I’m looking into starting with home automation and it seems a lot of people are happy with the vera lite platform.
Unlike some other technologies like X10, it seems everything runs on the vera lite and not on a dedicated PC. I have a dedicated HTPC which could control all this, is there any benefit to doing it on the HTPC vs letting the vera deal with it? I’m wondering if I can somehow integrate it with EventGhost or something else to add more flexibility (with XBMC etc.)?
I’ve also been looking around to try and integrate arduino with zwave/vera. I would imagine that having an arduino would allow for a lot of different and cheaper sensors to be built, but I’m not sure if they will play nicely with the vera lite - any ideas? One specific case is for blind control, but it seems you have to use a zwave relay for off/on which doesn’t leave any options for specific angles in the blinds (or other things like this).
Any guidance would be appreciated as to if zwave/vera is the right solution or if there are other things I should look into?
Everything your asking for can be done with Vera if you have the patience and like to tinker. I personally like not doing a PC for energy costs and have my Vera managing on off of my servers as they don’t need to be on 24/7
Thanks for the info/links.
I guess right now I’m debating between smartthings platform and vera. The only real benefit of smartthings (other than cost) is the arduino shield they provide - the arduino sensors seem to communicate with the vera via serial/ethernet and I’d definitely prefer a wireless solution.
Smartthings, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to have a good webUI and is less customizable (I’ve never actually use it, please feel free to comment if you have any experience)
The arduino setup is wireless. You just need to connect a nano to the vera to create a wireless bridge. I will say the development the team has done on the arduino setup is amazing and in my mind more robust than zwave.
Check out mysensors.org as they have done so well documenting everything you need to do there and what to buy.
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Ah okay, I misunderstood that part. I guess the next question is what is the range on that radio? Most z-wave devices (from my understanding) extend the range of your z-wave network, which would be beneficial over a single radio. My current condo is pretty small and won’t be an issue but I’m hoping to future proof the system
The sensors relay just like zwave does and there is relay nodes you can add if needed. Currently I have 6 home made sensors spanning across 2500 sq ft and have never had issues.
You can also buy the long range wireless module if you need longer distance support.
Interesting, thanks for sharing!
Some of the sensors in ‘my sensors’ exist already, and when you compare to the cost of the Arduino (30$) + additional boards, it comes up to a cost similar to the commercial z-wave sensors. Is there any benefit to using arduino controlled systems rather than the commercial solutions for lighting, etc.
Edit: Just noticed that the board is priced at 4$, I was looking at the Uno board previously
I was zwave for lighting only now. Other sensors I build and have plans to build a lot more. I spent roughly 100 bucks to get my 6 started that range from a few motion to door sensors for 6 doors running off one arduino and temperature. There is a cost benefit there if you search for parts and plus you can build a lot of different sensors that aren’t made in zwave format. My next plan is to build out on my irrigation system and replace the controller with arduino and relays to have it work of my weather data and also put in some soil sensors to monitor at that front. Can’t do that with zwave easily or cheap.
Plus another thing. It’s just fun
I think that’s what I’m looking for. Commercial solution to get started while leaving some room for tinkering when time permits. Maybe I’ll explain briefly what I want to do and how I plan to do it:
*Control lights based on XBMC/‘scenes’ - will be done using XBMC event monitor, vera (180$), and GE dimmer switches (40$)
*Control blinds automatically, open them slowly in the morning - will be build using arduino and stepper motor
*Turn on music/scene based on location (can vera do this in the phone app?), can use an IR blaster to turn stuff on
That is basically all I want to do for now. I’m really debating between the SmartThings platform and the Vera platform…but since the MySensors doesn’t support the SmartThings maybe I’ll stick with Vera.
Any opinions on a better way to get this stuff working? I’m also on a budget (I’m a grad student) but don’t mind putting money in as long as things are semi-future proof.
If you figure out an easy way to do IR let me know. It can be done but I have seen mixed results here. I would recommend looking over the forum since all your asking can be and has been done. Give you some ideas. Vera has it’s quirks but for the price and the support you get in this forum it is well worth it.
Yep, I’ve been looking around but its hard to find a concensus sometimes since there’s so many ideas floating around!
One (probably dumb) question about the MySensors platform…all of the sensors would require the ‘NRF24L01+ transceiver from Nordic Semiconductors’ right? Since the Arduino board itself doesn’t have wireless capabilities by default?
Correct. They have to be added but you buy them in packs of 10. I have toyed with the idea of getting the bigger wireless modules for extended range but so far haven’t had a need. The network has been bullet proof.
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