HAL2000, X10, Adicon Ocelot, In-The-Olden-Days


(Ed Urbaniak) #1

Hello all,

I set up my SmartThings hub last month and have not played with it much. I used to be a HUGE home-automation guy and then I had kids. Thing have changed so much from the X10 days, but I am shocked that the integration seems to be very piecemeal. Back then, I’d have pretty much everything programmed in HAL2000 and some programming on my Ocelot. Now, you do some things in Alexa, some in SmartThings, some in IFFT, some in HUE. Often, I can’t remember which thing controls what.

Do any of you old timers feel the same? Any suggestions to get your brain to adapt and think correctly about the new paradigm?

Right now for hardware, I have RIng Doorbell, SmartThings Hub (duh, right), Hue Lights, Chamberlain Garage Door Controller, TP-Link Plug Modules, Nest Thermostats, Nest Protect, Echo Devices, Two Harmony Hubs and a Schlage Door Lock. (Wow, that is more than I thought I had.)

I haven’t poked around much yet, but I haven’t seen a way to store information (variables) like flags, counters, timers and such. I know that everyone hates it when a noob doesn’t do their homework and starts asking questions. So, I won’t directly ask, but if someone can point me where would be the best to do that type of programming, I would appreciate it.

Some things that I would like to do are:

  1. have lights turn on in my foyer when I unlock the front door. But there are some conditions that I would like to put on that first. (Is it dark?, Did the ring detect motion?)
  2. Turn off lights in hallways/garage/laundry/storage after no motion is detected in a set amount of time.
  3. Alexa notifications when the garage door is left open for a set period of time.
  4. Better control of my AV equipment by Alexa
  5. Control of Nest through Alexa
  6. Access Nest Protect sensors to trigger events
  7. So much more

Again, I will do my homework and ask specific questions when I get stuck, but any initial do-this-first kind of things would be appreciated.

Lastly, I need some recommendation on additional hardware:

  1. Good/Cheap motion sensors
  2. Dimmer modules for lamps
  3. Dimmer wall switches (to replace dumb switches)
  4. Stick on switches (like the hue dimmer switch or hue tap).
  5. Water (leak) detectors.

Thanks in advance.


(Ed Urbaniak) #2

I’m underwhelmed with the response to this post. :frowning:

For the “things that I would like to do” list, I have accomplished…

  1. Lights off with no motion. I used the Smart Lighting App and motion sensors.

From my recommendation list, I have found:

  1. Motion Sensor from China on eBay $12.44 from Xiaomi. Seems reliable so far. Price seems unbeatable.
  2. Dimmer modules. Still looking. Seems hard to find for under $20
  3. Dimmer switches. Man these seem expensive, any recommendations?
  4. Stick on switches, Xiaomi Smart Wireless Switch from Gear Best for $721.
  5. still a future project for me.

(Chris Uthe) #3

I have the smartthings water leak sensor as a test (I’ll be wanting 5-10 of them total) and so far it’s been quick to respond, and seems to have good battery life.


(Ed Urbaniak) #4

Oh yeah, I figured out how to accomplish those two things.

  • Flags (true/false, on/off) can be stored by using a virtual switch, but that is only available through the developer tools listed above.
  • Timers are accomplished in the app by going to automatoin> smartapps> smart lighting> new lighting automation> select light or virtual switch> > select action> select trigger action (power allowance exceeded> set time