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vPeteWalker

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vPeteWalker last won the day on May 31

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  1. Hi all. If you haven't already seen it, Brian and team posted a video titled "Smart Home Project Ideas With Automaters!" which I'd highly recommend. My contribution was how to automate dehumidifiers in my basement using the following: SmartThings v3.0 hub HomeSeer HS-FS100-L - Z-Wave Indicator Light Sensor Kasa (TP-Link) - HS-110 - Smart Wi-Fi Plug with Energy Monitoring SwitchBot Meter (Thermometer and Hygrometer) Switchbot Mini (to connect to WIFI) Webcore installed and configured Now, bear in mind this is how I accomplished this. By all means, feel free to substitute or otherwise customize as you see fit. I liked the smart plugs because they integrated into SmartThings and also have energy monitoring. However, the HomeSeer sensor was the only thing I could find to fill that purpose. There is no one "right way" this is only "my way". With the included light sensor, which you plug into the side, it will (not surprisingly!) monitor light. On my particular dehumidifier, it will blink when full (or when the bucket is removed). The overview of the automation has two parts, Part 1 handles the on/off based on humidity, Part 2 notifies when the dehumidifier is full. You may be asking "Why not just use the dehumidifier's built in humidity sensor?" I've personally found the models I have to be less than accurate. Also, this is nice for folks with older units who may not have that functionality. I'm positive you could put these into a single automation, but that's not what I did. I left them separate, not only because I considered them so, but for troubleshooting ease. Enjoy and please comment if you have any questions, or comments! Thanks for reading! Part 1 - Turning the dehumidifier on or off based on humidity level This section has two automations, and on this part we're only using the Smart Plug and the Hygrometer. All this is done within the SmartThings app itself. I recommend to have the notify setup, at least in the early stages of you implementing this, so you can confirm that it's working. Of course, adjust your percentages based on your own needs. For us, I believe we're going to bump these up a bit, because it doesn't seem to regularly get under 40% (usually stays in the 40-45% range) however my wife doesn't report any smell, so it may be possible to adjust to save power here. You should undergo a similar testing phase for yourself. If humidity equal to, or greater than 50% -> then turn on dehumidifier and notify. If humidify equal to, or less than 40% -> then turn off dehumidifier and notify. Here's what one that looks like in the (new) SmartThings app to turn off. Use it as a guide to create another automation to turn the dehumidifier on. Part 2 - Notifying when the dehumidifier is full This section involves the HomeSeer sensor. You'll need a custom device handler (https://community.smartthings.com/t/release-homeseer-flex-sensor/157045) and you are automating around whether certain buttons are pushed. It can be a little confusing at first, because we aren't talking about physical buttons, but virtual ones - this is how the sensor notifies based on light levels. I personally have my HomeSeer powered by USB, but battery power is absolutely an option and doesn't change the automation at all. I just plugged in the USB wire to the same outlet my dehumidifier is in, since I had that available. If you have (or purchase) an outlet that has separate USB A outlets in them, or a separate plug (the HomeSeer doesn't come with one, just the USB wire) just be sure they meet the power requirements of the HomeSeer to avoid damage. Within the settings of the HomeSeer device within SmartThings, these are my settings. I disabled the buzzer, since I'm using automation, and I did set the Light Detection Delay to 1 second for my dehumidifier (to detect blinking). You may have to change this, based on your dehumidifier. Maybe your light just stays on when full, so you can set that to zero seconds. Notice at the bottom of this screen shot, it speaks about the button push events (mentioned above). I was only interested in Button 1 and 2. Maybe you have something you can automate based on color change? Below is the Webcore portion. When the HomeSeer detects the bucket is full, it will push button 2 (light detected). When the bucket it empty, it will push button 1 (light not detected). I have this set to only notify every 5 minutes while button 2 is pushed, and stop once button 1 is pushed.
  2. Hi fellas. Thanks for responding! I've just about given up on this for their vacation house, because frankly in my particular situation, the monthly internet price they would pay is cheaper than any cellular plan, but they would prefer not paying a monthly bill for that internet when they aren't there. I'm trying to convince them to just leave it on, thinking let's say "$35/month is worth it to be able to monitor the house while you're away" but not sure they'd go for that. I have one last chance to see if they can add on a device to their unlimited AT&T plan they have for their car, but otherwise this project for their vacation house is likely dead. Brian, basically it's not finding a solution that would work without internet, it's finding a solution that could allow them to remotely monitor their home - which clearly leans more on the connectivity. Any alerts etc. wouldn't be able to be communicated back to "home base" without internet, so that'd be a bust. Frank, like I posted it's simple stuff... "Contact sensors on any entry doors, sheds, garages, etc. which will alert them based on their preferences. We might add cameras in as well, doorbells, etc. down the road but I think starting with the sensors and potentially locks is a good first step." I also thought about sensors for fridge/freezer, maybe adding a wifi thermostat. I'd love to hear more potential ideas for things you guys may be using, and yes I remember Brian's vid focused on older folks, so I need to revisit that for sure. I have plenty of ideas to get this off the ground, I'm just struggling with picking an ecosystem an its related cost. I think SmartThings is a great choice, because while I don't love them having to connect a hub (and the cost of the hub) I don't see any alternative that for the overall cost, features and functionality, comes close. I think Wyze could be very compelling on cost, likely would satisfy their minimal requirements - especially since I can use those sensors to trigger automations... I just need to play with the Wyze sensors I have here, and play out those scenarios my folks would use, to see if this would be a fit. I'm starting with some leftover Kasa smart plugs I have, and hoping they warm to the idea of more automation/alerts/etc. so we can grow the system. Have a wonderful day all!
  3. Hi all. Hope you're having an excellent day! I'm here asking for help, in the hopes that someone else has done the research for a similar project recently, and care to share their findings, or anyone else who has some thoughts! Something inexpensive is the name of the game here. I want my folks and I to be able to keep tabs on their home, but they won't buy into it if the cost to maintain it is too high. My folks have two homes, which they split their time between. Their permanent home has internet all the time, but their "vacation" home doesn't, as it doesn't make sense cost-wise to maintain that. I am looking to build two systems, with that variation in mind. They are already familiar/comfortable with Alexa, so I thought it made the most sense to build around that ecosystem. Not saying I couldn't get SmartThings or similar, just trying to avoid it if possible. They have a 1st gen Alexa, some minis, and a Flex right now at main house, and I think just a mini in vacation home. My ideas for both homes are simple. Contact sensors on any entry doors, sheds, garages, etc. which will alert them based on their preferences. We might add cameras in as well, doorbells, etc. down the road but I think starting with the sensors and potentially locks is a good first step. I thought it'd be nice to have Alexa alert them with something spoken, since they are both over 70, and aren't the most technologically savvy. As far as the internet, it'd be great to get a router that could use cellular as a backup, but I worry about if the normal internet goes out while they are there and it fails over to the cellular... they could be in for a huge bill! But it would be super nice that when they are at vacation home, they turn on internet and it will use that, but otherwise use the cellular. Keeping this simple is a must. We have T-Mobile for cellular now, but also my folks have AT&T through their Chevy SUV (not sure if you can add another mifi or similar device onto that package). If you have a recommendation on MIFI on the cheap, please let me know. I wouldn't mind connecting whatever hub strictly through the MIFI device/router, and forego the cellular backup portion if it was more economical. I'm perfectly fine with setting all this up for them at their house near use, but it may be a challenge for their vacation home since I won't be going there, so I'd have to maybe setup the sensors ahead of time and they can stick them up, or something similar to make this easy. Thanks for taking the time to read this, and hopefully you folks have some great ideas I haven't thought of! Much appreciated.
  4. Hi folks! Trying to get a suggestion for a bulb that I can stick into the back of a pumpkin. One of two ideas, but certainly happy to hear what you guys are doing when it comes to something similar, or just halloween decorations in general. Something less expensive, vs. say "Phillips Hue" where there'd be a significant investment, as I don't have any smart LEDs today. First idea is to rotate colors, etc. via either a physical remote or app, but preferably something that saves the settings between power off/on OR can be controlled via app to turn it on/off separately from when I turn on/off my outdoor lights. That will be more annoying, as I'd have to run a completely separate wire out to it, but not a deal breaker. If it's inexpensive enough, I don't mind it not being "outdoor" per se... Second idea is just maybe a black light, so nothing necessarily "home automation" about it, and just need a cord with a single bulb to plug in... maybe someone's done this and has recommendations? Thanks all, appreciate it!
  5. Alright, so I figured it out. Be sure to use this device handler, as otherwise the "button" sensor may not be available, and that's the important bit: https://graph-na04-useast2.api.smartthings.com/ide/device/editor/5561e017-d5d3-47d5-a543-dc67e979a4fc The documentation that was vital was this, which allowed me to create events based on a button push, and knowing which button corresponded to which sensor state: https://community.smartthings.com/t/release-homeseer-flex-sensor/157045 Option 1: (what I used) Use WebCore to trigger based on pushing button 2 (Light On): Option 2: You can use SmartThings, and their generic "Notify me when" via the classic app. Be aware this triggers on all buttons, including button 1 (no light). I didn't love this because I'd get a notification after I emptied it. How to set up notifications with Notify Me When Tap Marketplace. Tap SmartApps. Tap Safety & Security. Tap Notify Me When. Select one or more triggers from the following: Select the devices for which you want to be notified. Tap Done. I hope this helps! Enjoy!
  6. Hi folks! I just installed the Homeseer HS-FS100+ flex sensor (using it for light) for my dehumidifier. I added the custom device handler from Homeseer, and within the "old" SmartThings app, I see the device and it detects light as expected. The problem I'm having is how to create an automation around it. I have both the new and old app, but I can't seem to find something in either app that I can use to notify me based on it detecting light. The new app doesn't even see the light portion, only battery and temperature. In the old app, if I look at the sensor itself, it shows light when detected, etc. but I cannot find an automation that would give me essentially "If light detected, notify me". I also looked at IFTTT and under SmartThings, there's no topic where I can choose this sensor. I could really use some help here. Please let me know if I can answer anything I didn't mention. Thanks everyone!
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