Newbee in IoT


I need to design and develop my own hardware and firmware for Water management system in my home.
I am already using plenty of smart devices from Sonoff, Shelly, Tapo, TATA EZ, Smart life etc. I used there apps too.
But I am not able to build a ecosystem with one brand. Hardware and Software are also no so reliable.

I have good understanding of Electronics hardware and firmware development.
Now I have decided my own hardware development.
I am starting with a water level management system.

I decided to use Espressif ESP32-H2-DevKitM-1-N4 hardware. Its Zigbee and wifi capabilities convinced me.
I will use the best powersupply known to me from RECOM which can work even with 525V AC mains. My country has lot of fluctuations in AC mains.

I have two water pump motors which are rated for lesser than 5HP. I will use standard contactors from Schneider or similar.
I will drive their 230V coils with good quality relays and snubber circuits.
I have one Water storage tank in Underground and another as Over Head storage tank.
One motor is used to fill the UG tank by Ground water. Another motor is used to fill the water in OH tank.

I will use pressure sensors located inside the tanks to know water levels. I will use read switches too for redundancy.
I will interface a OLED Graphics display locally.
I will use a local Real Time Clock to log the events with time stamp. Internet connection is not so reliable in my country.
I will implement reliable voltage and current measurements for both the motors.
I will develop the hardware and firmware with my logics and calculations.

I understood that Home Assistant is good platform. Also I think as a first step I need to buy use a Zigbee bridge to connect any hardware I design to Home assistant.
Is SONOFF Zigbee Bridge Pro can be used with Smart Assistant?

I will update my progress here which may be usefull for the starters like me.

Thank you, Anesh S.

Can be used, but since it is a Wifi Bridge, not recommended.

Hello Fransis,

Thank you for the information.
My requirement is I will be using my new hardware (with Zigbee) at my home at India. I want to access the data and control it from other country.

So I thought my AHardware has to communicate with a bridge which communicates with Zigbee device and connect it to internet via Wifi.

In this case, will ONOFF Zigbee Bridge Pro work for me?

I am just trying to install Home Assistant in Android mobile, it asks ne to Select your Home Assistant server. I am not able to undertans this itself.

I dont know anything around IoT.
Please help me to start.

Thank you, Anesh.

Your hardware, if based on Zigbee, has to communicate with a coordinator (aka bridge, hub, gateway, dongle) with communicates with your Home Assistant server. A wifi coordinator is not recommended, because if the controlling Zigbee stack (ZHA or Zigbee2MQTT) looses connection with the coordinator due to a Wifi hiccup, all communication is lost, and you either have to restart HA (in case of ZHA) or restart Zigbee2MQTT.

The Home Assistant app needs to connect to a Home Assistant server. It is not a server itself.

Don’t overthink this.

That is unlikely to ever happen.

When you buy a Zigbee device from XYZ, the instructions will tell you that that you also have to buy a hub (or router ot controller) from XYZ. This is nonsense as Home Assistant with a Zixbee Dongle is your hub.

What computer host are you planning to install Home Assistant server on? Most are using a Raspberry Pi 4, and many of us are using an Intel NUC or other PC platform. Personally, I recommend that you start simple. Pick your host and install HAOS on it. No containers or virtual machines- why add unnecessary complexity and opportunity for something to go wrong?

How far from the Zigbee dongle will your Zigbee devices be? Because of its’ low-power levels, the range of Zigbee is short. Something like ten meters line-of-sight, or three-meters indoors. In my home I have one of these in each room acting as routers/repeaters.

Suggest that this other thread before you start look too close at making your own DIY Zigbee devices:

In short, I do not recommend trying to make DIY Zigbee at this time as there are no easy platforms for it.

Instead recommend that you look at making WiFi or Ethernet devices based on ESP32 hardware and ESPHome firmware.

You do not want that, if you want to pair a DIY Zigbee gateway then you can not use that with a propriatory Zigbee Gateway, you instead need to use it with a open-source Zigbee Gateway like the ZHA integration (coded in Python) or Zigbee2MQTT (coded in TypeScipt/JavaScript), and to use any one of those you should first buy a the CC2652P-based Sonoff ZDongle-P USB dongle and use that with either Home Assistent’s built-in ZHA integration or the stand-alone Zigbee2MQTT software as Zigbee Gateway. See:

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@Anesh_S check out this post I made earlier today on what you should buy and do for scratch setup of the ZHA integration or Zigbee2MQTT as a Zigbee gateway in Home Assistent: