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Don't throw away your devices

Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:50 pm
by Compan
We have developed hub software to control AlertMe devices. It handles motion sensors, door / window sensors, alarm detectors, key fobs, buttons, smart plugs, smart meter, power clamp, and Mathmos & Beacon lamps. It also handles the Hive Mk1 thermostat and receiver.

We are using the Raspberry Pi with an xBee module for the hub hardware. The App runs locally on the hub and connects directly via local WiFi to a smart phone or other device. No internet connection needed, but an internet connection can be used as an option for remote control, and for Alexa, etc.

For the more technically minded, we have written the hub software in a .Net language in its entirety, from device frame / cluster / end point level up to and including the App / UI.

This is part of a larger project to be able to handle many manufacturers’ in the same way, including both ZigBee and Z-Wave. To date, we have been able to handle over 40 different devices from more than 20 different manufacturers.

How many people might be interested in breathing life back into their AlertMe system in this way?

Re: Don't throw away your devices

Posted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:58 am
by roobarb!
Sounds very interesting to me! A unified way to control multiple home automation systems from an open source Hub would be a very worthwhile project, as so many of these platforms are abandoned by their original manufacturers, leaving users either with totally useless hardware, or with gear that can no longer be remote controlled.

If you've got a project page somewhere, please point us towards it!

Re: Don't throw away your devices

Posted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:57 pm
by Compan
You’re summary is correct. I would also emphasise that the hub software includes a web server, on which we run a local Web App. The user just needs a smart phone, or any other device with a web browser, which connects by WiFi to the hub, so there’s no need for an internet connection.

As well as catering for legacy devices, such as AlertMe, we’re aiming to exploit the increasing abundance of smaller, cheaper, and better devices that are becoming available. To give you some measure of the ease with which it can be extended to more devices, someone kindly lent us their AlertMe devices on March 3rd, last week, and the system already handles all of them.

We don’t really view it as a home automation system, but rather a fully programmable control system, which happens to use these low power RF devices. Its application should then be limited only by people’s ingenuity in designing their systems, rather than trying to impose any preconceived concept of how it should be used.

We’re not at that stage of being able to release anything more yet, but our thinking is to release it in stages, with the first being a Beta version for AlertMe devices within the next month or so.

I will keep you informed of progress.

Re: Don't throw away your devices

Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:16 pm
by roobarb!
Sounds fantastic. If you're abstracting the server code from the devices, it should be relatively straightforward to add devices from multiple manufacturers like 'plugins' to the main system.

Excited to see what you come up with!