Fewer home automation postings? What's behind it?


  • Hero Member

    Anyone else notice what seems like a significant decline in new postings on various home automation internet forums? I mean: mysensors, lowpowerlab, cocoontech, .... The rate of new postings seems much less than in prior years. Is that because people have found other solutions elsewhere, or interest has declined, or almost everything that can be said has already been said, or people are frustrated and given up, or.....? I had thought that with all the hype surrounding internet of things, there would have been an increase in postings, not a decline. Any theories?


  • Mod

    @NeverDie do you have any data to back that up? I don't see anything like that in the MySensors forum.

    My theory is that it's your own imagination 😉

    The brain is very good at verifying our beliefs and discarding information that doesn't support our beliefs. See RAS for example.


  • Hardware Contributor

    and perhaps, people are busy tinkering their HA for voice assistant, or hw etc. like me, but maybe it's my imagination 😄


  • Hardware Contributor

    Everyone is busy reading your NRF5 thread @NeverDie 😄


  • Hero Member

    @mfalkvidd said in Fewer home automation postings? What's behind it?:

    @NeverDie do you have any data to back that up? I don't see anything like that in the MySensors forum.

    My theory is that it's your own imagination 😉

    The brain is very good at verifying our beliefs and discarding information that doesn't support our beliefs. See RAS for example.

    No data. Where would I find it? I'm sure the website has analytics that I can't see. Maybe you have access to it? Anyway, since I don't have hard data, that's why I began by asking if others had the same impression.

    However, your theory cuts both ways: maybe it has declined, but your RAS has convinced you it hasn't.


  • Mod

    @NeverDie I thought you had counted number of posts or something like that.
    The forum built-in statistics is very limited and doesn't give anything that's conclusive.
    I checked google analytics, but nothing conclusive there either.
    I tried searching the MySensors forum for common words like "the" and "mysensors" in the advanced search, limiting the search for posts in the last 3 and 6 months and looking at the number of hits, but that gave nothing conclusive.
    Google trends for MySensors show a peak at end of 2016 and the current level is down from then, and slightly down from a year ago. Home automation looks pretty flat to me, but maybe a small decline.



  • I don't know anything about numbers but can speak for myself: Since I got almost everything possible and useful set up, there is not so much left to discuss.


  • Hardware Contributor

    Idk if the theory is true but for me it definitly is. The reason for me is that I build everything that I could (easily) build for now. Also I think there is currently a big shift in home automation from different (not interoperable) systems to voice assistant based systems that finally interconnect different systems. So the "normal" user doesn't need to build as much by himself anymore. Even prices go down (although it's still much cheaper to build stuff by yourself).

    Would be interesting to see some number on this though. Also there is a thing called "hype cycle" perhaps IoT in general just hit another phase?



  • @NeverDie said in Fewer home automation postings? What's behind it?:

    The rate of new postings seems much less than in prior years

    Similar topic on another forum I hang out in.

    https://forums.ghielectronics.com/t/wow-this-place-has-become-quiet/20847


  • Hero Member

    Dean Roddey also observed a decline, and he had a plausible explanation for it: http://cocoontech.com/forums/topic/30720-fewer-home-automation-postings-whats-behind-it/?p=258683


  • Mod

    It could very well be, but I noticed that also Domoticz forum is not "busy". I noticed a general lack of high-end topics more than other things.



  • I think it would be good to track users posts and then see when they stop posting to the forum.

    From my personal experience, it will be failure and frustration that gets people down. They arrive at this site and it all looks really good.....until you come to try it and then you discover a whole nets of vipers just waiting.

    I have hit brick walls in the past and given up to concentrate on project with a higher chance of success. I still come back and ech time get stuck again.

    Most recently I wanted a temp sensor that sent temp every 2 mins and battery level every 1/2 hour. It didn't work and none of the helpful suggestions could make it work. So it's all sat there disconnected until I see a solution to the problem.

    I also use MyController and have issuse with suddenly loosing all sensors except those internal to the pi. The MYSGW still gets data. At the moment I have nrf attached directly to the pi. The MyC team suggest adding an arduino and running it differently to solve the issue.

    What would be aHuge improvement would be a traffic light system where each of the 'build' pages shows if it all works as expected under the current releases.
    Green = all working as it should, Amber = minor problems but OK for most and Red = Stop, don't even bother just yet.

    Just my experience/


  • Hero Member

    @skywatch said in Fewer home automation postings? What's behind it?:

    I think it would be good to track users posts and then see when they stop posting to the forum.

    From my personal experience, it will be failure and frustration that gets people down. They arrive at this site and it all looks really good.....until you come to try it and then you discover a whole nets of vipers just waiting.

    I have hit brick walls in the past and given up to concentrate on project with a higher chance of success. I still come back and ech time get stuck again.

    Most recently I wanted a temp sensor that sent temp every 2 mins and battery level every 1/2 hour. It didn't work and none of the helpful suggestions could make it work. So it's all sat there disconnected until I see a solution to the problem.

    I also use MyController and have issuse with suddenly loosing all sensors except those internal to the pi. The MYSGW still gets data. At the moment I have nrf attached directly to the pi. The MyC team suggest adding an arduino and running it differently to solve the issue.

    What would be aHuge improvement would be a traffic light system where each of the 'build' pages shows if it all works as expected under the current releases.
    Green = all working as it should, Amber = minor problems but OK for most and Red = Stop, don't even bother just yet.

    Just my experience/

    These are good suggestions. I think also that standardizing on one set of stackable shields (like @nca78 has) would be a good way to build reliability and for beginners to avoid frustration. Once you have something working, it's easier to branch out from there than it is to start from scratch with seemingly nothing working. Just generally true, not specific to mysensors.


  • Mod

    I agree on the general idea the problem I see is that there will be a lot of custom solutions that would not fit for the shields: like the wemos shields they are easy to use but build volume is huge.


  • Hero Member

    @gohan said in Fewer home automation postings? What's behind it?:

    I agree on the general idea the problem I see is that there will be a lot of custom solutions that would not fit for the shields: like the wemos shields they are easy to use but build volume is huge.

    It doesn't have to be all or nothing. @Nca78 's collection is a pretty good starter kit. It also makes the wiring a "no brainer" because it's all done for you on the PCB's. Like I say, if you want to branch out from there, you can, but with the benefit of starting with a beginner platform that's already vetted and working.



  • @NeverDie I would tend to suspect there is already a treasure trove in all the fora for folks to dig into, which saves answering repetitive questions, hence reduced postings....


  • Hero Member

    @zboblamont said in Fewer home automation postings? What's behind it?:

    @NeverDie I would tend to suspect there is already a treasure trove in all the fora for folks to dig into, which saves answering repetitive questions, hence reduced postings....

    If that's the case why is skywatch having so much trouble?


  • Hardware Contributor

    I have to agree with @skywatch and a few others here, MySensors is relatively easy to start with using the documentation, you wire your pro mini & radio for gateway and sensor and you're running your first sensor in no time.
    But as soon as you want to make things a bit more advanced, you face a lot of challenges that the doc on the website and suggested components make harder to solve :

    • PA/LNA radio that fail, need wrapping in foil to have decent performance etc etc I'm pretty sure this is the most frequent cause of failure for MySensors network.
    • examples with DHT sensors that are not convenient for battery usage => use of step up converters that create a whole set of new problems and unreliability
    • PIR example with SR501 that runs at 5V so you need to alter them to run at lower voltage (3.3V) that's still not so convenient and they become unstable (triggered by radio tx/rx)

    I'll make a list of suggestions to improve the docs, it will probably include writing a few more examples also, and some tutorials for a few things that are easy in fact easy to do but can seem hard from the outside like flashing bootloader on a pro mini or OTA update.

    Currently I have restarted to test my NModule "shields", I will improve and/or fix them and probably convert the most useful ones to MySX Connector.



  • @NeverDie I was answering the original post on potential reasons, not addressing specific complaints.

    Whatever improvements can be brought to the forum will be undoubtedly be welcomed, but as a beginner on this hobby I have fumbled my way around and gleaned considerable help getting started just searching on the site. I would hazard a guess that many others are floating around without taking part in discussions.... It's not as if folks aren't generally friendly and helpful...



  • I agree that frustration must be the cause of people leaving. One must know to filter and decipher the info in the forums, as initial (obsolete) recommendations on using step up converters and builds are there, for example. Old people accomplished things, and stepped the next level, but the library and tools evolved so the way of making things also changed.
    And documentation does not help at all.

    @Nca78 in fact, didn't know anything about wrapping the antenna!?
    Still don't know if it is failing. And It's using a step... Down converter. 😅


 

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