System design and on ground support in Sydney

Hi Folks

I’m new to the Automation world, and commencing a house build in a couple of months, and looking to build an automation layer into the build. I much rather the idea of the Home Assistant approach that gives me full flexibility moving forward over one of the more traditional “Home Automation” systems (cbus/crestron/control4 etc - which all seem to lock you into their proprietry systems and hardware) - I’m sure i’m preaching to the converted here.

However, whilst I love tech and gadgets, i’m time poor and don’t want to build a rod for my own back longer term.

As such I’m looking for someone on the ground in Sydney (AU) to help design and support - any recommendations?

Primary requirements are: lighting control, heating/cooling control, blinds, access. Then there’s additional things such as pool heating/lighting, sonos, etc.

I plan on installing Ubiquity/Unifi networking gear and highly likely their security/camera system too.

Any recommendations?

Thanks in advance - Scott

There is a similar post on Whirlpool which has some suggestions.

I think that you are on the right path by planning early. I’m in Sydney and finished my new build last year. Below is what I learned from the experience.

  1. Have a manual reversion option for critical functions so that if your home automation isn’t working you can still live in your house and your family won’t turn on you.
  2. For fixed infrastructure use wired interfaces where possible, e.g. WAPs, TV, blinds, etc.
  3. Be prepared to tinker and gradually add functionality.

Specifically, I have the following hardware:

  • Network: I had a network port added in the top of a central linen cupboard to use as HA hub. The builder also installed the home alarm box there which made it easy to connect. I pre-wire RJ45 points in a central place in each level of the house for a roof mounted WAP.
  • Access: I ran a RJ45 line to the front door for a wired video door bell. This system supports keycard entry if wanted.
  • Blinds: I have 9 blinds that I wanted to use electrically controlled. I had them pre-wired for 240V so I didn’t need to ever worry about charging batteries. After searching for options I decided to use Acmeda motors for roller blinds which are commonly available in Aus and have good integration with HA. If you decide to go down this path, pre-purchase 240v Motor Tails and get them installed as part of your electrical fitout. These blinds have a remote for manual control and a hub for integration into HA.
  • AC: I have a Daikin Airbase connected to my ducted AC. Make sure that you specify that you want an integrated wired zone controller.
  • Lighting I have a mix of Z-Wave and ZigBee controllers. Both have their pros & cons and mostly it comes down to mater of preference for installation looks. Just make sure that you get a neutral line connected to all switches.
  • Audio: I have ceiling mounted speakers in two adjacent rooms. The speakers are wired back to a cupboard and each room is connected to a wireless amp. The nice thing about this system is that you can link the output of the two amps so that they play the same music in sync.

Send me a PM if you would like to get some more details.

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Hey Bunyip, thanks so much for taking the time to detail that out. Great advice - Really appreciate it.

I do bang on regularly about routers and suggest you look into OPNsense, open source software that runs on any 64 bit x86 box low powered box. It is state of the art, regularly updated, has anti-virus plugins, is non-proprietary, and easy to install & set up.

Another great thing is you can download the config file. If any hardware breaks, replace it, re-install, and upload the config file and you are fully functioning with the exact arrangement when it died. Fully compatible with WAPs too.

Hi all, another Sydney user here.
I am an absolute noob when it comes to Home Assistant and I am looking to add some more integrations.
At the moment, I have the Daikin AC via Airbase, Smartthings with a couple of sensors, Google Assistant, a Broadlink RM4 Pro plus a few other non-essential integrations.
My issue:
Six months ago, I bought a few Trader Powermesh light switches which all links to a Zimi hub and that works OK. But there is no integration to Home Assistant but there is an API available on the Zimi hub and Zimi/Trader has given me the documentation for this API.
I am probably not quite clever enough to write the integration to this API so I am wondering if someone else has already done this or if there someone I could turn to?
In hindsight, I probably made a mistake buying Trader Powermesh switches and right now, I am holding off buying anymore until I know whether to ditch these switches and buying something else.

Any advice on either the API integration or what switches I should go for? I hear of brands like Shelly and Fibaro but I am not that keen on the idea of having pucks dangling in the walls behind switches (I am an electrician and I am a little pedantic).
I would love to catch up but obviously not going to happen while in lockdown.
Thanks in advance.

Sorry I can’t help but I would recommend that you post a request in

I have a mix of Z-Wave, ZigBee and WiFi. From my experience I have found ZigBee to be the most robust and reliable. (Though the recent Z-Wave JS integration has significantly improved Z-Wave).

If you don’t like in wall pucks, the MakeGood switches are good if they have the right layout.

The one thing I wish I had is a network port (or two) in every room.
It is probably never going to be cheaper than when you are building your home to put these cables in.
Wherever you think there might be a computer / tv , add a network port next to the power port. But at least have one per room. And bring them all together in a space where you can have your NBN a good router and maybe a NAS / Media Server / HA box. Heck, maybe just add it all into a nice rack too.
Good luck with your build!

Thanks heaps, I will try and post in Feature Requests and see if I get any bites.

Those MakeGood switches look great and the prices are good too. Have you got any experience with them?
I couldn’t find anything to say whether they are approved for use in Australia but presumably, they would be if they are a local business that wants to sell here.

Thanks Roland,
I have pretty much the cabling sorted already plus I am an electrician and registered cabler with ACMA so if I need anymore its not a problem.

I’ve only had a 3 gang switch for a couple of weeks but so far it has been reliable.

I purchased mine through OzSmartThings. They provide a link to a Global Mark Certificate of Conformity.

Thank you :+1: