Recommendation for Controller



  • I'm looking for a controller that hits as many of these points as possible. I know this is likely covered ad nauseam in this forum, but looking to see if anyone who has already gone before has any sage pointers.

    My key requirements are:

    • Free (as in beer) open source solution
    • Works with MySensors gateway "out of the box" (i.e. minimal fiddling or coding to wire the MySensors network to the controller)
    • Dynamic (picks up new nodes automatically)
    • Ideally written in Python.
    • Stable (I want to run more or less indefinitely without having to reboot all the time)
    • Runs on Raspberry Pi B+

    I don't have any other HA devices that I need to interface with yet, but I will likely be extending the the future, so connection with other popular HA devices is a plus.

    Thanks!


  • Admin

    There is a python controller called Home Assistance
    https://github.com/balloob/home-assistant

    The support for MySensors It is pretty new. I haven't even had time to add it to the main site.


  • Admin


  • Hero Member

    Haven't tried Home Assistant, didn't even know it had MySensors support until now, but it does look pretty damn cool. Perhaps the best looking controller of all. And it has really useful plugins like open-wrt/tomato and sabnzbd. Not sure how well mysensors works with the controller though, supported sensors, and automatic discovery.

    If you really need Python it is pretty much your only choice.

    Can't really recommend any Java or Node.js solutions. Except for PiDome. Your other safe bet is to try Domoticz.

    Regardless of what you choose you may want to install something like monit (example instructions) to make sure your controller software is running, otherwise restart the software and even automatically restart your Pi if the controller crashes too often or too quickly.



  • Thanks for the replies! I think Domoticz might be my next stop. I'll also check out monit, sounds great.

    I tried OpenHab, but found it too ponderous to set up (and I detest Java). Seems like a general solution to map MySensors serial comms to/from OpenHab APIs is necessary. Right now it seems like you have to manually set up everything yourself, which is a major bummer if you just want to hack together a new sensor, turn it on and start collecting data. I see that as the main draw of the MySensors platform -- I can put together a sensor node from parts lying around on my desk, turn it on, and boom... new node!

    I had very high hopes for Home Assistant (I agree it looks awesome, and Python is great). But it didn't fit the bill. Here's my mini-review:

    Pros:

    • Dirt simple setup (worked first time on my Ubuntu 14.04 machine)
    • Easy to understand configuration
    • MySensors plugin does auto-detect and add sensors as they come online
    • End-to-end stack seems well architected without becoming overly ponderous and obfuscated. Perfect for learning and hacking.

    Cons:

    • Not stable yet (although take that with a grain of salt; the MySensors plugin was only added to GitHub a few days ago)
      • I saw lots of Python exceptions, losing connection, etc.
      • For some reason that I cannot fathom, the controller wouldn't see any messages from my sensor nodes unless the sensor had a serial terminal attached (even though the messages were sent to the gateway over the rf24 radio link!) I'm seriously at a loss for what was going on there...
    • No way to rename sensors after they are added
    • If a sensor hasn't reported data since it logged in, then it won't show up in the GUI (no looking at history when nodes are down)
    • Router discovery services are neat, but require you to add your admin password in plain-text (so much for security...)
    • I couldn't figure out how to get a light switch actuator working (sensor doesn't show up in the GUI)

    So for now at least it looks like that is a non-starter for me. I see lots of potential for growth here, and I'll be looking into it again in a few months to see where things have gone, but for now it looks like more of an interesting toy than a production-ready solution.



  • @rickmontana83 I have been anxiously awaiting openHAB2 for several months now. It is supposed to solve most of your issues although still java but optimized for devices like raspberry pi. I believe ReleaseCandidate2 was scheduled in the next week. However that is all marketing at this point.

    To me openHAB seems to have the biggest user community and industry support which is why I have been waiting for openHAB2. I completely agree that asking new users to create sitemaps, xml files and download an eclipse app is just too much.

    I hope openHAB2 delivers.


  • Admin

    I've added presence detection to domoticz here, I have a script running on openwrt every minute checking if certain MAC addresses (our phones) is present in the ARP table, if so it calls a url on my domoticz flipping a "lightswitch" on, and if it's not present then flipping it off.


  • Hero Member

    I just added to domoticz a script that runs every minute, ping the phones/tablets and flicks the switch. domoticz is awsome....



  • After playing with it for a week or so, I can add my recomendationg for domoticz. It plays very well with mysensors. (On the RPi I run the latest binary beta on a stock-ish raspbian image. Seems pretty stable so far.) I suspect that the fact that the mysensors backend in domoticz is written in C++ makes it far easier to create a "deep" integration. Plus reading the mysensors plugin code is super simple if you are already delving into any of the mysensors innards, since they're just mirror images of one another.

    Which by the way reminds me: there's currently a bug in the domoticz plugin code whereby presentations from S_DIMMER sensors are ignored. So to get domoticz to see/add the sensor you have to send a value. Not a huge deal, but I had to dig into the code to find this, so thought I'd pass along the info. For anyone intereste, note that there is no S_DIMMER around http://sourceforge.net/p/domoticz/code/HEAD/tree/trunk/hardware/MySensorsBase.cpp#l1230

    I'm also a bit bummed no Wink support with domoticz. I'd love to be able to use some of the stuff that ecosystem opens up.


  • Hero Member

    domoticz is really cool. and any problem i had was solved really quickly. only bad thing i can say is the quality of apps that supports it on mobiles. not as slick as some of the other controllers. on the other hand, their web ui on mobile is terrific.


  • Hero Member

    ummmm did you try to open a bug tracker ticket? they usually fix it within 24h.



  • did you try to open a bug tracker ticket?

    And miss an opportunity to whine about it on an unrelated forum? Never!

    Okay, point taken. I should probably tell them about it. :-)


  • Hero Member

    @rickmontana83 don't get me wrong, I would do that as well!!! (whine in unrelated forum) :-)



  • Wow... you weren't kidding about the turnaround time. Fix will be going into next beta release. +1 for Domoticz...


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