Flying below the clouds

Much like openHAB? :smiley:

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Uhhh… No.
openHAB was: “Get as much stuff integrated to one system as possible, here’s the list of working devices (well, techniques…).”
Several years later there is a rumor “But openHAB should also do this and that, but in a totally different way as today, by the way, software xy is far better than software ab, let’s try this…!”
And that’s where we are now :wink:


At least with OH you can talk to a volunteer developer who will either fix something immediately, tell you when they think it’ll be fixed, or tell you that it won’t be fixed. :wink:

@auzick I think you’ve probably sensed and embraced this already, but if you’re up for open-minded discussion then this is a great community. I personally feel that there’s more respect for people having unique needs/wants here than in other corners of the Internet, as evidenced by our wide-ranging opinions on cloud control.

Thanks for the thoughtful response, @rlkoshak (and many others, now that I read back to comments that have been added since I started typing this!). I am indeed finding myself in that empty spot in the venn diagram. It’s pretty lonely in here, so I suppose I’ll have to start wandering around a bit, even if it means making compromises. This is a relatively new endeavor for me (not new to HA, or new to programming, but new home and new technology), so I was starting with “what does this look like in a perfect world?”. I appreciate all the thoughtful discussion helping me understand where the rockier paths are.

I’m not an internet privacy alarmist; quite the contrary, my work centers around digital marketing technology. For me, this is more about security and reliability than privacy.

Although my work has of late drifted away from hands-on coding, I still like to code – especially against api’s – and I do a lot of hobby projects. I recently dropped a guthub repo that helps bridge between openHAB and UniFi CloudKey cameras, though admittedly not in the most elegant way.

I appreciate your practical posture. Clearly, my criteria puts me in a pretty small market. But I don’t think the data/control angle is as small a factor as you implied. Data is money. Google may be unique in this regard, but I think in their case the data is the top motivator. They could easily provide a good API — in fact, they’re going to extra effort to obfuscate their APIs — but the data and market control are just too valuable to them. It’s not evil; their profit motive is legitimate. And for the most part I’m not worried about them gathering data. I am however annoyed that they gather my data and don’t share it with me, and that they allow their desire for the data to get in the way of building more accessible/secure/reliable products. They could have both.

I think the current trend will ultimately have a chilling effect on HA. In the short term these “cloud-first, remote control” solutions are lowering the entry friction for the “grandmas” and others who just want to see who rang their doobell, or just want to turn on their driveway light, or just want to lock their door, or just want to see if the dryer is still running without getting off the sofa. But over time, when people have to have a whole page of their phone’s launcher populated with a different app for each one, and they realize they can’t just “click” to have the doorbell turn on the porch light, they’re going to get disillusioned with all this “stupid smarthome crap”. It went like this in the smart tv market. Every player did their own thing to try to own the viewer, instead of being an indispensable part of a holistic viewer experience. It has taken years to get a unfragmented experience, and we’re still not there.

Anyway, I appreciate the nuanced view on all this. Although I’ve been an avid HA guy in the past (I had an older home completely automated with X10 and HomeSeer), I’ve been away for a while. I’m now at the beginning of a new journey into HA that I hoped would be a more modern and exciting. This conversation has helped me understand what the lay of the land is, at least.

Thanks again everybody … clearly @rpwong is right … at the very least, where’s a great community here.

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On a related note … as some have mentioned, there are often builds and addons that are in a pre-release state. Not being a linux/java kinda guy, I really don’t have the skills to use them in the way that seems to be assumed in all the posts. Is there a guide to how to use the “things” I see referenced on github, preferably using small words and enough pictures so the even a .net guy can understand? Thanks!

It’s simple enough really.

  1. Download the jar file
  2. Save the jar file to your OH add-ons folder (/usr/share/openhab2/addons if using an installed OH on Linux)
  3. Make sure the openhab user has permission to read the jar file.

That’s it. OH will see the file and install it automatically. All the rest of the details will be in the documentation from wherever you got the jar file from in the first place.

5 posts were split to a new topic: openHAB(ian) and Internet

Coming back to the well here…

@rlkoshak rightly pointed out that I’m out of luck trying to find a thermostat that’s …

  • affordable
  • works with openHAB
  • doesn’t require batteries
  • doesn’t require a cloud service
  • looks good

Let’s say I’m willing to compromise on a couple of those things (e.g. willing to rely on a cloud service). Please look at this list and comment, and by all means, make other suggestions!

Ecobee 4 or Ecobee 3 light
Should I be concerned that the binding docs are tagged “v1” when I’m on OH2?

Honeywell T6
Maybe doesn’t require a cloud service? It’s pretty cheap. A bit of googling indicated people have had trouble with this on OH.

Emerson Sensi
Looks like I’ll have to get a Wink hub … which I’m not opposed to, but feels like I’m getting into a new set of things to troubleshoot?

Looks to be compatible, but not all that popular? Why?

Radio Control CT32 (seems hard to find, maybe CT50)?
Fugly, but cheap. Anyone know if CT50 is friendly with OH2?

Honeywell Home RTH9585WF1004
This looks like a great thermostat, but doesn’t look promising for OH integration. It apparently can be accessed via a cloud API, and it looks to be supported by Wink. Can anyone give me any hope on OH support?

Honeywell makes a T6 Pro Z-Wave thermostat now, but I don’t know how widely available it is.

Depending on how you feel about the design, it might tick all of the boxes. It would just need to be added to our Z-Wave database, which is relatively easy to do.

Is this not it?

we (ProKNX) have chosen another path to ensure the Privacy.
To start with we’re moving away from the cloud services, it’s true their devices are tempting - super low price and they are powerful. But after getting ads in Arabic (I don’t know a single word Arabic) on my mobile while watching an Arabic movie, I disconnected them. My privacy is not for sale.

I know you guys are into DIY so I’m not going to try to sell my products to you.

We’re lucky to have Snips (now SONOS) voice control engine on our devices. It works really well. even better and faster than the online devices. And its saves a lot of energy, See this post

For the Remote Control, we have chosen to use Telegram Chatbot with Snips. So you basically either type the command or use the built-in STT keyboard. The Telegram connection is I assume safe (correct?)

I know that Snips is closed for you now, but maybe you can do the same with Rhaspy Voice?
Best Jens

Sorry, I meant to add “if it’s not already there”.

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For the thermostat, I am using the Plugwise Anna now since a while. Supports both cloud service and local API.
There is a binding for the Plugwise devices including heating, but than you would need the ‘Adam’ and a ‘Lisa’ instead of the ‘Anna’. Although I believe the Anna as stand alone should also work with Openhab, but didn’t found the time to work on yet.
Here a link

That is quite the naming convention they’ve got going on. As a communications professional, I can’t say I’d recommend it for product recognition or clarity.

“I need one Anna, one Adam, four Lisas, six Toms, and one Adam HA.”

Nice-looking devices, though.


Hi Andy,
My OH setup doesn’t use cloud services. It controls lights, heating, electric towel rails, sound system.
I use:
SONOS wifi switches flashed with Tasmota; talking MQTT
Tuya wifi plugs with the security details stolen via Man-in-the-middle attack controlled directly from OH
Thermostats are Home grown. Colour touch screen, wifi talking MQTT and match all your other criteria (cheap, attractive, OH compatible, etc).
Internet access is via the OH app and is password protected. I open up a password protected port in my firewall.
I do use Google Home for voice commands but that just triggers a webhook to a specific URL on my OH server (also password protected by my firewall.
So if the internet is down, all I loose is voice control.
So overall, yes OH can easily run without cloud interaction; but it does take tinkering; and the thermostat has been the biggest effort.
The thermostats I use are based on 4D Systems IOD module which includes the LCD, touch screen and ESP8266 controller. So the only thing to add is the temp sensor (DS18B20 - onewire). Put it in a box. Add a little bit of code. The thermostat then talks MQTT and integrates with OH


After investigating several HA solutions, some months ago I decided to use OH.
Main reason: with its KNX-binding it connects easy and stable to my KNX installation. This controls blinds, lights and awnings for a part of our since more than 20 years now. The main controller there is a KNX weather station with included logic and year/week/day-timer functions.
The OH system actually allows visualization of the status, manually control of all actuators and maintaining several manual/auto controls.

For the controlling of our heating system, I installed a Honeywell Evohome with touch controller, some radiator thermostats and some room thermostats. This works excellent for more than five years now.

The idea is now, to connect the Evohome system also to OH to use the additional flexibility of OH to influence the heating of our winter garden depending on the weather forecast and forecast of outside temperature, because during October/November and February/March/April heating for this room drastically can be reduced – if the sun comes out in the morning!
I successfully added the darksky-binding to OH for this. It works pretty good.

Now I stuck at exactly that point where Andy opened this post!

There is a OH-binding for Evohome - but it uses the cloud service to connect.
Since I totally agree witch Andy’s description in the beginning of this post, I don’t like to use this cloud connection.

During the investigation of HA systems, I saw several solutions where a Honeywell HGI80 Interface is used to connect locally to the HA-system (e.g. Domoticz, Home-Assistent). There are also some projects on GitHub for this.

Are there activities to add this also to openHAB?

@JosefLe I think you’d be better off starting a new post. Not to say that it isn’t relevant to this discussion, but that a new thread specific to Honeywell Evohome without the cloud service might attract more attention from folks interested in the same thing.

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Hi Russ, I understand and will start a new post with that Evohome topic.

But still like to add to this post, that I think it’s important for the further success of OH, to have as much bindings communicating locally as possible. Not only because of privacy, but because of stability, when Internet connection is down.

I still see OH as a perfect solution to integrate those diverse solutions on the market to an excellent home automation. The main advantage I see in the possibility, to pick the “best of” hardware from the market, independent from manufacturer’s limitations.

But the vendors, such as Evohome are doing as much as possible to keep you in their cloud based walled garden. Perhaps you need to consider something Z-Wave based, for instance, which ises a standard designed for local control.

when you are voluntarily using device which is locked to vendor’s cloud, you made your decision (wrong one) of using this product.

Most of the items are based on same chipset and therefore there is always a way how to flash it with custom firmware which will be doing what you can control.
Yes it’s not for every regular Joe, but it is solvable.

I can’t imagine why one would like to use this kind of product which is in control of whomever it can be in own house … that’s like giving anyone direct access to your privacy.