I am trying to do something I thought was simple, but is seemingly more difficult than expected. I have HA, or I guess Hassio, running in docker on an Ubuntu host.
What I am looking to have is somethign reasonably small, uses BLE, and does not require an app to discover or track. Something that I think should just broadcast its info and that HA should either just see or not see based on if the underlying BLE hardware sees it or not.
My first try on this was just enabling the BT and BLE integrations. But I soon found out that there were two issues -
- Our iPhones are not always detectable becuase the engery saving.
- Device tracker has an issue it seems where if you are using the companion app on your phone, it wont regisiter your MAC becuase that device already existed.
My second try was a few Tiles. Knowing that these were also just special BLE devices I planned on activating them, then deleting the app, and just let them broadcast. It wasnt until after I noticed it was still tracking GPS location that I realized the Community “feature” that always tracks your location if you are near anyone with a Tile. I dont really want Tile doing that and it seems like there is no way to disable.
My third try was a iBeacon, again a BLE device, from Bluecharm - https://bluecharmbeacons.com/product/bluetooth-ble-ibeacon-bc037s-ibeacon/. This seems to be seen as a BLE device by bluetoothclt on my Linux host, but it never seems to be seen by HA. I have read that I could use OwnTracks or a number or MQTT broker solutions to make this work, but it seems like such overkill.
So am I overlooking or doing something dumb where the above solutions should have worked for the no app BLE solution I had described? Or is there really no solution that does not require some other app, integration, or cloud tool?
Thanks all for your help and ideas!