Arduino SmartThings Shield and Ethernet

(Kevin [Yorkshire UK]) #1

I am new to Arduino but familiar with embedded processor projects. I wish to use a ST Shield and Arduino with Ethernet to process some local UDP sensor data hopefully avoiding cloud dependency. There’s quite a lot of sensors involved.

Am I right that the most powerful (memory) compatible Arduino platform is the Mega 2560 and that to include Ethernet I should add the Ethernet 2 shield too ? It seems I’ll need connector extenders too as the ST shield will not mount on the Ethernet V2 board without fouling the Ethernet jack.There isn’t an Arduino with on board Ethernet integrated that the ST shield can work with ? Wired rather than WiFi and ideally POE.

Am I already pushing beyond the Mega 2560 capabilities to do this and maybe should I look at driving the ST Shield via some other beefier Arduino compatible hardware, which is something I could comfortably do and still leverage the libraries ? I was just hoping for a stack together solution.

(Geko) #2

Why even bother with Arduino? ST Shield talks via TTL serial port. You could connect it directly to RaspberryPi or any micro controller of your choice.

(Keith Croshaw) #3

I was about to refer you to Particle Photon but then saw the desire to eliminate the cloud. There should really be some sort of z-wave / zigbee HA protocol that can go over Ethernet… Lets just run our houses on Modbus TCP… :wink:

( co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #4

Why do you need ZigBee (shield)? You could do the entire project using http/REST over WiFi no?

I guess WiFi has own set of issues, but not sure about the long term viability of the shield and it is firmware tied to SmartThings.

(Geko) #5

I don’t see anything wrong with that. Wired connections are less prone to interference and can cover long distances. Modbus RTU can easily run over hundreds of feet using cheap telephone cable. Try that with Zigbee or Z-Wave :slight_smile:

(Keith Croshaw) #6

Yea, this is the reality of my professional life, so coming to my home life where conduits and cable trays aren’t the norm… it’s painful…

(Geko) #7

Still, it can be the best option for basements, garages or any other RF-unfriendly places were running a wire is not aesthetically displeasing. With so many people ditching wired telephones, one could also re-use existing telephone wiring throughout the house. :slight_smile:

(Keith Croshaw) #8

Good idea, too bad my 1950’s home was gutted before I bought it, including old wiring. I wish there were a standard HA protocol that @xAPPO could use that SmartThings could detect just like a z-wave device. (Getting back on topic as much as I can lol)

(Geko) #9

You can bridge almost any protocol over HTTP. Not ideal, but doable.

(Keith Croshaw) #10

True. Just wish it were widely standardized and auto-configurable like z-wave devices.

(Kevin [Yorkshire UK]) #11

My situation is that I have an existing HA protocol called xAP that although network agnostic is usually UDP implemented. Every device in my home is controllable and presents realtime status changes via xAP. My whole HA system has run very successfully using it for years but it does not have widespread adoption. I have integrated it with almost every other HA controller, both standalone and the HA software applications. It’s my glue layer by which all things can interact.

ST is another controller that I wish now to enlist in my xAP world. It’s important that I have no cloud reliance. To date MQTT has supplied the solution but that requires Internet availability for ST.

I’m an electronics engineer however my software skills are less honed so I earmarked Arduino simply because of the existing proven libraries. My existing (xAP) embedded projects have been ANSI C coded on other platforms including Rabbit and NetBurner, I do have Particle IO / Spark devices and that was my inference to alternatives in the OP.

My reticence on other platforms is due to community posts here which indicate a lack of supporting developer information regarding the ST Arduino module. I admit I have been lax in researching the validity of this. I have a plethora of Raspberry Pi devices running successfully but my Linux comfort zone is sparse as I have always coded without a surrounding OS.

Has anyone used an Ethernet shield on Arduino plus the ST shield for integration ?

PS I do bridge Modbus to xAP already for control of my heating system pumps… so although a slightl diversion it wasn’t OT for me, and I too am a great advocate of the wired protocols where feasible.

( co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #12

Then there is no way to do this… Indefinitely.

SmartThings doesn’t allow custom Device Types or SmartApps to run on the Hub.

Or do I misunderstand your minimum requirements?

(Geko) #13

You can build a bridge between xAP and SmartThings using either Zigbee or HTTP, but all custom device handlers and apps can only run in the cloud, as @tgauchat pointed out. In other words you won’t be able to communicate with ST hub unless it’s connected to the Internet.

(Kevin [Yorkshire UK]) #14

So the status of my ZigBee ST shield ‘virtual’ devices can’t be updated to the hub without Internet access , because of the custom device handler ? I had overlooked this perhaps assuming the ST shield had an official handler that might be inbuilt to firmware, thus being local but that couldn’t provide sufficient flexibility I guess.

And as a secondary but not so critical aspect a status change on my device can’t trigger an action even when such an action is a local one to the hub - e.g. turning another ZigBee or Z-Wave light on/off. Could the ST shield directly link over ZigBee to another ZigBee end device thus bypassing the hub, or using it as a relay only ?

Ho hum so I may as well do this all via http calls and be cloud dependent - I was trying to avoid that. It has some usefulness in leveraging ST integrations from xAP but MQTT works well for me already in that regard. It also means for such an application I would load the ST cloud with totally unnecessary bandwidth. That can’t be at all desireable for the ST back end architects. ST is becoming more and more inappropriate to the fundamental way my HA system operates, and indeed I feel how any sensible implementation should.

(Justin Wurth) #15

The particle photon can be set up as a local entity to allow communication just within the local network.

It’s wifi, but it would be local and hey wifi gives a better range than ZigBee or z-wave.

(Geko) #16

That is correct.

ST is becoming more and more inappropriate to the fundamental way my HA system operates, and indeed I feel how any sensible implementation should.

Someone may disagree, but I won’t. :wink:

(Keith Croshaw) #17

I was just wondering if this was possible for my project… Thanks.

(Kevin [Yorkshire UK]) #18

Thanks Guys…

So just to close one of the original questions - has anyone used the ST Shield + an Ethernet 2 shield on a Mega 2560 ? Is there enough memory with several different devices and types ?