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Author Topic: HomeSeer Link to Almond +  (Read 2620 times)

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Offline Alan

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HomeSeer Link to Almond +
« on: April 08, 2016, 01:16:08 am »
Is there a way to link my HomeSeer - ZWave network to my Almond+ (currently setup as an extender) so that I can integrate the Zigbee sensors I got with the Almond+ into HomeSeer?  I also am playing with Zigbee on Arduino and thought (just maybe) I could link them this way too.

Thanks,

Alan

Offline Ashok

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Re: HomeSeer Link to Almond +
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2016, 10:34:45 am »
@ Alan,

No, we can't use the Almond+ as the secondary controller.

Offline WeaslyD

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Re: HomeSeer Link to Almond +
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2016, 01:55:06 pm »
I have a need to accomplish a Almond+ -> Homeseer link as well. Specifically, I would like to use a limited number of zigbee sensors that are currently connected to my A+, and the terrific presence detection of the A+ to update virtual devices in Homeseer. I already have several other methods of location awareness, but all of them drain more battery than the "device connected to network" solution A+ implements. I've also managed to get one-way communication using Tasker/Autonotification to read Almond+ app notifications and send commands to homeseer to control/update virtual devices. This works reliably, but again requires more battery on my primary device, or that I leave a standalone android device running at all times to catch these notifications. Seems wasteful and overly complicated to me.

Anyway, as described, I'm not looking to use the Almond as a secondary controller, but rather to get the data from the A+ into Homeseer by some means. I'm sure that a better programmer than myself (I'm a hobbyist programmer, not a professional) could hack something together using the websockets API from Securifi, and the JSON control API from Homeseer, but I also realize my need is somewhat unique. Is there anyone out there who would like to collaborate on such a thing? Failing that, does anyone with better/more experience with websockets know of any example code that could be used to get me started on this? Or advice on language/framework/library options to simplify my work? My plan would be to run the code on either my dedicated Homeseer system (running windows) or on my Qnap NAS, both of which run 24/7.

Any and all advice would be appreciated!

Offline SecureComp

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Re: HomeSeer Link to Almond +
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2016, 12:40:48 am »
run a VM machine on your Windows box, make the machine a LINUX variant of your choosing
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Offline WeaslyD

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Re: HomeSeer Link to Almond +
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2016, 02:46:19 am »
run a VM machine on your Windows box, make the machine a LINUX variant of your choosing

Hmmm. To what end exactly? I have multiple systems running linux already, most notably the aforementioned Qnap NAS. How would this help to link HS3 and A+?

Offline SecureComp

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Re: HomeSeer Link to Almond +
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2016, 03:56:59 am »
Wasn't sure how much flexibility the Qnap offered which is why I suggested the alternatives. If you have multiple LINUX systems running and can provide 24 hour service, then obviously one of those would be they way to go, presuming you can tinker with it to you heart's desire.

What's more important is to understand exactly what it is that you want and then explain what it would really take to do the job. Phrases like controlling a few devices aren't as helpful as, I want a text message sent when the temp in this room drops below a threshold for example.

There is only one practical way to develop a plugin with Homeseer, one language and one framework. There is an alternative but it's messy and not for the 'diy hacker', unless it's capable diy hacker with a lot of time on their hands.

1) Let's start with your list of "limited number of zigbee devices" and get specific about which device(s) exactly.

You like the 'terrific' presence detection methodology on the A+. If you monitor the A+ you will get a message like the below on a regular basis for your Network Devices.

Code: [Select]
{"CommandType":"DynamicClientUpdated","Clients":{"ID":"19","Name":"your name for your smartphone","Connection":"wireless","MAC":"14:30:xx:xx:xx:xx","Type":"smartphone","LastKnownIP":"10.10.10.134","Active":"true","UseAsPresence":"true","LastActiveEpoch":"1464666451","Wait":"6","Block":"0","RSSI":"-56","Schedule":"0,0,0,0,0,0,0","RX":"0","TX":"0","ForceInactive":"0","Manufacturer":"Motorola"}}
{"commandtype":"SensorUpdate","data":{"36":{"1":{"index":"1","name":"STATE","value":"true"}}}}
{"commandtype":"SensorUpdate","data":{"36":{"1":{"index":"1","name":"STATE","value":"false"}}}}
{"commandtype":"SensorUpdate","data":{"36":{"1":{"index":"1","name":"STATE","value":"true"}}}}

2) Is that what you like about it? Or is it just that there is an active DHCP lease that is "live".

3) You are currently 'trapping' and using the Almond+ app notifications. Meaning what exactly? You are watching the socket and parsing all the messages like the above data? Or you are watching the HTTP stuff? Or you've built some binaries? Or you're watching log and xml files on the OS?

4) You are using Tasker and it is chewing up battery, this seems to be your major issue and reason for looking to an alternative? You said as much some I'm taking this as a "yes" and the real concern is 'hey, how can I can the Homeseer to get the A+ data local and then process it'.

Tasker is a nifty gimmick for getting some things done, use it for several things myself but it is no good for establishing a comm link between something like the A+ and Homeseer, not that it can't be done as you've demonstrated but that it's not direct, robust and full-time or nearly as flexible as other options.

So, you want to use a different device to handle the job, I suggested the VM device on your Windows PC because that offers complete flexibility in selecting an OS and is apparently available full time. I did not suggest the Qnap because although it runs a flavor of LINUX, it has some limitations. Not that you couldn't work within those limitations but why bother if you can have any flavor LINUX OS of your choosing?  Certainly you can use the Qnap provided whatever version it is supports the needed tools and you don't mind risking it's primary functionality. Me, my NAS is for backups and I don't put those at risk for tinkering projects, so not my first choice, but it it's yours, you know the risks with this sort of stuff, have at it.  But those are the reasons for suggesting the VM solution.

Now, the essential 'design' of using a separate device to accomplish your goal, "To what end exactly?"

Anything happening on the A+ can be gobbled up by another LINUX system in many different ways, at the application level, grabbing the HTML or web socket info or writing a nifty binary, spitting out text files, remote transferring files, establishing socket level comm, etc. So now you have all the messaging data from the A+ on a separate, robust, current, flexible, not putting your A+ stuff at risk, kind of device. Next step is to pass it thru to the Homeseer via whatever method. In this case, Homeseer offers a nice API using JSON.  Well that stuff isn't too tricky. But since you're developing something right now and the assumption is that your Homeseer system is providing critical functionality, don't put it as risk when you can download a copy of Homeseer and throw it on a VM for $0.  Once you feel you've got everything working, port it to your Homeseer box. So is it a requirement? Certainly not, it's just how I have proceeded as a first step in getting my A+ to work with voice response systems and various home automation systems.

Want to skip directly to the solution and talk directly from the Homeseer box to the A+, which really means establish a connection, do a bunch of listening and occasionally take an action? ok.

Homeseer is nothing more than a nice group of apps running on a RaspPi, or Intel Nuc or minimal PC "embedded Windows" which is basically a thin client.  That is not to minimize the cool stuff that Homeseer does, which is great, just that it's not secret sauce rocket science.

Because this is a tinkering DIY setup, the easy route is to mock one up on a stand alone and port the final to your existing Homeseer. Not being clear on what you are monitoring with Tasker, and not having a clear understanding of your skill set, I suggested the stand apart solution to begin. The fact that you asked about frameworks and languages and suggested either your Homeseer Host (the obvious choice and certainly target solution presuming sufficient horsepower which it likely has) or the Qnap, by suggesting there is an option, meant to me you weren't clear on the final product. I would expect you could do most of what you want with scripts rather than digging into the whole SDK thing.

There is a LINUX version of the Homeseer HS3 sw dev platform for testing and you could use that but the primary setup is on a Windows 7 machine and you would be using Visual Basic .net and the .net framework for the final product which means you need to be using Visual Studio 2010 or later (free to students I think, at least it was when I last taught the stuff) At least that would be the way to go unless you want to tackle a whole bunch of other issues. (not recommended for a hobbyist)

So if I were to provide an Executive Summary it would read something like this:
-offload A+ info to LINUX platform and run script based solution to integrate with HS3
-generating a comprehensive A+ HS3 Plugin using the HS3 SDK via VB.net is not trivial


btw, I don't think your "need" is unique, I think an A+ Plugin for Homeseer would be a huge deal.  If I were to do it, I'd be charging money for it and selling it with Homeseer's and Securifi's blessing I'm sure.

I don't mind helping out with some script based solutions if that's the route you think you might want to go.





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