At home / away?

  • Hello.
    I'm new to MySensors. I have a Z-Wave system (Homeseer), and would like to tell it that I'm away, and that I've returned.
    I researched RFID, and found a system that would do it (UHF, active transponder tag). I even found an inexpensive interrogator ($150).
    But, I'm wondering if MySensors would be better suited for this project. And, I have 4 other projects for my MySensor network, to augment my Z-Wave system.

    Has anyone tried this?

    Being new to MySensors, I think that the only way to accomplish this task would be for me to put a node in my car (powered when the car is running), and for the system to watch for the loss/reconnection of that node. Is that practical?

  • @michael_k Have you considered a phone link latching via bluetooth or similar? Unless you do not have a mobile phone of course.
    Fairly sure somebody very recently posted a piece where his electric car charger would only activate if he was getting close to home, how it was done I cannot recall....

  • Hardware Contributor

    @michael_k - I'm just using a geofence on our cell phones triggering a fake device in the controller.

  • Mod

    Other people are using BT Le tags or smart bands that get scanned for their Mac address

  • Admin

    I just use the wifi/lan, and check which mac addresses is connected.. If I see my phone on the wifi/lan, I must be at home..

    Depends on the capabilities of your router / AP's though..

  • Mod

    @tbowmo recent Android (and probably ios too) disables wifi when the phone is at rest for some time. You aren't able to distinguish between phone at rest and phone away...
    I had to give up this route...

  • Hardware Contributor

    @yveaux i use tasker and wifi change so when I connect/disconnect to my home wifi I send a command. Works great but I understand the difficulty with ping.

  • @sundberg84 if what @Yveaux says is correct, wouldn't the phone constantly connect and disconnect and trigger tasker?

  • Hardware Contributor

    @dbemowsk it doesn't... I don't know if there is a delay in tasker so the wifi comes online before. This works great for me.

    Edit; There is both "wifi near" and "wifi connected" in tasker and this might be the difference. In using "wifi near"

  • @sundberg84 I have tasker on my phone. I will have to try this. I had some issues on one of my previous phones so I didn't use tasker as much as I thought I would. I woner if it will work better on my Samsung Galaxy S8+. It would also be nice if I could get geofencing working too.

  • @zboblamont
    BT sounds good. But, I don't exactly want to use my phone's BT (would have to keep it on).
    Perhaps there's some kind of BT device I can put in my car (powered when running), and connect to something that can talk to my HA system.

    I don't really like the geofence method -- I rarely have location turned on.

    Actually, that's what I have now. Tasker watches for when my phone's wifi connects and disconnects from my LAN, and notifies my HA system (which has a Tasker plugin). But, as @Yveaux mentioned, it's not quite ideal.

    I think that Tasker knows the difference between 'wifi radio on/off' and 'connected/disconnected from and near/not near LAN'.

  • Would somesort of passive rfid tag attached to your keychain work?

    Edit - a quick google search for keyfinder came up with a variety of bluetooth/gps tags, some in bulk for under $2 USD. Probably come with an app, but that could likely be subverted into something mysensors compatible.

  • Admin

    I'm pretty sure that I can see new phones (both iPhone X and Samsung galaxy s9 devices) on my access point, even if they haven't been used for a while.

    But I haven't used the presence detection the last couple of years.

  • @wallyllama
    Passive RFID doesn't have the required range (a max of ~1 m?)

  • Well, I have an idea that might work!
    Attach this to an Arduino. (Note that there's also a UART version.) Then, all I need is a Bluetooth transponder beacon tag (which I'd leave in the car).
    Conveniently, I'd still need MySensors to implement this!

  • Admin


    That only detects if your car is there or not.. If you take your bike, or just walk to a bus stop, then it won't detect your presence 🙂

  • Mod

    So far the cheapest solution I found is using an esp32 that scans for nearby BT devices (look at the Andreas Spiess video on his channel) but I don't know if it will be compatible with mysensors

  • Mod

    @gohan said in At home / away?:

    scans for nearby BT devices

    But then you have to place quite a lot of receivers to cover your whole house, I assume?

  • I'm going to go a bit conceptual here, riffing on some ideas that I believe I got from @dbemowsk. A multi-pronged approach may be useful here, maybe bt for the car and bicycle, amount of time since any PIR device triggered, time of day, etc. Then using the "smarts" of a smarthome a reasonable estimate of home/away can be gained.

    I dont think an A.I. like the googazon has is required, but something smarter than a single node might be apropriate.

  • Mod

    @yveaux correct

  • You could interface the security alarm system to your controller - you only set the full alarm state when out of the house, no?

    Alternatively you could add an extra bolt on the door which you can only operate from inside and have that press a microswitch or break a light beam. You always have to undo that to leave so it will know when you are out.

    Another solution might be to have a a simple 2 button panel by the door with 'in' and 'out' on it - you simply press it as you leave or enter the building - that would be easy with mysensors and ofc you could replace the buttons with a rfid tag reader if you like. Maybe you ocould also have a place where you keep your keys that can sense if they are there or not - advantage with this is you always put your keys in that place and never loose them (in theory at least) 😉

  • @tbowmo said in At home / away?:


    That only detects if your car is there or not.. If you take your bike, or just walk to a bus stop, then it won't detect your presence 🙂

    That's not a problem for me (I rarely ride my bike, and there's nowhere close by to walk to). Also, I rarely go anywhere in someone else's car.
    But, for those instances, I figure that a simple solution would be a special event that I run from the HA app.

  • How about having several of these ble nodes around the house scanning for bluetooth of your cellphone and sending the rssi over mysensors to the controller. This way you can do a crude indoor positioning (witch node is closest, so phone is in that room). And if you leave the home (with cellphone) the controller can detect no node sees the phone anymore, so no presence is detected.

  • Mod

    there are some projects using esp32 to monitor presence of BLE devices.

  • I have been using this BLE method (python script) with Domoticz and a couple of raspberry pi zero W.

    One pi is near my driveway, and one on the other side of the house. I have an old Tile tag in one car and a Nut in the other. Both work fine for detecting when my cars leave and return. It also detects my Fitbit, an old one of the original type. I have that with me most of the time, so it acts like a tag for my presence.
    I haven't done much with it so far except to turn on the porch light when the cars pull into the driveway at night.

Log in to reply

Suggested Topics

  • 4
  • 2
  • 9
  • 274
  • 933
  • 14