Th3 Core

Why We Are Here => Hardware & Technology => Topic started by: rcjordan on November 09, 2018, 02:27:44 PM

Title: Hubitat
Post by: rcjordan on November 09, 2018, 02:27:44 PM
As mentioned in another thread, I'm going with the recent-entry Hubitat system as it's the only one I found that is

- Mostly off-the-shelf. Not hack-it-yourself like Rpi/HomeAssistant/etc
- Uses both Zwave and Zigbee commonly available devices from multiple manufacturers. Not proprietary brands
- **Local network**
- Robust forums.  Responsive support.
- BONUS #1: Though the system is local, Hubitat does host a web-accessible copy of your system UI dashboard.
- Bonus #2: The UI dashboard is DIY-built and very customizable with a wysiwyg editor.
<added> - Some Alexa integration available

I'm still a noob in smarthome tech, and I've stumbled across a few fundamentals that would have helped to know from the git-go.  A month ago I found that newer Zwave devices form a mesh network, so most new devices can act as a repeater.   Yesterday, I found that most new Zigbee devices can also act as repeaters for the zigbee signal. This helps in larger installations with devices located a distance from the system antenna.  Of the two Z-signal types, zigbee seems to be the more robust and has greater range, but zwave seems to be the more popular --not sure why.
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: rcjordan on November 11, 2018, 01:49:07 PM
>mesh

If I'd grasped the idea of the zigbee/zwave mesh when first thinking about smarthome (SH) tech, it would have been a big help getting over the the dumbest-guy problem.  Thinking about how & where the mesh devices with repeaters might be located makes the layout much easier --particularly for remote nooks and crannies in a physically large, sprawling installation (and possibly detached buildings).

Tested: I put the usb zigbee-zwave antenna dongle on a 25' extension cable and it worked fine. This adds a lot of flexibility in getting the transmitter into a good spot.  BTW, in the UK the Hubitat is shipped with 2 dongles, one for zigbee, one for zwave and both are installed on the two available usb ports. Dunno why it's different there, Rupert.
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: rcjordan on November 11, 2018, 02:13:31 PM
>forums
> commonly available devices

Yesterday, they pointed me to a big box chain that has been closing out their white-labeled, hub-dependent z-z devices as the market is now strongly going cloud-based with apps.  Scored 3 motion detectors for $15 each.  Though prices for the LAN devices have generally been slightly less than cloud-app devices anyway (ballpark $30).

>mesh
They also pointed me to a receptacle that is zigbee-controlled with repeater but also carries a hidden zwave repeater ($30).  This is handy!
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: rcjordan on November 11, 2018, 06:50:36 PM
I find z-wave pairing to be flakey and may require additional maintenance to keep the mesh intact.  Reading around, I see posts about repairing the zwave mesh fairly frequently.  Zigbee, otoh, just seems to work.  I'm beginning to think that that's why Amazon went with the zigbee platform on the Echo Plus even though the masses wanted zwave.  I'm going zigbee whenever possible.

For keeping circuitry in standard mode, the only option I've been able to find is an overlay switch.  I'd dismissed them before due to their requiring batteries and the clunky aesthetics.  But, they are zigbee and have been now added to the Hubitat device list, which means they could be local only. I've ordered one to play with on the Hubitat sometime in the future.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B079M178GW/

While we're on the topic of overlays, here's one for pushing buttons

MicroBot Push - Wireless Robotic Button Pusher Smart Home Automation
https://www.amazon.com/MicroBot-Push-Wireless-Automation-Platinum/dp/B01FQN2T2W/

<added>
There was a homeautomation thread on reddit that talked about the money and overwhelming logistics of installing lighting control in an existing home.  It eventually became a sort of "count the switches you can see from one spot" thread.  I have a semi-open floor plan downstairs where we spend most of our leisure & meal time. From the dining table, I count 23 24 switches and 3 fan controllers.

<added2>
I could not get the above Third Reality overlay switch to work on a toggle switch (tried 2 different brands), the actuator just didn't have enough oomph. It works fine on paddle-style switches.

<added3>
Zigbee vs Z-Wave: Two big smart home standards explored
https://www.the-ambient.com/guides/zigbee-vs-z-wave-298

Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: rcjordan on November 17, 2018, 10:03:01 PM
Z-wave has a lag, this is particularly noticeable and potentially annoying in motion detectors.
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: ergophobe on November 18, 2018, 01:27:09 AM
Despite all this, I'm going mass market... TP-Link light switch, and God save me, Nest E thermostat - on sale, $130 plus $50 rebate from PGE - so $80 + tax.
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: rcjordan on November 18, 2018, 02:17:35 AM
I have two Ecobee 4 tstats on the cloud and do not plan to change them to Hubitat, even though the devs have built a hubitat-native module for it.  Reason: WAF is high as-is, so anything I do locally would have to be extraordinarily good.  That, and the fact that I don't want to support them, they work great without me being involved.

>tp-link

I have two TP-L s/pole switches currently used as timeclocks for water heaters, they've also performed well.  But their functionality is simplistic and easy to do on Hubitat, so I do plan to migrate that over to local zigbee switches.

BTW, the installation is going well here. I'm muddling though and have gotten switches, appliance modules, and motion detectors installed and working.  I'm currently grinding through a security module the devs have built.
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: Rupert on November 18, 2018, 02:18:07 PM
Just found this thread :)  Thanks!
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: rcjordan on November 18, 2018, 03:58:08 PM
>z-wave flakey

Z-wave devices all have push-buttons on them in order to re-pair the device with the hub. Zigbee devices have zero buttons as pairing/re-pairing is triggered at device power-on. Z-wave hubs have routines to run in order to rebuild the zwave mesh. If you're chasing a set-it-and-forget-it system, zigbee is the way to go  If you like setting yourself up for niggly future maintenance issues, go zwave.

Tips:
- Houses wired with in-wall paddle fan speed controls are likely to have a neutral present in the switch box.
- Switch boxes with multiple single-pole switches are good prospects for having a neutral present.


>Bonus
Hubitat has incorporated Pushover (pushover.net) for ultra-cheap, $5 lifetime, notifications.  It also allows 10 sms messages per day.

<added>
FWIW, the Hubitat (HT) developer and customer bases are briming with Samsung Smartthings (ST) expats, also some Vera.  As ST has been the hot-hot-hot platform on the consumer side for the last 18 months, HT focuses a lot on porting over their devices and routines. HT has grown enough legs in the last 3 months that it's being mentioned in the ST forums fairly frequently. I'm finding it there when I do deep searches for features and documentation.
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: ergophobe on November 19, 2018, 01:44:29 AM
I have two Ecobee 4 tstats on the cloud

Do you know about milivolt thermostats? Nest can't do it. These would be thermostats that handle things like gas fireplaces that have better backup so they can start when the power is out.

PS... lots of articles about achieving this with a Nest and fan relay or some setup like that. I was curious if you had come across anything that did it "natively" (presumably with an additional power source to power the thermostat, but that's no concern - the location I would put it has easy access for adding line voltage to the thermostat location).
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: rcjordan on November 19, 2018, 02:05:37 AM
>millivolt

None natively, no.  Plenty of hacks with dry contacts (mostly garage door control), move of those available are zwave. Not sure if that helps.

Like so:
https://community.smartthings.com/t/no-voltage-dry-contact-relay/56929
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: ergophobe on November 19, 2018, 02:11:10 AM
Just found this which solves the relatively difficult problem of managing mini splits.

https://flair.co/products/puck

Typically, mini splits have only a remote control thermostat and it is line of sight. I looked into trying to get a wired thermostat and it was really complicated with a million model numbers I couldn't find in my product info and the total cost was something like $700-$1000.

This puck is $99 and seem to just use the same IR signal as the Fujitsu controller.

This lets you run a minisplit off a Nest
https://coolautomation.com/support/nest/
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: ergophobe on November 19, 2018, 02:13:01 AM
>>hacks

I've seen those. It's just one additional level of trouble. I'll start with the Nest and the Puck and see how that goes.

BTW - I realize my responses have nothing to do with Hubitat, but I can't track all of the home automation threads anymore!

So
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: rcjordan on November 28, 2018, 08:51:59 PM
Error: I thought that smart in-wall switches would gracefully degrade to become dumb -but still mechanically functional- switches when the hub fails or is removed.  They, or at least the GE/Jasco zigbee switches I have, do not function at all without a hub.
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: rcjordan on November 29, 2018, 01:14:07 AM
I just got their Alexa skill working.  This is pretty awesome.
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: Rupert on December 02, 2018, 06:01:01 PM
RC did you find a switch that goes dumb when the automation fails? I would think that would be important.  Otherwise you are left with lights always on or always off I would guess...

digging into Hubitat.  I get why you like it.
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: rcjordan on December 02, 2018, 11:41:12 PM
>goes dumb

This is what I'm using
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B019HTH2A0/

I haven't fully tested, but I couldn't get these to work unless they had been paired with a hub.  I yet don't know if they continue to function as switches manually if the hub fails once they've been paired.

>why you like it

The highly skilled refugees keep pouring in from Smartthings and development of device drivers and sophisticated "extended" routines (such as thermostat handlers) are happening at what I consider to be a blistering pace for a small tech company.  As it turns out, SH devices are really a sort of white label hardware with readable, modifiable driver files telling them what to do and how to interface with the hub.  So, in some instances, to move a device from one brand hub to hubitat is as simple as doing a find/replace.

<added>
>highly skilled

The user group, being experienced in SH tech, is very good at catching or isolating bugs and actively use the forum to hash it out.  The devs must be sleeping with the code, because I've seen more than a few "Oh, I know the line that's causing this" responses. Then fixed in next update (which are frequent, averaging better than 1/week). 
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: rcjordan on December 04, 2018, 03:02:42 PM
I just tested by pulling the power to the hub. The switches DO continue to function as switches manually if the hub fails. I assume that the initial pairing configures/activates them and that activation is stored in the device itself. I say this because I bought some used switches from Amazon, some of which had obviously been installed previously.  I noticed that these switches worked manually right out of the box.
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: rcjordan on December 04, 2018, 10:09:23 PM
27 30 devices installed so far, all but 1 are zigbee. Interior and exterior coverage is good.  I have about 8 more devices yet to install, but the mesh is in place and working well. 
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: ergophobe on December 04, 2018, 10:38:18 PM
Just installed the TP-Link three-way.
 - works great
 - works with or without network connection
 - app has built-in timer, "away" scheduling, custom scheduling
 - integrates with Alexa
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: rcjordan on December 05, 2018, 01:04:40 AM
require a change in the wiring?
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: ergophobe on December 05, 2018, 02:11:32 AM
Only because the original electrician did not connect the ground to the original switch (the ground was in the box, but not connected... why???)

But no. You *must* have the
- common/power lead
- two travelers
- neutral
- ground (ideally)

So if you have five wires, you're good.

Strangely, it all worked fine manually after I had the first switch installed, but when I went through setup, it wanted both switches installed, so I did that because it apparently needs two. It seems like it would work with one smart and one classic, but they say no. It was like $26 for the set, so I decided to be a good boy and play along instead of experimenting.

My friend was over and installed with me and I said "Holy sh##, welcome to the 21st century!" I thought it was close to magic.

He said "Well, I would expect it to respond to voice commands in the 21st century."

I said, "Well, it's Alexa compatible, so, actually, it does respond to voice commands."

At that point he was suitably impressed.
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: rcjordan on December 06, 2018, 05:28:37 PM
Damn, with all the reading I've done, I keep turning up important layout info buried deep in forums. 

Quote
If you have more than 32 ZigBee devices total, you'll also need repeaters since that's the limit for direct connection to the hub (devices routing through repeaters don't count against the hub limit, though each repeater has its own limit as well).
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: Rupert on December 08, 2018, 06:43:43 AM
Just trying to get my head round what connects easily with Hubitat. 
Seems there are various setups, like the samsung one, and a Smartlife" app etc etc. Others are "alexa compatible".  Loads of other hardware about too though.

How can you tell if the are Hubitat compatible. My understanding is there needs to be a driver written for each device. Am I right? I found this list:

https://community.hubitat.com/t/compatible-devices-wiki/465

also the list of supported devices.
https://docs.hubitat.com/index.php?title=List_of_Supported_Devices
Do you check back to that, or are you finding that in reality, most items are picked up by the Generic drivers?

Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: rcjordan on December 08, 2018, 08:49:05 PM
Most items seem to be covered for core functionality,  but may have special features that need a custom driver. For instance,  a switch might also report humidity. It would work generically as a switch but the complete driver would allow it to execute actions as a switch OR humidity sensor.

Hubitat's 'problem' is that it can seemingly use any device if someone writes the driver ...and there are hundreds of devices with more pouring on the market.  But there are favorites,  so they have been operating on a triage system.
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: Rupert on December 11, 2018, 09:44:39 AM
Got a hub on the way.
Also some Ikea bits, samsung bits and sonoff bits from DealExtreme. Hoping my tag manager bits will connect too.

A bit confused with the Zwave: Zigbee: wifi methods of connecting to the hub.

 It seems the TagManager is wifibased, so not sure if Hubitat will look for those, not found anything to say they play together on the net. Will see.

Does Hubitat use wifi? Except for apps to connect to the hub do you know?
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: rcjordan on December 12, 2018, 04:12:42 AM
No wifi.
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: Rupert on December 12, 2018, 06:51:46 AM
Thx, not the end of the world.
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: rcjordan on December 14, 2018, 12:15:54 AM
I haven't followed it in detail, but I believe some wifi devices are being converted to local network.  Search on TP-Link.

It's confusing at first, all the various SH 'channels.' I bought a few wall outlets and a couple of switches (z-wave, so I ended up not using them). Getting a table lamp to come on at sunset was how I began the trial-and-error & testing phase.
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: Rupert on December 14, 2018, 10:09:55 AM
Actually quite excited about this... and my carebubble angle.

Mine is on a flight now from LA. :) But I am thinking running multiple homes. Each is individual, for a care in the community approach. I know... small steps :)  Many Hurdles to overcome.
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: rcjordan on December 14, 2018, 05:38:24 PM
>multiple

I saw your post.

Here's a related post:

Ordering second HE for another location: Should use different email address?

https://community.hubitat.com/t/ordering-second-he-for-another-location-should-use-different-email-address/6627
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: rcjordan on December 15, 2018, 04:18:16 PM
>How can you tell if the are Hubitat compatible

I usually pick devices that have been mentioned as installed & working in forum threads. My device needs so far have been pretty simplistic.  But I did screw up and buy a keypad that was a new version (v3) thinking that it was the version HE had working.  As mentioned upstream, the devs are adding devices at a blazing pace, so I just put it aside and waited rather than whine for help in the forum.  Looks like they've fixed it.

https://community.hubitat.com/t/the-best-wireless-keypad/3981/51
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: Rupert on December 15, 2018, 04:39:03 PM
Got a range as I said.  Hoping some of it will work.  Some cheap, some premium.... I have to say it seems a vague area. Hoping the Ikea stuff works, its zigbee I think.
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: rcjordan on December 16, 2018, 03:52:27 AM
>TP-Link

Quote
Supports automated hub or cloud installations. Also supports manual hub-based installations.

Supported Devices:  Supports all TP-Link plugs, bulbs and switches.

https://community.hubitat.com/t/release-tp-link-plug-switch-and-bulb-integration/1675

>IKEA (US 120v, but I'd bet UK 220v will work)

https://community.hubitat.com/t/ikea-tradfri-outlet/5820
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: Rupert on December 16, 2018, 07:11:43 AM
Ah, great find, thank you . You are a star.
found this:
https://community.smartthings.com/t/converting-dumb-rocker-switch-to-smart-zigbee-switch-for-7/116384

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJAjfH7Ycfc&feature=youtu.be

Quite a fun hack. That chap is clearly using a cloud service though, due to the delay.
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: rcjordan on December 16, 2018, 03:58:25 PM
>star

The forum is good, though the software takes some time to learn its nuances. I start here
https://community.hubitat.com/latest

But work right-to-left if there are 'Unread' or 'New', then scan 'Latest'.

>nuance
Click the number of replies (3rd column from right on desktop) and it'll show links to both first and last post.

>software
It suffers from ajax overload, glitzy features, and mediocre nav ui, but the content is worth the pain.
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: rcjordan on December 16, 2018, 04:46:47 PM
<added>

You're going to be naming devices as you set them up.  Avoid special characters % $ : , . # < > / \ { } [ ] @ ` ' "

https://community.hubitat.com/t/device-name-vs-device-label-in-drivers/5735/6
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: Rupert on December 16, 2018, 05:12:42 PM
I love being able to follow people over the wall :) Such vital info.
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: rcjordan on December 30, 2018, 02:21:25 PM
Yesterday, I finished swapping out 2 tp-link in-wall switches with jasco zigbees. This leaves 2 Broadlink IR mini blasters, then I'm off the (Chinese) cloud.  I'll add that I only allow the Chinee heathens to rifle through my guest network for 10 minutes x 5 days/week by programmatically killing power other times.

This is not counting AlexaAmz already knows me in the biblical sense of the word), push notifications, or the Ecobee thermostats. I'm eyeing the Ecobees as Hubitat now has a native app for porting them to local control, but the WAF is so high on them that it would be a near-certain suicide mission.

<added>
>eyeing the Ecobees

I've found that the Ecobee Integration app just taps into the Ecobee cloud in order to use the tstat sensors and/or give commands via the hub.  For now, if it's not going local-only, I see little need to merge the two systems. 
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: rcjordan on January 05, 2019, 05:17:27 PM
The forum is really starting to sizzle.  Looks to be a sizeable new influx of experienced SmartThings users.  App development has been brisk, too. 
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: rcjordan on January 06, 2019, 05:01:42 AM
My house talks to me now, hhh.
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: Rupert on January 06, 2019, 07:30:13 AM
Just found the voices. What is your set up?
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: rcjordan on January 06, 2019, 02:34:38 PM
>setup

I ordered 2 Google Minis; one upstairs, one down.  I set up a new, separate G account for them before I installed them.  I did not provide a phone number on that account.  After setup, I flipped the mic switch to 'off,' so they are only speakers --no voice control/listening.

On HE apps, I added the built-in Chromecast app.  I then searched for devices and linked the 2 minis.

Once linked, they show up as a message output option on the Rule Machine.  You just type the message you want voiced, tick the checkbox to designate the speaker.

Mostly, I added it for 21st Century fun, though I do see it useful for notifications or warnings that might otherwise go missed.  Right now, mostly just for testing, when the outside driveway light pedestals go off or on, HE announces it.  Same for when I pause the vacuuming shedules for the Roombas.  Debbie sees more serious use for intruder alerts, etc., but I'm not as advanced as she is.

BTW, Louise isn't keen on it --finds it sort of a creepy nuisance.  ....ESPECIALLY if I use a male voice.
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: rcjordan on January 07, 2019, 04:23:35 AM
<added>

I found another tidbit on setup.
"Just be sure to make a DHCP Reservation for your Google Home devices to prevent their IP address from changing. It was easy to fix when it happened to me (reran discovery process), but best to prevent it from happening in the first place"
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: rcjordan on March 29, 2019, 01:17:59 PM
Best review yet.  Sorta written to show the somewhat daunting technical task of getting a grip on the system, but I think that's a valid way to present it to the just-load-an-app crowd.

Should You Use Hubitat to Automate Your Smarthome?
https://www.howtogeek.com/407582/should-you-use-hubitat-to-automate-your-smarthome/
 
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: rcjordan on September 03, 2019, 11:00:07 PM
Whoa!  Now they've integrated the Tesla charging system so they can get a reminder to plug in the car.

Most of these guys are working way above my pay grade!
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: Drastic on September 03, 2019, 11:47:41 PM
I'm waiting on the little automated bot that detaches from the front bumper to walk across the garage floor and plug itself in. Surely someone is working on this.
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: ergophobe on September 03, 2019, 11:55:47 PM
You know those charging pads, where you just set your phone down on a pad with no wires and it charges overnight?

I can only imagine how powerful that would have to be to charge a car. You probably would have to remove all ferrous metals from the vicinity of your home. Still...
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: Drastic on September 04, 2019, 12:08:00 AM
Didn't realize this was hubitat thread til after I posted, but yeah.... maybe it will just park itself right up against the contact pad on the wall. (the car, that is)
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: Drastic on September 04, 2019, 12:31:26 AM
So does this system replace Alexa easily?

I just about melted down the other night when nothing worked while we were offline.
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: rcjordan on September 04, 2019, 01:39:28 AM
I wouldn't call it 'easy' --at least not for in-the-wall switches.  The biggest issue in the US is the lack of a neutral wire in the switch box (due to the way we typically run switch wires.)  The second problem is with 3-way switches --you have to change the traveler wire.  The wall-wart type receptacles and smart bulbs ARE pretty easy.

>Alexa

Alexa typically becomes a front-end for controlling the devices on the Hubitat, particularly lighting.  You lose voice control when the internet goes out, but the switches still work manually, or from the control screen, or on a Hubitat program.  They just won't hear you when you yell, hhh.
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: Drastic on September 04, 2019, 12:56:50 PM
>You lose voice control when the internet goes out

This is completely unacceptable to me.
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: ergophobe on September 04, 2019, 03:06:07 PM
99% of the time, the reason our internet goes out is because our power goes out, which is often. Since the router is on a UPS, the internet is actually more stable than the power.

For me the main thing is that it needs to have graceful recovery from internet and power outages. So far so good, but occasionally, there's a manual process with the smart switch or the Nest after extended outages.
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: rcjordan on September 05, 2019, 02:12:07 AM
>completely unacceptable

We have speakers that work with text-to-speech local-only. The Google Home Minis were cheap & easy to do, but I plan to eventually dump the Minis and switch.  That way, my repeat reminders and other in-house TTS messages (already on Hubitat, NOT Alexa) will be voiced even if the internet is down.

But local voice commands are a couple of years off, I'd say.  There have been some requests for Mycroft integration but the devs have their hands full with the zillion other smarthome products being released.  Still, smarthome pros keep flocking to Hubitat and I think someone will eventually get us off Alexa.
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: Travoli on September 05, 2019, 05:55:09 PM
I'm waiting on the little automated bot that detaches from the front bumper to walk across the garage floor and plug itself in. Surely someone is working on this.

2015, but no news since

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMM0lRfX6YI

August 2019:

https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/electrify-america-stable-auto-robotic-ev-chargers-self-driving-cars/
Title: Re: Hubitat
Post by: rcjordan on September 05, 2019, 09:46:06 PM
>no news since

Yeah, the Tesla guys are griping about that one.