New guy - with a KNX backbone system


#1

Hi dear people!

I just came from playing around with OH for a while, and figured I will give Hassio a try. I got as far as I managed to set it up, find a bunch of components, and reach OpenHab from the outside. But I could not really do much more. I am waiting for my Raspberry to arrive in a weeks time. Figured I would try to reach out to get a head start. (i have been googling for a few days already).

My background:
I installed my fully KNX system in my house 10 years ago. I did program it myself but time has taken its toll on my memory so having moved from ETS3 to 5 I found that my main screen (hub) called MT701 does not allow for beeing programmed in the new ETS system. Most of you guys probably don’t know what I am talking about now but anyways, I am looking to get up and going with a new server system.

Today my house consist: of underfloor heating, ligthing (downlights) (indoor and outdoor) and an old LCD panel called the MT701 where I can view all components, and do some changes to timings of scenes and such. I also have a bunch of computers, cellphones, Samsung tv screens, Plex server and more. In a week my Google Home and Google Home Mini will arrive. I also have a vacuum robot on its way.
-> I have also created a KNX Gateway with my old Raspberry pi. It can be used for programming my house, and should also be possible to reach from the outside.

If you came this far you might wanna take a look at what I wanna achieve aswell :slight_smile:

I want my system to be as userfriendly as possible, I want to be able to control/ and see my stuff from a mobilephone from the outside of the house. At some point I need to replace my LCD screen with something else (but it is not my main object now). I also want to be able to control my stuff by voice if possible.

What I know I need is some suggestions on what steps should be taken first. I am sure this will be a step by step process but it I would love to not have to do ALL the mistakes before I learn anything. Any input is GREATLY appreciated.

PS: As I am waiting for my Raspberry pi i would like to do some testing in a VM environment. Any input on which is the easiest to setup?


#2

Hi Tormi,

I’m planning on integrating KNX with Home assistant as well. I’m renovating atm and wiring my home with KNX. I want to program my KNX installation so it has an minimal functioning when Home assistant would not be working (Updates/failures). Was this something you where planning on implementing?

I was thinking about a heartbeat send to KNX, and when the heartbeat is > 60 seconds old, i would use the “minimal” operations (Like a motion sensor which will trigger a light and actors which will turn on light as well)

Would love to follow your progress!


#3

I am a little uncertain about what you mean with “…minimal functioning when Home Assistant would not be working”.
-> Do you mean that you do want the system to work even withouth HA?

The way KNX works (at least for me) it is a independant system, meaning I don’t need HA for it to work. It has worked flawlessly for 10-11 years. Only a few modules has been replaced. However the system is earlier programmed with ETS3 (I use ETS5 now). In the middle of the system is a LCD screen called MT701 (getting old) that bind it all together in a visualinterface (this component is no longer supported by ETS5 meaning I can no longer program this important part of my system).

This MT701 is the one that binds it all together in a visual GUI. Here you can select scenes, manually turn on/of lights and control timing elements (For instance I have a few zones in the house where lights are automatically turned on at certain times of night if movement is detected.)

Now I would really like to switch out the MT701 with something newer, I am though scared to to reprogram this as it was a very large job and it has been a long time since I did it. It is also difficult to find the perfect component to switch it out with.

With Hassio i think I can circumvent the problem, at leas for a while as all components can be controlled individually (I hope), and I can gradually remove controlled items from the MT701.

I did post another thread aswell which did recieve some replyes, but there really should be easier to find KNX related threads here. I must say that KNX so far has really proved to be very robust, my limit I guess is that I am no programmer :slight_smile:


#4

Yes indeed, Because KNX is decentralized it don’t want to add a single point of failure. But i do want to add some more complex automations which are harder to program in ETS. So what i was thinking was the following:

  • When Home assistant is running -> just pass all the inputs to Home assistant and generate some outputs.
  • When Home assistant isn’t runing -> have a basic setup where all the lights would go on based on motion sensors and push buttons.

edit: Hit Reply to early


#5

Jens:

This is excactly my thoughts too. Do you also have heating/timing objects? My house consist of a bunch of separate rooms with underfloor water heating also with switches, dimmers and I don’t really need HA.

But it would be great fun to have this on top/ or on the side of KNX.

I will follow your project to so let me know how it goes!

T


#6

I will keep you posted!
I will have separated heating in each room, some motion sensors, switches, dimmable lights and some logic functions tying this all together. Programming my home will be something for September/October.


#7

So what kind of controlling system will you go with? I have recently been tipped of RealKNX, their shop looks great and one could go crazy just looking at the items :slight_smile:

Anyways - I was sure I had decided on going for hass.io installation but now after reading a bunch I am more confused then ever on whether going for Hasbian install or hass.io.

Hass.io should be the easiest, but what am I missing with this setup? WHat am I gaining? It is still not 100% clear to me, and I have seen a bunch of theese questions on the forum. It even made me go back and look at OH, but I think I’ll stay on HA.


#8

What do you mean by controlling system? Isn’t that what you would use Home Assistant for?

I would recommend hass.io. The super easy updates are what convinced me. Also the Hass.io addons which do not interfere with your HA installation is a major benefit. (For example: This way it is easy to add Node Red, without the risk of corrupting your HA installation)

The only downside is that it is harder to do component development on hass.io because everything is packed in docker containers.


#9

Sems like you are very knowledgable :slight_smile:

With controlling system i meant for instance my MT701 LCD screen, RealKNX, or something like this. A central unit within the KNX system.

Or is your plan to only have separate units and program each of them by themselves?


#10

I wasn’t planning on using another cental unit in KNX (Which would add a single point of failure as well).
I am planning on having a basic setup where there are a few scenes which can be triggerd by a push button or a motion sensor.

To make it work with HA (my central point) i would add some logic functions which only activate the scenes if there wasn’t a heartbeat from home assistant in the last 10 seconds or something like that. (The logic function i was thinking about is just a simple: if no heartbeat => multiply the scene number with 3 ,this is the scene number i would use in my basic setup, if heartbeat => do nothing).

For each pushbutton i would also write to a group address which would be handled by HA.

I did not implement this yet, so i don’t know if it would work.


#11

Hi Jens!

Have you gotten anywhere with setting this up? I am getting absolutely nowhere with KNX, and it frankly does not seem like many people here use it… :frowning:


#12

Maybe I can help you with your KNX system.
I skipped a little bit over the thread, so I don’t know how exactly the KNX is controlled. I saw that there are “modules” that interact with the main hub of KNX (or something like that), but how do they connect? If it’s over Ethernet, HASS.io can easily control them, without having any specific component for it. There are components which directly interfaces with TCP commands, so you only need to know which commands the KNX sends out for doing something. I can help you with that, and I don’t want something for that. Just explain it to me how it works exactly and I’ll do my best.


#13

Hi @Valentino_Stillhardt. Fantastic if you can help me. I have posted a few threads around here but my 1st post in this thread basically shows what I have and want to achieve. To be more specific my whole whose is built on the KNX system of:
Lightning (dimmers knx+dali), switch actuators for some lights and wallpower, underfloor heating, motions sensors and so on.

My first issue though is that I can’t seem to connect to my knxd/ip gateway built on:

I have as I am supposed to added the following in my configuration.yaml file:

knx:

Since this did not work I tried to add:

knx:
  tunneling:
    host: '192.168.0.1'
    port: 3671
    local_ip: '192.168.0.196'

Part of the problem is that I don’t know what I am supposed to see?

I use this gateway to program my KNX system with ETS5 if I need to.

-> As I write this I find out that although my Raspberry pi with KNXD is online on the network. It is not “connectable” by the ETS5. This could be the issue. I am not sure if Home Assistant has the same demands. Need to do some more testing, and maybe setup a new KNX gateway…


#14

As stated on the component page:

The component requires a local KNX/IP interface like the Weinzierl 730.

Do you have that interface set up on your Pi?


#15

No I do not have that interface. But I have had I Raspberry pi, made into a gateway. This again is connected to an old USB interface. It did use to work with ETS5. I have realised I need to check this out first and are working on it. Will pop back when I have more info on this.

But can you explain to me what I should have been supposed to see in my HASSIO dashboard IF it worked?


#16

Just answer when you have more info about this, no problem.

I think that this KNX service is just a base component to make the other work. It’s to connect to the hub, but nothing more, I suppose.
To make things appear on the dashboard, you’ll need the other components that are providen by the community, like these (Without the “hub”):

As you see in the documentation of one of those:

The knx component must be configured correctly, see KNX Component.

That means that you must first make the base KNX component connect successfully and then use those.


#17

Yeah I am sure you are right. But how do I know if is connected correctly? Does something pop up on the dasshboard or does anything specific pop up in the logfiles?


#18

Is 192.168.0.1 the IP of your raspi running knxd? Otherwise you should change this to the raspi’s ip. Normally you should see a could not connect message on your dashboard, if it could not connect. Further, did you create an xknx.yaml file? And refenced this config file in your configuration?


#19

I did change the config file to only include:
“knx:”

It gives me this logfile entry among others:
2018-08-12 11:11:13 DEBUG (MainThread) [xknx.log] Searching on lo / 127.0.0.1
2018-08-12 11:11:13 DEBUG (MainThread) [xknx.knx] Sending: <KNXIPFrame
body="" />
2018-08-12 11:11:13 INFO (MainThread) [xknx.log] Could not connect to an KNX/IP device on dummy0
2018-08-12 11:11:13 DEBUG (MainThread) [xknx.log] Searching on eth0 / 192.168.0.197
2018-08-12 11:11:13 DEBUG (MainThread) [xknx.knx] Sending: <KNXIPFrame
body="" />
2018-08-12 11:11:13 INFO (MainThread) [xknx.log] Could not connect to an KNX/IP device on wlan0
2018-08-12 11:11:13 DEBUG (MainThread) [xknx.log] Searching on hassio / 172.30.32.1
2018-08-12 11:11:13 DEBUG (MainThread) [xknx.knx] Received: <KNXIPFrame
body="<SearchResponse control_endpoint="<HPAI 192.168.0.196:3671 />" dibs="[
<DIBDeviceInformation
knx_medium=“KNXMedium.TP1”
programming_mode=“False”
individual_address=“PhysicalAddress(“1.1.128”)”
installation_number=“0”
project_number=“0”
serial_number=“01:02:03:04:05:06”
multicast_address=“224.0.23.12”
mac_address=“b8:27:eb:b4:b2:d2”
name=“knxd” />,

]" />" />
2018-08-12 11:11:13 DEBUG (MainThread) [xknx.knx] Sending: <KNXIPFrame
body="" />
2018-08-12 11:11:13 DEBUG (MainThread) [xknx.log] Searching on docker0 / 172.17.0.1
2018-08-12 11:11:13 DEBUG (MainThread) [xknx.knx] Sending: <KNXIPFrame
body="" />
2018-08-12 11:11:13 INFO (MainThread) [xknx.log] Could not connect to an KNX/IP device on veth605b207
2018-08-12 11:11:13 INFO (MainThread) [xknx.log] Could not connect to an KNX/IP device on veth12e072c
2018-08-12 11:11:13 DEBUG (MainThread) [xknx.log] Starting tunnel to 192.168.0.196:3671 from 192.168.0.197
2018-08-12 11:11:13 INFO (MainThread) [xknx.log] closing transport None
2018-08-12 11:11:13 INFO (MainThread) [xknx.log] closing transport None
2018-08-12 11:11:13 INFO (MainThread) [xknx.log] closing transport None
2018-08-12 11:11:13 INFO (MainThread) [xknx.log] closing transport None
2018-08-12 11:11:13 DEBUG (MainThread) [xknx.knx] Sending: <KNXIPFrame
body="" />
2018-08-12 11:11:13 DEBUG (MainThread) [xknx.knx] Received: <KNXIPFrame
body="" />
2018-08-12 11:11:13 DEBUG (MainThread) [xknx.log] Tunnel established communication_channel=1, id=4481

The physical adress it points to is correct so something is going on but I can decipher what?


#20

The connection seems ok! Now the next step should be adding your devices. There is no such thing as autodiscovery in KNX, therfor you should add your configuration by hand.

knx:
config_file: ‘/path/to/xknx.yaml’

You can go to xknx.io to see what needs to be included!