Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Interesting contrast to 4 years ago.

Funny I shared this article on Facebook 4 years ago when feeling depressed at the phone and cloud centric home automation then. Interesting to read again in light of the voice and cloud centric home automation we see now. Though SmartThings has been moving away from the cloud most have not and the voice interfaces are being marketed as "home automation" even though they are basically just remote controls.  Four years ago was also before I scrapped my Veras and upgraded to Homeseer which pretty much ticks all the boxes. The only real missing bit for Homeseer is Zigbee support. Though between Hue and SmartThings hubs that can be linked into Homeseer as well. Plus there are very few Zigbee devices that are not available in Z-wave and or WiFi versions these days.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Wanting to monitor your fridge / freezer?

For fridge / freezer monitoring this Wireless Tag is definitely the way to go.   They also give you motion alerts, talk to about anything, cheap compared to most and will even give you verbal alerts in a browser.

There is both a simple interface for things like basic notifications

And a scripting interface called Kumo Apps that lets you do even more and call local URLs making it easy to interface with home automation like Homeseer. There are lots of templates to get you started.

Here is an example of how to send the data to Homeseer
var tags = <#tags_[12|13|26|32|52|62|72|21]_N#>;
function (tag) {
tag.updated = function () {

if( === "Comp Rack 0"){
 KumoApp.httpCall(""+(tag.batteryVolt / 3.2),"GET");
 KumoApp.httpCall(""+(tag.temperature * 9 / 5 + 32),"GET");

How well do they work?

I've been using them for years and on a whim stuck one in the fridge and another in freezer last February along with a AcuRite 00782A2 Wireless Indoor/Outdoor Thermometer (outdoor module in freezer). They stayed close to each other in readings. Note battery life is reduced by the cold. Freezer one lasts only about 3-4 months. Generally they last closer to a year.

You will need a hub "Ethernet Tag Manager" for them to talk to but it is low cost too.

Note though I have had no luck with the Wireless Water/Moisture Sensors The soil moisture never worked and even the temp sensors seem erratic in the new ones. Plus the batteries are not replaceable like the indoor models.

Also if you start seeing random false motion alerts it probably means the battery is about ready to be changed.