Multi Location Setup - Strobe and Sound using MIMOLite - Please help!

Hi all,

I’m new to the community, but I have been using SmartThings at home for about a year now. This post is about a project I am trying to do for my offices and it is a little more complicated project than I have approached at home.

Here’s what we are trying to do:
Put a button in each of the offices (11) that, when pressed, will make a light and sound turn on for a few seconds in all 11 offices.

I recognize that this isn’t what SmartThings was designed to do, but I feel like it is possible with a few work arounds (and far cheaper than the $30,000 we were quoted to do this with another solution)

In my head it should work something like this:

  • Each location will have it’s own ST Hub, and ST account
  • a connected button is put in each location - when pressed an email is sent to a specific email address (or something is posted to an RSS feed, or put in a google spreadsheet, etc) using IFTTT if necessary
  • All ST accounts (all locations) look for that same “trigger” - so, there would be multiple IFTTT accounts, monitoring an email account
  • When the “Trigger” is detected, all ST hubs would flash the strobe light and turn on the sound for ~15 seconds.

Here are my questions:

  1. Does this make any sense at all? Do you think it’s possible?
  2. What would you suggest I use as a “trigger” that any ST hub could initiate with a button press, that also could be used as an input to initiate an action? I am thinking some IFTTT and gmail type trigger.
  3. I’m wondering, can you wire a device to powered by a MIMOLite? I have a small 5V strobe light (it’s cheap), that I am thinking I can wire to the MIMOLite as an output, and also wire a momentary press button (like a garage door button) to a MIMOLite input.

Does anyone have any ideas that might make this easier? I have thought about the FortrezZ strobe/siren as an option, but we really want to be able to use a programmable speaker (we don’t want the noise to be an alarm noise…), so I’ve found a 5V programmable speaker that I was thinking that I’d also wire into the MIMOlite. I know that arduino might be an option, but I don’t have any experience with it, and I think that may be biting off more than I can chew.

Thanks everyone!

I would simplify the solution (as well as reduce the cost) by just using a Raspberry PI in each location.

  1. Use one of the Pi’s PIO pins (configured for input) to connect to your “button”
  2. Write a program that runs on the Pi that monitors the state change of the PIO pin and when changed (button pressed) update a file that contains a timestamp to a known location in the cloud (e.g., google drive).
  3. Use another program on the Pi that polls every n seconds (n = whatever is a tolerable delay between button press and remote location notification).
  4. The polling program would check the timestamp inside the file (or the timestamp of the file itself) to see if this is a new button press or one that its already alarmed on.
  5. If this is a new timestamp, then play a sound on the built-in Pi audio controller (e.g., play an MP3 of whatever alert sound you want). You will need to connect an externally powered speaker as the internal 1/8" jack on the Pi does not provide enough volume by itself.
  6. Use another PIO pin (configured for output) to turn on a LED/light

You could even put inside this “triggering file” the location number of the location that pressed the button. You could then play a specific MP3 per location – e.g., play a phrase like: “Location 5 just pressed the button”.

This would require very little programming all of which can be found in examples on the net and the cost per location would be about:
$40 per pi
$10 powered speaker
$10 misc for Pi power supply and a button.
$10 if you want a Pi case

You could even use another PIO pin (configured as output) to turn on a different LED/light to indicate a problem (e.g., unable to connect to the internet – can’t access the “triggering file”)