Options for Arduino > Smarthings

Given a recent bout of failure with a couple of z-wave “smart” sensors. I’m going to try and connect a few arduino systems that I have.

I’ve got 2 Smartthings shields on order and they’ll be arriving in a few weeks (international friend carried :smile:

But i’d like to know what my other options are and see if others did.
I saw this @florianz but there wasn’t any updates (ZigBee Development Board)

So if someone can confirm working or add to the list

  1. Smartthings Shield
  2. XBee modules - $10 from most sources
  3. A GE Light bulb - No idea about this. I’m 220v so not sure if this is an option

Arduino with ST shield works great.

This is a great library that makes it pretty easy.

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  1. Coding for the SmartThings Shield is extremely easy because it comes with custom firmware installed and a custom library (and the Community Developed library "ST_Anything). All the messages are plain text, which is “easy” to handle on both ends (i.e., in your Sketches and in Device Handlers). But your project will not be compatible with any other HA system, nor even releasable in a product for SmartThings. It truly is just a rapid-prototyping module (or extended personal use, or sharing with other builders).

The Shield primarily uses UART serial communication to your MCU, so it is technically feasible to use it with other platforms than Arduino, but you’d have to port the Arduino Library. I wonder if anyone has done this for RPi yet, for example.

  1. XBee (and many other ZigBee development kits; some better than others) have pretty darn complex libraries and coding required in order to be ZigBee HA compliant, and, though SmartThings is improving their API, it is considerably more difficult to write the Device Handlers as well. Messages must be in ZigBee Cluster Library format – which is really good stuff to learn, but steep learning curve. However, the knowledge is transferable to other ZigBee HA compliant systems.
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Thank you Todd and Terry.

Ultimately I’d like something that is plug and play. I will only (for what I can imagine) need a on/off so i’m wondering if the videos i’ve seen of people dismantling the GU Light bulb will work. – Any idea?

I’m only doing some home automation projects, so the prototyping solution is okay, I was just trying to keep my costs down at the Xbee option at $5 looks attractive.

Hi Charles, Thank you for the suggestion.

Is that a zigbee module or a wifi solution?
This part of the device system is a concern though
const char* ssid = “SSID”;
const char* password = “SSIDPASSWORD”;
This means that WPA2 Enterprise is not an option and is only WEP/WPA Personal, right?

Can you explain what it’s doing as it seems to not be Zigbee but I could be mistaken.

Hi Charles. You are right, I wasn’t clear in my original post. I’m not quite comfortable using pure wifi to handle these things. In fact, I had a german buddy write on my facebook this morning the following

“Wireless? Germans prefer homematic, not sure about global footprint. Zwave growing. Because of fundamental flaws in all these protocols, I’m on wifi. Esp8266 http://www.esp8266.nu/index.php/Main_Page

Lastly, I need something that isn’t only a monitoring type solution, i need to be able to tell it to turn off/on.

If all you need is on/off and you have line voltage available (110v?), then sometimes a cheap Z-Wave or ZigBee outlet or relay is the easiest. There are also “curtain modules” on Monoprice.

The Cree bulb hack is great if it still works… I forget for certain… I think GE Link boards are covered in Epoxy and can’t be hacked.

Hi Tgauchat/Terry,

Those could work however I’m on 220v with 908.42 US z-Wave. I looked at very similar Sainsmart Arduino boards that have a SSR/Mechicanl relays. What i’m looking to do is turn on the LED’s at teh staircase when there is motion. However, I’m thinking beyond that project and would like to figure out a better system to do an on/off switch.

About the outlets, I just bought 3 Aeotec “Smart” switch 6’s and have major issues beyond 10 feet through 1 normal concrete wall. That’s why I’m starting this topic as my zigbee devices work fine all the way upstairs.

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I guess i’m pretty much SOL here.

Given that these 3 Aeotec “Smart” switch 6’s can’t get beyond 10 feet, I’m cocerned about the Smart Things modules that are on their way. No idea what i’m going to do if these things are equally poor.

Any other options/ideas?
220V mains, 908.42 US z-wave or zigbee

I received a test unit from Aeon Labs and have confirmed that these devices due indeed have a limitation in distance or my walls make a very good barrier. :frowning:

Correction: wall (singular) makes said barrier