Tin Tuirtle Design

Fibaro FGMS-001 Multi Sensor

clock April 18, 2015 11:01 by author Bald Turtle

I bought two of the Fibaro FGMS-001 sensors off of Amazon specifically because they were supposed to be compatible with my Homeseer HS3 system.. but as with almost everything else... not really. While they can be added to the Z-Wave network, the actual sensors never return anything.

I have changed parameters... added and re-added the sensor.. done multiple scans. Nothing. My experience with Homeseer and Z-Wave in general has been very, very frustrating.

Home Automation Setup

clock December 15, 2013 07:11 by author Bald Turtle

I ended up choosing HomeSeer as my platform for home automation. One of the driving factors was price - they ran a half price sale around Black Friday. When I compared it to Charmed Quark I found that it was not only cheaper but easier to develop. Many of the Charmed Quark interfaces were outdated, and while they can be developed for a "minimal fee", I would rather have the freedom to browse devices without wondering if/how long it will take to get a driver.

The software was installed on Windows 2008 R2. The instance is one of 3 platforms being ran on my VMWare Dragon Box

  • Intel Xeon E3-1230 “Sandy Bridge” – 3.2GHz, 4 Cores, 8 Threads, 8MB
  • Supermicro X9SCM-F – Intel C204, Dual GigE, IPMI w/Virtual Media
  • 16GB (4 x 4GB) Kingston 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC Unbuffered DDR3 1333
  • Lexar Echo ZX 16GB Thumbnail drive
  • Rosewill 450 watt Platinum Certified power supply

It is a very "green" setup with no hard drives on board. The VMware boots from the thumbnail drive and the instances reside on a NAS box. Everything is powered through a UPS that gives 20 minutes for the entire network including the router. I have a single Z-Troller connected via USB directly off the Supermicro board.

For the CCTV I chose to use Blue Iris and the integration between HomeSeer and their package works well. For cameras I am using the Foscam-FI8910W for the inside locations. I like them, the detail is really good and they have night vision. They are my primary motion detectors at the moment. The rest of the hardware is Z-Wave. I am using a couple of wall switches and a thermal, light, motion sensor in the basement and upstairs. Once I have this running smoothly I will add smoke and CO2 along with a new thermostat. Eventually the humidity sensors will trigger the humidifier so it only runs when needed.

One last thing, if you happen to be using a Cisco RV110W you will find that there is a bug in the firewall regarding port forwarding. I was given a beta copy of new firmware and it seems to have resolved the problem. More information is at this thread on the Cisco forum. It has taken over 1.5 years for this fix to be put in place, making Cisco routers a choice of last resort in the future for me.

Evaluating Home Automation Software

clock December 2, 2013 08:41 by author Bald Turtle

I wanted to upgrade the security system in the house along with expanding the capability to include environment controls. To that end I installed Charmed Quark Controller and began working with it to see if it would fit my needs. After a week or so I learned that the web server and XML interface were not included until the $800+ price point. The next step has been to install HomeSeer and begin work with the program to see how smoothly it runs. I have settled on Blue Iris for the camera security software. It works very well and the Android phone app is smooth.

One of the issues with home automation in my home is that the house was built around 1967 and retrofitting is a real pain. I have ran a few Cat5 drops to the upper floors, and there are several downstairs, but the reality is any solution must be wireless. At this point it seems Z-wave will work reasonably well for the motion, thermal, fire and humidity sensors. We will see once I have a controller configured and working. One of the other issues is getting the USB port on the VMware server to map through to my Win2008 instance. I believe I have this working. I used a simple USB memory stick to test with, and after a few hours I seem to have it working consistently. This whole project is going to take several weeks to get configured and then test. Testing will be extremely important as it has to be able to survive power outages and other potential problems. So far though I am reasonably confident that this will not only work, but allow me to control the house from anywhere in the world.

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