New, Fun, Different Automation

Since this is “Ezlo Community” and this is the “Community Playground” I would like to see some ways people are using home automation. I consider myself only a Moderate user, but I have been using Vera for a long time. I love Tech and have been one for over 30 years and longer dealing with computers and devices.

Having said that, I’m putting more and more on my Vera (now Ezlo) There are many that would like to do more, but may not be as knowledgeable or be creative as some. Without getting too techy or boring (lol) I would really like to see how some found different ways to automate and maybe something unique to share here.

I really don’t want this to turn into a wish session or bugs just a FUN way of allowing people to see what else can be done and gain some knowledge.

I’m sure most are familiar with the mundane light switches, dimmers etc but please let’s have some fun here and show off what you are using, maybe some unique app, device or even something you came up with that you would like to share. Hope this is the right venue for this.

I am hoping to use Vidoo to identify when a “Car” is going “Up” my driveway and alert me.

My use case:
Only Alert me if a “Car” is coming “in” my driveway … Its not simple a object detection in a hotzone as this would also pick cars leaving the driveway, which I don’t want to be alerted to.
(So its a multiple hotzone detection, with object detection, with Sequence)

And which devices would you use for this

Run Vidoo on a windows computer (or linux later, but for now running on windows)
I have outdoor cameras…
That’s all I need!
Just waiting the guys to launch Vidoo inside “Ezlogic Node” whereby i can start writing the rules.
There will also be a need for an extended capability in Ezlogic they are working on…

So I will create multiple zones (vidoo capability)
I will define detection in those zones (detection being an object…Vehicle)
The rest will be done in ezlogic…(You will see when they release the Vidoo Node)…

That’s sound great, I have cameras all around I will definitely try that once things mature a bit. Hope others start listing some of there “fun” stuff here. And when I say fun, I know mostly techie fun.

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My newest project: A pool control with solar heating.

Z-Wave device is a Fibaro Smart Implant. Three temperature sensors are connected (ambient temperature, pool water temperature and solar heating temperature). The Smart Implant is connected to two relais which switch 230V for the pool pump and 12V for the solar heating pump. 100m pipe is installed on the garden house roof to collect the solar heat and heat the water circulating from and to the pool. Two buttons are also connected to the smart implant to test/switch the outputs manually.

The whole thing is mounted in a watertight housing.

The hardware is ready, but I’m waiting for the MeshBot automation to support the following:

  • Turn on the solar heating pump when the following condition is true:
    Temperature of temperature sensor “solar heating” is 2°C higher than temperature of temperature sensor “pool water”

  • Turn off the solar heating pump when the following condition is true:
    Temperature of temperature sensor “pool water” is higher then temperature of temperature sensor “solar heating”

  • The pool pump should run in a time period x (that can be realized today with a simple scene on at time x, off at a time x)

  • When the button connected to the smart implant switching the pool pump is pressed to turn on the pump then the pool pump has to run for 8 hours and the automation switching it off at time x is ignored (This is for when algae killers or the like are to be used, where the pump should run for 8 hours at a time).

There is still a bit of time before the next pool season begins, but I hope that this logic can be implemented by then.

Boring and banal, but among my most precious automations involves a 4-button Nodon remote programmed (via MSR) to interpret a single press of the + or - buttons as “Raise 1 degree” or “Lower 1 degree” my ecobee thermostat. Long-pressing either button has the effect of “Turn on HEAT mode” or “Turn on COOL mode”. This lets me quickly and, more importantly, silently adjust HVAC comfort settings without leaving the bed in the middle of the night. Feedback comes in the visual form of (a) remote blinks after Vera acknowledges button press (this is a parameter set with the help of Vera and the Nodon manual), and (b) my MSR routine also briefly turns on a Hue light underneath my dresser, very dimly, “Orange” for heat/hotter, and “Blue” for cool/colder.

Oh, the lengths to which we HA-ers will go to ensure maximal SOA (significant other approval) factor!

Keep them coming, we need more ideas

My Burglar alarm rules are fairly interesting. I’m just using Z-Wave door contacts and motion sensors and a siren.

But as it’s automation you can program much more than a traditional bog standard alarm.

If a door or window down stairs is opened at night time when the house is armed at Night or in Away modes, then all hell will break lose.

Fibaro RGBW LED strips will start flashing LAPD blue and red outside in the gardens, siren goes off. All window coverings are opened all lights indoors and outside will turn on, my phone rings and sends me a voice message saying Burglar Alarm has been activated. All cameras start recording.

Should scare off any would be burglar.

Wow, that’s nice. I’m working on my new alarm now, I’ll have to integrate it once ready.

I’m working on a similar project, but I’m using my solar production to run the pool heater (well, and the heater/cooler in general) when there’s solar production and I’m exporting to the grid.

It will be fun, since I’ll write some predictive code based on weather, temperature and so on.

Hardware wise, I’ll just read the data from the inverter and load all in a virtual power meter. I’ll just have a fibaro relay attached to a relay switching the heater and the pump and another one switching the heater/cooler for the house.

I always have numerous ideas on the go, but some recent projects are as follows…

Camera Snapshot Grid Notification , I have a script that runs either periodically or called via an event to email me a snapshot photo grid of all my camera feeds (leverages Vera to CIFS/SMB to write images to a share on Pi, where it then call the ImageMagik app (via SSH to the same Pi) to create the photo grid, before Vera then retrieves the newly created grid image and emails it out.

Sipgate Integration : A German VoIP provider: This is not complete yet, but I’m trying to create a plugin/widget that leverages the Sipgate API so I can show information such as balance, voice mails, sms messages etc. That way when triggers are hit I can carry out action e.g low balance, unread voice mails. Potential TTS integration too, e.g read SMS

Occupancy : Continues to be a big one for me I keep trying to find different ways to check if someone is in the house (specific room) or not so I can have confidence in turning things on or off.

Energy Usage : Another obsession for me, trying to find ways to account for the energy thats being used and where etc. so I have ways to turn unnecessary things off when not needed (leverages occupancy above) . Also as I don’t have enough energy meter plugs to go everywhere , I move one around to get an average watts usage of an appliance/ device it’s connected to, that value is and then added to my overall watt calculator script.

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All great stuff and gives me , and hopefully others, some good ideas for our own projects or just to see if we can. Hope more chime in even if it’s something simple and functional.

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A solution I used years ago (you might still be able to find original posts) was the use a driveway alert. On its own, it proved to be reliable with car detection. The receiver on the unit Had the a place to wire contact leads that I then wired to a Zwave door sensor to link to Zwave. I set it up to blink lights when a car came in driveway. I believe the driveway alert was from Dakota Alert. I don’t see why a Zwave motion detector that is set to filter out large pets wouldn’t work as well and you are straight to Zwave.

Alternatively, if you wanted to get really fancy, you could use the driveway pressure sensors that you should have for gates. You could access the open/closed leads and connect to Zwave window sensor. That way alert would only be triggered by weight of car.

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