Anybody use a ZMote (IR Blaster)? (DTH in post 4)

dth_remotes

(Matthew Valeri) #1

The ZMote founder was semi active on OpenHab, I was wondering if anybody has one or created a DTH for SmartThings. I’m looking for a pure IR blaster. Tried to Logitech Harmony Hub but it just didn’t work for me only being able to use activities. Just want a device I can send pure commands through Core.

http://www.zmote.io/


Turning on air-conditioning with IR commands?
FAQ: Best way to control a AC (2017)
Smart Outlet, Dumb TV?
(Brian Diehl) #2

Can’t comment on the Zmote, but a Broadlink will work.


(Matthew Valeri) #3

Unfortunately, I don’t have an Android device running 24/7 to work as a bridge. I’m looking for something that is plug and play (sort of… I understand the need for Custom DTH) with SmartThings.


(Ben) #4

I’m using a zmote and just published my first device handler to use it.
You’ll need to customize it for your own IR devices.


(Matthew Valeri) #5

Great! I actually was in contact with one of the developers for zmote but I’ve never built a DTH before. This will be a good basis.

How well does it work? There isn’t a ton of info about the product.


(Ben) #6

The zmote device works great, especially for automation. The web interface is very functional too after you spend the time to figure out the setup of each device. It would be awesome if the zmote developer could add support and/or documentation on integrating with smartthings.

Writing a device handler for it is a bit strange since there’s not really a concept of a IR blaster like this described in the developer docs. http://docs.smartthings.com/en/latest/capabilities-reference.html
It seems like smartthings is intending that each device is described in the code rather than a general purpose transmitter.


(Matthew Valeri) #7

I have email contact with the developer (or one of them), I have to say they’re pretty responsive. They have not looked at SmartThings for integration yet, but at least they’ll look at it.

If you don’t mind I’d like to reference him to this thread and to your DTH. Maybe it’ll give them a head start to an “official” one or at lest he may have comments on how to improve yours. He was pretty active in helping get a binding working well for OpenHab.


(Ben) #8

That sounds good to me.


(Hari Rajagopala) #9

Hi Ben,

I’m the primary firmware developer for zmote. Thank you for publishing your device handler.

I’d be happy to help develop it further. First things first:

  1. It appears you have a v1 device. Our v2 device continues to support the v1 API, but newer one is easier to use, faster and offers more flexibility. I’d be happy to ship you a v2 device gratis.Please get in touch with at harik@klarsys.com
  2. In terms of devices, I looked over the link you had sent and I thought the “Media Controller” device was the best fit. It could publish a list of “activities” based on the devices you have configured (using the zmote web App). If this were possible, I could create a path in our Web App (“Export->SmartThings DH”, say) to generate the device handler based on your particular configuration. You thoughts?

And thanks again for your making zmote a part of your automation system.


(Matthew Valeri) #10

Thank you very much Hari for joining in the conversation!

Do you have plans to include RF in the future? I’d like to keep the unit in my media cabinet but obviously different components are on different shelves. To do this with IR only, I’m guessing I would need the “Pro” version and use emitters for each shelf. The Logitech Harmony with RF was able to control all my devices in the location I wanted it but did not suit my needs.


(Hari Rajagopala) #11

Hi Matt,
We don’t have plans to support RF output, but are you sure you need that? You would need an RF output from the zmote only in cases where you have a gadget that only accepts control via RF (garage door openers, for example). The Harmony One RF is, IMO, somewhat misleadingly named. To solve the problem you have (controlling equipment behind closed cabinets), it supplies a couple of additional, so-called “mini (IR) blasters”. You’d need to keep one such mini blaster on each shelf of your cabinet. The controller then uses RF signals to communicate to these mini blasters. The actual control of the end-equipment continues to be over IR. Anyhow, with that nitpick out of the way, I can get to answering your question:

Yes, you would need to invest in a zmote pro to solve your problem. You would need to wire up IR emitters (a single zmote pro supports 4 outputs) to each target equipment in your cabinet. We do also have a wired IR blaster – essentially a zmote-like device – that can be used in place of IR emitters. You can think of this as a sort of wired equivalent of Logitech’s “mini blaster”. That listing is not up yet. I’ll send you the link as soon as it goes up.


(Matthew Valeri) #12

Interesting, the Harmony Hub was indeed able to sit on the top shelf inside the cabinet and still control the television on top of the media cabinet. There were no mini blasters or IR emitters used. Neither was the remote (it didn’t even have batteries). Also, the television is not set up on the wifi network so it was not using that. The doors are glass though but there was no way the Harmony Hub had line of sight to the television.


(Ben) #13

Hi Hari,

Welcome! Thanks I’ll email you about the v2 device.

About the “Media Controller” type, that’s what the Harmony device is using so the “activities” are all designed around that concept. It might works fine for the zmote too. That was the only IR device I could find in their list.

I think your idea of generating the device handler code from the zmote web app is really interesting. It would probably work fine for anyone following this discussion and you could essentially create any device. I don’t think that would be enough to get it certified by smartthings, and available to the bigger user market like the harmony, which would be better for your company and the users in the long run.


(Hari Rajagopala) #14

Hmmm… If a single blaster was able to work, it suggests to me that all the equipment in your setup is reachable either via line-of-sight, or via partial reflection from the glass doors or perhaps the wall opposite. A single zmote should work as well. I’d suggest you try mounting the zmote in different ways – dome facing outwards mounted on the back wall of the cabinet, say, or on it’s ceiling, or perhaps a little outside the cabinet, or even on the opposite wall if at all that’s possible. You can use a bit of sticky tac to try out some of this. You should be able to find a spot that gives reliable control over your entire deck.


(Ben) #15

I’ve got my zmote in a solid cabinet on the shelf below my amp and it puts out enough IR to control the equipment :slight_smile:


(Matthew Valeri) #16

Using the website config files is how the OpenHab zmote binding works.

Here is a link to the binding page. Maybe it’ll provide some useful info.

https://github.com/alexmaret/openhab-binding-zmote


#17

Thanks for this thread. I was not aware of zmote until a few days ago, now I have to get one so I can play with it and ST!


(Ben) #18

That’s good info from OpenHab. I think on SmartThings we might also need a “SmartApp” in addition the the device handler, at least that’s what looks like is happening with the Logitech Harmony. I’d need to read more about that in the dev docs before having any guess about what that might look like.

My only experience with that so far was installing the MQTT bridge from https://github.com/stjohnjohnson/smartthings-mqtt-bridge to integrate with Node-Red running on my RaspberryPi (which is really cool).


#19

Hi Ben, just got my zmote, I have taken a look on yr DTH, may I know how you figure out which code to send? Is there a link in the zmote app allow us to copy the code out?


(Alec McLure) #20

Wow - excited to have found this - nice job on the look of the zmote and your obvious interest in working with community on getting this integrated. Ordered!