What did you build/automated today (with pictures)?


(B K) #21

Ah, but the best way to learn soldering is to screw up a few times and get better at it (much like anything, I guess :smiley: - I’ve destroyed a lot of boards/components before I got diecent at it!

[EDIT] Found one for the ESP8266! https://www.tindie.com/products/AwesomePCB/esp8266-wi-fi-screw-shield/ but nothing for the NodeMCU (makes me think I should make one!)


(dalibor) #22

Not actually today but today I found the photos from the installation.
Motorized shades installed, now to automate its position based on sun, clouds etc.

shades%20video


Good way to control 433mhz mains sockets with Alexa and openhabian 2.4.0?
(Gad Ofir) #23

alwys wanted to do that , was afraid of what will come in the mail :slight_smile:

can you tell me what exctly to look for ?(to order)
and what is that cool remote?


(dalibor) #24

I understand your fear, I spent quite some time researching options. At the end I found company from Sweden that sells exactly what I needed. Motor that can be installed inside ikea/kirsch/jysk shades, power supply, roller shutter that works with them, and this nice button remote that works “ok”.

It costed me around 150e per window (some windows are connected together, then it is a bit cheaper as shutter and button are shared). And it is just to hook it up, calibrate the motor (this takes some time to be honest). Also, latest update on the binding broke something so actual state is not reported correctly. I am waiting for the next openhab release to see if it is better.

In my case, it is important to have roller shutter that can change polarity on two cables (see the link down for details of what I have), motor that has only two cables and goes up/down based on polarity on cables. Motor has calibration option, but I think calibration could be done with the roller shutter as well. Honestly, I would not have ordered it if it was not packed in a package and working combination not demonstrated on the website.

This is a Smart Color Button - Philio. It is wireless, gyroscope based “button” that works directly with shutter/motor itself (so if openhab is offline, shades work, which is a must I think). They say battery lasts for 6months, but it is usb rechargeable, so not a biggie. It reports battery level to the controller so that is a plus.

As far as WAF goes, it is wireless and looks nice so that is a plus, but to use it it is a bit, well… different to operate as it is just held by magnet on the holder/wall and has no rotation limitats, so it is not 100% intuitive for first time use as you just turn it and then nothing happens, then you have to wait almost 2s for it to settle and send new position to the shades, and one cannot change direction (at least I didn’t find how) so “left” might be counter intuitive as if shades are open or closed, so it is a bit fiddly to operate. Also it has a tolerance rotation, meaning that fine adjustments for the shades are a bit hit and miss, so… Also by pressing the button, shades goes down and button turns it self off and doesn’t react to rotation… very annoying

But I am hoping that blinds will mostly work automatically so that would not matter that much. And I didn’t find some much better remote dimmer-like controllers for the blinds, so… it works for now. Easy to replace later


(Gad Ofir) #25

Hi some bad automation (bed :))

i like my cable receiver to be same for the all apremtmnet , only two TVs
so i did…

  1. two sonoff Pows for each TV(to know if on or off) 22$
  2. one IR repater from living room 2$
  3. one IR repater from room 2$
  4. AMP that can route HD , i had one but you can pick one up for 10$
  5. HD duplicate 12$
  6. broadlink RM2 to send IR commands 37$
  7. Mouse, USB dongle from Bed to PC 2$

Setup in short

  1. Broadlink and POWs are connected to OH :slight_smile:
    the rest you should know but if anyone wants help do ask i will try my best, cheeers

also have Apple TV , and PC connected to the same amp so i have control for all media devices from bed
just like in the living room

what did it give me?
no need for two apple TVs…
no need for another PC in room(also i love my PC don’t want another one)
no need for another cable box
the POW MQTT butten can have many states , so its very useful MQTT butten
complete control of TVs power and Inputs

don’t mind the cables and the holes, i will cover it up one day :wink:


(Gad Ofir) #26

Hi thanks!

but i am not sure i can order this blinds… anything from ali ebay that will do the trick ?
also want somthing to go with ikea


(dalibor) #27

I found the motors type, they are BOFU ES25/ES16 (one or the other)
You can download manual from this page https://en.m.nu/blinds-awnings/blinds-motor-24v-for-20mm-tubes (direct link https://file.m.nu/pdf/ES25ES16.pdf)
Not sure they are available on ebay, but this looks like their website, maybe you can contact them for local distributor or something…
I think I found before some motors from ebay that might be useful, but the price was about the same so I didn’t investigate more. Anyways, for my combination you need a motor with two wires (motor should change direction base if polarity is reversed) and a flush shutter controller.

I am sure this can be achieved with many other combinations as well :slight_smile:


(Markus Storm) #28

Now this forum is for home automation enthusiasts and rather the opposite of Instagr*m (where everything’s shiny but all fake) so I guess that’s why most here don’t care or even forget to take pictures at all…

Anyhow, here’s a picture of my motorized TV cover:


See it in operation here.

I’ve also integrated my lawn mower and even built a home for it (silly, eh ?), see it in operation here.


(Jerome Luckenbach) #29

Looks very nice Markus.


(Crispin) #30

The lawnmower house is totally over the top. I need one :smile:


(Markus Storm) #31

Thanks. It’s homemade to match the house design and pretty skew-whiff, though, so I had to film it from a distance :slight_smile: But it was fun to build with those ~ 3 left hands of my son & me.


(Markus Storm) #32

Here is another one: our new bathroom to automatically “close” windows on entry.

In case you’re now about to ask “what if your OH fails ?”: the default actually is to have the blind window pane, it only becomes transparent when current is applied.


(dalibor) #33

bathroom windows are star-trek material… Looks awesome. Any info you can share about the price and general usability (read: is it worth it for you)?


(Aart) #34

WOW, AWESOME!!
I WANT THAT!
What kind of glass/foil is that?
Where can you buy that!


(Markus Storm) #35

Thanks. I was having a hard time finding it. It’s an inside-mounted foil. I’m usually not promoting any sellers but since you asked, I found it at https://www.ifoha.de/shop/schaltbare-folie-fuer-glas-weiss. They’re also selling a trial kit for less than 100€ that you get completely refunded on return (hint: keeping it and reusing the power supply is cheaper than to buy theirs).

It’s not 100% transparent if looking from an angle but looks better in reality than I expected. I have been using it without problems for half a year now. It’s fun and useful, so yes it was well worth it.


(Georg Jungermann) #36

Hi Jürgen,
you said there is an API to get/set data on VITOCONNECT - I am Looking since month for this API, but did not find anything.
Could you plese send me some Information on it?
Thanks Georg


(Jürgen Baginski) #37

See this post, although the actual setting seems not to be working (yet). As I read it the API is launched in a “Work in progress” state.


(Sascha Billian) #38

Ok, TBH I don’t really have nice pictures of the hardware.
Nevertheless i want to tell you about my automation -

Battery/Solar powered soil moisture sensor

Currently i have a raised bed that is being watered automatically depending on the current weather forecast in combination with the soil humidity.

Weather forecast is nothing fance - just Weatherunderground binding.
The “fancier stuff” is the sensor that is constantly measuring the soil moisture.

Hardware for the sensor:

  • Arduino mini (3.3V)
  • Capacitive soil moisture sensor (ordered by Ali)
  • 5V/500mA Solar panel
  • 18650 Battery
  • Battery charging circuit to avoid over/undercharging
  • 433MHz transmitter
  • 3D Printed case

Since I do not want to run into too much battery drain, i’ve decided to remove the power LED and the voltage regulator from the arduino, as described e.g. here: http://www.home-automation-community.com/arduino-low-power-how-to-run-atmega328p-for-a-year-on-coin-cell-battery/

In order to have a constant power supply, i’ve decided to use a 18650NiMh Battery that is being charged via an additional IC that managed the charging current and also has an output where I directly can connect my Arduino.

Most of the time, the arduino is in deep sleep. It wakes up once in a minute, and transmits the sensor readings + battery voltage vie 433MHz

Hardware for the receiver:

  • An ESP32 (maybe a bit overkill)
  • 433MHz SuperHET receiver

The ESP reads the data from 433MHz and sends them to a MQTT broker.

Openhab checks the soil moisture and depending on some states (uper/lower limit, time of day, season, weather forecast) it will open a Valve that is watering the raised bed.
To avoid turning your garden into a swamp, a few things have to taken care of:

  • Switch off the valves immediately when the sensor or ESP32 goes offline
  • Switch off the valves after a maximum time
  • switch off the valves when a certain moisture level has been reached

This is maintained by a bunch of rules - of course to be more save it also would require to measure the water flow and have a second valve to close if the first one fails for some reason.

The result of all is logged into influx and I have a chart for displaying it:

Sorry for not having pictures yet. If you want i can post some later. I’m taking the sensor inside during winter :slight_smile:


(Kim Andersen) #39

Thats pretty awesome…
But how does it look is it´s dark outside and light inside?


(dalibor) #40

Please do, this is after all an exhibitionist topic :slight_smile:

You reminded me of my previous built of a water leakage sensor, using arduino and MySensors library, a quick’n’dirty sensor made using 2m long thin ribbon cable from ebay/aliexpress ($2-3) as a leakage sensor to monitor thumble dryer. Sometimes baby would take out the rubber on the doors, or I would not connect the condenser properly after cleaning and it would leak quite a lot of water on the floor.

Almost invisible under the appliance

For the sensor/contact itself I “polished” out the insulation on the ribbon using dremel polishing bit every feww centimeters (it is very easy to damage the copper line, so if you plan to reproduce this one, test with few bits). It looks ugly as hell but it is under the dryer so… functionality beats aesthetics here by far.

I connected every second line with one contact, and every second with second contact, which gave me a sensor that would detect smallest drop of water (probably not needed but…).
It has been working reliably almost a year now, with batteries holding almost one year.
Then made same for water heater

Similar commercial sensor costs around 150e here, I built this for about 7e. Saved quite some money, just never got it back from the administration (wife)