Is Z-Uno supported by Smart Things? I need a water level sensor


#1

Hello! Recently found a cool device called Z-Uno. Looks like I can use it to make my own water tank sensor to turn on/off the pump according to the level.

Who knows if Z-Uno is well supported in Smart Things? They claim it is a Z-Wave Plus device and uses channels http://z-uno.z-wave.me/technical/, so should work. Anyone have experience?

Any other alternatives to Z-Uno to measure water level? I’m using mostly Z-Wave devices.


(Mark) #2

That looks cool, I don’t think there’s been a ton of discussion about it here.

I’m sure it would need a custom device handler to work with ST.

@JDRoberts do you know much about this device?


(Mark) #3

There are several z-wave water sensors on the market that work fine with ST; you’d want one with external contacts so you can place the contacts at the water level that should trigger an alert. SmartThings also sells their own branded water sensor, I think it’s zigbee (most of their devices are).


#4

Whenever you have a question about a certified Z wave device, it’s always helpful to start at the official Z wave alliance product site. That way you can look at the official conformance statement on this file and see exactly what command sets are supported. :sunglasses:

https://products.z-wavealliance.org

In this case, the z-uno, which is made by is zwave.me, is an Arduino type board that includes a Z wave chip. It’s intended for makers. It’s been certified essentially as a multi channel sensor.

Because there are no other devices of this type at this time, I don’t have any confidence that it will work well with SmartThings. It might. But it might not. @duncan might be able to say more. If it does work with SmartThings you will almost certainly have to use virtual devices to stand in for the individual channels, which will mean it can’t run locally, which might not be what you want for a water pump application.

So I think it’s a cool device and I think there are a number of people who will be interested in it, but in terms of a water pump application I think I would just go with one of the existing water sensors. There are many of these in both Z wave and zigbee that work well with SmartThings. The Aeon Labs Z wave sensor is the most popular for “dry tank” projects because it has a parameter that lets it report for dry rather than wet, which keeps the battery from running down The way it will if you just try to repurpose a “report when wet” leak sensor.

@ogiewon


#5

Using a simple water (flood) sensor will not give me the exact value. Having 4-5 sensors connected to Z-Uno and reporting a single value as Multilevel Sensor type would be cool. And way cheaper than buying 4-5 flood sensor :wink:


(Dan) #6

I really like the form-factor of the Z-Uno device, and the fact that it is Z-Wave. I just really hope the price comes down to something much more reasonable. $70 is pretty steep for what you can do for about $10 using an inexpensive ESP8266 or ESP32 board, albeit via WiFi instead of Z-Wave. Of course, if you need Z-Wave, it looks like a nice option.


#7

I understand. I just haven’t heard of anyone using this with SmartThings yet, and I’m not sure it will be recognized appropriately.


#8

From what I found on the Z-Wave.Me forum (http://forum.z-wave.me/viewtopic.php?f=3427&t=23599&hilit=smarthings#p63113) people have some positive experience with Z-Uno and SmartThings. But that was a EU version of Smart Things.


#9

I’m not ready for programming complex communications via WiFi. ESP looks much more complex.

From the examples on Z-Uno site http://z-uno.z-wave.me/examples/ it seems to be very easy to make own devices. I’ve not seen such simple examples for ESP with schemes and guides. Z-Uno team made nice guides. At least I appreciate such nice examples.


#10

I read that thread, but the only positive report was:

i can confirm simple dimmer to be working

I haven’t seen anyone report multiple sensors working yet with SmartThings. Or even one sensor, for that matter.

There are reports that everything is working quite well with Zipato.

Homeseer users are reporting the same kinds of problems that I would expect to see with a SmartThings implementation:

10Channel reference example does not fully work with HS Pro 3 build 313 with the latest Zvave stack. I enclosed a screenshot. I have opened a case to HS Support.

And quite a few people saying they can’t get a temperature sensor to work.

Unless I missed something, it’s a pretty active forum.

(The zwave frequency won’t make any difference as long as the frequency of the hub exactly matches the frequency of the end devices. )


(Dan) #11

Branden,

No complicated programming necessary to use an Arduino or ESP device! I am the author of an Arduino library and set of SmartThings Device Handlers that simplifies the process for users down to editing a single Arduino sketch file. You simply decide what devices you want attached to each pin of your microcontroller and my software takes of of everything else!

Check it out!


(Eric) #12

depending on ST/ internet for a critical function like filling a tank, or stopping a pump, is bananas . If no harm will occur from missed commands then no big deal.

If the pump can be burned out by running empty, or the area will be flooded by pump running too long, then requiring ST/internet to operate correctly in order to avoid damage, is unsound design. It will make the hilarious issue of a garage door going down on your car, look like peanuts.

I expect incandescent disaster porn posts related to this design.


#13

In fact best would be to use direct Z-Wave associations between Z-Uno and the switch. This is robust. And just report water level sensor to analyze in ST and use more complex logic in future


(Dan) #14

Why not simply use the microcontroller (Arduino, Z-Uno, ESP8266, etc…) to perform both functions? It could monitor level and control the pump accordingly, all without any wireless protocols or cloud solutions. This would be the most reliable and safest. You even even add in a water leak detector to make sure the pump doesn’t flood the area. Maybe even a temperature sensor to avoid running when temps drop below freezing? Lots of options… (can you tell I do industrial automation for a living? :smile: )

You could still expose everything to SmartThings for data tracking and manual control if desired. You could even “set the mode” of the arduino-device to either automatic control or manual.


#15

They are not as close to each over to make it in one device. And I did not wanted wires to go along the tube from the tank to the wire.

BTW, adding a flood sensor to the same Z-Uno can be a nice idea to make sure the tank to not leak :wink: Will be two-in-one. And adding a DS18B20 temp sensor would also make sense to monitor temperature.


#16

I built a water level gauge for an overhead tank . Using the ST_Anyhting library and an ultrasonic sensor . The ultrasonic sensor measures the distance between itself and the surface of the water and is very precise . I will be adding a motor control option in the future . Unfortunately i haven’t had the time to clean up my code and share it. I will work on that but my project is a little bit more complex than what you are looking for.

I would recommend you use 2 ESP8266 .

ESP8266 - One

ESP8266 - Two

Once you have all theses devices exposed to Smartthings you can create a simple Smart app to manage the automation and notifications.


[RELEASE] ST_Anything v2.9.2 - Arduino/ESP8266/ESP32 to ST via ThingShield, Ethernet, or WiFi
[RELEASE] ST_Anything v2.9.2 - Arduino/ESP8266/ESP32 to ST via ThingShield, Ethernet, or WiFi
Home Water Management- What is best for Level and Pressure or Flow Monitoring- FortrezZ vs. EKM Metering?
#17

Forgot to report back - my Z-Uno was delivered and I managed to make it report values to SmartThings. Just had to apply a template from another sensor and edit a bit to have correct scales. So Z-Uno is pretty well supported in Smart Things. Hopefully SmartThings have a nice template manager for such custom devices


(Robert Latreille) #18

I’ve been trying to get my Z-uno to talk to ST using a simple button and could not get it to work. I’ve tried different device templates in ST , none worked.
Could you post your Arduino code and the device manager template?

That would be very appreciated


(Hendre) #19

I would love to see how you got this all to integrate with Smartthings and if you do have the time, an explanation of how you did this, would be much appreciated.


(Dan) #20

Here is the main ST_Anything forum thread…