this

The speakers I am using are just standard 6.5" ceiling speakers. I think I got them from Parts Express.

My patio speakers are Yamaha outdoor speakers I got from Amazon.

The amplifiers are generic little amps like these

Downside: You have to fish speaker wires everywhere you want speakers :smiley:

I love seeing the ideas shared here.
I’ve removed the door bell and replaced it with a telephone. That phone when it goes off hook auto dials into an asterisk server where my dial-plan makes a curl call to let HA know someones there. I then play a message that I record all activities, please hold the line while I inform the occupants of your arrival. I then call each extension in the house as well as my cell phone. Using a customized caller ID, on the cell, a “tasker” job will launch my VPN and then open a camera streaming application. What I see then when I hear the cell ringing is a video feed from the front door. I’m not doing much at the moment in HA about the phone being used as I have motion detection that triggers a “rock lamp” to flash in the living room when it’s triggered.
I have other motion sensors as you approach the drive-way/entry that will fire off again with curl to my DVR system to retrieve an image of what’s out there and email those as attachments.

I’m thinking to buy a SmartThings HUB as a zigbee and zwave gateway for HA, can I use ST as a gateway only or will I need to have it connected to cloud? Thank you

I use TTS for doors all the time. It’s great to remind the kids to close things up…

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No, buy a Vera. Think I'm done

@ericleejoe which SD card? I have corrupted SD card issues myself with kingston class 10 card. I have bought a ups hat for my pi and will try to use it soon. Are those industrial cards more reliable?


They are expensive, but mine has been rock solid

I have used Samsung 32GB Evo Micro SD Card for some time now. Not too expensive, but it has seemed to hold up without corruption for a year.

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Second the Samsung EVO Plus 32gb

My Ha is controlling myq garage door, monitors oil tank level, 20 or so motorized blinds, 20 or some switches, nest, roku, and just about anything I can trow at it. Well build framework. However, yaml is total miss, and arguing with devs is useless as they do not care about my opinions. When I finally reach a critical mass of devices integrated and house done to my liking, this summer, I am forking ha and will work on yaml replacement.
In my opinion yaml is taking large portion of users out of loop on HA. There is no way that my neighbors will deal with configurations in yaml even as product is excellent.

@catchmonster Take a look at Node-RED, it provides a great way to create flows (automations) with a great user interface.

I migrated all my stuff to it in the past 2 days, I’m super happy with it.

Example of some of my lights flow:

“remote controls” subflow:

“long press actions” flow:


I have been using Home Assistant for almost two years now. At the time that I started my Home Automation journey, I was considering Vera (a friend on mine has it) then I ran into OpenHab and it was a good fit for my legacy alarm panel (I think Vera was too), but I liked the simplicity (at the time) of Home Assistant.
OpenHab was more robust, but I did not like the binding process that much. BRUH Automation got me! and I started using HASS and observed its evolution over the years. Slowly, but steady it included all my devices (including my old alarm using Alarmdecoder). It is not easy and I spend a significant amount of hours a week on my Home Automation (for me is my hobby!). I know that it could be easier to use something like Vera and not to have to deal with the multiple breaking changes introduced with each release, I also know that Z-Wave and Zigbee are easier to use and implement on the other platforms (like Vera, Wink, Smarthings, Homeseer, etc), but if you are using HASS is because you like to experiment with different devices and do it your way.
I will keep using HASS, but I am well aware that I cannot recommended to my neighbor, I cannot imagine for a second trying to explain how “ease” and intuitive YAML and Python are (be aware of the TAB or spaces or indentation…)

Hopefully working our way away from YAML config being necessary, in the end automation is coding so there will be some complexity. HASSIO and Node Red is pretty awesome though!

Node-red avoids most of the yaml pain, although of course yaml is necessary for device definition, but IMHO the really difficult part is automations and node-red seems to do that very easily and more simply.

My progress is slow, but I have an automation to turn a hallway light on and off if someone is detected in the hall.

An automation to turn the kitchen media player off at 10 pm has produced a lot less moaning from the children who sleep in the bedroom above.

All good fun.

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I’m sure power users love the flexibility of HA. HassIO is the only home automation platform I have ever used. I know others that use Wink and SmartThings. They add components in minutes every time. Adding zwave devices is almost always a nightmare and consumes tons of time. My GE Zwave dimmers still have issues updating their state correctly. This issue has reported for years by others. Just added 2 Schlage zwave locks, hours and hours spent for basic functionality. Still can’t remove user codes remotely. Other platforms allow this with no problems. Aeotec multisensor6 took forever to get working right. Documentation is poor and fragmented. Many things I find don’t apply to HassIO. HassIO is supposed to be the easy to use version of HA. I have limited experience with python, but coding for templates is in jinja for some random reason. Why not just use python. I really enjoy HA when simple things don’t take hours of guessing and searching the threads for an example because the documentation is non existent. Unfortunately, things rarely go smoothly. I would only recommend HA to someone just starting home automation as a mean joke.

I have the same Z-wave dimmers which don’t update their state correctly. At one point, I set up a polling loop, but I think it was too fast, and caused a major congestion issue with the Z-wave network, and I ended up rebuilding it completely and getting rid of the polling. I might re-institute it for every 5 minutes or so; typically it isn’t necessary to know right away. I don’t know why the status of those is so difficult to nail down, but I suspect it has to do with how the device itself reports over the Z-wave network. Unfortunately, I have about 10 of them in the house already, and am not removing them.

That said, device adds are done in seconds, and now that OpenZWave configuration is built into HA, I can rename them something reasonable and go within minutes. The hardest device I had to add was the Aeotec stick remote, and that was just catching the window to get it into the alternate control mode. My TVs don’t work, but this is also not HA’s fault; the TVs themselves don’t communicate reliably.

HA definitely has a learning curve to it, but I enjoy that, so part of the hobby is setting it all up. I can see where it would be frustrating for a newer user. I assume HassIO is better, but I’ve also heard of the documentation issue (HA items are not relevant to HassIO, etc…). Jinja is apparently just a template engine for Python, so it makes sense to use it for HA templates I assume. I’ve never played with that functionality yet.

Home automation is still one a growing area. Enthusiasts, DIYers, and “data owners” join groups like this or OpenHAB, and people who can’t or don’t want to get involved use something like HomeKit, or pay for Crestron or similar professional installations.

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If you have to convince someone to use HA, they don’t deserve to use it.

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So I’m going to take a dissenting opinion here and likely suffer the consequences.

I’ve recently started with HA and there are many, many things I love about the platform. But my overall impression is that it just doesn’t have legs to ever get mainstream acceptance. Here’s my rationale…

Setup. Brutal. Hassio is slightly easier if you’re already tinkering with an RPi. Otherwise forget it. The weekend warriors who want to dabble in Home Automation will throw up just even trying to read the documentation let alone deciding on a Hassio vs. Python vs. Docker vs … install type.

Configuration. Worse. YAML is probably one of the worst choices for trying to learn code in order to do anything. Whitespace management? Cryptic control mechanisms? Number typing? It is hard to believe the language has lasted this long. And it’s a bloody requirement to hack txt files just to do even the most basic setup of devices and enable functionality. If there’s not a Hackathon to do something to keep the average users out of the txt files, HA’s demise will come very soon.

Automation. Really? If there’s a core governance team you should abandon the event…trigger…action style and just abdicate to Node-RED. It’s easy, powerful, and extendable. Kids have been using it to light up LEDs on the RPi GPIO pins for years. I’m pretty sure we can teach people to light a bulb on a normal schedule without building sensors and using “templates” and what not.

I would venture to say this criticism is what really attract many of the hard-core users of HA. And you know - that’s actually pretty cool. We need more people who can think logically. But for mainstream use - SmartThings has an early lead and I don’t see any signs of it faltering. In fact, the WebCoRE platform - which really should be the example by which all other state/automation engines are built from - is likely going to be integrated even more tightly with SmartThings. Imagine a single appliance that has the ease of setup of the SmartThings app (you might hate it - but the Average Joe can use it), wide device integration capabilities (Z-Wave, ZigBee, IP, Bluetooth if they ever enable it), a powerful state/automation engine (with built in editor and syntax checking) and the ability to extend until your hearts content with a Google-built Java scripting language (Groovy).

I’ll continue to use HA because I enjoy hacking like most of you. But if you want me to put my chips down - it’s hardly even a choice. I don’t see YAML in the future. Scripting languages and cloud interfaces (not cloud execution - that needs fixing) are the future and systems like HASS will be for the niche players.

I agree with you 100% on YAML … but this is no reason to condemn HA in general. I don’t see HA as a solution to cover all and satisfy everybody, but HA is an enabler for you to choose your path.

HA is great to get all the different devices up and running in a short period of time. As soon you are able to handle your device you can automate to your heart extend with Node-red. This is just fantastic and easy to realize.

I’m confident that opportunities like Groovy and other great tools find there way into HA in one way or another. I love the add-on platform which will help to grow into this direction, there is just a risk that people will overload their local device and will blame HA in general for bad performance. (There should be an option for remote app servers. E.g. I have installed Node-Red on a dedicated RPi and performance is great!)

I have tested several automation solutions and only recently came onto HA but mt learning curve with this platform is much better than with any other system … I will stick with HA :+1::+1::+1: