ChanServ changed the topic of #sandstorm to: Welcome to #sandstorm: home of all things Sandstorm and Cap'n Proto. Say hi! | Have a question but no one is here? Try asking in the discussion group: | Channel logs available at
<kentonv> ocdtrekkie, IIRC you have opinions on home automation? (I think I may have asked before but can't remember.)
<ocdtrekkie> I expressed some strong views, yes.
<ocdtrekkie> Big ones are smart switches instead of smart bulbs. Avoiding anything that uses Wi-Fi. And obviously open standards compliant hardware only.
<ocdtrekkie> Ideally things like IP cameras should be PoE powered, on a separate VLAN without any ability to route to the Internet.
<kentonv> ocdtrekkie, any opinions on open source control software? E.g. Home Assistant vs. openHAB vs. ???
<ocdtrekkie> Since I roll my own, I have limited experience with them. But Home Assistant seems like the prevailing leader on widespread community and third party plugins for various devices.
<kentonv> roll your own, eh? How so?
<kentonv> (I am planning out what to do with the house I'm building, and also thinking about whether there's a Sandstorm integration here...)
<ocdtrekkie> I use a bad Visual Basic .NET app to control my smart devices. I would not, as a general concept, recommend others use it.
<isd> (One of these days I want to be able to fulfill powerbox requests over mDNS)
<ocdtrekkie> And I wrote my app to control devices I would definitely not recommend people buy today when building a new system.
<kentonv> ocdtrekkie, yeah, I'm more wondering what goes into writing this sort of thing from scratch. Because I have severe NIH syndrome, so...
<kentonv> Home Assistant has a TypeScript front-end on top of a Python back-end. I find this ironic.
<ocdtrekkie> As someone whose homemade automation app that handcrafts SMTP and IMAP communication, I understand NIH syndrome. ;)
<kentonv> isd, yeah my home automation fantasy is having all my cameras and light switches show up as powerbox selections
<ocdtrekkie> I feel like where my app fails that a good app should probably succeed is that you need to heavily object-orient your devices, probably.
<ocdtrekkie> Since you have many different types of hardware with different controls and outputs, but that you want to handle in a unified way.
<Corbin> Home Assistant is finicky to set up. They have their own rickety Docker image which they want folks to use, and they get grumpy when downstreams try to repackage things.
<ocdtrekkie> I would be really excited about a Sandstorm-y home automation app, especially considering I have a running in-house Sandstorm server, and my home automation app runs on my gaming PC...
<ocdtrekkie> How hard rolling your own app depends on what protocols you need to talk and whether or not you want to use a library to implement them.
<ocdtrekkie> I send hexidecimal control signals directly out the serial interface, so my implementation is a bit buggier than most.
garrison has quit [Ping timeout: 265 seconds]
<kentonv> ocdtrekkie, what light switch protocol standard would you recommend?
<kentonv> ... assuming I have the ability to install arbitrary wiring. I kind of hate the idea that any device built into the wall would use a wireless protocol.
<ocdtrekkie> Zigbee and Z-Wave are the prevailing open standards, but both are RF radio based. Mine are Insteon, which is a dual-band powerline and RF mesh network, but Insteon is basically a dead proprietary product line from a company that doesn't know what to do with themselves.
<kentonv> from what I'm reading, apparently switches controlled by wired ethernet are mostly not a thing, because of the risks of running low-voltage and high-voltage to the same wall box
<ocdtrekkie> As I think I mentioned before, you could look into commercial PoE lighting systems where the light switches and lights themselves are all PoE powered. But I'm not sure the protocols those use are open, and you might end up limited to form factors like the classic 2'x4' office ceiling panel. ;)
<kentonv> yeah I really want switches that, from my contractor's point of view, work like normal dumb switches would in any normal house
<ocdtrekkie> Yeah, generally there is no wired data standard used with residential electrical switches. The above PoE stuff doesn't use any high voltage wiring at all.
<ocdtrekkie> And yeah, that's very key: Home automation amateurs often fail to realize that as cool as turning on and off lights from your phone is... 99% of the time you are still just going to hit the switch when you enter or exit a room.
<kentonv> I guess z-wave looks like the best option (because Zigbee uses the same spectrum as wifi, while z-wave uses a separate spectrum with less interference...)
<ocdtrekkie> Yeah, I'd prefer Z-Wave for that reason.
<kentonv> so now the question is, do any of these switches physically behave like a regular rocker switch with two positions? I mostly see ones that are push-buttons that return to their original position when you let go.
<ocdtrekkie> I think ZigBee is more popular lately (Hue uses it, I think)
<ocdtrekkie> So, generally smart rocker switches return to the middle position always.
<kentonv> bah
<ocdtrekkie> It's because the switch can't physically change positions when you send a wireless command.
<kentonv> yeah, but it could be like a three-way switch, where the wireless command is like switching the other switch
<kentonv> I guess that does mean that there isn't a stable mapping of up/down to on/off and maybe that's ultimately worse
<Corbin> It is at this point that I feel most appropriate to mention: Linux supports a large number of IR devices. I have like three remote controls which can send X11 inputs to machines; one of them has a stick-mouse, even.
<ocdtrekkie> Plausibly, but people hate when those get "upside down". And on a rocker figuring out which side to hit would be annoying.
<Corbin> Since those wall switches which emulate light switches are basically just the weakest weirdest version of remote controls.
<Corbin> ("remote control" is not the international term, is it? "clicker"? Like for TVs.)
<ocdtrekkie> PoE lighting example: Actually has some nice form factors.
<kentonv> what I really really want I think is for the physical switch to work correctly with no computer logic at all. So it really would be like a three-way switch, one which is computer-controlled and one which is standard. If the computer crashes the other switch still works.
<ocdtrekkie> That should be the case with Z-Wave or ZigBee switches.
<ocdtrekkie> Because the switch is what is controlling the light fixture. The computer signal is just instructing the smart switch to flip positions.
<kentonv> yeah but I mean in the switch box itself... I want the physical switch to not depend on any microcontroller
<ocdtrekkie> That may be harder, but most of these switches are dumb enough to be not problematic.
<kentonv> is there any latency when you press them?
<ocdtrekkie> Not that I notice.
<kentonv> maybe I'll accept it then
<ocdtrekkie> In the case of my smart switches, they can't get firmware or software updates.
<ocdtrekkie> They can accept an incredibly simple command set to their hardcoded physical address, and that's it.
<ocdtrekkie> They have microcontrollers, but they're similar in sophistication to the chip in your microwave.
<ocdtrekkie> Z-Wave is relatively close to Insteon in that regard, I believe.
koo6 has joined #sandstorm
koo6 has quit [Ping timeout: 240 seconds]
TMM_ has quit [Quit: - Chat comfortably. Anywhere.]
TMM_ has joined #sandstorm
koo6 has joined #sandstorm
xet7 has quit [Remote host closed the connection]
xet7 has joined #sandstorm
koo6 has quit [Ping timeout: 258 seconds]
jryans has quit [Quit: Bridge terminating on SIGTERM]
isd has quit [Quit: Bridge terminating on SIGTERM]
ocdtrekkie has quit [Quit: Bridge terminating on SIGTERM]
timmc[m] has quit [Quit: Bridge terminating on SIGTERM]
abliss has quit [Quit: Bridge terminating on SIGTERM]
jryans has joined #sandstorm
isd has joined #sandstorm
ocdtrekkie has joined #sandstorm
timmc[m] has joined #sandstorm
abliss has joined #sandstorm
koo6 has joined #sandstorm
koo6 has quit [Ping timeout: 256 seconds]
garrison has joined #sandstorm
koo6 has joined #sandstorm
koo6 has quit [Ping timeout: 265 seconds]
koo6 has joined #sandstorm
rektide has quit [Remote host closed the connection]
TMM_ has quit [Quit: - Chat comfortably. Anywhere.]
TMM_ has joined #sandstorm
koo6 has quit [Ping timeout: 265 seconds]
BenMcLean has joined #sandstorm
BenMcLean has quit [Client Quit]