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  • Cheap Wifi Door sensors?

    Team,

    Who has experience with Wifi sensors?
    Example: $12 doorsensor https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32960800236.html

    Can these sensors (for example) send HTTP POSTS to a configurable IP address?

    I would connect these sensors to Homeseer (hoping they have some kind of API)

    Any thoughts/ideas?

    Cheers
    DJ

  • #2
    You could probably flash them with new firmware like ESPEasy or ESPHome, setup a MQTT broker like Mosquito and run mcsMQTT plugin. After everything has been setup it should work. Or you could purchase Zwave sensors for a little bit more. It all depends on your level of tolerance for DIY.

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    • #3
      Most likely those are cloud based though the Tuya cloud service. The plugin CPS Tuya might connect to them. However, I would worry about the wifi sensors chewing through batteries quickly. I notice those use 2 AA, which probably will need to be replaced every 90-120 days. Any reason for not going with cheap Zigbee sensors instead? With Zigbee sensors you should have a battery life of 3-5 years.

      --Barry

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      • #4
        When using Wifi for door/window sensors special designs are needed to allow the processor to sleep until an event occurs. You also want periodic wakeup so you know the device is still working and an opportunity to get a report on the battery status.

        I obtained a Monprice Stitch WiFi door/window sensor @ $16 and took the cover off to confirm the special power management circuitry. I did not try too hard to hack it because it would require an understanding of the power circuitry. This means it would only be cloud-based and not useful for me.

        Kevin Durrah (KD Circuits) sell a Trigboard via Tindle for $20 which is also a ultra-low power usage board that likely would not need battery replacement in its lifetime. It is all open source hardware and software so could be made to service whatever need one may have.

        The idea of Tasmota or other custom firmware if fine for mains-powered devices, but it does not have design provisions to minimize battery use.

        I agree that Zigbee is the best technology for this application. In my case I use Zigbee2MQTT and $10 Zigbee USB dongle with the Xiaomi sensor for under $9
        at https://www.aliexpress.com/snapshot/...Id=32984522995. mcsMQTT plugin provides the conduit between Zigbee to HS. One could also use JowiHue/DeconZ/Conbee at a higher cost for the Zigbee interface.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Michael McSharry View Post
          I agree that Zigbee is the best technology for this application. In my case I use Zigbee2MQTT and $10 Zigbee USB dongle with the Xiaomi sensor for under $9
          at https://www.aliexpress.com/snapshot/...Id=32984522995. mcsMQTT plugin provides the conduit between Zigbee to HS. One could also use JowiHue/DeconZ/Conbee at a higher cost for the Zigbee interface.
          Do you have an updated URL? Getting a 404 not found

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          • #6
            The URL was my order URL. The product URL is https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3298...67a344a1l367PQ. Looks like the price rose a dollar since I orderred. There are likely other sellers in China of the same product.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Michael McSharry View Post
              The URL was my order URL. The product URL is https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3298...67a344a1l367PQ. Looks like the price rose a dollar since I orderred. There are likely other sellers in China of the same product.
              Thank you!

              I haven't looked at Zigbee for quite a while. A lot of my current setup is using Z-wave and I was pleasantly surprised when looking at the Zigbee prices.

              Maybe I should move to Zigbee and forget about Wifi.

              Comment


              • #8
                How about the RFXCOM plug-in and DS10 sensors? (You'd also need a WGL W800 receiver.)
                https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw...urity%20sensor
                Mike____________________________________________________________ __________________
                HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.548

                HW: Stargate | NX8e | CAV6.6 | Squeezebox | PCS | WGL 800RF, Rain8Net+ | RFXCOM | QSE100D | Vantage Pro | Green-Eye | X10: XTB-232, -IIR | Edgeport/8 | Way2Call | Ecobee3

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                • #9
                  Maybe I should move to Zigbee and forget about Wifi.
                  My opinion is that WiFi is the way to go for mains-powered devices. No middle-man that has to work correctly to control WiFi/Ethernet devices. Fewer things that can go wrong.

                  For battery powered devices then Zigbee is likely the best choice.

                  I do still have much X10 RF/W800 that has been working reliably for many years. The X10 hawkeye is a real trouper.

                  My base lighting install is UPB, but additional lighting is done with WiFi. I did try WiFi bulbs but had poor experience with premature failures. The LED may last a lifetime, but the supporting circuitry failed. I really do not have much need for color for general lighting so a WiFi switch or a Sonoff to control multiple standard white LED lights is what I am using for new installs. The Sonoff with Alexa has been a favorite because of its simplicity and ability to do voice control without HS getting into the middle of it.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Michael McSharry View Post
                    My opinion is that WiFi is the way to go for mains-powered devices. No middle-man that has to work correctly to control WiFi/Ethernet devices. Fewer things that can go wrong.
                    I agree to a point. Beware though that some wifi devices are controlled through a closed cloud-based system. The Leviton wifi switches and plugs are a good example. Great quality switches, among the best you can buy. But cracking/hacking their communications is darn near impossible. And so far Leviton has refused to make an API available to anyone except Samsung Smarthings.

                    Wifi communications involve a broadcaster and a receiver. Wifi routers usually have maximum-strength radios (as determined by the FCC) and external antennas. But mains powered wifi devices normally have weaker radios and a tiny internal antenna. Unlike Z-Wave, wifi devices don't act as repeaters. While wifi from the router can penetrate several walls, appliances and other large pieces of metal can weak havoc on 2.4ghz waves. Especially the weaker radios found in most smart-home devices. Relocating the fridge to allow wifi reception to a device is usually not an option, so one or more remote APs (access points) would be needed unless your device is located very close to or in line-of-sight of your router.

                    Next problem is when you have more than 50-100 clients on your wifi, most routers tend to get overwhelmed with how to handle all the 2.4ghz traffic zipping around and you'll notice a significant degradation in your wifi service. In that case you'll need to step up to a "prosumer" type router and APs, such as the Ubiquity Unifi products.

                    That's why I use a combination of Wifi, Z-Wave and Zigbee devices. Each has it's place in the smart home as the situation dictates.

                    --Barry

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                    • #11
                      I agree that each technology has strong and weak points. I have had UPB installed for over 10 years and not a single failure. It just works without even thinking about it. I have a plug installed at the end of a 500+ ft road and this is the only mainstream technology of which I am aware that can handle the task.

                      Even though my experience with UPB has been outstanding I don't expect to add additional units because of the need to relearn its installation configuration. If I was an installer who did it on a regular basis it would be simple, but as a user I forgot the process I used 10 years ago. I could relearn, but find WiFi something that is used in may ways and learning is a smaller step.

                      When moving to mesh networks like Zwave or Zigbee you get the benefit of range extension via daisychaining, but with this benefit also comes the dependency of devices performing properly when they have responsibility for not only the function they perform, but also for keeping the route alive. It just opens up more failure modes. This is where KISS is the best choice when possible. For one who has recently worked managing a route they are somewhat able to diagnose failures, but as time passes one forgets the techniques and it can be a real struggle to diagnose a failure with many interdependent parts.

                      Looking into the future I seem much being done to improve the capability of IP-based networks. Over the past 10 years with UPB and Zwave there has been little done to improve performance. With IP, my home network has gone from 10 MPS to 100 MPS to 1000 MPS. WiFi range has extended from a room to a house going from b/g to n. I have gone from three APs to one that gives my two floor coverage and range to two outbuildings and patio. The march goes on with new standards and a very large industry support base that is quantum larger than the automation technologies.. There likely will be improvement in other existing technologies, but these will be marginal vs. the significant improvements in IP technologies.

                      Again I am not knocking other technologies as they have their place, but if local WiFi fits the bill then that will be my first choice.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Michael McSharry View Post
                        I agree that each technology has strong and weak points. I have had UPB installed for over 10 years and not a single failure. It just works without even thinking about it. I have a plug installed at the end of a 500+ ft road and this is the only mainstream technology of which I am aware that can handle the task.
                        .
                        There are a couple options nowadays for long-range deployments that are reliable and can be used in conjunction with local wifi. I have successfully installed outdoor POE APs and cameras at distances of 1000'+ by using in-line POE boosters and underground rated CAT6 that I plowed 24" deep into the ground with a modified single-shank subsoiler behind a 155 hp tractor.

                        My equipment shed is about 3/4 mile from my house. I shoot internet there using outdoor Unifi APs mounted about 30' high at each location. The AP at the shed is plugged into a Unifi POE 8 port switch, which runs POE Unifi cameras and a Homeseer Z-Net. The Unifi switch and the Z-Net are powered by solar and a battery bank for 24/7 reliability. That setup gives me Z-Wave and Wifi at the shed using the the same LAN as the house that is 3/4 mile away. (The local power utility wanted $7500 to run power to the shed, so as a matter of principal I invested in the solar setup instead.)

                        --Barry

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Uncle Michael View Post
                          How about the RFXCOM plug-in and DS10 sensors? (You'd also need a WGL W800 receiver.)
                          https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw...urity%20sensor
                          For European X10 you need the RFXCOM RFXtrx.

                          These are not WiFi but the Kerui D026 security sensors are cheap battery powered 433MHz sensors with a close/normal status and also supported by the RFXtrx433E, RFXrec433E and RFXtrx433XL.
                          https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32463726744.html

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                          • #14
                            To ALL

                            Thank you for your valuable thoughts & ideas!

                            My Wifi network & coverage is excellent but given the (dis)advantages of both technologies (Wifi/Zigbee) I may combine them and use them where it makes sense.

                            Cheers!
                            DJ

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