Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Making the Switch

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Making the Switch

    I think I have come to an end with Smartthings, I have been struggling lately with it not now who is home or understanding the time of day which completely kills most of the automation that I am doing.

    I started looking at new options and initially leaned towards the vera plus as they integrate with DSC alarm systems, imperihome etc. I need a high wife acceptance factor to make it in the door. Then I started looking at homeseer and it seems to make sense.

    I am undecided as to running a troller unit or just running the software on a pc. I already have an old pc running as a plex server that could easily support the software. I haven't decided though if I am going to update my nas to something that can support plex natively. Are the benefits of running one over the other, ie dedicated homeseer troller or PC based?

    Also what should i be aware of before I decided to switch? What is the good, the bad and the ugly of homeseer?

    Here is some of what I currently do:
    geofence using smartphones to know who is home and adjust system from home to away or vice versa as well as check time of day so it turns on the lights i like if it is dark - this is a must in any system for our home.

    Scenes set up to automatically adjust lights based on events like going to bed

    Sonos integration is a must as well - I saw the sonos plugin - how well does it work?

    I also would like to tie in with a DSC alarm system - smartthings is an epic fail here - have to bridge with additional servers - again how is the integration?

    I know I have a long way to go and I have been searching forums and posts like crazy but I thought it was time to really get some input.

    Thanks

  • #2
    Welcome to the HomeSeer forum! I'm sure you'll get lots of advice in this thread. The best thing about HomeSeer is the incredibly active and helpful community.

    Regarding using a Troller or PC, there are pros and cons to both. I run HomeSeer on a Linux virtual machine in my main home (previously ran it under Windows 7), and I run HomeSeer on a Zee S2 in my second home. In the main home, I'm constantly tinkering, adding software, scripts, etc., and I like the control I have over everything. I have a robust virtualization environment that makes it easy to spin up new machines whenever I please. In the second home, I value stability above everything else. I am not the only one who uses the home, and things have to "just freakin' work" when I'm not there. I chose the Zee S2 for that reason. It's small, low power, and just works. I have had HomeSeer crash on it once, but was able to log in remotely via ssh and restart it.

    Regarding stability, historically that was one of HomeSeer's challenges, at least for me. HS2 was never all that stable for me, and HS3 under Windows was better but still not perfect. Since I switched HS3 over to Linux stability is hugely improved to the point where I don't even think about it much anymore. I do reboot the machine periodically, usually because I'm updating the OS or adding something to it.

    DSC integration with HomeSeer is excellent, and you have several choices. If you use the DSC IT-100 serial interface you can use either HomeSeer's DSC plugin, or (as I do) use Blade's great DSC plugin that has more features. You can also use an Envisalink IP interface, and there's a plugin for that too. I've never had any stability issues with DSC integration.

    What's the downside to HomeSeer? There are a few. It generally takes more knowledge to set up and run than some of the off the shelf systems out there. There are occasional bugs and stability issues, but they've gotten less frequent. If you're wiling to take the time to learn the system you'll love it.

    My advice is to start small, get a few things working really well, then expand from there. I understand acceptance factor completely... here we went from me being told to tear the @#!*%ing thing down a few years ago to him bringing up new ideas of things we can automate, and it's because I've taken small steps and made sure new stuff just works once I implement it...
    HS Pro 3.0 | Linux Ubuntu 16.04 x64 virtualized under Proxmox (KVM)
    Hardware: Z-NET - W800 Serial - Digi PortServer TS/8 and TS/16 serial to Ethernet - Insteon PLM - RFXCOM - X10 Wireless
    Plugins: HSTouch iOS and Android, RFXCOM, BlueIris, BLLock, BLDSC, BLRF, Insteon PLM (MNSandler), Device History, Ecobee, BLRing, Kodi, UltraWeatherWU3
    Second home: Zee S2 with Z-Wave, CT101 Z-Wave Thermostat, Aeotec Z-Wave microswitches, HSM200 occupancy sensor, Ecolink Z-Wave door sensors, STI Driveway Monitor interfaced to Zee S2 GPIO pins.

    Comment


    • #3
      Sonos plugin is excellent, free and very well supported if you have issues.

      In terms of good, bad and ugly I think the UI (both HSTouch and the web UI) is not as polished as other solutions out there but things like Smartthings have serious money behind them which HS does not have. HSTouch yes has some degree of customisation but only if you have the time and skills behind you to develop the interfaces, else you will have the default project.
      My Plugins:

      Pushover 3P | DoorBird 3P | Current Cost 3P | Velleman K8055 3P | LAMetric 3P | Garadget 3P | Hive 3P |
      Yeelight 3P | Nanoleaf 3P

      Comment


      • #4
        Just quick advice if you want high WAF. Stay away from Vera. I came from that to homeseer at a point when my wife was about to rip everything out herself. Now thugs run much smoother.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by waynehead99 View Post
          Just quick advice if you want high WAF. Stay away from Vera. I came from that to homeseer at a point when my wife was about to rip everything out herself. Now thugs run much smoother.
          Yeah, that is about where the wife is at with Smartthings. It just doesn't work that well and we aren't even pushing it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by reidfo View Post
            Welcome to the HomeSeer forum! I...
            Thanks for the great info! What types of stability issues were you or are you experiencing? That is probably one of my biggest concerns and what gets in the way of the Wife being good with the system.

            I am glad to hear that sonos and DSC are supported well, again not great in ST.

            For the DSC, can you actually use the door sensors and PIR in the automation or is there too much of a lag to be effective?

            As for the Linux, I was thinking of using a Pi, am I going to be giving up too much customization by going that route or would it work pretty well?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by norcalhkr View Post
              As for the Linux, I was thinking of using a Pi, am I going to be giving up too much customization by going that route or would it work pretty well?
              I've only ever run the Pi for testing HS and not in an actual system, just be a bit mindful that not all plugins work on Linux (think for the future, you are unlikely to have a new plugin that is Linux only, they will be Windows which supports Linux) and I believe that there are issues with transferring your database between the two OS's (unless this has been fixed) if you do later wish to change you could end up with a time consuming upgrade path.
              My Plugins:

              Pushover 3P | DoorBird 3P | Current Cost 3P | Velleman K8055 3P | LAMetric 3P | Garadget 3P | Hive 3P |
              Yeelight 3P | Nanoleaf 3P

              Comment


              • #8
                If you have a spare computer laying around download HS and you get a free 30 days. Personally for the cost, I didn't care for HS Pro. You do get all the HS plugins free, but you will find there is only a handful and you will probably only end up using the zwave one and you still have to purchase the 3rd party ones. Pro does give you designer for free, but you only need that if you plan to build custom interfaces for your phone or tablets. You do get a free interface with base purchase though. Factor what you want into the cost and plugins you can spread the cost as you want to install them. What I did was bought the immediate ones I needed first and spread the nice to have over a couple months.

                Homeseer is very stable, HSTouch has its quirks but is reasonably good and useful. I personally run mine on a mini computer to keep electrical cost down. It doesn't take a lot of horsepower even on midsize systems. I have about 80 zwave devices and probably 600 events. My computer handles it just fine including a SQL database running on it to capture all the data points (not native but can be done).

                My wife stopped complaining about things once I made the switch, so I take that as a good sign. There is a lot of good info here and good people. This is one of the few forums that people don't blast you for what they think is a dumb question.

                Comment


                • #9
                  You also mentioned geofencing and imperihome. For imperihome, a third-party (3P) plugin was just released as beta. It's working well, with support for additional device types coming. For geofencing, it can be done using IFTTT, or with a free 3P plugin called phLocation. I'm running on Windows and stability for me has been great recently, especially when I'm not mucking with the system.

                  Cheers
                  Al
                  HS 3.0.0.548: 1976 Devices 1156 Events
                  Z-Wave 3.0.1.262: 123 Nodes on one Z-Net

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by norcalhkr View Post
                    For the DSC, can you actually use the door sensors and PIR in the automation or is there too much of a lag to be effective?
                    here is a thread with a lot of information on this subject: http://board.homeseer.com/showthread.php?t=178397
                    the short answer is yes you can

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks all for the quick responses and insight. I will absolutely demo the software first. I was leaning towards the pro version simply for the designer. That has always been an interest of mine to have a nifty dashboard that could run on the wall although with imperihome in the works I might hold off, that is much cheaper

                      to start doing some testing and most likely beyond testing what type of z wave interface do you guys recommend? I am probably never going to go above 75 devices directly. I have a single story 1900 sqft home, nothing going on outside at this point.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        As for Z-Wave, definitely go for the Z-Net. It's the most modern interface, and supported directly by HomeSeer.

                        I use my DSC panel for events, and wired sensors/zones connected via serial port work great. The DSC wireless motion sensors have a built-in 2 second delay which is kind of annoying when triggering things like lights.

                        Back when I was running HS2 (which was Windows only) I had to reboot it at least once a week. HS3 under Windows was better, but still needed a reboot every few weeks.
                        HS Pro 3.0 | Linux Ubuntu 16.04 x64 virtualized under Proxmox (KVM)
                        Hardware: Z-NET - W800 Serial - Digi PortServer TS/8 and TS/16 serial to Ethernet - Insteon PLM - RFXCOM - X10 Wireless
                        Plugins: HSTouch iOS and Android, RFXCOM, BlueIris, BLLock, BLDSC, BLRF, Insteon PLM (MNSandler), Device History, Ecobee, BLRing, Kodi, UltraWeatherWU3
                        Second home: Zee S2 with Z-Wave, CT101 Z-Wave Thermostat, Aeotec Z-Wave microswitches, HSM200 occupancy sensor, Ecolink Z-Wave door sensors, STI Driveway Monitor interfaced to Zee S2 GPIO pins.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Z-net os the 145 option right? For testing would the stick work? Also I noticed you said serial interface on the alarm, I was thinking of running the EV Link instead, not sure if it is just as fast or if I should pony up for the serial connection as well.

                          I do like that I can put the Z-net away from the computer if needed or at least that is what it sounded like.

                          What was causing the system to need to be reset? Just trying to get a better idea of the expectations going in.

                          Thanks again for the info

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by spud View Post
                            here is a thread with a lot of information on this subject: http://board.homeseer.com/showthread.php?t=178397
                            the short answer is yes you can
                            Thanks for the link! lots of good info there. Looks like more and more that this is looking like the right way to go.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by norcalhkr View Post
                              Z-net os the 145 option right? For testing would the stick work? Also I noticed you said serial interface on the alarm, I was thinking of running the EV Link instead, not sure if it is just as fast or if I should pony up for the serial connection as well.

                              I do like that I can put the Z-net away from the computer if needed or at least that is what it sounded like.

                              What was causing the system to need to be reset? Just trying to get a better idea of the expectations going in.

                              Thanks again for the info
                              I think a Z-Stick would probably be fine, but the Z-Net is supported directly by HomeSeer, and I don't believe the Z-Stick supports Z-Wave Plus.

                              I'm not completely sure what was causing the instability I had before, but I suspect it was memory leaks either in HS or specific plugins. With the new HS3 architecture, plugins execute separately from HS, so if a plugin misbehaves it doesn't take everything else down with it.

                              For DSC, serial works great for me using the IT-100 interface. I don't have the EnvisaLink, so can't comment on how well it works. Serial meets my needs for now.
                              HS Pro 3.0 | Linux Ubuntu 16.04 x64 virtualized under Proxmox (KVM)
                              Hardware: Z-NET - W800 Serial - Digi PortServer TS/8 and TS/16 serial to Ethernet - Insteon PLM - RFXCOM - X10 Wireless
                              Plugins: HSTouch iOS and Android, RFXCOM, BlueIris, BLLock, BLDSC, BLRF, Insteon PLM (MNSandler), Device History, Ecobee, BLRing, Kodi, UltraWeatherWU3
                              Second home: Zee S2 with Z-Wave, CT101 Z-Wave Thermostat, Aeotec Z-Wave microswitches, HSM200 occupancy sensor, Ecolink Z-Wave door sensors, STI Driveway Monitor interfaced to Zee S2 GPIO pins.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X