Use of RollerShutter or contact on anel HUT

I’m using an anel HUT. (and using the openhab binding for it)

I’m able to configure it now (on openhab2, yet I think it’s the same in Openhab1) to link Switches to both relays and the IO.

I would also like to use the hut to link a Roller shutter and a magnet contact . (two different things, with for different purposes, I ask it in one post as the question is about the binding that does not allow both)

I have a magnet contact, that I tried and it works if I configure it as a Switch. (in the items file)

As Openhab seems to recognize the concept of a contact, I wanted to use that, yet it seems that the implementation does not allow that. (I get a remark that it should be of type Switch/String/NumberItems (which would mean that roller shutters are not an option either.)

Is there a problem to use a contact? Or was this option never considered?

Sorry to say but it’s somewhat unclear what you are talking about… seems either you have not understood the concept, or you explained badly.
A “switch” item obviously is a virtual thing to represent a physical switch actuator (meaning you can send commands from either GUI or rules which results in electrical switching of some sort) and a “contact” item is just that, the virtual representation of a contact sensor (meaning you can NOT send any commands because the device cannot execute anything).
Assuming the “anel HUT” (whatever that is, don’t expect us to know …) has multiple IN or OUT pins, there will no item to control the complete hut, but you need to setup one item per control pin. The OUT pin that you attach your roller shutter to should be configuread to be a “switch” and the other, IN pin where your magnet is connected needs to be specified as “contact”. Note you could configure the magnet pin to be a “switch” item, but that does not make sense. It’ll be updated just like a contact item is, but if you try sending commands, you’ll receive an error. Not sure which one (there’s a bunch of software layers involved), but in the end that’s simple logic. You can’t switch a contact (physically/electrically) because it’s a passive device.

If, ultimately, you want to control your roller shutter(s), then note that you need TWO switches, one for each electrical input to the roller shutter motor, and you will need to do all the programming.
I suggest you better get a roller shutter control device instead such as a Fibaro FGRM-222 zwave device. It has a single endpoint ID, this you can configure to be of type rollershutter, and it does all the magic you need (calibration, status tracking etc) for you.

focussing on the contact:

why I saw it similar to a button.
When I have a push button, it sends “a message” as in: someone pushed me

For me a contact sends the message “someone disconnected me”.

I explicitly mention the ANEL hut, because I was talking about the binding implementation and configuration of the hut; so yes I assume that the person who implemented that binding, knew how the device and how to configure it.

Why is that wrong to assume that?

I was not asking about how to use the contact magnet as a switch, I was asking why the binding did not allow me to use contact. where as you say, these are two different concepts and it would make sense to also have the other.

I don’t want to use zwave. We don’t know yet how well wireless networks (whatever technology) will work in the house. We would prefer to use everything with wires as much as possible while we are still building the house.

And yes I 'm hoping to use a roller shutter device, seems I need to ask the people from anel what kind of roller shutters they support;

Another option could be independent roller shutters that work with cables . Do you know any?

I would say the creator of the HUT binding has deliberately chosen to represent the HUT input/outputs as Switches. The HUT io pins are configurable as ins or outs. They have to be Switch items or else it would not be possible to use as output.

You are right to view your mag contact as a passive device that would normally be represented as a Contact item in Openhab. But the binding is not talking to the mag contact, it is talking to a HUT input/output which is not always passive.

It’s easy to get around that if needed, and make an extra virtual Contact item that is not connected with the binding at all, but controlled by a Rule which is triggered by the (real) Switch item.

Within OH, “roller shutters” are usually regarded as things that take a percentage input for a variable position. Isn’t this HUT only on/off controls?

Well, you’re inappropriately mixing the layers. The switch/contact in iterms has absolutely nothing to do with the configuration of the hut.
They don’t know of each other. If you tell OH to interpret a value as read-only (you do by defining it as a contact), then it’ll do that even if it’s in fact capable of receiving command (= it’s a read-write value).
If you meant to say it works if you configure your magnet as a switch inside the anel hut config AND as a switch in items file, then it should work if you keep your “switch” hut config for this pin and just change your “switch” in items file to “contact” and -to answer your original question - it should do what you want.
If that doesn’t seem to work, the problem is elsewhere, for example because switch states are represented as on/off while contact states are open/closed. You would need to enable debugging to find out. Conceptually, it should work.
You can even have two items in parallel,Switch and Contact, both mapped to the same anel hut pin.

That is why I contacted the creator of HUT to see if that is true, because I know that dimmers are also, and for me dimmers are also percentage devices (I think.)

not sure I get this.

In the anel hut configuration, I did set both pushbutton and contacts to input devices .
I haven’t tried to set the contact as an out device;
is that what you ment with your sentence?

And yes when I use openhab to say that a disconnected contact is connected again, it’s immediately set to disconnected again (which is in sync with being a passive device.

I ment the configuration of the hut inside the items file of openhab. I understand that is not the same as the configuration inside HUT itself. I did not mean that configuration. I ment the openhab configuration of the HUT items.

And yes the binding does not allow me to set it as a contact. Which is exactly what I want. I know what I have connected and by being able to use a contact as an hut item, I can tell openhab to treat it as a passive device (which it is) and not allow the user to change the status from the website.

I just know of KNX wired actors which are about double the price of a zwave device. There’s also some proprietary systems such as LCN, but I don’t know them and I believe they’re as pricey.
Don’t be afraid of radio. ZWave devices form a mesh to forward messages if needed, i.e. if the controller can’t talk to a device reliably. The more devices you have, the more reliable. Lots of people happily use zwave in all sorts of housing situations.
Also, if you want to pull cables to a central location anyway, you could place the actor and controller there, next to each other. I did that for my rollershutters, too.

problem is, I won’t know if it works until the house is delivered and by then it’s too late to put wires.
As it’s a passive house, with ton’s of insulation full of tinfoil (probably not the right word, but close enough) I 'm really worried of what will work.
I have been to houses of the same architect where almost no networking works. and ours is even more passive then the others. so yes I’m cautious especially for roller shutters where we know where they are going to be, and they don’t need to move.

I don’t understand your remark about putting the actor and controller together in the location of the openhab sever. Please say more.

No. I thought you had set them to be outputs.
Either way (no matter if pin config is input or output in hut config, and no matter whether bindings knows input-only values or just in-output ones), changing “switch” in items file to “contact” should do the trick. If it does not, you need to debug why it does not. Start with events.log to see what arrives when you open/close the contact.
(maybe you have a sitemap entry? It overrides how the item is displayed, you display contact items as if they were switch items)

I does not and as far as I can tell, it’ s because the anel binding does not allow this and that is why I asked. Because I assumed (just like you) that it should allow it.

I get a message back that I was able to find in the source code:

only Switch/String/NumberItems are allowed - please check your *.items configuration

Install your house as if you didn’t want to use zwave or other radio.
For each rollershutter, pull cables to a central location where you plan to put the Pi/anel hut
Then you can still choose to either connect them to your hut relays or to a zwave actuator instead.
It would just need to have radio connectivity to the zwave controller inside the Pi.As both are located in the same cabinet, that should work for sure, no matter how thick your walls are.

1 Like

thanks that is clear and for sure a good solution.
(and a good test for zwave)
Si the obvious next question then is, what zwave rolershutter did you use?

I see. So the binding seems to check which item type you actually configured. Now that is pretty uncommon.
There’s likely a reason for that, but only the authors (Kai and Thomas) will be able to tell you.

Meanwhile, you could just use the working “switch” config in items and use a sitemap entry to override the display.

1 Like

Fibaro FGRM-222

1 Like

and just to be sure I don’t make false assumptions:

the Fibaro FGRM-222 is connected with wires to button’s that are next to the roller shutter and cables that go back to the engine of the roller shutter itself.

And when I press the buttons, they send a message to the FGRM-222 , the Z-wave’s to it’s controller, that goes to openhab that sends something back and that goes to the engine?

Or are the buttons taking directly to the roller shutter engine and at the same time to FGRM-222
(and from openhab I can also zwave to the FGRM-222 that talks to the engine…)

It’s the safe way, but for sure it’s the most expensive one. Starting with zwave right away would save you from having to install cables along all the walls.
I’d suggest having one, maybe two cabinets per floor level and run the wires there, plus have a big (but empty) pipe from there to your central cabinet