His Gadget Affair, Making of Arcadia
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Getting our geek on!

Well, Well, Well – look what we have in the mail – the z-wave microswitches for our lighting automation project! Nerd Alert!
Let me explain a little about what these things are for and what they do – in non geeky terms.

Relay switches - Fibaro System

These little geniuses will be placed behind the wall switch socket and will be directly connected to the switches. We bought 4 of this including one that is dimmable – for the living room, hallway & entrance. These devices basically “talk” to each other & other devices using the Z-Wave communication protocol via the ‘Home Controller’ device.

Fibaro Relay Switch

This is the individual switch. Nothing fancy to look at.  It’s small enough to fit into the standard wall socket space, so hopefully there will be no drilling needed. And these switches need a neutral wire connection (except for the dimmer) – which may or may not be accessible from your switch location. Fortunately all the switches where we have planned these for, do have the neutral wires accessible.

Clipsal push button

We also had to get these new wall switch plates to replace our old standard ones in order to allow for the 2 way switches. These are Clipsal’s push button (…or are they called ‘momentary switch? I am still confused over the right term).

Untitled

And this is the Aeotec Z-Stick S2 Z-Wave USB that will serve the purpose of the ‘Home Controller’ – facilitating communication between the Z-Wave devices. Basically, think of this as the mom of the devices in the Z-Wave mesh 😉  
The USB will be plugged into the NAS device running the openHAB software. The software is really the ‘brains’ behind the controller.

Again on a side note, there are various types of ‘home controllers’. You can also get ones that are stand alone devices with its own processor that can connect to internet, install the necessary apps etc. But SS, opted to use USB controller because he wanted to see whether he could make more use of his linux based NAS device – which is currently our “media server” (There should be a post on this. SS does some cool things), and run the openHAB software (and there should be a post on this too. it will be particularly interesting to the tech-heads) , which typically requires Java, off it. He also just likes to do things out of the norm. Crazy dude.

By the way, these devices are certainly not cheap. Here is where we purchased them from:

Home automation is certainly new to many of us. But it’s really exciting. If you are curious on our how we progress with this and want to benefit from our learnings and trial and errors – follow the blog 😉

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1 Comment

  1. Pingback: And at the end of that long day, I was saying “All Lights Off” | Our Gorgeous Chaos

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