WOW! THANK YOU clinophobic & rlkoshak!!
Apologies for taking so long to reply. I read your replies back when you originally wrote them, but I couldn’t find time to sit down and reply back. Since then I’ve learned a lot about what you both talked about. Thank you so much. Here’s what I’ve been up to since our last correspondence
clinophobic you’re right - I don’t have any mqtt equipment. And rlkoshak your well articulated response on mqtt (and everything else) was VERY helpful! I’ve since read up a lot on mqtt and what it is and what it does, etc. I read a lot on the HiveMQ website (and a little bit here and there on other spots around the web) about the mqtt protocol. HiveMQ had/have a great 12-part blog series that really explained in detail how mqtt works. I’ll be referencing that if/when I ever have the need for mqtt.
clinophobic you’re right the next logical step for me was/is to workout something to automate. I had tried and (gulp) failed to set up automation. After your response with the link to the other post I had renewed hope and tried again. Funny story here: I tried to automate something easy to start out with - I just wanted to see automation work, so I chose to automate my kitchen lights to ‘turn on’ at 1:30PM each day. So, 1:30PM rolls around…nothing. I edit the rule and change the time for a few minutes later and each time “the time” came around to turn on the lights…nothing! I edited the rule and got to a point where I was 100% confident the rule parameters were all correct and I was getting really frustrated, so after a couple hours of doing this I just stopped and left the rule alone (“turn on lights” at 3:30PM each day). So, everyday at or after 3:30PM I’d check the lights and they were always off. Argh! Well…on a random Saturday morning, I’m sitting at my dining table at 8:30AM and my kitchen lights turn on all by themselves! What? Why? And it donned on me that I was always having to turn the lights off between 8:30AM-9:00AM each day. What was happening is whatever clock/time Openhab is using is off by 7 hours! (The rule was set for 15:30, but the rule was working at 8:30AM!) Even though the time was off, I jumped out of my seat realizing automation was indeed working! The amount of JOY of seeing automation work was just AWESOME. I edited the time in the rule by adding 7 hours to the real time I wanted (i.e. if I wanted the rule to fire in real time at 8:45AM in the morning, I would set the time for the rule as 15:45) and got the lights to automate on every time I tested this. Awesome!
I have no idea where/what/how Openhab grabs the time? I do have OH set up for my timezone (I’m pretty sure correctly). I do have the astro binding installed, but it’s just a bunch of ‘items’ on my items page currently. If anyone can please aid/push me in the right direction about how to get the time correct, I sure would appreciate it. I would like to be able to put “8:30AM” in my rule instead of “15:30” for the rule to fire at 8:30AM, lol.
Another update (and good story) is I bought a z-wave outdoor plug recently because I want to automate my outdoor Christmas lights to turn on and off each day. Once the z-wave plug came, I was able to pair the plug and add it to OpenHab with relative ease! I couldn’t believe it. This process in the past has taken me a lot of time from start to finish and I got it working in 5-10 minutes! YES! I’m getting better. I realize now that this is a pretty easy thing to do in the grand scheme, but it’s a big win for me, lol. I also set up two rules for the Christmas lights (technically the z-wave plug) to “turn on” at 6:00PM and then (the second rule) to “turn off” at 12Midnight. (Again, I had to add 7 hours to the rules, so for example 6PM in the rule is set for 1:00AM). Even though the time thing is an issue I am ESTATIC to have something automated and have a real purpose! Like, REALLY ESTATIC! I enthusiastically watch the Christmas light come on all by themselves each night, lol. I know there are fancier ways to automate the Christmas lights (like turn on at dusk and stuff), but I’m just getting started and have to learn the fancier stuff.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed my story or success and shortcomings, lol.
The next thing I’d like to add are IP cameras to set up around the house (inside the house, not outside the house). I’ve read A LOT on the OH forums about IP cameras and holy moly there is a lot of info. One thing I haven’t ever been able to find is a good answer to “what IP cameras to buy”. I know this is a doozy of a question (based on so many forum posts and opinions on the subject, lol), but is there any kind of brand(s) of IP Camera(s) that are “universally accepted” by the OH community? Any go-to IP cameras that are easy to set up with OH? Thanks so much. If anyone is able to push me in the right direction here as well I sure would appreciate it. I’ve started here (IP Camera - Bindings | openHAB) and here (IpCamera: New IP Camera Binding) and have read LOTS of forum posts. I just want to get a good head start before buying some cameras and then realize they’re going to be too much of a pain to set up in OH and learn after the fact that there are other IP cameras that are simpler to set up in OH (maybe all IP cameras set up the same in OH, but it doesn’t seem like it based on hundreds of forum posts, lol).