I would like to see SmartThings develop both low voltage and line voltage dry contact devices with some different versions that are scaled for larger projects. I would also like to see a DIO device with multiple IO that could be programmed to send messages back to a SmartApp. There may be a way to do the DIO with the existing Arduino board or the new Artic board.
I agree it would be really nice to have some maker kits that included these devices, in particular multiple IO.
Meanwhile, depending on the exact use case, quite a few community members are just using cheap networked contact sensors that happen to have a couple of available dry contacts in projects like doorbells and pressure mats. A bit easier than an Arduino board in many cases.
See, for example, the following. The point of this example in this context isn’t the pressure mat, but rather the networked sensor that it’s attached to.
And here’s another example with a photo that shows the contact points:
If you truly want to grow your own here is an I/O board I have used to automate a few projects https://www.parallax.com/product/27113 It has both input and outputs and can drive AC or DC loads. It wouldn’t be that big of a deal to take one of my existing ZigBee Libraries http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php/157233-Propeller-to-SmartThings-(communicating-with-the-ZigBee-HA-public-profile) I have written for the Propeller and have it drive this board.
In fact doing just this is on my to do list but keeps getting pushed lower in priority. I wonder how many people wold be interested in some type of a kit?
Thanks John! The Parallax DIO board might be just what I wanted. I appreciate the introduction!
Glad to help! If you build it with Parallax products they have an awesome forum http://forums.parallax.com/forum.php and you will have no problem finding someone to help you put something together.
Keep in mind that I/O board doesn’t have a processor it needs to have one to send and receive the signals to it. Parallax has an extreamly powerful processor called the Propeller its like having 8 Arduinos on one $8 chip. You may have to breadboard some stuff at first but hey that’s the fun part.
I used their processor for this project that was featured on SmartThings a few weeks ago: http://blog.smartthings.com/stories/a-smart-chicken-coop/