Suggestion: Board for the presentation of own projects

Hi all,

I really enjoy reading in this community, and I check back every few days. But there is one thing I would really love to see here: Some kind of special category for the presentation of own openHAB projects, i. e. configuration, sitemaps, rules or even hardware solutions like custom interfaces, wall mounts etc.

The boards already cover questions and tutorials for “single problems”, but I’m pretty sure getting a glance into other’s whole projects, that are worth showing, would ignite some synergy effects. At least you can get some ideas or improvements for your own oH-setup. :slight_smile:


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Great shout there Norman.

If you search the forum you’ll find some stuff, but mostly you’ll find the information by accident. So a section just to present configs and the like would be very well received by me.



There is a “Tutorials and Examples” tag which is supposed to serve this purpose.

Very few people actually post their entire setups. There are a couple postings and there is a link to someone’s complete setup on the wiki.

You’re right. That seems to be the right place to post such things, but no one actually does. I think “Tutorials and Examples” implies, that this tag should be used to post specific solutions for just single problems. (“I make a tutorial about how I detect my phones!”) Have a look at the topics over there; it’s pretty specific.

What I would love to see is a way to get ideas of setups I would never been thinking of. I know the complete setup on the wiki you are referring to. And I found it highly interesting and got some ideas out of it which are now part of my own setup. These are things I wouldn’t start a thread for, because I just don’t have them in mind until I see them somewhere else.

And: I’m sure, that beginners can learn a lot from these setups as well.

I’m not sure, if a new subboard/tag is needed, but right now the “Tutorials and Examples” don’t cover this in an appropriate way. Maybe a more sharpened or wider definition of that section could help…?

It’s only a suggestion. If you think, the community doesn’t need any addition like that, then it’s fine. :slight_smile:

If you search around I think you will see several postings where people ask about what their setup is, how many Items they have, etc.

Most people come to the OH forums with a problem they want to solve rather than looking for problems to solve. Given that, having lots of separate and specific solutions is preferable because no one wants to have to wade through a big complex full configuration just to, for example, figure out how to configure their ZCOMBO zwave smoke alarm.

I think the support system and documentation that exists for OH assumes this sort of use case. If you are interested in openHAB you must be interested in home automation. If you are interested in home automation you must already have some idea of what you want to automate. And then you can start with the demo and using the wiki and examples here on the forum you can figure out how to solve each part of you desired HA configuration.

This may be my own personal perspective but I actually question somewhat the value of having users post their entire OH config files would be to new users. I think you will find that most users who have been doing OH for more than a few months will have a setup that involves hundreds of Items, more than one type of persistence, a host of helper programs and scripts, and relatively complicated rules with lots of undocumented and subtle interdependencies. In short, real and interesting OH config posted without lots and lots of supporting commentary will be too complex and difficult to follow for a newcomer to understand. And by the time you have the knowledge and experience to understand them you will no longer be a newcomer and need the full examples.

I still have another opinion about that. As stated above, it would be mostly interesting and instructive to study other’s configs. But I don’t need to repeat myself.

Too bad, but if no one except Maximo shares my thoughts about that, you can consider this request closed.

I actually agree Norman and have shared my full config in the past with the idea of others following suit, but no one really did. I find it very useful to see how and what others are automating, i find i get a lot of my ideas this way.

Perhaps you can start the ball rolling?

In my opinion the truth is some where between.

Indeed, it is helpful to get some examples from (experienced) users.

  • which items (devices, Information, …) are used by them
  • which is the potential for automating things (=> mostly rules AND scripts)

But, and there I’m on the way with @rlkoshak:
Who will understand these things within a file with hundreds of items, ten-thousands of lines of code,…?

I think, the idea of sharing the projects should not be on the perspective of posting the complete configuration files, but it would be helpful to get an overview with these three Points:

  • what kind of devices/functions are automated/updated => overview and ideas for others
  • which items and rules/scripts are used for it => information and guidance, similar to How-Tos
  • which technology/binding is used => specialities, not absolutely necessary for solving the Task

In my opinion, for Newcomers there are only two or three things important at the beginning:

  • naming scheme of items (not necessarily at the beginning with <10 items, but very useful for growing numbers of items without the need of renaming all items)
  • how to set up items and sitemap, related to presentation in the UserInterface (e.g. should the text be specified within the item or should this made within the sitemap?)
  • do little steps within openhab

The big, big, big task of home automation has many facets. So just break all the tasks down in very little steps and start integrating them to your system.
In the beginning, just try to communicate with your device. Get some information from it or give it a new state. When the item is correct, go on to get the rule working step by step (in the beginning just log the state in the rule) and see if the trigger is met.

But back to your idea:
I think it would be very interesting which parts of automation are done by other users.

I’m at the beginning with openhab. My house is partly equipped with LCN (home Automation System from german based Issendorff KG) for lightning, roller shutter, room temperature, window contacts and heater.
I use openHAB to integrate more sensors and information which is not within the LCN:

  • Getting the sunrise time or sunset time is much easier with openhab and the astro binding.
  • Getting the petrol price from the petrol stations close to my home (via
  • (planned) Getting the departure time of the tram stop close to my home
  • (planned) Getting the results of my son’s favourite football Club
  • (planned) Overview of the temperatures at the heating boiler with solar collector and hot water tank (using a small ESP8266 module with DS18B20 stainless steel sensors and MQTT)

Maybe this gives you a small overview…


OK here’s my take.

I’ve been using home automation technologies for about 10 years now, started off using a few x10 modules and a script to switch lights on and off. Expanding over time into using motion sensors and also adjusting the time lights switching on automaticly according to the Sunset time.

So I’ve used a good deal of different software solutions, both open source and none. Each time I change software I have to then had to learn everything once again. This means working out how to solve the same problem once again. For example, OH doesn’t have a built in function to allow you to know when Sunset or Sunrise is. You have to use a number of components to achieve this. For me when doing home automation this a very important piece of information and should be available directly. I still don’t have the right solution in place even though I have searched the forum to try and find one that works.

If there was a section dedicated to show casing setups and config files I may have found the right solution by now.

I also find that when you start looking at what other people of done, it gives you fresh ideas and therefore hopefully expands your solution.

I do agree that when you’ve spent a great deal of time building your solution to then publish the configs and to be expected to support them for other people to use can be a bit time consuming, however we are all using open source software here and the idea is to help others. Yes there is a fine balance but to just assume there is likely to be an overhead just because you’ve attempted to help others.

Let’s all work together and make not only OH a great software solution but a great community of people.



Some quick responses now. A more lengthy response to follow when I have more time.

There is a good and comprehensive thread on this topic here.

I don’t think there is a consensus on this. Personally I identify it in the Item. I see strong arguments either way and see no reason why one approach is fundamentally better than the other.

I’m not sure what you mean by this. If you mean show how to gradually build up a HA system bit by bit then I agree. OH 1 is sorely missing a user’s guide in English (apparently there is one in German). With OH 1 nearing end-of-support it really doesn’t make sense to write one for it now. One is planned for OH 2.

The Astro binding is the direct way to get sunrise and sunset times and/or events.

Here is how I use it and Time cron triggers to drive my time of day automation.

This is a sentence fragment but I think I understand the sentiment. I think you might be underestimating the amount of overhead that goes into posting your setup with the commentary to explain it in ways that are understandable to new comers. That post I linked to above took most of a day for me to write. A similar post also took around a day to write and comment. And you will notice that in both cases I’ve gone back to update them which has taken more time.

From this I would estimate it would take me a couple of man-weeks worth of effort to post my configuration with the same level of commentary and the post would run to many thousands of words. Personally, I think that time would be much better spent working on the OH 2 user’s guide (or maybe getting the documentation framework set up).

I’ll end with my usual comment. I’m not king around here. I’m often wrong. Nothing is stopping anyone from doing anything they see as helpful or useful.