This is Part-III of an ongoing series of Ol’e Sopwith’s adventures with a home automation project. Part-1 started off with the ambitious idea of doing a bake-off between openHAB and Home Assistant. In Part-II, I learned the openHAB platform and achieved all of my goals of getting numerous Z-Wave devices on-line. I even took the time to create a detailed openHAB “How-To” to assist those of you that are new to the platform. Very happy with the results.
Here in Part-III, my plan was to do the same with Home Assistant. Dig into the bits and document how it works. My hope was to get all of my Z-Wave devices behaving the same way in Home Assistant (HA) as they were in openHAB.
Not so fast Shirley. From the moment I started to learn HA, I ran into problems. For example, I started on this page, “Install Home Assistant”, and followed the instructions exactly. I burned the image and booted the Pi. Notice the below instructions 6-8.
In Part-1 of this hacking series, I set the stage for an adventure in home automation hacking. My goal is to start small, grow a system over time, and share the experience.
To follow along on my openHAB adventure, instead of creating an enormous blog entry, I decided to document it in a PDF ‘How-To’ document. I have found these types of documents are highly valuable to those folks that are new to the Raspberry Pi and Linux, and/or those who have little programming experience. Download the PDF and configuration files below:
Here in Part-II, we explore my adventures with openHAB.
To learn more about openHAB, read Part-I of this series or head over to their web site. I started knowing nothing about openHAB, so I spent a lot if time in the documentation. Next, I burned an image of openHABian and fired it up on a Raspberry Pi 3.
In a couple of weeks of study and hacking, I have a working home automation system that is quite cool. Below is a view of my openHAB system as seen in a browser.
Hello smoke-breathing brethren. Ole’ Sopwith is about to embark on another hacking adventure. This time it is all about home automation. Yes, it seems I am a little late to the party – but hey – at least I showed up!
There are two goals to this project. 1) To learn something new, and 2) To have fun. Wait a minute! Those are the goals of every Sopwith project! Yes – but this project should be really interesting. In this multi-part blog series, I am going to compare the two leading open-source home automation platforms: OpenHab and Home Assistant.
OpenHab is a Germany based open source project founded in 2010. It is written in Java and is based on the Eclipse SmartHome platform. It has a very active community with a very large pool of developers. It provides the ability to integrate hundreds of home automation devices, regardless of manufacturer or whether is it open or closed hardware. The cool thing about OpenHab is that it provides a mechanism to build a complete home automation environment and keep it private.
Home Assistant is another very active open-source home automation platform written in Python3. It also has a vibrant and active community. Founded in 2013 by Paulus Schoutsen, it began as a simple Python script to turn on some lights when the sun set.
In my previous posts in this series (I-III), I added night vision capabilities to the very cool NatureBytes wildlife camera kit. As in all maker projects – improvements had to be made.
Once I placed the night-vision capable camera in the field for testing, I discovered the LISIPAROI IR light board cannot be used in the wild. The device is just not powerful enough. If is fine for close-up work, but outside? Forget it.
It was time to turn disappointment into action. Plus, if it worked out of the box – what fun is that? Time to get serious. As I searched the web, I discovered weatherproof 12V IR lamps are cheap. These are designed to be used with CCTV cameras, most of which are 12 or 24 VDC powered. I purchased a pair for around $16 USD. The one I chose is made by a company called Phenas.