Where did everyone go?

  • 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


    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 πŸ˜‰ , 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


    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 πŸ˜‰ 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 πŸ˜„
    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. πŸ˜‰


    • 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 πŸ˜‰
    • 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

    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. πŸ˜‰

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

    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 πŸ˜‰ 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,

  • Let's dig out this thread a little. I am a person who's started my own MySensors based hardware project (GetWired, I wrote about it somewhere on this forum), so I probably can be described as an involved user. Somehow it happened that I haven't become an active user on this forum, on one hand I didn't have to write here, because all problems I've encountered were described earlier. On the other hand, I didn't receive much interest after publishing anything (openhardware designs, project related posts).

    In my opinion, MySensors with nRF24 has very strong competition, especially taking into consideration the low reliability of this radio. It's easier and better to buy cheap Shelly or other Sonoff. Using nRF52 would help a lot, but it is much more complicated, at least in my opinion.

    Second thing is the development of MySensors has slowed down a lot (last commit March 20th). If so, there is not much to discuss here.

    Third thing is connected to the development of my own project. Me and my colleague managed to put it on a successful crowdfunding and build a community elsewhere. All this with no support from this community and especially from the MySensors "authorities". I don't want to complain, I just think such initiatives could meet with higher interest from everyone involved in the development of MySensors, because it would be mutually beneficial.

  • Hero Member

    @feanor-anglin said in Where did everyone go?:

    I just think such initiatives could meet with higher interest from everyone involved in the development of MySensors, because it would be mutually beneficial.

    This is the first I've heard of your project, but I have no idea where it is. Maybe post a link to it? If you already have in some other thread, the problem is that not everyone reads every thread or tracks every post.

  • @NeverDie I perfectly understand how it works and that it is impossible to reach everyone with a post. I've wrote about it here.

  • Contest Winner

    @feanor-anglin it really looks very interesting to me. And if I'd renovate my house or bought a new house. I'd go for wired for sure. I'm running my sensors with NRF24L01+ for over 7 years now. And I actually didn't notice any problem. It's very reliable, but I admit the radio is very picky on it's power. Most problems I ran into where all power related.

    Why I've been absent for a long time has several personal reasons. I needed to finish a study I was following next to my job. And after I finished it I had some health issues. And when I decided to get back into it. My dad passed away. We're now cleaning out his workshop, he earned his living as an electronics repair man. I'm keeping the stuff I can use, like the Fluke meters - although they are 20 years old they still work good - his lab power supply and stuff like that. It's also to moment to redo my own workshop. Because the organization was completely lost. I ordered a lot of parts the last years but never took the time to store them.

    So hopefully this will al be done and I can finally finish some of the projects that are laying on my desk for years

  • Hello everyone,
    (this is my point of view, highlighting MySensor pro's)

    I recently started with home automation, even though I have been tinkering with Arduino, STM32, etc for a while.
    (As many have said) I am also one that do not like the unknown software running in a device connected to WiFi (MySensor Pro's). I also don't like to depend too much in companies that decide to discontinue a device (MySensor Pro's).
    I considered the use of MySensor but in the end I went the Zigbee route using Zigbee2MQTT and ZHA under Home Assistant. After a while, I fully migrated to Z2M.
    Currently, I am designing devices based on the ESP8266/ESP32 family, which I control (MySensor Pro's).

    Why didn't I chose MySensors?
    Like ZHA, it required another bridge and a separate "network". I want to reach every corner of the house, so the more devices are on the same mesh, the better.

    In my perfect imaginary world, MySensors runs along ZigBee, talks to Z2M, and plays nicely with commercial options. (I know it is a lot of work).

    Remember, I started last year, when there were other options. If I tried to do HA a few years before, I am pretty sure MySensors would have been my choice. I still have the nRF24 little modems around from when I was looking to the right solution.
    MySensors developed a fully functional alternative to ZigBee, but Zigbee was standardized and gained traction.

    Thank you for your work.

  • Contest Winner

    @chbarg In all honesty, I think ZigBee is much older than mySensors. It's a pretty old standard. But it was very expensive to use, but since Philips and Ikea used it in their smart lightning it has become very cheap. Zigbee is used in commercial products, whereas my Sensors is just a nice and - more reliable - option for those who like to build their own stuff. I say more reliable, because the Ikea stuff I use is not always available. At least I have troubles with it. Also the batteries in the remotes drain really fast. Specially when attached to the gateway and night directly to a device

  • @TheoL I do agree with your experience with the Ikea remote. I also have them connected to the coordinator and are draining quite quickly.
    Many manufacturers still charge a lot for Zigbee devices.
    Making your own Zigbee devices require a lot of learning. I have tried and failed (not as much dedication as it needed). The WiFi route seemed closer since I already had the network setup.
    Convenience and mesh availability won in my case.
    Is Thread a future possibility for MySensors?

    Again, talking from my very individual situation. I can see running over someone else's mesh would make MySensors a more attractive option.

  • Hi Guys,

    Newbie to RPi's, but have some knowledge of Arduinos.

    I've installed WebThings Gateway and also the Candle files.

    I'm connecting my Raspberry Original 7" Touchscreen to a RPi 4b 4gb.

    I have;
    5v to 5v
    Gnd to Gnd
    HDMI to HDMI
    Now the Candle literature states to connect the USB from the Display to the USB on the Pi, but which USB port?

    I'd be grateful for some direcion on this. Also It seems odd to have the 5v and Gnd, wouldn't the USB (when connected), provide the power?


  • @Dizzwold I see lots of different screens out there, but when I search for "Raspberry Original 7" Touchscreen" it's not HDMI. I can't find a Raspberry Pi branded touchscreen that is HDMI in a quick search. Could you share a link?

    However, it's most likely that the USB would be needed for the touchscreen part of it. HDMI couldn't carry that info easily, at least. (I'm not very familiar with the standard, and I don't know the limits of what info it can pass back through CEC.)

    The USB cable could provide power, but maybe the limit through an individual port is too low and it needs the beefier connection? Maybe it uses both?

  • In regards to the "Where did everyone go?"...

    Personally when I look at the MySensors github and see Issues and PRs being created but no one is doing anything with them, that's a bit of a turn off.

    When I look through the PRs I see a lot of "good stuff" there yet there is no movement.

  • i'm still around but most of my stuff is working and has been for a long time so I haven't much need to check in. I wish i could get my nrf51/52 based things to work better but i've kind of given up on those.

  • Hi Guy's,

    This is the display I have;


    I've reinstalled webthings gateway, candle, candle manager, mysensors, voco, seashell (typed in the command line). I don't have any sensors or things as yet and I've not uploaded a floorplan. I have a small TV connected by HDMI and the Raspberry officail 7" touchscreen (800 x 400).

    I get the candle splash screen, but then nothing but a blank screen, also on the 7" touchscreen the candle splash is upside-down.

    Do I not see anything as I've not uploaded a floorplanand/or have no sensors or things?

    How do I rotate the touchscreen?


  • Contest Winner

    @Dizzwold This is not the right topic. And perhaps not the right forum. I think it's best to ask this in the candle forum

  • Contest Winner

    What I miss is the creativity. In the beginning everybody had crazy ideas and build awesome projects. I'd like to see that back xd

  • Hi Guys,

    I've searched for a Candle smart home forum and this is the only place I can find.

    Can you please direct me to the correct forum?

    I've already made an appology on the following thread;


    I'm sorry.

  • @TheoL It comes in waves...
    A lot of the energy over the "crazy ideas" peaked interest in the commercial world to capitalise on the IoT craze, a financial example of IFTTT.

    I'm nowhere close to smart on development as the majority here, having bought (not developed and built) solutions to my own specific needs, experimenting only on the margins, but with the MySensors and Domoticz environment core as it was central to what I required for other things, data acquisition and on-site containment.

    However, I strongly suspect a second wave of interest is about to land as the chicken of the brick walls erected for commercial interests (a la Apple) come come to roost.
    Proprietary protocols and incompatibilities are a nonsense in this digital age, as is the "Cloud" being pivotal to whether Light Switch A turns off Light Switch B, and whether device Z is incorporated.

    I'm certain the "crazy ideas" will return, it's only the when which is at issue πŸ˜‰

  • @Dizzwold No need to apologise, it's more a case of waiting until somebody comes along who might know the status of Candle, such as @alowhum who has just been tagged.

  • Contest Winner

    @zboblamont I'd never have my house logic or my data in the cloud. Logic means you can't do much if you're internet is gone. And data, well I don't want all data like when I'm at home in the cloud :). But maybe I'm old fashioned

  • @TheoL Old fashioned perhaps but self-reliant.
    I avoid cloud services as much as possible, hence the early choice of MySensors, Domoticz and a dedicated router, still trundling away on a UPS 24/7 in the background through the many power cuts.
    I may not have internet, and may well be sitting in the dark, but can still see what's happening in and around the house.

    I'd thought recently to get replacement "smart" light switches for this place and the radio equipped version might solve a potential rewire, but on discovery the "smart" solution depended on a server thousands of miles away, it was back to the drawing board.

  • Contest Winner

    @zboblamont That's what I love about my sensors. I created my own "SMART" lights, whit fairy light led strings. To provide sufficient light and are manual operable as long as they have power xd

    Lately I have to turn off some of my Ikea lightbubles after each update of the gateway. As they are greyed out in the app. If you're not on time replacing the switch batteries, getting everything setup again is a nightmatr

    I do use Inter For Things. Like wether prediction for watering the garden. But It's not bad if it misses one day.

  • I started building various sensors and control functions based on Mysensors quite a few years ago. Some I use originate from the solutions published at the build sections, others are of own design. At that time very few affordable off-the-shelf products were available.

    My main controller is OpenHab and MySensors data are sent/received using MQTT. The other part of my IoT network is based on Z-Wave and once getting this mixture to work it just runs with very few hiccups. Main problems are nearly always associated with upgrading to new software versions, especially OpenHab has taken lots of time during conversions.

    So for the moment I have everything I need running, it runs very stable and is in a "maintenance" state. Time is limited so focus and activity has had to shift to other things but I try to follow the forum.

    For me Mysensors has been a great experience and I will continue using it if other similar sensors/functions are needed. I like building the Mysensors items myself and will not choose anything else if an own project can succeed.

    With heaps of IoT things and systems available off the shelf to reasonable prices I think MySensors has to focus on robustness, simplicity and good guides so enthusiasts being tired of the complexity and non-compatibility of commercial solutions are willing to dig out the soldering iron and learn how to make own things.

  • @chey said in Where did everyone go?:

    Personally when I look at the MySensors github and see Issues and PRs being created but no one is doing anything with them, that's a bit of a turn off.

    When I look through the PRs I see a lot of "good stuff" there yet there is no movement.

    I had the same observation and was wondering if we could do anything about this.

    I maintain a dozen of open source projects and I know how unpredictable the contributions can be with life getting in the way and priorities changing. However, MySensors appears to be a project with relatively active user base and many people willing to contribute.

    The latest commit to the development branch was more than 100 days ago (on July 27) and there are a bunch of pull requests that could be merge as they have had code reviews and they are very limited in scope and have little potential for introducing regressions.

    Is there a way that members of the core team (or people with commit access) could give commit access to new members that have shown interest in contributing? There is always a chance that new contributors will have different approach to deciding on what features go in and how the project is maintained (and potentially introduce regressions or bugs) but that's at the cost of moving the project along and having it live.

  • Hero Member

    @kasparsd said in Where did everyone go?:

    @chey said in Where did everyone go?:

    Personally when I look at the MySensors github and see Issues and PRs being created but no one is doing anything with them, that's a bit of a turn off.

    When I look through the PRs I see a lot of "good stuff" there yet there is no movement.

    I had the same observation and was wondering if we could do anything about this.

    I maintain a dozen of open source projects and I know how unpredictable the contributions can be with life getting in the way and priorities changing. However, MySensors appears to be a project with relatively active user base and many people willing to contribute.

    The latest commit to the development branch was more than 100 days ago (on July 27) and there are a bunch of pull requests that could be merge as they have had code reviews and they are very limited in scope and have little potential for introducing regressions.

    Is there a way that members of the core team (or people with commit access) could give commit access to new members that have shown interest in contributing? There is always a chance that new contributors will have different approach to deciding on what features go in and how the project is maintained (and potentially introduce regressions or bugs) but that's at the cost of moving the project along and having it live.

    @hek @mfalkvidd Sounds like a solid suggestion. Commercial products may come and go, but mysensors's continuity is part of its appeal. I suspect that many of the commercial products won't survive long term (many have already come and gone), so mysensors's strategy should be to remain the last man standing.

  • @kasparsd Yes, this is a very disheartening thing to see.

    I would rather not have to maintain a local version with some of the fixes that I see talked about on the forums, but since there's no movement on the code, at least from looking at github, I'm left with doing a bunch of it myself if I want to incorporate the changes.

    Especially bad when the changes are in a pull request and just languishing there. It's discouraging when I want to go work on something but I need to deal with the core mysensors code before I can even get to that step.

    I mean, I'll deal with it cause I still appreciate mysensors and find it a net benefit, but I can certainly understand why some people either give up on it or maybe never pick it up in the first place, seeing stuff like that.

  • Yes MySensors must continue, and it continues to live πŸ™‚
    it's a system open to all possible modifications.

    an economical system, not obsolete in 1 years, not polluting Hertzian and reliable with the implementation of field bus (Rs485 - CAN)

    why such a madness of technology to tell me that in my living room it is 20Β°C or that my front door is open?

    a web server for a temperature sensor is nonsense.

    Yes to the Minimalist System πŸ™‚

    Faithful reader of Elektor since the number 1, I see the technological progression
    which leads us to our loss.

    IoT objects on LoRaWan still a polluting thing*.


    • waste / health / freedom

    Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

  • @NeverDie

    I'm new-ish to MySensors. I came here because I was looking for a gateway from RF24 to MQTT and I'm well on my way to getting the MySensors version to work.

    Why isn't MySensors working? I find two things really frustrating. The documentation is spotty at best. It's taking me days to get as far as I have. When I write up my own procedure for my own documentation, I find it's maybe just 20 steps, but each step needs a detailed explanation. For example, through a lot of trial and error, I found that to turn on the relay in the relay with button example I had to publish a message of 1 to the MQTT topic mysensors-in/13/1/V_LIGHT/0/2. Only later did I find the Serial Protocol 2.x. But it does't show a V_LIGHT nor S_LIGHT. Yes, I figured out that example is out of date, but that's part of the point I'm trying to make. And how did my node ID become 13 and stay 13 when I press reset on the Arduino?

    You can see more detail on my frustrations in the MQTT gateway discussion

    Which segues into my other frustration. about documentation. Many members offering advice do not provide links to their statements. For example, in the MQTT gateway discussion:

    gohangohan MOD 3 Sept 2017, 13:15
    (at)Richard-van-der-Plas "Just clone the 2.2 dev instead of the stable, the rest is the same
    (emphasis mine)

    How does one do that? Particularly in a world where case is important and there are three different quote marks, (excuse me, one is sometimes known as a gravΓ©) all with different meanings.

    There are many like you @NeverDie who know MySensors in-and-out. I am an experienced hardware and software engineer, retired (one of the engineers that developed ink jet printing and one of the engineers that developed a navigation system for the 747) It's not like I don't have a fundamental understanding of what's going on here. I have yet to find a way to search the forum other than using google search.

    Don't get me wrong, the MySensors concept is great and functions pretty well, but if it's not well documented, then it is useless. Then when someone asks a simple questions only to get an answer with no explanation of the how, the newbie and experienced alike don't bother with the forum because the forum offers no help, either.

    We had a poster at HP (when it was a great company) "No job is done until the paperwork is complete" (image of person sitting on the toilet)

  • Hero Member

    @OldSurferDude If I have a question about something I generally post the question. Sometimes someone will answer it, and all is good. But on those occasions where no one answers it to my satisfaction, and I later do figure it out myself, then I return and post the answer to my own question. I think if everyone followed this protocol, it would help. What I see across forums (not just mysensors, but just about all forums everywhere) is people who post questions with a "Thanks in Advance" attitude, but who never bother to close the loop if they do find the answer. Or they never confirm whether or not someone's suggestion worked or didn't work. The result is that when searching for an answer, one has to search through a lot of posts which don't contain any useful answers. So, I would encourage everyone to return and post answers to their own questions, if no one else already has, because in all likelihood someone else will have the same question in the future. I think that one small change might make a huge difference.

  • Contest Winner

    It would be great to see some improvements added to MySensors lib. Like a good message Queue and stuff like that. Ways to get more state out of the lib so you can provide a bit more user feedback. Right now I have some of those in my own lib. When I have time I'll post some on this forum. So others might benefit.

    But I'm currently hooked up to modular synths. Learning a lot of analog technology. Which broadens my Arduino horizon.

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