Announcing the "ST_Anything" Arduino/ThingShield Project

Better yet, @tslagle13 just give us an easy way to auth with general purpose Arduino library and let users pick from the various hardware platforms like NodeMCU or official Arduino via wifi. i have personally been avoiding ZigBee so no worries there from me at least :wink:

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I’d really love to see native support for devices that contain more than 1 of a single capability. That one improvement would be so helpful to the maker community. Users always want multiple contact sensors, switches, temp sensors, etc… on one arduino, raspberry pi, esp8266, etc…

If there is still any chance left of letting end-user code run on the v2 hub, I’d like to see support for LAN, zigbee, or z-wave maintained through the local hub. Local control only works if user DTHs and SmartApps can be run locally. Thus, we’d need to use the hub for communications versus just going direct to the ST cloud.

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I’d wouldn’t be sad at all, as long as it was replacing ZigBee with Z-Wave… Or local (and not proprietary protocols).

So, it appears the ZICM357P2 Zigbee chip has not been available from CEL since April 2014. So, ST has known about this issue for 2.5 years.

It appears CEL has a ready replacement called the ZICM357SP2.

See http://media.digikey.com/pdf/PCNs/CEL/ZBL20131022A_Obs.pdf for the CEL announcement from 2.5+ years ago.

I can’t imagine it would be too difficult to port the code since CEL would lose most of its customers if they changed things too drastically.

What zigbee processor is in the ST HUB V2? Is is another CEL Zigbee chip? Or something else entirely? Also, the ThingShield is incredibly simple from a design standpoint. I can’t imagine it would require too many design changes to support the newer CEL Zigbee chip.

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The ZICM357SP2-1 chip has been discontinued

But there is still inventory at Arrow ( 154 Pieces)

https://www.arrow.com/en/products/zicm357sp2-1/california-eastern-laboratories?gclid=CNyx-72B3tACFdm6wAodUUoJrA

and Digikey (102 pieces)

http://www.digikey.ca/product-detail/en/cel/ZICM357SP2-1/ZICM357SP2-1-ND/3202479

so over 200 shields could be built and sold, with a replacement unit being designed as these are being sold

This is a very poor support position Smartthings has made…

Ben

Ben,

Where are you seeing where the ZICM357SP2 (note the “S” in the part number) has been discontinued? I see significant quantities of ZICM357SP2-2 modules available online. The ZICM357SP2-1 versions appear to be obsolete, but the -2 version appears to still be current.

The earlier part, ZICM357P2 (without the S) was definitely discontinued by CEL and inventories at a few sites I checked were ZERO.

I need to check out my ThingShields when I get home to see exactly what version(s) I have.

Hi Dan, the two Arduino Shields that I had purchased are as shown in the photo

The CEL chip is Model ZICM357SP2-1. These chips are being shown as discontinued at Digikey, but they still have 102 pieces for sale.

Most reputable companies have a second generation out, before they discontinue the previous one.

Ben

Ben,

Thanks for posting the picture. So, why doesn’t ST just switch over to the ZICM357SP2-2 model of the CEL Zigbee chip? It appears to be the current model and is readily available.

Hi Dan, the two Arduino Shields that I had purchased are as shown in the
photo

The CEL chip is Model ZICM357SP2-1. These chips are being shown as
discontinued at Digikey, but they still have 102 pieces for sale.

Most reputable companies have a second generation out, before they
discontinue the previous one.

Ben

Hi Dan, I have no idea, as to their thinking.

I wonder how many shields they actually sold?

It may be that external forces were being challenged by individuals making
their own systems

using a Shield, instead of purchasing equivalent Smartthings devices.

Ben

Not that I expect any further official response, but it seems like it sold better than their wildest expectations since they almost NEVER actually had any in stock…

-Todd

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Received this reply from Support

Patrick (SmartThings)

Dec 8, 11:42 AM MST

Hi Ben,

Thanks for reaching out and for the feedback. I definitely understand the frustration but we have decided to move in a different direction with that offering. There wasn’t much demand for the product, but we still may look into other solutions in the future. I will certainly pass this along to management to alert them about your interest and from those in the community thread.

Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Best regards,
Patrick

Ben

Kinda sorta on this topic so thought I would share. Many of you probably haven’t heard of Twilio, but those of you receiving SMS messages from SmartThings are an end user of it since ST uses them to send SMS messages. Anywho I saw this on their blog and thought it was pretty cool:
https://www.twilio.com/blog/2016/05/getting-started-with-arduino-on-the-linkit-one.html

We could likely get it working via WiFI and/or cellular to talk to ST. Would be especially cool to have alarm panels route communications through this to ST since it would have a cellular backup.

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That’s kind of self-fulfilling. If we assume the only way they can measure demand is by number of units sold. Hard to generate sales when there is no product to ever sell.

I have another theory. It is based on the premise that I’ve outlined in the past that their business model is unsustanable. I give them $99 and they have to maintain this cloud infrastrucutre forever. If we assume that the data they are mining from monitoring our usage isn’t enough to pay the bills, then they have to move to some sort of subscription model. The outside of the ST hub box says something to the effect of the basic service is free, but Samsung reserves the right to charge a fee for other things in the future. It’s been a while since I looked at the packaging, but I’m guessing it says nothing about custom smart apps, or DTH’s being part of the free solution.

So, let’s assume Samsung wants to start CHARGING people that want to be able to use custom code. They cannot be selling something that LITERALLY REQUIRES custom code in their store.

[MIKEDROP]

-Todd

Here another theory…

The one employee who knew how to build and program the ThingShield probably left the company.

Aww. That one’s not nearly as cool.

I can picture one guy in a back room at ST manually soldering components onto an arduino shield. THAT’S why they could never keep them in stock!

Todd

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Pre-soldered EM357 modules , with header connections
http://www.digikey.com/products/en?keywords=EM357-MOD

Not sure if ThingShield was running a custom firmware ? But these reference design parts ship with pretty functional Zigbee stack. They are part of the older EM357 generation reference lighting design kit:

https://www.silabs.com/products/wireless/Pages/zigbee-connected-lighting.aspx

SiLabs obviously recommends newer “Mighty Gecko” series now. For arduino projects, there are several newer cheap ref kits that can be hacked easily, such as RD-0030-0201 sensor demo,

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Is there anyone in the community who can build and sell an equivalent? I will be your first customer.

So… I guess the ThingShield, while reliable, is NOT lightning proof! :slight_smile: Fortunately I have a couple spares for development that were not affected.

Lightning struck close to our house earlier this week. We lost the following:

-1 x Arduino UNO R3, the ThingShield, DHT22 Temp/Humid sensors, 9V PS, and dual relay module (controls the garage doors)
-3 x Trendnet 8-port Gigabit switches
-1 x Ethernet port on Asus RT-AC68 router
-1 x Motorola SB6141 cable modem
-2 x Onboard Ethernet ports (1 each on 2 motherboards)
-1 x Fiber Optic Garbage Disposal switch/controller
-4 x LED outdoor floodlights
-1 x Garage Door Opener
-1 x Panasonic 5.5V PS for cordless home phone
-1 Apple TV 4

  • (and still counting…little stuff shows up each day)

As an engineer, I enjoy troubleshooting and fixing things… but this is too many problems all at once. Slowly things are returning to normal. We’re still in much better shape than our neighbors who lost every TV and computer in their house, along with their HVAC system. At least Time Warner Cable showed up today to replace our drop cable to the street, remove a blown whole-home amplifier, and restored Internet to the house. The natives were getting very restless, to say the least!