openHAB the Fireplace and Wiring Part 3

MrMobileWill fireplace, HomeAutomation, openhab 0 Comments

Now that the relay works we can do the final wiring. Read part 1 and part 2 to see how we got here. It’s been a rabbit hole for sure, but don’t fret, we are on our way out!  Compared to everything else, the wiring is the easiest part. The fireplace uses a simple switch to control it as it is a millivolt system which generates its own power (from the heat of the pilot) to trigger the gas valve. Ripe for hacking. In the end for safety (and for long term vacancies), I decided to wire the local override switch as a hard disable. That way if we are gone for the weekend or during the Summer months, I …

openHAB and our Fireplace Part 2 and OpenZWave

MrMobileWill fireplace, HomeAutomation, openhab 0 Comments

Finally, the MimoLite replay has arrived. Even though it was Amazon Prime, it look about five days to land in my eager hands. At least it was free shipping! In Part 1 we looked at a solution to control the fireplace via our openHAB network. Now the fun part of actually installing it. I set aside an evening after work for the installation. Of course when projects seem simple, they end up taking a lot longer. MimoLite Relay First thing is to pair the relay with the Z-Wave network. This involved shutting down opeHAB and bringing the USB controller over to where the relay will be installed. This allows the relay and controller to see the layout of the network from …

openHAB and Our Fireplace Part 1

MrMobileWill fireplace, HomeAutomation, openhab 2 Comments

When moving into our place nearly six years ago, my hacker eye noticed the gas fireplace and my attention was drawn to the fact that it has a remote that has manual/auto and scheduling. It’s the first place I’ve lived in with a gas fireplace, so my first thought was the RF signal was prime for hacking. I never got around to trying anything and it is probably more difficult than the outdoor temperature sensor I did earlier this year. Recently, with the adventures in openHAB and with all of my Z-Wave research it dawned on me: I probably can just bypass the remote and interface directly. One simple test would answer my question. I took a jumper and followed …

OpenHAB and Proximity

MrMobileWill HomeAutomation, openhab 3 Comments

A big part of being able to automate with rules is the ability to know who is home. Proximity is one of the items that needs to be transferred from DomotiGA to openHAB. There are two main ways of doing this. OpenHAB supports a Bluetooth binding which requires a bit of working to get setup. Not wanting to mess with that, I decided to just adapt my original shell script to openHAB as well as incorporating some changes from https://code.google.com/p/openhab-samples/wiki/Tricks#Use_cheap_bluetooth_dongles_on_remote_PCs_to_detect_your_phone/w. This example page also has some good rules on using not only phones but laptops and such on the network to track who is home.  You can have all kinds of fun with that! For example, with the Colorific bulb …

OpenHAB and Zigbee Philips Hue

MrMobileWill HomeAutomation, openhab 1 Comment

Now that openHAB and Z-Wave are working, it’s time to get Zigbee setup so I can use the cheaper light bulbs. As of this post, the GE and Cree Zigbee bulbs are $15 at your local Home Depot or on Amazon in comparison to $30 for the Z-Wave ones. I have tested the Cree bulbs and they have a nice even glow compared to GE. The GE bulbs look cool since they have a clear dome but deathly to look at when on. My co-worker originally bought the bulbs but realized replacing the wall switches was the way to go, so now I have them, ;).  Since I didn’t go the Wink route, I had to figure out the best …

openHAB and Z-Wave

MrMobileWill HomeAutomation, openhab 1 Comment

Now that openHAB is chugging along nicely, I would like to be able to start controlling devices using off the shelf parts. There seems to be two standards widely used Z-Wave and Zigbee. So far it appears light bulbs are mostly Zigbee and switches/thermostats/door locks are Z-Wave. You can get Z-Wave light bulbs but as of this post, they cost twice as much. Zigbee is what the Xbee is based on and it isn’t as standardized across manufacturers like Z-Wave. To be as flexible as possible in the end, I want to have both radios available to openHAB. One way to do this is via a rooted Wink Hub. My co-worker really likes the Wink Hub as it has worked …

openHAB and Colorific

MrMobileWill HomeAutomation, openhab 0 Comments

After my initial adventures in exploring openHAB, I wanted something I can control. The only thing around at the time was my Colorific RGB bulb I was playing around with in the Jamrific project. Even though openHAB doesn’t support this bulb directly, I can still make it work since it is so flexible. One of the available bindings is the EXEC which can call a system command or shell script. Perfect! First thing was to update the Python script to control the bulb so that it will feedback to openHAB. As before, you will need Bluez for BT 4.0 support. You can use the same directions I initially used for Jamrific from Adafruit. This could work for other BT RGB bulbs as …

Adventures in openHAB

MrMobileWill HomeAutomation, openhab 1 Comment

When I was originally researching open source home automation servers, I had looked at openHAB but then dismissed it due to the iPhone looking interface and lack of admin UI. At that time I settled on DomotiGA, as you may have noticed in my previous blog posts. The problem with DomotiGA is the difficulty in adding custom devices without having to edit/compile the source code which is in Gamba3. For now I have just lived with it since it has a nice desktop UI to use and supports JeeNodes. Some other issues is the lack of an official built-in web interface and mobile apps, ease of remote access, plus, it’s Linux only, which isn’t that big of an issue but …