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Thread: which wireless window contact/sensors for DIY Home Automation system?

  1. #1
    Automated Home Jr Member
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    Default which wireless window contact/sensors for DIY Home Automation system?

    Hi,
    my first post here, so I hope this is the correct section...

    A friend and I are developing our own HA system. My friend had a new house built and so he was able to have contacts integrated into his doors and windows and wires run to a central place. I've then built a device that reads those contacts and reports the state of each door and window to the HA system.

    I, however, live in an old house where I can't just run wires to each door and window. So I'm looking for a wireless / RF solution for the same thing. I found a lot of these sensors but they are all for some sort of commercial stand-alone alarm system.

    Does anyone know such a system that can be connected to a computer somehow that would allow me to read the state of each contact individually (not only "all closed")?

    Thanks,
    Chris

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  3. #3
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    They look good (as long as you can see them ;-) ). But what is on the receiving side? There must be some sort of "base station" that communicates with these sensors. Does that have a way to connect a computer and read the states of the sensors?

    Or did you mean adapt the sensor itself so that it speaks my own protocol? This has crossed my mind but the electronics I use for my own devices (Arduino Minis and 433MHz RF transceiver modules) would be way too big to fit inside that sensor or to package in any nice way that the wife would approve being stuck to each window Also they use too much power to run on battery for any appreciable amount of time.

    There's got to be a way for us tinkerers and DIYers to use RF window sensors and read the data from a computer. I just can't find one...

  4. #4
    Automated Home Sr Member b_weijenberg's Avatar
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    For door/window sensors you could also use X10 DS90 sensor and use an RFXCOM RFXtrx433 to receive those sensors.

    With the RFXtrx433 you can also control LightwaveRF and HomeEasy and receive Oregon scientific sensors and a lot more.
    For software developers an SDK is available or use one of the supported Home Automation systems (Homeseer, VERA, Domoticz, Domotiga...)

  5. #5

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    You'd need a PC or other controller to receive the Z-Wave traffic and interface with your own system.

    M.

  6. #6
    Automated Home Ninja Andrew Millne's Avatar
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    This is a problem I have too. I have a fair few sliding sash windows that I am unable to retrofit traditional reed switches to. I did come across some enocean products that could fit the bill http://www.enocean.com/it/enocean_modules/stm-250-oem/ in combination with possibly http://www.enocean.com/it/enocean_modules/rcm-250-oem/. I believe you can pair several transmitters to each receiver so you could have a single receiver for whole-house or per room/window.

    I haven't looked in any great detail at these however so there may be some pitfalls I haven't seen yet. It's just an idea of something to possibly look into but whatever you decide on it would be great if you could update this thread.

  7. #7
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    how about adapting one of these :

    http://www.homeeasy.eu/Transmitters/


    eg: a reed-switch on the window, wired across the switch of one of these (mounted very near-by) :

    http://www.homeeasy.eu/RemoteControl...89/Product/48/

    communicating with one of these - mounted in Node0, perhaps :

    http://www.homeeasy.eu/RemoteControl...0/Product/938/

    used to switch a digital input to the HA system ...
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 13th May 2014 at 12:59 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by yesyes View Post
    They look good (as long as you can see them ;-) ). But what is on the receiving side? There must be some sort of "base station" that communicates with these sensors. Does that have a way to connect a computer and read the states of the sensors?

    Or did you mean adapt the sensor itself so that it speaks my own protocol? This has crossed my mind but the electronics I use for my own devices (Arduino Minis and 433MHz RF transceiver modules) would be way too big to fit inside that sensor or to package in any nice way that the wife would approve being stuck to each window Also they use too much power to run on battery for any appreciable amount of time.

    There's got to be a way for us tinkerers and DIYers to use RF window sensors and read the data from a computer. I just can't find one...
    You could either use a Z-Wave controller such as a VeraLite or a Fibaro HC Lite. (around 150 and 250 respectively)

    Alternatively, you can get the Aeon Labs Z-Stick (40 ish) for controlling directly from a PC.

  9. #9
    Automated Home Jr Member
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    Thanks for all the suggestions so far.

    Quote Originally Posted by chris_j_hunter View Post
    how about adapting one of these :

    http://www.homeeasy.eu/Transmitters/


    eg: a reed-switch on the window, wired across the switch of one of these (mounted very near-by) :

    http://www.homeeasy.eu/RemoteControl...89/Product/48/

    communicating with one of these - mounted in Node0, perhaps :

    http://www.homeeasy.eu/RemoteControl...0/Product/938/

    used to switch a digital input to the HA system ...
    I haven't mentioned that, but I'm talking about 8 windows and doors. As I understand it I would need one switch and one relay unit per door/window. This looks like a rather bulky and expensive solution. There has to be a better way, sorry.

    The Z-wave devices look promising. There are USB sticks that are controllers, so it's easy to connect to a computer and get the data out. The protocol doesn't seem to be openly documented but I found the OpenZwave project, so I could use that to integrate it into my system. This is definitely an option, though I was looking for something a little easier to implement.


    Quote Originally Posted by b_weijenberg View Post
    For door/window sensors you could also use X10 DS90 sensor and use an RFXCOM RFXtrx433 to receive those sensors.

    With the RFXtrx433 you can also control LightwaveRF and HomeEasy and receive Oregon scientific sensors and a lot more.
    For software developers an SDK is available or use one of the supported Home Automation systems (Homeseer, VERA, Domoticz, Domotiga...)
    This looks also quite good so far, though I can't find any info on the SDK. I especially like that the RFXtrx433 supports several protocols. I have an Oregon Scientific alarm clock with outdoor sensor


    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Millne View Post
    This is a problem I have too. I have a fair few sliding sash windows that I am unable to retrofit traditional reed switches to. I did come across some enocean products that could fit the bill http://www.enocean.com/it/enocean_modules/stm-250-oem/ in combination with possibly http://www.enocean.com/it/enocean_modules/rcm-250-oem/. I believe you can pair several transmitters to each receiver so you could have a single receiver for whole-house or per room/window.

    I haven't looked in any great detail at these however so there may be some pitfalls I haven't seen yet. It's just an idea of something to possibly look into but whatever you decide on it would be great if you could update this thread.
    Another interesting product. I like that it's solar powered. But it would have to be on the inside of the window!?


    Thanks again for all the pointers. A lot more research needs to be done. But I will definitely report back what I end up using. And I'm still open to any further suggestions...

    Chris

  10. #10
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    >a lot more research needs to be done ...

    do you have some overall objectives - or is it going to grow ad hoc ??

    for an idea of what's possible, did you see :

    http://www.automatedhome.co.uk/home-...nology-choices

    AlertMe & Dupline & Nico could perhaps be added ...

    altogether, they vary a lot in how clever they are - from being not much more than remote-controls to quite intelligent / context sensitive ...

    some examples / case-studies here, too :

    http://www.automatedhome.co.uk/conte...ing-guide.html

    http://www.idratek.com/install/example-installs/

    http://www.insteon.com/index.html

    http://www.loxone.com/enuk/start.html

    http://www.loxone.com/enuk/smart-home/case-studies.html
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 14th May 2014 at 09:24 AM.

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