[Collection thread] Cheap sensors, bulbs and other Home Automation Components

interesting.regarding PoKeys57E and 1wire

I am looking for a good platform for 1Wire. both for temperature and for pulse counters.

How long wires do you have from the PoKeys57E to tempsensors?

Do you parrallell connect the tempsensors or are there 3 dozen interface where one can connect 1 wire sensors?

do you read the temperatures via OpenHab or something else?

have you tried pulsecounter connected to PoKeys57E ?

Some are hundred feet or so, I parallel some of them, but used a dedicated board with 55 1-wire interfaces for most of them. If I were you and had that many I would put a sensor on each pin rather then trying to build a large 1-wire network.

OpenHab reads the actual 1-wire sensor and exposes it via HTTM and modbus. As far as pulse counter, yes, I use one right now for my water meter.

Ok very interestiing - just so I understand correctly

Do you use the PoKeys57E as your "dedicated board with 55 1-wire interfaces "?

have you connected the pulse counter directly to the PoKeys57E ?
Do you read that via OpenHab simliar to 1 wire?
And save data to some database I guess?

Which inputs (digital/analog) on the PoKeys57E do you use for the 1wire and for the pulse counter?
are you using the 55 digital inputs or the analog inputs for pulse counter?

I am curious on how many pulse counters one can have on the PoKeys57E. If one have to use analog input then I guess it is 7 otherwise it would be all the 55 digital and then maybe it is more about how many pulse counters the board can manage without missing a pulse.

When using as pulse counter - can you save date and time with the latest counted pulse?

I have built an Arduino Gateway, 9 Arduino end nodes, connecting to a Windows 7 PC running OpenHAB 1.7.0 via MQTT. Gateway & end nodes connect via RFM69 wireless transceiver mini-boards. Most Nodes have a DHT11 temp/humidity sensor. Several nodes have solid state relays that can turn AC devices off & on via a node button, OpenHAB user interface switches or OpenHAB rules. Other node functions: open / close garage door & detect open / close state, Turn TV off / on. One node is a bare bones Arduino that can be powered by batteries. I developed rules to simulate home occupation thru toggling lights & TV off & on .

I’m gradually documenting my builds at http://homeautomation.proboards.com, especially http://homeautomation.proboards.com/thread/62/success-home-automation-arduinos-rfm69s

Other helpful posts & conversations on using Arduino compatibles with OpenHAB are at that site.

If one has not already, I particularly recommend downloading what’s often mentioned or assumed at the site: https://github.com/computourist/RFM69-MQTT-client/archive/master.zip, especially Gateway 2.2, documentation with Gateway 2.1, & DHT end node

1 Like

papabrenta - what is the average battery life of your battery-powered arduino node? is it also RFM69-based?

I have many PoKeys57E boards in my house, so I have one dedicated just for 1-wire.

ok do you use the PoKeys57E also for pulse counting?

I do, one for my water meter, works great.

I’m using a Fibaro zWave FGK-101 door/window contact together with a cheap sensor board. The Fibaro has a dry binary input and also allows for attaching a OneWire temperature sensor.
There’s a number of sensors available on eBay for as cheap as ~2€ (or US$) to detect water, light, moisture, distance, sound, … search for Arduino and ‘YL-38’.

The trick is to use the FGK’s output connector that is meant to power the OneWire sensor to actually power your YL-38 sensor board. You get 3.6V from the FGK battery which is just fine to run the board (it’s spec’ed to run @ 3.3 - 5V).

This combination gives you the freedom to place the sensor anywhere (e.g. in the garden).
Be aware, though, that this works for transmitting binary values only, and that you will eat battery if you’re transmitting too often.
The YL-38 boards have a digital and an analogue output, and they all include a potentiometer, so you can tweak the threshold when to trigger the binary output, but of course you cannot get analogue measurements that way.

If you want analogue values, you can use the Fibaro FGRGBW device. You need to attach it to a 12 or 24 VDC supply, and you eventually need to separately power the sensor (or add a voltage converter). The device has 4 input lines that you can configure to be able to connect 0-10V sensors to. There’s quite a number of those available, and of course the aforementioned YL-38 board based sensors can be connected, too. Note the trick to get it to work is that for each input you want to use, you need to configure an own association group (to include your controller) in addition to the ‘standard’ association.


Maybe it possible to transmit analog values over 1-wire in binary format to Fibaro? It should be probably easier, than analog. In worst case - if fibaro allows multiple binary inputs from 1-wire - you could code one bit in one channel - 8 channels-8-bit resolution analog value.

You can obviously attach any 1-wire sensor like a DS18B20 temperature sensor, but that one is about the only cheap 1-wire sensor I have seen. For anything else you need to have a non 1-wire sensor speak 1-wire, so you would need to have some A-to-D-to-1-wire protocol conversion electronics, but then we’re getting off scope (note the thread title indicates it’s about cheap solutions)

For thermostats und door/window sensors, I’m using the eQ-3 MAX! series.
I recently paid about €27 per thermostat and €19 per window sensor.
That’s about half of what a similar zWave device costs (at least).
You need the MAX! cube and use the OH maxcube binding. A cube is €50, but if you get a starter kit, it’s for free, you can get 1 cube + 2 thermostats + 1 sensor for about 70€.

Yes, the battery powered unit also uses an RFM69HC wireless transceiver mini-board

Sorry, I’m still figuring out this interface.

I’ve been working on a Multi-Choice End Node that can be powered by battery. One of the options is to sleep the microprocessor & wireless radio & then wake briefly to send data. It’s a bare bones Arduino built on a circuit board & uses a RFM69HW wireless radio. So far sensors can be DHT11, a push button, PIR, & DS18 (I have not tested the latter two, but the original creator of what I adapted reported that the PIR worked fine.) Other functions like reed switch could & will probably be added. Battery life: one version using a 3.3 volt regulator (4 AA battery pack) & sleeping 64 seconds between data sends used an average of less than .01 volts every 24 hours. I just started using the node with 2 AA batteries directly connected with the power rails. Come take a look at http://homeautomation.proboards.com/thread/90/battery-sipping-dht-node-computourist

Hi, I was reading your message,

and noticed you are using the Raspberry PI and Z-wave.

and you have this working?

this say there is a bug with Pi’s and Z-wave :frowning:

Known Issues

There seems to be an issue with the binding running on the latest oracle VM Beta, on ARM based architectures (e.g. raspberry PI). It manifests itself as messages being received multiple times and causes considerable problems with the operation of the binding. In large networks, the queue can get extremely long, which can delay initialisation considerably and cause potentially long delays in sending messages. Some time has been spent investigating this issue and a solution has not been found - the issue doesn’t appear to be with the binding itself as the problem doesn’t manifest itself on an other platform. If anyone with the hardware and programming experience can help with this it would be useful (add information to https://github.com/openhab/openhab/issues/1564).

It put me off using PI. but if you have working then great!

I’m running openhab 1.8 on RPI with a zwave gen5 USB stick and haven’t had issues.

After searching for quite long, I’ve just found & successfully implemented a cheap air quality sensor to monitor indoor air quality and thought I share this news because there might be others looking for one.
This one is $25 (they’re usually 100+ $). It’s a USB stick that you can connect to a RPi or other Linux system, see installation instructions here and use exec binding to query it from openHAB.
It’s also being resold under various brands (I actually ordered this one).

Just wanted to mention I have configured a great set up here. I grabbed myself a Wink Hub cheap from Home Depot. You can still root them using the ‘shorting nand’ method, regardless of the firmware on it.
With it rooted, I can now use aprontest to configure zigbee, zwave, etc., all from one device and not in the cloud.
I configured the server side to send an OS command called ‘wink’ which essentially is an ssh wrapper that sends a command to the wink hub to turn lights on and off, etc. Been working great for a couple of months now and I have transferred all of my zwave stuff to it rather then a USB zwave controller I have.
I have noticed all over the web there was a lot of momentum with this device but faded away fast and I’m not really sure why. Still a very useful device and for the price of a USB zwave controller you can have zigbee, zwave, kidde and lutron.
Anyone know something I don’t?
My next steps are to develop some sort of wrapper or web service on the device to allow querying of statuses - which it doesn’t do right now. That can be a bit bothersome if you manually turn things on/off but generally not an issue for me.


I have developed a wireless, reliable, quick and retrofittable way using teensy, xbee and RPi (OH1.8). In India, one usually have 8 switches per room (in one switchboard) so my each room is prepared under $70.

For fun, in OH I have programmed "HORROR SHOW <room or floor or even home>" Voice command which randomly switch ON/OFF room’s all lights and fans. :imp:

1 Like

For temperature and humidity in the house as well as outside I am using Technoline TX 29-IT.
They are about 10€ and you need a CUL from JeeLink for about 30€.
Getting all into openhab2 is very easy by using the openhab2 binding

Best regards,

1 Like