So for the last year i’ve been thinking about how I can incorporate our 20 year old electric gates into a SmartThings system. I’d put up a thread about hacking the remote - but thinking now, many years back we had a push button that would trigger the gate opening.
This surely means I could easily trigger this with a relay or maybe an Arduino with the ST shield which I own and haven’t used for anything yet.
Attached is a picture of the box - it’s a little beyond me - but there’s also a manual which tells us what all those jumpers are.
The gate at the moment just works off (really poor) removes. One press triggers the opening, the gates open, stay open for a set amount of time and then close automatically. If you press the button again whilst they’re opening they will pause where they are, this way you can lock the gate open if you want. I’m going to assume any “button” you wired info the panel would behave the same thing when triggered from ST.
What do you guys recommend here, Arduino and ST Shield or just a simple zigbee or z-wave relay already on the market?
Ideally if i can also splice some power from the control panel, though it all seems to be 24v and 12v - if i could get the relay and maybe a USB iBeacon powered in there (the cover is plastic by the way so fine for letting signal through) then I woudln’t need to unscrew the panel to put batteries in anything either (my idea ultimately is to have the gate open triggered when my phone, in my car, sees both a low powered ibeacon in the car and the ibeacon in the gate box - when it sees both, it’ll open the gate.
I already got one shipped over anyway - but yeah, I don’t think I need one for this - judging by the box it says…
Manual says - 30-31 Open Pushbutton (n.o.)
30-32 Close Pushbutton (n.o.)
I was thinking, Fibaro Relay, Neutral and Live from Jumpers 10-11 which gives 230v up to 40w, which should be enough to drive the relay - and then S1 from the relay into 31 to open??
I’m assuming you can get fancy and have S2 into close if you wanted and actually open or close the gates - but the remotes just have one button that cycles through settings like this…
A start impulse has the following effects:
on opening:…stops and enters TCA if configured
on closing:…stops and does not enter TCA (stop)
That’s how it behaves now with the remote. I don’t mind if the relay does exactly the same thing and we just have one button in ST. Then I could get a SmartApp to do things like trigger open, and hold open, the later pressing the button and then pressing it again when a sensors notices the gate is fully open.
Thanks @JDRoberts. I almost said FottrezZ’s MimoLite would be a great solution, but I don’t think they have a UK version. An email to email@example.com may not be a bad idea.
@realdannys, the Fibaro Relay is a good choice. I’ve not personally used one, but it looks like it behaves like the MimoLite. You may have to experiment with advanced parameters (14 makes it a momentary, and 16 perhaps). I think it’s doable.
No, I don’t think it’ll be using any load, literally just triggering the gate to the start mechanism. Could probably use something battery powered really, its slightly over kill - but if it can trigger it, that’s all that matters.
Well I’ll be! I should have checked there, thanks @JDRoberts.
@realdannys, I’d go with the MimoLite. It’s perfect solution. I’m looking at getting the Mimo2+ for automating a chandelier hoist control we have in our home. FortrezZ has already even created the DH and SmartApp for it.
I know the Apollo gate controller is different, but if you can locate the similar connections on the BFT, this may be helpful for you:
Ah I guess so - the relays are for sending full power to the device really aren’t they.
Any other options other than the Mimolite - I was hoping for closer to £40 rather than £65 really, but if there are no other options I’ll stump up for it. I think I can figure out that COM would go to 30 (COM) and NC would go to 32 NC (makes sense!)
On a totally off topic matter RE relays - is it possible now to use a z-wave relay behind a standard light switch and have the light switch just toggle the on/off, but always have power to turn the light on/off with SmartThings too? I’m thinking Philips Hue control without having to lose the standard wired in light switch. I could never understand if the relay kept power to the light all the time allowing the switch to just act as a z-wave trigger…
That’s the standard use for the micro switches, including the Fibaro and the Aeotec. The relay is always powered from the neutral, so if there is no neutral at the switchbox you typically have to put it at the ceiling rose. So the physical wall switch is just toggling the relay, the relay controls the current to the fitting, but the relay always has power so that the radio could hear the next “on” command from the network even though the light is off.
All of that said, it shouldn’t be used with Hues. Smart bulbs need to be able to control the current to themselves, so they should never be on a dead line. You can greatly reduce the life of the bulb if you are cutting power to it all the time.
There are several alternatives. The most popular in the UK is probably to use the devolo battery operated switch. Some people put it in a mount over the existing switch. So there is a physical switch right where you want it, you also have full control from SmartThings, but the bulbs themselves are always on power.
You’ll find discussion of all of these in the UK lighting FAQ. See option 3a.
Ah of course it was the old 3 wire system issue. I think for ease, i’ll just get another Philips switch for the main room and ignore the fact that light switch is “always on”.
Mimolite ordered now - looking at this application, I think it’ll be much easier to implement than controlling the old remote control via the SmartThings Shield which was my original idea. Though it may well have been cheaper to use the Shield and an Arduino - I think this will be easier to setup most likely and need less programming - plus I could in theory make my entire outside area Z-Wave and have a number of repeaters creating a strong signal in that area.
Finally got hold of the Mimolite and installed it successfully into the BFT Rigel-5 gate module and sure enough it triggers the start impulse like a remote.
I am however very disappointed about its reliability. Pressing it more than a couple of times seems to make it freak out and stop working - and now its totally disappeared from the network all day.
I’m back once again to having range issues with Z-Wave or Zigbee devices. I’ve bought TWO Aeotec Z-Wave repeaters and this device is sitting about 20 foot from one inside a plastic box (and the repeater is in a wooden shed. There is an outside gap of 55 foot to the other repeater which is behind one brick wall and that takes us inside the house. From that repeater its 27 foot to the hub in the house and about 3 heavy brick walls.
The Mimolite had no issue being added to the SmartThings hub from the location its in now, it appeared straight away. There is also a Fibaro Motion Sensor sat in a window connected via USB power so its always on (so is this now acting as a repeater too?) if so thats 80 foot away, with just the window, and a little bit of foliage blocking the mimolite.
Either way, multi z-wave network repairs don’t have the mimolite turn up if it’s disappeared. Can’t get a mesh update.
It works on Wifi but they have only a mobile phone app (android or iPhone). They do not have a PC application
It seems stable
I have a rigel 4 control box. It seems that the connectors are the same. I am going to try it.
Just to make sure
You"press" the “open” connector once to open the door and then the “close” to close it.is that correct?
aetoc repeaters has plainly not worked for me. I tried their old and new gens, with no success. However, Smartthings smart plugs (latest gen) have been amazing, work instantly, and with great range too. But they are ZigBee only (which in my opinion is better than zwave)