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Showing posts from 2017

Restart Fibaro HCL when it stops working automatically

It seems that the Fibaro HCL seems to hang every now and then. Instead of trying to restart it regularly, which doesn't really work, as it's almost impossible to predict when this will happen.

This method checks that the HCL is actually running and in the event it stops working, trigger a script that will restart it.

1. Get a non Fibaro controlled power plug and scripts to control it.

I used a wifi smart plug, TP-link HS100 and downloaded the scripts from

2. Create a bash script to restart the Fibaro, e.g.



$scripts/ -t $ip_addr -c off
sleep 10
$scripts/ -t $ip_addr -c on

3. Create a test global variable in the Fibaro HCL

Go to the variables panel and create a test variable, e.g. Test

4. Add a cron entry to test that the Fibaro API is still working and restart if it's not.

The cron script is scheduled ev…

Daikin FT aircon and Remotec ZXT 120

In the quest to make the existing appliances "smart" or otherwise enabling dumb devices to be even dumber with unnecessary initiative.

I got the reputed bad review Remotec ZXT 120. As I already expected it to be bad, my expectations were clearly exceeded.

This isn't the first attempt I've tried to get IR blasters to work. I vaguely remembered early attempts at trying to program the IR on my Palm 3 and Palm V. Needless to say, this went a lot better than expected.

Tip 1:

After reading the instructions first (rare occasion) , being a bit more careful. I discovered you need to change the mode of the Remotec first before joining the Z-wave bridge, in my case Fibaro. This is important as you cannot change the mode once connected. If you forget to do so, you need to exclude the device and do the setup again.

Tip 2:

The temperature is wrong.  Well, there is an offset that can be configured on the z-wave bridge. There is a parameter to allow for the offset. The short of it is …

Motion Lights using Philips Hue with Z-Wave Sensors

To work around the limitations of Fibaro HCL that does not allow you to use LUA scripts, Domotics fill that gap and allows you to use more than just Z-wave devices.

The major problem with using Hue with the HCL, is that the Hue API requires action via a HTTP PUT to change the state of the lights. The HCL only allows HTTP GET using the string method for Virtual Devices.

Domoticz allows you to add Hue directly as "Hardware" and automatically adds all the  bulbs and scenes as "Devices". To trigger the API to Domoticz, we use HTTP GET (yes, that is a Yay!!!).

Create a 2 button virtual device with the following string using the IP address and port of the Domoticz server

On button:

GET /json.htm?type=command&param=switchlight&idx=&switchcmd=On&level=0&passcode= HTTP/1.10x0D0x0A0x0D0x0A

Off  button:

GET /json.htm?type=command&param=switchlight&idx=&switchcmd=Off&level=0&passcode= HTTP/1.10x0D0x0A0x0D0x0A
When we create the new scene …

Alexa, Turn on Computer

There is many ways to wake your computer up and put your computer to hibernate using Alexa.

I will use:

1. computer with cygwin enabled with sshd service 2. domoticz on a raspberry pi 3. ha-bridge on raspberry pi 4. Amazon echo
I'm more of a computer user than a developer, but I find that Domoticz is great as it helps non-developers download unix commands and allow a direct call to shell scripts.

More great things about Domoticz is that it convert HTTP POST to GET methods when you are using triggers that can't do POST to Philips Hue lights (I will cover that in another post)

Step 1: Setup a dummy hardware used for virtual switches

Step 2: Create a virtual sensor as a light switch called Computer

For the On script use:

The bash script should contain

wakeonlan  BC:5F:F4:88:92:B6

For the Off script use:
This bash script contents are; (Replace X with the IP address of the c…

Alexa Turn On / Off TV

I have a Samsung LED smart TV. The "smart" TV let's you turn off the TV, but it doesn't let you turn it on as the IP address is not available when it's off.

That sort of makes sense.

While it is possible to then download a command to turn off the TV. you will need to go through the TV settings to enable HDMI-CEC. This means that turning on the apple TV for example will in turn turn on the TV and set the channel to Apple TV.

What you need.

1. Domoticz
2. iSamsung command (
3. atvremote command (i took this from homeassistant)

Use Domoticz to create a dummy device and add a virtual selector device.

There are 4 buttons I programmed and here are the corresponding commands.

if your TV has the IP address 192.168.1.x (Replace x with the actual IP address of the TV)

To turn the TV off
script:///usr/local/bin/iSamsungTV 192.168.1.x -KEY KEY_POWEROFF

To use Apple TV to turn on the TV to Apple TV channel

Using bridges to integrate gaps

There are some great products out there, but some great products just don't connect to other great products out of the box.

Things that work Out of the box
1. Alexa with Hue
2. Homekit/Siri with Hue
3. Fibaro HCL to Sonos (limited features using plug in)

Things that can be bridged
1. Alexa to Fibaro HCL (ha-bridge)
2. Alexa to Sonos (ha-bridge + sonos-http-api)
3. Fibaro HCL to Hue for Automation Scenes (Domoticz)
4. Fibaro HCL to Sonos for Scene Automation (sonos-http-api)

Things that shouldn't be bridged
1. Alexa with Siri

Automation Management Control
1. Alexa for voice controls
2. Individual Fibaro, Hue and Sonos schedulers for alerts and alarms
3. IFTTT for integration with cloud services and email.
4. Fibaro for integrated scenes, e.g. door opens, lights come on and music start playing. Z-wave motion sensor triggers Hue light.

Restarting Home Automation

Many years ago, I attempted to embark on home automation. Those were the days of X-10 and honestly, a lot of effort to make simple things work. Needless to say, I didn't get very far and gave up pretty much early into the game to wait for more sustainable standards.

This year, I decided to go home automation shopping and picked up a bunch of the most popular / stable products off the shelf and add them to my semi smart home.

The whole setup now consists of

1. Alexa Echo and Echo Dot
2. Philips Hue Lights
3. Apple TV
4. Sonos (Playbar and sub (for TV), Play1 and a Play5)
5. Dlink NAS
6. Raspberry Pi
7. Bluetooth audio receiver
8. Fibaro Home Center Lite (HCL) Z-Wave Bridge and various Z-wave devices including
(i) Power Plug Switches with/without power metering
(ii) Door Sensor
(ii) Motion Sensor
9. Computer
10. Mobile phones

I also managed to hook up the old CCTV unit to the Fibaro HCL using polled extraction of JPEG.

After hooking it all up, the last couple of weeks have been real…