Wired Sensor Interface Options

Posted on
Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:53 am
braggkd offline
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 15, 2020

Wired Sensor Interface Options

Hey all. A little background info. We are currently starting construction on our new home and I am planning on utilizing Indigo in order to automate as much as possible. As all of this comes together, I'm sure I'll be on here with countless questions (I've already been digging through the forums for the past week). I'm trying to at least get a decent idea about my system as a whole, so I can pre-plan for as much as possible while framing (i.e. running as much CAT6 as I can and incorporating conduit for easy access). So my first question is, what are the pros/cons of the different ways to integrate wired door/window/motion sensors into Indigo?

Seems like the 2 most prominent options are either using a security panel (DSC) or rPi. My current thoughts on both of those right now are:

DSC
+ Actually installed some wired systems as a side gig back in the late 90's so I'm at least somewhat familiar with hooking everything up.
+ Other than programming the actual system (zones and such) everything is pretty much plug and play.
- I don't plan on having it monitored by an outside company so I wouldn't be using it to its full potential.

rPi
+ Seems like it would offer more flexibility for expansion and tweaking down the road.
- I have 0 experience with it. Wouldn't mind jumping in and learning but not sure my home's security system would be a good place to start haha.

Again I don't plan to have the system monitored and just want to set up a homebrew system that notifies myself and family. Would use the contacts mainly for home automation triggers. I could be way off but it just seems like having them be wired would provide a bit more reliability rather than have them all be Zwave. Also, I'm wanting everything to be as hidden as possible. So, what am I missing? Any big limiting factors to either of these options? Anything special one of them can do that the other can't? Or does it all come down to preference like coke vs pepsi or ford vs chevy? Let me hear it. Thanks.

Posted on
Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:41 pm
lalisingh offline
Posts: 162
Joined: Mar 27, 2007

Re: Wired Sensor Interface Options

If you go with DSC which is compatible with the dsc plugin then all your dry contact sensors (door,window,motion) state will be accessible from Indigo. Easy decision.
My preference over rPi.

I love the rPI and use them for various function though. Volumio for whole house sound and SHAKE for earthquake monitoring come to mind.

Motion sensor may be used for both Secrity and Lighting Control. There are subtle nuances though. I prefer using wireless motion sensors as they can be fine tuned once you occupy the home.
My preference is Lutron RA2 for lighting and motion based lighting control.

Other than Security panel, you have Network, Lighting, HVAC, air quality monitoring if the house is built with a tight envelope, cameras, sound, AV, shading control, Irrigation, weather station, water usage and leak detection, power usage, solar and EV's to consider. A reliable notification for all these sub systems should not be an afterthought.

I am sure others will respond with some more categories to discover.

Should be fun if you approach it from a DIY perspective.

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Posted on
Fri Jul 17, 2020 4:00 pm
DaveL17 offline
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Location: Chicago, IL, USA

Re: Wired Sensor Interface Options

I'm a huge fan of using 1-Wire network(s) for wired sensors where possible. They're cheap, stable and accurate. There are several ways to do this. You can base it on rPi, Arduino, or in my case Embedded Data Systems. My network is wired using Cat5e--you only need three of the wires for 1-Wire, leaving the other wires to do other things if need be, and the wire carries both data and power. EDS isn't the cheapest option, but it's designed to be used in an industrial environment and is extremely robust. After the cost of the 1-Wire server, sensors are as cheap as about US$1.50 each. I've had zero problems with mine.

We're designing a new house, and I plan to use 1-Wire extensively.

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Posted on
Fri Jul 17, 2020 5:55 pm
kw123 offline
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Location: Dallas, TX

Re: Wired Sensor Interface Options

As I have 25+ rpi I am using a lot of rpi sensors. But for windows it’s all Insteon or zwave

For temp... sensors my favorite right now is ruuvitag. It is a Bluetooth device with a bme280 (Bosch) sensor temp humidity pressure- Very accurate- As well as movement sensor in xyz

It updates ~1/sec.. much better that you need
That covers 90% of all variables you like to measure
Missing is air quality
Battery is supposed to last 2 years.


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Posted on
Fri Jul 17, 2020 6:07 pm
lalisingh offline
Posts: 162
Joined: Mar 27, 2007

Re: Wired Sensor Interface Options

kw123 wrote:
For temp... sensors my favorite right now is ruuvitag.


Have you integrated this with Indigo?

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Posted on
Fri Jul 17, 2020 6:50 pm
kw123 offline
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Location: Dallas, TX

Re: Wired Sensor Interface Options

Yes w pibeacon


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