Electric Imp and Tweeting Cat Door

Something I though was interesting (it came out around January). Not so much as to what it does, but the simplicity in how it is implemented.

Seeing how there is now an Arduino Sensor Plugin and instructions on how to make your own Arduino based sensors: http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,16170.0.html

And keeping with/in the spirit of this project. I wonder if it would be feasible to take The Electric Imp and interface it with the Vera?

Looking at the IDE, you have the following options (nodes):
HTTP in - receive events via HTTP into your plan
HTTP request - POST, GET, or PUT events to URL, paring the response and emitting it

Looking back at the the Tweeting Cat Door project website, it shows that you can hookup both an LED and magnetic reed sensor to The Electric Imp and get it functioning with a minimal amount of code.

On the Adafruit website:

The Electric Imp costs $29.95 for the first 9, then starts to be discounted
The April prototype/developer board costs $12.50

For under $50, you can have the wifi enabled brains for any of your projects.

Has anyone tried using The Electric Imp in any of their projects? Have you tried to interface it with Vera?

Since this is pretty low power, I see the possibility of a doorbell that could trigger something on your Vera. Not a ZWave doorbell, but pretty close.

This looks pretty cool and promising:


Not to discourage you from your Arduino project, especially since I don’t know what “other” applications you may choose to implement, but I am increasingly resistant to this type of solution. It’s not just complex; making hardware, packaging, concealing, programming, interfacing. I find that these things are generally less reliable when you are relaying commands from one system to the next, translating from one to the other etc.

Regarding a cat door, specifically. A Schlage Nexia Door/Window sensor, Everspring SM-103 Door/Window Sensor, or similar Fibaro sensor, (these sensors can be connected to external contacts for magnets, switches, whatever) combined with a Vera notification app like Vera Alerts would provide the same functionality quicker, cleaner, less complex, and probably more reliably. However, you may not have as great a sense of accomplishment when done.


I’m actually looking at playing with the Imp more than an Arduino. You are right though, anytime you add a layer of complexity into the equation, the reliability factor is decreased.

My goal of playing with one of these would be to learn how to use the Imp, and since the Vera gives you a lot of options (with a little ingenuity and (sometimes) a whole lot of patience), I thought it would be interesting to see what could be done. This isn’t something I’m going to start anytime soon though, just something I’d like to try in the future.

Another option, for those of us who have alarm systems linked with the respective plugin to the Vera, would be to see what sorts of mischief could be done interfacing all three components together.

Mind you, unless I start trying to hack the DSC keybus procotol and implement in an Imp, if I try this, it will just be as sensor input on of the hardwired zones.

Please keep us informed of your progress. I am interested in buying a couple of the Aeros air conditioners that use the Wink (imp) platform and I would want to see them implemented in Vera so I have complete control over them without using a separate app.