Is OH2 right for me? (new home HA, wanting RFID access control)

Hi everyone, I’m fairly new at this home automation scene. I’d like to build up something that meets my geekness yet has the wife-approval-factor. :slight_smile:

I think the wildcard right now is the RFID access control. Would be nice to use electric strikes rather than a touchscreen motorized deadbolt for a cleaner look on the outside. NFC is out of the question as everyone else has iPhones, but they also have HID RFID card work credentials so an iClass reader would work well?

Thanks for any help!!

Here’s what I have existing:

  • Insteon light switches/dimmers on ISY 994 (use InsteonPLM binding?)
  • Insteon water leak sensor
  • Wink 1 hub (currently unused)
  • Philips hue 1 hub (currently unused)
  • Schlage Z-wave-enabled door lock (binding exists)
  • Chamberlain MyQ garage door Internet Gateway (use MyQ binding?)
  • Honeywell Vista 15p monitored alarm via cellular module (need to add Envisalink module)
  • IP security cameras using XProtect Essential software
  • Home server (VMWare ESXi) w/Sophos XG and Windows Server 2012 VMs

Wanting to add:

  • RFID with electric strikes on garage and side door (ideally all 3 doors)
    • Planned: HES 1006 strike for deadbolt locks, HID/Mifare reader on exterior doors
  • Washer/Dryer cycle finish alert
  • Touchscreen panel for monitoring home status

Should work with the Insteon binding

Probably don’t need unless you want to use it as a gateway to Zigbee or to use as your Zwave controller instead of buying your own. Can integrate using the MIOS binding.

Required if you get Hue Bulbs. I’m not sure if it can be used as a gateway to other devices. There is a Hue Binding for integration.

There is alpha level support in a separate branch of the zwave binding that is actively being worked. Alternatively, if you purchase a controller with a Zway license I believe it will work out of the box. Also, I think it will work if you pair it with your Wink Hub and interact with it using the Wink Hub as a gateway.

That is where I would start.

I know nothing of this device

I know nothing of this software. If it has a REST API or the ability to make REST API calls into OH then integration will be a snap.

For the record, there is a Zoneminder binding that I think is either merged or on the IoT Marketplace (i.e. you need to run the 2.1 snapshot, not the 2.0 release). There is also a generic IP camera binding but I don’t know what state it is in.

I’m currently migrating to ESXi. If you purchase a zwave dongle (or any other dongle) make sure to configure ESXi to use the older USB drivers or you will likely see timeout errors. Apparently, the new drivers still need some work. See this posting from @smar who was a tremendous help to me getting past some hurdles.

And while it is possible and well supported to run OH on Windows, I would say the vast majority of OH users are running on Debian based Linux (usually Raspbian or Ubuntu). As such the bulk of the postings you will find will reference those paths and configurations. This may not be a consideration for you but it is something to be aware of. Lots of people run on Windows too.

No experience on this nor have I read much on these forums. However, if you can attach it to a computer and interact with it through command line scripts or an API then it is likely OH can easily integrate with it.

There are a few ways to do this. One is DIY with a vibration and/noise sensor that reports the done status to OH. Another was nicely written up by @ThomDietrich on using the power draw to drive a state machine to determine what state the machine is in.

There are lots of UIs to choose from several of which are very well suited for tablet UIs. In particular HABpanel and Rotini (search the forum for Rotini) make good UIs. There is an experimental or alpha verison of Habmin I believe. And of course there are the plain old default Phone Apps.

Search the forum for tablet and you will find lots of threads discussing makes, models, mounting, etc.

In my experience, the best way to get a high waf is to make sure to build something does not require her to learn something complicated to do. Whatever you do must be as easy or easier to do through the automation than it is without. Having things just work without interaction tends to be the biggest wins. Any time the steps to do something starts with “get out your phone”, I’ve almost certainly lost the waf. But if the lights just know when to turn on, and if we want to override them all we have to do is flip the physical switch, that wins high waf.

If I were to put something on my doors, my first question would be “is getting out my work badge easier than what I already have to do”. The electric strikes may look better but if they are more awkward to use they may not be acceptable.

Personally, I have deadbolts with buttons to press for the code but the real win is that they automatically lock after 30 seconds. So we all know that as long as the door is closed (we have sensors for that) that the doors are locked. But if we did, that is easier than getting out a key. So from a usability perspective, they are a huge win. They just do the automation on their own (i.e. locking) and manually interacting with them is easier than the old way (getting out the keys).


Thanks for such a detailed reply! Lots to look and mull over.

Do your deadbolt locks have an IFTTT running on it? As in it won’t lock until the door is confirmed closed? That’s one of the reasons why I haven’t found auto-lock features on consumer electronic locks - they can’t tell if the door is closed. So the electric strike should alleviate that to a certain extent as some models have sensors to tell if the lock has re-latched.

I think you’ll have better success using the Isy binding which is available via the IOT marketplace. Disclaimer I wrote the Isy binding.

I find the insteon messaging much better to leave to the Isy. It has good support for scenes, ramp rate, and all those things. Also, you can keep your existing programs.

We don’t really care if they lock when the door is open. If and when I ever integrate them with OH I can write a rule to keep the deadbolt unlocked when the door is open, though probably wont. The fact that the dead bolt extends after 30 seconds is simply not an issue for us.

Given the behavior of the lock we know, and my home automation rules can infer, that if the door is closed for at least 30 seconds, the door is locked. If it is open, the door is unlocked. Unlocked is essentially the same state as open as far as we are concerned.

Note that IFTTT does not have to be involved. If it is integrated with OH you can write rules any way you want without IFTTT.

Beside of all techniques, let me give you some hints, experience and thoughts…

At first, let me know why RFID?
Maybe biometric pushes the WAF much higher.
Takes a look at eKey fingerprint Reader. I As far as I know, versions with RFID are available.

For security my OH installation has no write access to my doorbolt. It’s a autonomic system, which send status updates (unidirectional) to OH2.

At least, use motion and door sensors on all high frequency areas. Your wife will love it.

And never forget fail back scenarios!


I figured RFID because that’s what I’m familiar with. And at least buying used commercial-grade HID readers should make it quite reliable vs relative unknown stuff off eBay?

Plus with fingerprint, you still need a hand or finger free - not that great if you’re holding groceries, etc. I don’t like having stuff (ie. ID lanyards) hanging around my neck, so with the card in my wallet, I’ve actually learned to “hump” the reader at work to open the door. Handsfree. :slight_smile:

I plan to still carry a key, just doesn’t need to be handy.

Thanks @craigh for the heads up on an ISY binding! I also have an older Insteon 2242-222 hub as well - thought perhaps I could use that and sell the ISY as it would be a bit overkill if OH were to take over the brains.

You can certainly try the hub, just wait on selling the isy until you are happy with the system without it. If you use scenes with the Isy, I don’t think you can get anything you’ll find acceptable without it.

Thanks @craigh. Right now, I’ve replaced a wall switch with the 8-button keypad. It’s doing it’s job, so the ISY is idle at the moment. I’ll have to play around with OH2 first before selling one or the other.