Where did everyone go?


  • Hero Member

    For sure, the store shelves are pretty much overflowing with smart home products and IoT these days, much more than in the past. Is it just diffusion of attention, or do people just buy what they need now in complete systems or something? Or buy stuff that has phone apps instead of a hub? Or has Home Assistant taken over? Or Amazon Alexa? Not much in the way of new postings compared to the past. If anything, I thought there'd be more activity due to more and more IoT interest generally. If anything, it seems like Mysensors has a more robust and complete system now than in years past, and it's broad enough to include just about everything. What gives? Have off the shelf prices dropped so far that the economics no longer favor rolling-your-own or something? i.e. buy rather than build? Where's the new frontier? Is it now AI and system level stuff? I'm really curious. I mean, not all that long ago Google bought a thermostat company (Nest) for over a billion dollars. There's clearly been a sea change, and I'm just wondering what changed.



  • I guess the main reason is that mysensors is very stand-alone framework. And it locked itself in purely hobbyist territory. So when there are vast amount of iot devices from various manufacturers that you can combine with your own diy solutions in zigbee-ikea-hue or esp-tasmota-mqtt ecosystem in mysesnsors you have to make all devices yourself if you want some kind of ecosystem, or rely on HA/openhab/nodered/domoticz with its script system to make something connected. Also strict requirement of arduino framework and outdated hardware as the core of the framework alienates the big chunk of iot developers out there. It feels like people come to mysensors, make relay node, temperature sensor and then go forward for more complex solutions to never come back.

    @NeverDie said in Where did everyone go?:

    not all that long ago Google bought a thermostat company (Nest)

    And pretty much broke it for opensource or third-party integrations.



  • @monte said in Where did everyone go?:

    It feels like people come to mysensors, make relay node, temperature sensor

    If one just wants to have a temperature (or humidity) sensor or a relay, buying ZigBee or BT or ESP826x-based stuff is cheap and easy, no need to fiddle around with voltage regulators, fake nRF24L+, capacitor sizes and so on. So most people just beeing interested in quick solutions will not even care about these simple sensors.

    and then go forward for more complex solutions to never come back.

    Imo, MySensors still is a very good solution if you have the need for more complex or "clever" solutions. Choice is not to big, if you are looking for solutions with wired or LoRa nodes, and scripting more complex "rules" for Tasmota or ESPEasy seems not to be very common to build somehow autonomous subsystems.
    Btw.: node2node communication in MySensors is not well explained as well. So also in the MySensors ecosystem most users are used to rely on some sort of central system to do logics as soon as more than one node is involved.



  • @NeverDie, this could become one of those threads that would gather a wealth of knowledge to understand the multiple solutions in the DIY IoT ecosystem. It could be invaluable for a guy like me that is intermittently in and out of projects as a function of the “spare” time 😊 .
    I talk about my own experience here. When I built my first MySensors project (10 years ago?) I had no skills in soldering or Arduino programming. After some reading in the howtos I bought some Moteinos with RFM69 (small soldering needed to attach the sensors) and got my first system working with serial gateway and Openhab quite fast. It still works, several temp & humidity nodes and one awning controller.
    In the next “in” cycle (some 4 years later) I wanted something “bigger” and designed some custom PCBs with headers to attach ready-made LoRa boards (TTGO ESP32 OLED) in specialized nodes (multi-chamber wine fermentation controller, photovoltaic battery monitor with energy management, irrigation controller, …). Those boards are quite powerful for the price and well supported, but not friendly for battery operated nodes.
    Recently we have to install a system to prevent flooding in a basement. We bought a Wifi flooding sensor and a Wifi controllable plug with energy meter that work with the SmartLife App (Tuya IoT cloud). 30 minutes and working reliably.. wow.. so easy. So I agree with @rejoe2, easy and some “no-so-easy” tasks are much readily available than 10 years ago and quite easy to implement for the average joe without the need to invest a lot of hours in creating your own infrastructure.. and also cheaper.
    But when you want “special” sensors with more complex logic, if you are lucky and what you want exists, you will most likely have to pay the big price..., or you can build your own, like the MySensors people. So, I have been trying to enter in the next cycle for some time but I think I got too ambitious for my skills and it is taking some time to get to the practical implementation. I wanted to avoid the problems I suffered in the previous cycle with the TTGO (power hungry and poor ADC performance) so I started looking for a ready made board with LoRa and low power and good ADC and good price… and found Heltec LoRa Node 151 with STM32L151 … but there is no Arduino+MySensors support for the MCU… I also explored designing my own custom board based on STM32F1 (BluePill)… got a lot of problems with sleep functions in the tests so I dind't keep on that route… looked at CubeCell and its MySensors support provided by @eiten (ASR650x) still undecided whether it is worth to invest in an MCU from Asrock (future maintainability and ADC performance?).
    I started to look outside of the MySensors framework to get those new MCUs working in a more self-sufficient way (not having to wait for new versions of MySensors to support these new boards). Solutions such as RadioDriver library + custom communication protocol + NodeRed decoder to Openhab. Yes, possible, but quite re-inventing the wheel and MySensors is such a well thought protocol…. When you start looking for alternatives you realize the quality work that is behind the project and the good support and community you can find here, so far I have not found an alternative, so I always come back to the forums and MySensors Github pulls to see if anything new is cooking.
    What would be great for the next MySensors boost: that HALO multitransport gateway by @scalz , support for ESP-NOW as a transport protocol (just with a bare 3€ ESP32 WROOM module, some passives and external ADC and we could have a node with good 2,4GHz Radio and plenty mcu power), and support for the STM32 official core and SX126x radios (I could be wrong but the STM32WL series seems the sweet spot to me for long range coverage when small ready-made boards appear).
    So my 2 cents for this topic translates into: for simple applications (that is what most average people is looking after) ready-made wifi devices exists and are much cheaper and easy to use. And on the other side of the spectrum, more advanced users looking for something “special” want to use some new hardware that is not jet supported... that could explain the decline in post activity in the forums.


  • Hero Member

    Rewinding the tape, I remember how it frustrated me to no end how most commercial wireless devices provided no means of getting the received data out of them. Even today, most weather stations and temperature sensors seem to be like that. Which meant that you either had to hack the receiver or just design your own sensor from scratch, and the later was maybe even easier than hacking the commercial RF receiver to get the data. I think maybe the availability of cheap Wifi (like the ESP8266) was what started to change all that, because then it didn't cost much extra to add it to a receiver. For instance, I have a Flume for wirelessly reading my water meter. The sensor itself is quite simple, using a HopeRF RFM69 to transmit the data back to a receiver, which has an ESP8266 inside it for connecting back to "the cloud" via my WiFi router for logging the data. Well, that would have still been a data jail of sorts, but Flume took the extra step of providing a secure API so that Home Assistant can query the cloud and--finally!--get the data that way. It's this circuitous path that now seems more dominant, I guess because it's relatively cheap to put a product like that together using a free database and some cloud hosting. And it removes the vendor from having to support all the different possible PC variants and whatever driver conflicts might come with them if the vendor had instead provided a hardwired interface directly to the receiver. I can see how that might have been a support nightmare which is now avoided. This way also means that the data visualization is handled in the cloud, using generic tools for that purpose, rather than having to cram the code for that onto a microcontroller and later worry about how to update it to future versions. Now all the updating happens transparently in the cloud, so no software on varigated PCs to support. No different software versions to support either, since everyone is running just one version, which is always just whatever the current version is. Everyone has a browser, and that's all they need. So, in conclusion, my guess is that minimizing costs (design costs, support costs, and product returns) is the reason things turned out as they did.

    Of course, some of those companies go bankrupt, leaving their user base with expensive paper weights when the cloud services go inoperative, but in the near term people have something that works with little effort and can hope that the vendor will maintain the cloud forever.


  • Admin

    I admit that I have been pretty silent the last couple of years on the forum. But daytime work have drained my energy reserves. I have however just picked up mysensors again, and started jumping into platform Io for arduino. And converted one of my old mysensors sketches.

    I hope that I can return to the community again, still have some fun hardware projects planned, but also need to constrain myself, so I do not have to many projects at the same time, otherwise my energy is depleted completely 😉

    / Thomas



  • MySensors is a very nice framework for building very low power sensor nodes ... in a hobbyist environment, I like it, I have sensors around the house that have been running for 2+ years on a coin cell battery.

    I am wondering if one of the reasons why no commercial player is offering MySensors-based gadgets might be the choice of license: MySensors is published under GPL, which commercial players may perhaps not be comfortable with. Other popular and successful open source projects, such as Arduino itself, are published under less restrictive licenses such as LGPL.



  • @NeverDie I am just paranoid about relying on a cloud for everything. What if, lets say, my internet connection is cut off, or theirs or they decide to close the API (like google did to nest). I don't like my data taking such a long detour. That's why I installed nextcloud at home when dropbox decided they didn't need to support anything except ext4 on linux 🙂



  • @monte said in Where did everyone go?:

    @NeverDie I am just paranoid about relying on a cloud for everything.

    Imo it's not only the technicals problems wrt. to connection cut off and so on, but also relying on cloud services raises a lot of security issues, see e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urnNfS6tWAY (unfortunately in german) wrt. to all that stuff working with sume "Tuya"-based "App". "Military grade security" for cloud bases solutions?!? Complete illusion, at least with these offers from far east also distributed by some discounters here in Germany...

    @NeverDie said in Where did everyone go?:

    Even today, most weather stations and temperature sensors [...]

    There's some clever solutions in the world to get the data out of these locally, e.g. OpenMQTTGateway for a lot of BT stuff and some 433MHz gadgets. I personally use FHEM as central Home Automation system, also offering a vast variety of solutions for 433MHz and 868MHz proprietary stuff out there (see keywords CUL and SignalDUINO in the command reference without the need to use any cloud service (including somfy, water meter signals, ...). Might be tricky in detail, but there's quite some folks out there using FHEM for the single purpose to bridge some special RF stuff to the MQTT world, btw..

    As my own activities wrt. to MySensors, the stuff I soldered several years ago just works (actually running on some older beta version). So no need to aks tricky questions atm..


  • Hero Member

    Yes, I would prefer that none of my IoT devices were cloud-based, and yet I own some anyway, like the Flume and Alexa and some third party Alexa controlled things, like LED bulbs and in-wall light switches and security cameras. All of them were remarkably inexpensive. Beyond the added latency and the on-going risk that the vendor might decide to discontinue cloud support, it creates security issues that I'm having to harden against using vlans and such, which is extra time/energy/money expended that I didn't think to consider at the time of purchase. The Alexa ecosystem has gotten quite big in a hurry, and voice control via Alexa is just wonderful overall. At our house we use Alexa dots to create intercoms between rooms, and it works great. If I could move them all out of the cloud, I probably would, but these cloud-based products are generally inexpensive and do set up quite easily and quickly, so I can understand their appeal. Anyhow, I only bring it up because I'm guessing it's a factor in answering "Where did everyone go?" Like @tbowmo said, available time is a factor.

    I'd also say youtube is a factor. If there were a really nice youtube series on mysensors, I'm sure it would help.



  • youtube really seams to tear "everyone" to "fast and easy solutions". I personally really hate that IoT stuff talking to the www without asking and therefore try to avoid whatever can't be flashed with own firmware for "offline" use.
    Atm. I'm fiddling around vith voice control via Rhasspy. Really impressive project, btw. (I'm not to deep into all the details on that, but controlling my lights, shutters or media stuff works really great, even without any online service provided by any of the big players; just a service with relatively small resouŕce footprint on a dual-core server built ages ago!).



  • Ah, nice, now you can turn on and off wifi sockets and other wifi based iot without even knowing password to the wifi! Great!
    https://www.fragattacks.com/



  • The availability of inexpensive commercial products surely is a factor for less interest in DIY solutions like MySensors. Chinese companies are flooding another market once again. Just look at Xiaomi's Aqara and Mijia range of products and their compatible clones. They offer at least a dozen of different sensors and actors in neat little enclosures with either ZigBee or BLE connectivity, many of which are commonly available for much less than 10 USD a piece in sales.

    In this view I get frequently asked by friends and relatives why I keep "wasting" so much time building my own devices when I could just buy some like they do and integrate them into Home Assistant or HomeKit with the flick of a switch.

    I always respond to them that - apart from privacy and reliability concerns against devices with a forced internet connection, as has already been mentioned by some of you - I actually enjoy the whole process from prototyping electronics to managing a home server. It's a hobby and I learn new things through it. Three years ago, I could barely read basic circuit diagrams - here I am, comfortably soldering self-designed all-SMD PCBs, enjoying programming so much that I branched out into other areas and started developing web apps. I can at least attempt to repair faulty electronics - and have been successful at times - instead of throwing them away and wasting resources.

    The whole DIY process forces me to think about my requirements and constraints. To think about what I actually need instead of what I want or could buy to fill a hole.

    MySensors is fantastic for someone like me. It is fairly accessible with commonly available components, with the option for much more powerful hardware, if needed. Wireless communication can be remarkably reliable. Other than ESP-based devices, MySensors nodes can be incredibly energy efficient for battery use. It's not polluting my WiFi, nor invading my privacy through cloud services. And although you might say it has gotten quieter in the forum, there's still always someone around to help if you're stuck. It's just that MySensors is strictly DIY, as @monte pointed out. You can't just buy a commercial device, upload a MySensors sketch to it and be done.

    That's probably not the answer to the question where everyone went, but rather why not many new come in. Maybe it's a hindrance for new users these days? Because the "DIY aspect", that's now often obsolete, was just a necessary evil for many? Or, as my friends ask, why waste your time with that?

    I guess you either have to have a specific mindset and interest to pick this up as a hobby with some dedication, or your requirements are so specific that no commercial product suits them, so that the pressure to DIY is high enough to bring yourself to do so. If not, the big home automation youtubers may show you the convenient way to quick satisfaction.


  • Plugin Developer

    I used MySensors to create a privacy friendly smart home demonstrator called Candle. Quite a few people are building it, but they may not even realise they are using MySensors.

    In this project my own attention certainly has shifted a bit. Cheap Zigbee dongles and devices aid my goal of moving Candle in a more consumer friendly direction, so that people could just buy most of the parts ready-to-go, and still keep everything local. Some devices will still be MySensors devices, simply because there aren't any privacy friendly alternatives that I know of. But a temperature and humidity sensor, those use Zigbee for me now. And I'm moving the privacy features from the arduino code into the central controller instead.

    Speculation about other factors:

    • Practical Arduino hardware education isn't happening right now because of covid. And even there, there are so many hardware options now. Microbits, ESP32, etc.
    • I've also noticed people asking about standardisation, and caring about interoperability.
    • There are many more products available now. Edge cases are being catered to, e.g. gardening.

    Things that might help for me:

    • I really wish there was a cheap, widely available Arduino akin to the RF-Nano, but with RFM69 433Mhz. MySensors has always had range issues for me on 2.4ghz.
    • The MySensors implementation doesn't make it easy for devices to describe the UI they would like. E.g. if a device is read-only or toggle-able is currently dependent on the type, instead of being a factor that can be set for each sensor type independently.

    A new website with a strong focus on new users, USP's (cheap privacy & friendly, or just fun, educational and artisanal) and up-to-date examples might help.

    This all may sound critical, but that's not the intention. I really dig MySensors. It's definitely in my toolbelt.


  • Hero Member

    @alowhum said in Where did everyone go?:

    I really wish there was a cheap, widely available Arduino akin to the RF-Nano, but with RFM69 433Mhz. MySensors has always had range issues for me on 2.4ghz.

    Even with the high powered (20-30db) versions of the nRF24l01's?


  • Banned

    MySensors is a great framework and probably everyone has found other controllers and tools that work better or are more suitable for them.



  • @monte said in Where did everyone go?:

    I guess the main reason is that mysensors is very stand-alone framework. And it locked itself in purely hobbyist territory. So when there are vast amount of iot devices from various manufacturers that you can combine with your own diy solutions in zigbee-ikea-hue or esp-tasmota-mqtt ecosystem in mysesnsors you have to make all devices yourself if you want some kind of ecosystem, or rely on HA/openhab/nodered/domoticz with its script system to make something connected. Also strict requirement of arduino framework and outdated hardware as the core of the framework alienates the big chunk of iot developers out there. It feels like people come to mysensors, make relay node, temperature sensor and then go forward for more complex solutions to never come back.

    well, yes, I agree, plus: in my experience some of the coders of mysensors are very (!!!) snobbish and autocratic. The idea behand mysensors is not that bad, but it got stuck - also ideologically - technically some years ago and there is no movement to be seen


  • Admin

    @Peter-Loeffler

    I'm not sure how to address your statement. But beeing one of the core group members myself, I feel that it's a bit harsh. We all have a life, and fulltime job, besides mysensors! This means that we can't spend every minute of our (spare) time on mysensors all the time. Some of us have scaled down on activities for a period, due to children, work, house renovations etc.

    Maybe we (the core group) say no to some new features in the project, but that is because we are uncertain about the following support / bugfixing of that particular feature. Specially in the light of the above, with limited spare time for the projects.

    For my part, I've had a couple of rough years, that took the steam out of my envolvement in a lot of projects, including MySensors. But I'm slowly re-emerging from the deep dark now. So I hope that I get more time to do new fun sensors / hardware again. But things take time, and do not want to rush things, that could send me back into the dark again.


  • Hero Member

    A few areas come to mind where many contributed mysensors projects excel beyond many/most commercially available products: ultra low power consumption, security (integrating TPM chips was particularly prescient), over-the-air firmware updates, cost, and integration of pretty much whatever-you-can-imagine into a unified non-cloud system (if so desired), and very definitely access to whatever data you want. Also, I've found the mysensor's forum to be a good place to exchange ideas and information.


  • Admin

    There are many examples where of the shelf equipment downstairs make the cut. Of course if you only want temperature, or door switches, then zigbee devices are easier to implement. But if you want specialized Sensors, for measuring depth of water in a well, automate an existing garage door, automated the chicken coop, etc. Then mysensors is there to the rescue. Because you can't find any of the shelf non cloud solutions for that.

    Perhaps we are behaving like old farts in the core 😉 , but it's not intentionally. As mentioned a lot of times, we are using our spare time for the project, but the spare time is limited..



  • Another outside influence may just be Covid and Work From Home.
    I have been very fortunate to be able to work from home over the past year, but I find at the end of the day I abandon my computer and my office and don't return. My hobbies are heavily computer based and have suffered. I often think about new cool sensors and what project to tackle next, but my hobby environment feels too much like my work environment. I'm going to have to rethink that going forward because at least some work from home seems like it will be the new normal.



  • Personally I don't think about MySensors as often as I used to. In so many ways that's a sign of success; I have quite a few battery operated temperature nodes and an MQTT ethernet gateway running very stable - haven't needed to adjust anything for 2/3 years. Others may be in a similar position.



  • @tbowmo
    take my statemant as it is: my opinion, mixed with my experiences here in the forum. its a rather cheap argument, that btw. is always the second one that comes arround in discussions, to remind at the brave coders, doing all that in their freetime.
    I did not say anything harsh in that direction. never.
    nevertheless I agree with @NeverDie pointing out the big pro's of mysensors. but there has to be some limitation: all that only applies, when you want to rebuild some of the non-cloud systems with ONE (maybe in ver 3.0 two) physical layer. and the next limitation is the number of gateways that come into account when you want to scale things up (in a distance AND number of gateways point of view).
    and if we get into alternatives, like homie, the advantages of mysensors decrease to a single point: radio.

    referring to @NeverDie 's comment on the forum: its very hard to agree, because if you get your feature-request answered with "..pay somebody and you get what you want..." is not my definition of super-helpful, super-friendly


  • Admin

    @Peter-Loeffler

    My reaction was mainly towards the part of your statement "very snobbish and autocratic".

    I haven't seen a response about paying someone to do a feature request (I've been away from the forum, so maybe I have missed something?).

    You are absolutely free to create a PR for any feature requests. We might fight back a bit 😉 but we need to have a good use case for the features that make it into the core of the project, otherwise we get the project filled with features that is only used by 1 or 2 persons..



  • Hi,

    as an "advanced hobbiest" i can tell why i am not getting really warm with mysensors.. I have a gateway and two nodes. One node (RFID garage opener) is working now but has range issues that i can not reach the gateway in the place i need it. And the other is a temperature sensor to play. So it works, but in real it does not, and to be honest the functionality is just nice to have for the moment 😄
    In my case i got stuck in details with my configuration. The one night a month i have to code is not enough to solve it. (and of course i am not a professional)

    In the first view does mysensors look very cool. It wants to be an easy to use arduino library. A lot of examples for different gateways and nodes. Seems to be easy, "build = fun", no?

    No, it is not that easy.
    Mysensors is a framework. It hijacks already base functions of arduino.
    As soon as you leave the application which is given in the example something does not work. And than you have to dick deep in the functionality of the mysensor framework and it is not easy to collect all necessary information in the documentation - at least for me. 😉

    examples:

    • Standard EEPROM functions are hijacked and can not be used as you are used to.
    • pin configuration is done in the framework. If your other things connected to the MCU need also a special treatment (RST-pin) you need to find out how
    • took me a while to release that there is a completely new version 2.0 of the radio-driver which worked for me instantly and i still no not know why the same code does not work with the standard version.. And you should use the newest development branch, not the released one 😉
    • the examples are not consistent to each other and are not even compatible in all cases...

    So i think it is difficult to catch the user or it is not clear which kind of user is addressed.

    The normal arduino dummy user can use it for the very simple examples. As soon he wants to combine function and the issues come, he will get stucked. And of course you get the same function in the meanwhile out of the box from a lot of cheap commercial products. Maybe you have different systems running but for that money you can buy every two years new things. And most people use a Controller which can handle directly the different systems and the configration there is easier. The Controllers made big improvements in user friendly configuration!

    The advanced user is getting rare. And honestly the mysensor framework is so big with all that #define-cases for the different platforms and configurations that it takes a while to go through and find your adaption. This users have already made their own private libraries which will not work directly on the mysesnors framework. They switch to a different system or maybe start extract the things they need from mysensors.

    And than i also have the impression that the help in the forum is "superficial". Not because the forum does not want to help.
    The problems occur in the system and it is not easily clear why something does not work without taking the time and go thorugh everything.
    It is open source and the documentation is suffering. The contributors have limited time and nobody can expect to get a 24/7 full support.
    Everything okay, please do not misunderstand me, i really appreciate the work behind mysensors and i can only imagine complicated it is to keep such a system administrated.

    But to come back to the beginning it is the question which user should be addressed.
    For the dummy user the documentation should be reduced but therefor everything should be consistent and straight. As the Controller software does, the work should focus on not technical functionality for easy configuration and usage.

    For the advanced user the documentation should go more in detail in general in one place and the code should focus on a layer structure to make it easier to operate on different systems or exchange modules/versions (maybe without the arduino framework as base or an approach as FreeRTOS).
    And i am not sure if it is just me, but i could imagine it would help to make it easier to get part of the active community and bring improved code or new functions back in the mysensors-core.

    greeting from Germany
    Jens

    P.S.: i am sorry that i did not gender everything and always wrote "he" as "the user". Should of course also be a woman or girl or ...



  • I have said this before (I do not know where) but here it is again.
    One of the reasons that MySensors didn't become as popular as other frameworks is because it somewhat matured before YouTubers were popular. Today, fewer people like to read, and most like to watch a YouTube video sitting on the toilet. The YouTubers not only provide step by step instructions, they do live streams and then there are Discord servers.

    I myself manage a small discord server on Home Automation and I see everyday newbies coming in and they are looking for a magical cheap solution which somehow works.
    The barrier for entry into MySensors is big (involves a lot more wires, it does not seem sexy, no one talks about it on YouTube). On the other hand, everyone has an ISP given All-In-One router+AP+DHCP server and ESPs simply connect to them. Everyday Amazon, AliExpress etc are flooding the market with Wifi based products, so the time for feeling of gratification is very small. You buy, plug in, use the app and it works

    That said, we do have a dedicated MySensors channel on our discord server and I have been pushing (literally) people to try MySensors. Serious DIYers are still interested and I have successfully introduced 4 people to it, 2 have started using it.

    I won't call the Mysensors a stagnant or dying breed but the concept of forums in my opinion is. Forums are still the most structured support system (I am not saying otherwise) but many people want instant answers, - they do not want to make the effort asking a good question. And across many forums which have been there for a few years, a common answer is "search before you ask".

    This is my two cents on this topic



  • I am new here at MySensors. But I have my own ideas and do not want to adapt to a given middleware or networking. My reason to be here is the know-how presented by the many contributors of the forum.

    I like the idea of Arduino very much. Having your basic routines running on nearly any hardware is really a nice thing. And after a first look into MySensors software, I also like it. Though I will not use it, because I have other ideas on microcontroller communication.

    Do we really need to go with the "mainstream"? I think, the mainstream of software development has become a kind of "gaming" in the last years. It seems not to be necessary to know anything about programming, just be able to move your mouse and make some drags and drops her and there. Being an expert based on the knowledge of other people (companies).

    As long as here are real experts talking about details of microcontrollers and their application, I will stay here.



  • I can only speak from my own experience, MySensors filled the gap at a time when commercial offerings still hadn't taken off, and as has been mentioned already, proprietary protocols and internet reliance put me off then and still does.

    The combination of Domoticz and Mysensors suited my own needs of data acquisition rather than control, and although I've considered modifying and incorporating commercial devices since, they ultimately hit the brick wall of what CAN be done rather than what I need.

    Hobbyist interest will come and go, but the forum inactivity is probably more testament to MySensors reliability for the vast majority who once flooded the place, and any new users find most of the answers they need here, so never pose a question
    If it ain't broke don't fix it sort of idea - eg I had put off updating the IDE and MySensors until around a month back, a bit of a headache when I did, but it was soon sorted and back to silently doing what I need.

    Is there competition with the huge variety of plug and go devices in elegant cases now available ? I suggest not.
    For those wanting off the shelf solutions with limits there is a product, but why would I want 5 individual devices in a single space rather than the one currently, or the mobile apps for each, or the app to save me walking 3m to switch the light on/off ?
    Domoticz and MySensors are not flawless, neither the Pi3 nor the Arduino are the latest MCUs, but the combo is plenty capable of doing what I require, and for an old fart like me, plenty. 😉



  • yes, that's the point: who is the user? And than focus on how to satisfy the user 😉

    I do not think that it is wrong or less valueable to set up an easy to use software that every dummy-youtuber can describe in a 5minutes clip.

    Let me compare again with the development on the controller side.
    When i started to search for home automation FHEM was very famous as one example. Such a strong system. It has been the first possibility to handle the different devices. If you have been able to get something work after hours of searching through the forum and editing various config files, it felt so cool, you are a hacker. Not every newbie could do...
    Now you find approaches which are so easy to use via a webinterface. You get ready to use packages for different linux distributions and find most devices in auto configuration. That is contamporary and sexy.

    In the end even the experts take it. Why not, they can spend the time in hacking on other cool stuff.
    And of course in the background are still the cool hacker working on the code or developing extensions 😉 but the user just uses it and does not be able to program.
    Because so many user use it also more pro's work on it and because the youtuber can get 10 minutes fame even more user use it and so on and so..


  • Hero Member

    I suppose the abundance of similar but non-identical mysensor solutions might cause people to wonder which one to build. I say that, having recently moved from Windows over to Linux, where there is a similar hyper-abundance of distros to sort through before picking one.


  • Contest Winner

    To me it is a lack of time. Still have tons of projects not finished. Right now really focused more on making the whole eco system Usable. As far as I can tell not one single HA system is usable for a mere mortal. It's either centered around a mobile phone, which is a no-no for me. It's not reliable in terms of battery can be low while you want to turn something on or off and the screen is too small for eco systems that cover an entire house. And when they're not centered around a mobile phone everything is glued together with scripts. It's all too complicated. I think I can make it more simple xd


  • Hero Member

    @TheoL Yes,, it's strange how home automation can get so complicated when it seems like it should be easy. I happen to think this is where mysensors has the upper hand, because if you can imagine the solution, then you can program it with real programming languages. Ultimately, with systems that are "dumbed down" and meant to be simple, you end up fighting with the limitations of whatever simplifying framework is used to make it simple, and, ironically, all the workarounds make it complex. With those you either have to settle for less than what you wanted, or else you end up with an unwieldy system because it lacks the expressive power to easily capture what you want.


  • Contest Winner

    @NeverDie I'm actually looking for a team backend and frontend to help me reinvent home automation. And give it back to all people, not only the technical ones. I've done quiet a lot of pocs to test me ideas. Preferably Python back end, so I can do some help in coding xd

    Current HA systems are difficult. In comparison to the real world, it means that when you want to change a light bulb, you have to completely rewire the fixture in which the lightbulb you wanted to replace was in.

    I think it's too complicated ^^


  • Hero Member

    @TheoL If you're serious about it, I suggest you start a thread by laying out your ideas in the opening post and explain why your new approach is fundamentally better than whatever the existing alternatives are. If people agree with you, then you will have started a movement, and if they don't,... well, better to know that sooner rather than later, right?



  • @NeverDie said in Where did everyone go?:

    it's strange how home automation can get so complicated when it seems like it should be easy.

    I think that's a wrong idea. Automation can not be simple, otherwise it would be made automated from the beginning. The key feature of any automation is to set it up once and then gain the benefits of not doing something again and again, it's basically investing. Why would you expect to gain much, with little investment?
    It may be that the field of private home and appliances is wrong for the concept of automation, because automating basic home is not going to produce much benefits in the end, so you either over-invest in terms of money or time, or get very simple system that isn't an automation in it's best meaning.


  • Contest Winner

    @monte As a UX designer I dare to differ. HA anno 2021 is overly complicated. No one needs to know how to wire a light fixture. You just change the light bulb when it's broken. Or if in some cases hire an electrician.

    I believe I can design things much much simpler. And make it usable.



  • @TheoL you can buy philips or ikea zigbee bulbs and not change any wiring. That has some limitation and stability problems though, that's why serious automations require proper wiring and project development.


  • Contest Winner

    @monte We must have a conversation in a chat or something. to me Ikea is not usable at all. Usable meaning effictive, efficient and looking good.



  • @TheoL I am just saying from my experience. At one place I use KNX where it was prewired according to a plan, mysensors and ikea in places that where added after the wiring and walls were finished. I have had issues with Ikea bulbs disconnecting and needing repairing with hub, but in the end it is viable solution if you can't change wiring. I also tried Z-wave and it was much more expensive and worse. For zigbee there are opensourse projects that may work better then proprietary hub, but I didn't bother to try them yet.
    But anyway, if you want everything to work reliably and be failproof you should plan everything ahead and know what you are doing and how. And I don't think that it's something particularly bad. Someone has to do work to achieve something great. It either you, or someone who you are paying either with money, or other things like your privacy, for example.
    And I am not saying, that this will never change, technology is evolving and becoming more robust and sophisticated, I just don't see it changing drastically in nearest future.
    Anyway, if you're going to achieve what you are envisioning, I will be happy for those people who will open wonders of home automation for themselves without doing any research.



  • Hello @monte and @TheoL
    I wanted to join your discussion here, but that may go off topic for this thread. So I started a new thread here, hoping to meet your theme.



  • Hi Everyone,

    I initially started with a goal and MySensors suited, and was very approachable. I built it and it still works. I didn't need much help.

    I had a bunch of fun getting things to work and acquired some skills. The work with MySensors helped me get a job as an embedded software engineer, with my environmental sciences i.e. data analysis background.

    Since getting that job, I have moved much more towards minimalism in my private life. As such I am designing simple systems that don't need automating, and asking myself what I need. My current focus during my spare time on ultralight winter backpacking/skitouring as well as vipassana meditation helps me see more clearly what is necessary to be happy. My insight does not bode well for most of current IoT use.

    I may make some noise when I have decided that a certain thing is necessary AND I need help OR if I dare to show off ;). Meanwhile, enjoy the peace and quiet.

    I think when I do get back into MySensors, it will be when I combine my statistics and firmware knowledge: so-called embedded AI applied to inventory management. That is also the solution to truly devalue a cloud connection, in my opinion. Do the work locally (or on your gateway), and say something, if necessary. We'll see if that tendency/thought makes sense in a few years.

    I will also revisit MySensors when I want to build an energy harvesting sensor. This is somewhat proximate. I am not a big fan of batteries.

    Thank you for the support and the handy framework. I am grateful for the simple systems that work, and keep working.

    Going outside now :).

    Kind regards,
    Brian


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