Introducing Ezlo SoftHub

Hi All!

We are very pleased to release a technology preview of our new Ezlo SoftHub!

If you don’t have an Ezlo hub, or just have an extra raspberry pi (or similar SBC) laying around and would like to play, you can now run an ezlo hub on it.

The hub components and all requirements are bundled together into docker images, if you don’t already have docker installed on your raspberry pi you can follow their easy instructions to install it.

For this technology preview we are only supporting z-wave today, though zigbee support as well as a lot of other improvements are coming very soon!

You will need some z-wave hardware, these 3 are tested and should work well for everyone:

Once you have docker installed and ready you can download all images and provision your hub with a single command:

docker run --net host -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock --restart=always --name orchestrator-vhubzz us-east4-docker.pkg.dev/softhub-354014/softhub/orchestrator-vhubzz:0.6.1 /root/orchestrator vhub -start -option provision -username=your-Ezlo-username -password=your-ezlo-password -zwave=/dev/ttyUSB1

After a few minutes you will see a new controller in your vera app as well as on your Ezlogic dashboard which you can connect to like any physical controller:

To initialize your z-wave device, you will need to go to settings, z-wave settings:

And reset your z-wave network:

This only affects your new virtual controller, it will not affect other Ezlo devices you have.

Once these steps are completed you can include and control z-wave devices normally as you would with any other Ezlo hub.

Please remember that this is technology preview and we will absolutely be iterating on this and changing things and you might be required to reset your network again in the future.

We are very excited to introduce SoftHub to you and are eagerly awaiting your feedback. Please test and let us know what works, what doesn’t work and what features you’d like to see added!

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excellent work guys!

A couple of sentences on what Ezlo Soft Hub is, it’s role in the Vera/Ezlo landscape, it’s geograpical suitability (US, EU, AUS?) and it’s advantages/ disadvantages would be useful.

Ezlo Soft Hub is the Firmware that is running inside our Ezlo Controllers packaged in a docker container.
its pretty much the exactly the same code but you can use your own hardware instead of buying one from us.

Geographic suitability is based on the USB sticks you buy, it should work globally.

Advantage/Disadvantage vs Ezlo Hardware: Same code base. Its just a personal preference which way you want to go.

Love to try it out but once you mention App then you’ve lost me.
What is it about needing the Cloud when everyone continually asks for local control?
If it hasn’t a web based UI with local control then it won’t be adopted by Rasp Pi users.
We’ve been through this before and no one is listening.
Thanks anyway and good luck.

As I understand it, it behaves exactly like an Ezlo controller. So local control, operation via app and web frontend.

Does it make sense to use different hardware? Do you benefit from the potentially higher hardware performance? I could imagine that it might make sense to increase the range with a larger external antenna.

Maybe you could also run EzVidoo on it in parallel or integrate it directly into this container. If I understand correctly, the Ezlo hardware is not powerful enough for this. Or is it planned to build this functionality into the Ezlo controllers as well?

How is the business model planned with the SoftHub firmware. Will the SoftHub then be offered as a kind of license for sale?

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Yes of course local control.
It has mobile apps (both IOS and Android) (Mobile apps directly talk to hub locally when in the same network)
It has remote access thru cloud when out of network
It has WebUI (https://ezlogic.mios.com ) for writing sophisticated automations

It has a full customizable Dashboard


It has a very easy way to use any WiFi device

Very easy to write plugins for (we are happy to write any plugins you want)

It has an IFTTT competitor, called NuCAL fully integrated for any Cloud integrations and you can write rules to operate in the cloud (like IFTTT)


You can create any variables to use it locally

You can create expressions…Virtual containers and much much more…

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How would the linking of an Aeotec Z-Stick be?

Just plug into a USB port!

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Would it be the same procedure?

Not every capability we have in vidoo could be exported but i am running 2-4 cameras on the current hardware… however you are right some of the capabilities of vidoo will also make its way to the hub…

Well its local…so anyone can use it for free…running locally doesn’t cost us operationally, therefore no charge planned…
However if you use lets say a feature we offer that has a cloud capability that cost us money, of course we should be compensated for the cost incurred.
But, Local, Free!

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Hi All,

Thanks for all of the feedback so far, we just released version 0.6.1 with a lot of fixes. I updated the install instructions in the first post

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Thanks for all the clarifications.

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It sounds like a solution for regions where Ezlo hardware is not currently available like Australia.
Is there a limitation to the number of devices the soft hub can handle?
Can the soft hub control devices via IP address on the local network such as Sonos, irrigation, solar meters? These are currently controlled by VeraPlus using plugins Sonos Controller, Quicksmart EtherRain-8 Sprinkler Controller and Solar Meter.

Hi Terry,

It sounds like a solution for regions where Ezlo hardware is not currently available like Australia.
Absolutely. Since you can purchase a z-wave stick on the frequencies approved for use there, it should just work with our existing software. Let me know if you run into issues though!

Is there a limitation to the number of devices the soft hub can handle?
There’s no inherent limitation to what the hub can handle, beyond normal memory/cpu limits (which of course, since you’re running on potentially a powerful server can be much higher than our hubs).

Z-Wave networks themselves won’t handle huge numbers of devices though, of course.

Can the soft hub control devices via IP address on the local network such as Sonos, irrigation, solar meters?

Yes!

With MeshBots you can send HTTP requests to any local endpoints and control them. E.g.: when someone turns on the backyard light, turn off the sprinklers so the dogs don’t get a bath.

Yes, you can run this in armv7, arm64, x86 etc. you can run it on higher hardware for performance.

You can create your own WiFi (IP) Device controls by simply configuring the Wifi Plugin creator…
Now you can create a plugins for any IP based device easily.


As already stated above there are some ways on the Ezlo platform for controlling IP devices.

Http requests can be used in Meshbot rules and the WiFi Device Generator virtual devices, can be created to have tiles on the dashboard, with on / off buttons for example, these also work by sending out http request commands to the target device you want to control, so that device needs to support accepting such commands etc.

But there are no equivalent plugins like the Vera ones you are currently using. So you would lose quite a bit of functionality I think, for example with the Sonos.

So that needs to be made clear, those 3rd party plugins will likely provide much more in depth integration with those devices.

Ezlo VOI is also another possible option for basic control over WiFi / IP devices, if they ever fix it, seems to have been broken for a year maybe.

The idea was if your device is supported by the voice assistants, Google Home and Alexa then with using Ezlo VOI you could send text commands from the Ezlo system to the voice assistant, which in turn then controls the target device etc.

However having said that, this Soft hub is very welcomed and will give users more options for running an Ezlo hub on their own hardware and as you said allow access to all regions where currently actual Ezlo hardware is not yet available.

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