Wednesday, March 29, 2017

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 really interesting with lights coming on at odd and devices refusing to turn on by Alexa. It does take a while to determine patterns to program behaviors accordingly.

As there was a lot of integration work that was done to have everything work together, I decided to start posting again. Stay tuned for home automation use cases and how to get it all working together.

dead pi

Well, I guess it has to happen at some point. the home automation raspberry pi has died. Much to do with the stupid Strontium mini SD card. ...