Using 8 Channel Input to display in HomeKit

Posted on
Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:25 am
Colly offline
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Location: Ireland

Using 8 Channel Input to display in HomeKit

Hi Captain,
This is a mix between this plugin and the HomeKit Bridge plugin. Anyhow I'll start here and move over to the other forum if needs be. In the absence of a standard alarm system I've added a number of door contacts to the inputs of the 8 Channel board and this works absolutely great - thanks for the plugin, I'll be buying more boards..
Question: is the input status the same as other devices? On / Off? They appear to be. The reason I ask is that I can't get it to display in my Home App. If the status is the same as other devices then maybe it's a question for C4W.
TIA

Colly

Posted on
Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:05 pm
TwitchCaptain offline
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Re: Using 8 Channel Input to display in HomeKit

Hi Colly,

The inputs are setup in Indigo as "sensors" - see the XML here that defines the device. https://github.com/davidnewhall/indigo-8channel-relay/blob/master/8chRelay.indigoPlugin/Contents/Server%20Plugin/Devices.xml#L79 - I think I used the HomeKit bridge once, but that was a long time ago and I don't know much about it now.

The status for the inputs should be the same as other z-wave or insteon sensors, like window/door sensors, etc. My four wheeling friend can probably help you sort this out. I'd definitely recommend hitting him up. It sounds like a bug in his plugin, but I'm not the expert here and he'll probably find the bug in my plugin. :lol: I, unfortunately, do not use any of the 8 inputs, just the outputs.

Good luck!
-Captain

Posted on
Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:41 am
Colly offline
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Re: Using 8 Channel Input to display in HomeKit

Thanks Captain,

I'll head over to the HomeKit forum for follow up..

Posted on
Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:34 am
Colly offline
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Re: Using 8 Channel Input to display in HomeKit

Update.
On further testing in the HomeKit plugin I deleted all 8 Channel Input devices and recreated again and designated the sensors as a "Contact Sensor" and all works well, there seems to be an issue with changing the HomeKit device type once it's been imported as I would have attempted to change the initial device types numerous times in testing. This may be of help to others in the future.

Posted on
Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:00 pm
durosity offline
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Re: Using 8 Channel Input to display in HomeKit

Colly wrote:
Update.
On further testing in the HomeKit plugin I deleted all 8 Channel Input devices and recreated again and designated the sensors as a "Contact Sensor" and all works well, there seems to be an issue with changing the HomeKit device type once it's been imported as I would have attempted to change the initial device types numerous times in testing. This may be of help to others in the future.


Ah excellent.. I was thinking of getting one of these for various garden related tasks as I’m setting my sights on getting that all automated this year.. of course HKB compatibility was paramount as it’s my main way to interact with indigo these days.. so this is excellent news!


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Computer says no.

Posted on
Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:04 pm
Colly offline
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Re: Using 8 Channel Input to display in HomeKit

They are really great value, I've automated my garage roller door over the weekend and as mentioned earlier integrated a number of door sensors in my system with it too. I'd recommend to anyone based on my experience to date.

Posted on
Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:25 am
DomoPat offline
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Re: Using 8 Channel Input to display in HomeKit

Interesting, how often do you poll the inputs ? for monitoring the door sensors you need to react quickly isn't it ?

Posted on
Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:10 am
Colly offline
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Re: Using 8 Channel Input to display in HomeKit

At the moment it’s set to 5 seconds as I’ve just been experimenting and setting it up. I’ll see how 2 seconds goes and if no side effects I’ll go with that. If someone is breaking in I guess it’s not critical as once they’re in they’re in. Joking aside it’s as much from the perspective of ensuring outside doors are closed at night or other times. Plan will eventually be to install something like a Texecom Alarm, which can be integrated via an existing plugin, when the budget allows for that! In the mean time this is a good start and rewarding to get it up and running ... I’m easily pleased!


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Posted on
Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:29 am
TwitchCaptain offline
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Re: Using 8 Channel Input to display in HomeKit

Very happy you sorted that problem! I'll say that I agree with HomeKit's perspective. If you really want to change device types, just delete the thing and start over. (This will also help avoid bugs in all the code I wrote to deal with changing device types - ugh).

Or just start over without deleting: You can always make another device (or 10) with the same IP and the plugin will handle it properly. The plugin does several loops to poll the device as little as possible. It first loops through every device this plugin created and adds their IPs to a de-duplicated-list. Then it loops through each IP to poll the device (I imagine most people only have 1). After that it loops the devices again and matches the IP to update the states. So if the IP is assigned to 10 devices, it still only gets polled once per interval.

As an example, you can create a sprinkler device and also assign the zones to relay devices. I did this for a while to make monitoring easier. It was easier to me to monitor a device than a sprinkler because I still don't understand sprinklers (in Indigo) very well.

Next:

I'm temped to create a dedicated socket to this device that never closes, and simply send DUMP every tenth of a second or so. I'll probably play around with this idea at some point and see if it has merit. If anyone else knows python and wants to let me know that'd be slick too. (I have a million projects......) This could allow us to make the input sensors extra useful and very responsive.

Additionally I just emailed the board manufacturer to ask for some improvements and features. I don't expect existing boards to be updated, but new boards may get some of the things I asked for. I also noticed new versions of the board have a few new features like being able to change (TCP) ports, spoof MAC (probably because they don't have a real MAC pool to use), lost-power states, and a few other things that seem worthless. 8)

They have a ton of other products that may work with this plugin: https://www.thanksbuyer.com/index.php?r ... ay%20board - including an 18 channel board. Anyone run a grass growing company and need to control valves? haha

Posted on
Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:19 pm
durosity offline
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Re: Using 8 Channel Input to display in HomeKit

So I got one of these boards the other day and I've been fiddling with it.. love the plugin.. works great the way you can have the same relays and what not reused on multiple devices. I'm a bit confused about the inputs section however and the manual I have for it is.. even more confusing. Could someone draw a quick diagram to show a basic setup because when trying it on mine no combination of connections seems to result in it detecting a sensor input. Does it support dry contacts like contact sensors with no power? I see there's a pin marked 5v.. does it require another power source?

Computer says no.

Posted on
Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:26 pm
Colly offline
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Re: Using 8 Channel Input to display in HomeKit

Not in front of mine now but think you need to loop the ground to the common of the inputs, one for each group of 4. So for my case where I used it on a standard alarm contact I connected one side to the ground terminal and the other to the input and hey presto I then had a door contact in Indigo :D

Posted on
Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:47 pm
durosity offline
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Re: Using 8 Channel Input to display in HomeKit

Colly wrote:
Not in front of mine now but think you need to loop the ground to the common of the inputs, one for each group of 4. So for my case where I used it on a standard alarm contact I connected one side to the ground terminal and the other to the input and hey presto I then had a door contact in Indigo :D


See that's what I was expecting but absolutely nothing.. I wonder if it may be faulty. :/.

Computer says no.

Posted on
Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:54 pm
Colly offline
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Re: Using 8 Channel Input to display in HomeKit

durosity wrote:
I wonder if it may be faulty. :/.


Sounds dodgy.. Although you may have a slightly different board, might be worth looking in to it. I assume you have the relays working OK. There is a setting to link and un-link the inputs to the relays so check this out to see if they are pulling in or not.

Posted on
Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:55 pm
durosity offline
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Re: Using 8 Channel Input to display in HomeKit

Yeah I was just playing with that and no joy... so I suspect that alas its DOA :cry:

Computer says no.

Posted on
Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:57 pm
Colly offline
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Re: Using 8 Channel Input to display in HomeKit

That's a PITA :(

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