Single iBeacon not enough for home/away?

I was thinking of using an iBeacon with the iOS app to do home/away detection. However I’ve tried two iBeacons now and coverage doesn’t seem very good. One can’t cover my house, and IIRC you can only attach 1 iBeacon to your Home HASS zone?

So is iBeacon presence detection only going to be workable once we can attach multiple beacons to a zone in HASS?

Hi @Soul

I setup HappyBubbles to handle that.

with the component mqtt_room.
It works fine.

You could add more HappyBubbles to cover the entire house, and do room detection.

You can configure multiple iBeacons with the same UUID, Major and Minor values and put them around your house; they won’t clash with each other if that’s what you’re worried about. I had to put one at the front of my house and another in the back to get fully coverage.

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Oh really? I had no idea you could make more than one act as the same!

Perfect :smiley:

Any recommendation for decent beacons? I bought a cheap HM-10 off amazon and it’s a) only configurable via serial interface and b) the range seems a bit crap…

What form factor? Some people are happy with the form factor of these:

They look nice. I was assuming I’d hide them but then that would reduce the signal I guess. I wonder if they ship to the UK.

I’m using Rad Beacon Dot’s, not too expensive ($14 USD) for experiments and you configure them through an app on your phone.

What’s the range like? I’m trying to figure out roughly how many I’d need to cover my house. Not going to work if I’m set to away when up in a bedroom or something :slight_smile:

Soul, it depends on what you want to do with it.

If you just want to detect whether you are present or away, you can increase the beacon output power and you would not need multiple detectors (happy bubbles) just to detect if you are home or not.

If you want to do automations like opening your door when you come home, you would only need a single beacon and a single happy bubble, placed where you want it to detect.

If you also want to detect when someone is in a particular room, you would then need a happy bubble device in each room that you want to do that detection.

I would do testing with a single beacon and a single happy bubble to see how it works, first…

Thanks. Primary use was just to do home/away, as I don’t think the iOS app can do room-scale yet?

The couple of ibeacons I have tried had fairly short ranges, and that was with clear LoS. Now I don’t know what power setting they were on but I would be surprised if a power increase would have suddenly let one of them cover the whole house + porch/driveway with all the walls in the way?

Aren’t happybubbles the other way round to what I was planning, so they are a detector not an ibeacon and I have to carry the beacon?

I was assuming I get an iBeacon(s) and the HASS iOS app sees that nearby or not and sets the state.

Okay, you are doing it the other way, where you are detecting an actual beacon with your phone, instead of carrying a beacon and allowing something else to detect it?

Well which way does the iOS app support? I was planning to use the functionality built into the iOS app for this.


Are you using a Pi for HASS? I just got an LTE bluetooth device and use my Pi as a beacon. Cost me about 4 quid I think. You can configure the range too - although it seems fine for my house.

No I’m using an HP Microserver. Sounds like I just need to put a bunch of beacons about the house using the same UUID (enough for complete coverage) and I’d be good to go?

I’ve tried this whole beacons thing but I can’t make it work. Did you get yours working?

Looking at seemed pretty straight forward but… NOPE!

So this is how my zone section looks like:

  name: Home
  latitude: REDACTED
  longitude: REDACTED
  radius: 40
  icon: mdi:account-multiple

And this is how my customise looks like:

    track_ios: false
      uuid: FDA50693-A4E2-4FB1-AFCF-C6EB07647825
      major: 10
      minor: 48

Also on the iOS app I make sure to rename my phone device to test this and avoid other device trackers to change its status, so it's called `jonatans_iphonetest`.

Also it seems to picking up correctly configuration from my Home Assistant server

On Home Assistant web ui it shows up correctly too: ![|72x96](upload://rT5IjwoT1ZpfCsyntSRX9flC92K.png)

BUT, if I turn off the beacon or disable BT it should change to away, right? well, it’s stuck on “Home” state forever :/.

Scanning beacons seems to show up, UUID is correct as well as the minor major settings. What’s going on? o.O

Thanks for any help! really appreciate it :slight_smile:

“I just got an LTE bluetooth device and use my Pi as a beacon. Cost me about 4 quid I think. You can configure the range too - although it seems fine for my house.”

I am interested in doing this. I use RPI3 for HASS it has Blue Tooth built in, how do I configure it as a beacon. Then what do I need for presence detection and what is the range?


Can you program the application (or owntracks) to discard beacons based on RSSI ?
I want to detect the beacon only when i am at my doorstep

Can Some One explain what do you need to make your pi as a detector/host and use iPhones and iOS app as a tracker device. I Just want that pi picks up my phone and set it Home. The pi has Bluetooth on board already.

I believe this would be accomplished with just the
device_tracker: bluetooth_tracker
setup in your device_tracker file. I used it, it seemed to work alright detecting home.