Firstly let me say I am not one to create a lot of code. I'm not very handy with a soldering iron. I really try to hack, and in the end most of what I do looks just like that. This project is me sharing what I've done to bring all the various systems in my house under control from one easy to use interface. Most hardware and circuit designs are lightly modified versions of what others have done. Software and code are the same, other peoples work that I've lightly bent to my will. Credit is due to all the others whom have spent the long nights and countless key-presses to make their code and designs easy enough that even I could work with it. 

let's set some background if you will:

--Adventures in automation. The tale of a cheap hacker.--

Some time ago my wife and I decided to purchase a Vera Edge HA hub. Our use for it was to replace a simple 433MHz DIY cellular-based home alarm we had installed years before that was failing to make us feel “safe”. With the old 433MHz unit we had place a contact sensor on every window and door. We did the same thing with the Vera however we settled on Z-Wave+. (2.4GHz ZigBee was NOT a good idea in my house!). That’s about it with the Vera Edge, we didn’t use it for automation, just knowing if any of the door or windows had been opened with wireless contact sensors. In the end we started to really dislike Vera. The app was not fast, sometimes the sensors would stop connecting to the hub. We chose the Vera because it could have a cellular modem attached via USB as a backup connectivity. At the time the Vera made sense since we were only using it for home security.

--And then everything changed.--

I received a SmartThings hub v2 for free, as well as four in-wall dimmer switches and a plug-in dimmer (all Z-Wave). I did some homework on the SmartThings ecosystem and realized there was a significantly better developer scene than there was on Vera. The learning curve required for SmartThings was better and overall it seemed like it would fit my family’s use case better than the Vera we had invested in.

--Migration Conflagration--

So… Migrating Z-Wave… it’s tough, there might be an easy way of doing it. But I gave up. I reset each of my contact sensors and manually added them to the SmartThings hub. Once everything was really removed from Vera I gave it the ol’ factory reset. It goes on the shelf for now in a state I can use it in, in case I decide to haul it out.

At this point I think it’s important to admit that I also own three Amazon Echo’s (1 Echo, 2x Dots) Also I own three cheap ESP-8266 based “SmartLife” outlets that also work with my Echo. However I haven’t been using them for very much, mostly a good-to-have item.

The magic really started to happen when I discovered a little project called ST_Anything! I had a bunch of various ESP-8266 board laying around because... well I knew I could do something with them. Suddenly they had a real use! 

Additionally I learned the magic that is IFTTT which I knew about, but never rely dove into. Lastly ActionTiles, this is where it gets unified and presented to my "user" (AKA wife). 

Follow me as I try to get it all working together so I don't have to juggle a half dozen apps and a million ways to make everything work.