The Wink home automation thread

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Sep 22, 2007
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It's a pity, they could have owned the market. Single unit with all of the radios integrated was such a cool idea.

OTOH, my Alexa + Lutron Hub setup works like a champ!
Wink was never going to own the market unless a big company acquired them IMO. IMO, Wink died when the Winkening happened and they discontinued Tripper, Overflow, etc. without adding support for devices to replace them. Once that happened, Wink made a lot of promises, kept very few, and lost any chance they had when they launched Wink 2 and didn’t follow through on their promises.

The Echo with the zigbee hub is too limited IMO, and I think that’s why Amazon should buy Wink. They should be able to buy them fairly cheap.

Of course, they still won’t have webCoRE. :)
 

MjnMixael

Senior member
Aug 17, 2014
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I resisted too long... The capabilities of Smartthings feels like freedom, especially webCoRE.

I was happy with Wink while I used it until things stopped working and Wink stopped fixing them. Apparently there's been an issue with Alexa discovering more than 50 Wink devices and Wink's recent fix is "keep running discovery until it works". Seriously.

I think Wink lost whatever talent they had years ago. The internal structure of the beta changed several times after The Winkening and the various purchases. The beta staff contact changed each time, too. Wink seems unable to fix the actual bugs with the system now. Either they don't know how or don't have the capacity.
 
Nov 20, 2005
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Despite Wink winding down is this where we are still talking about home automation?

I tried getting the Nest smoke/CO detectors and I just wasn't impressed. I mean they are nice but they are expensive and I discovered a deal breaker for my wife.

I have 9 smoke detectors in the house so replacing them all to meet code standards seems crazy at at best $90 a piece with a Costco deal. I would have done it despite that, and I would have bought the entire Nest security package, if the monitoring service tied to Nest would report fires. But it doesn't I checked with them directly, and so the smoke detectors went back to the store and I am done with Nest.

Instead I went all-in on Ring. The Ring Alarm they just released is a bit of a game changer in the market in regards to cost. You can get 24/7 monitoring for smoke and theft for only $100 a year! Compared to the next cheapest option I could find (Simplisafe at $25 a month) or the robbery ADT wants to charge for monitoring their Smarthings kit and Ring is significantly cheaper. Plus I already had the doorbell, and so all the recordings are included at that price, so really its an incremental cost to me of $70 a year. I bet the insurance discount alone will cover that. Its a no brainer with no contracts.

For $300 I got the Best Buy kit with two keypads, three window/door sensors and two motion sensors and the hub. Extra door sensors are $20 a piece which is cheap enough I did my entire house already. For the smoke/CO detection it uses the same First Alert Z Wave alarms I used to use (and dislike) with Smarthings, but the syncing with the Ring system was way way easier than it was with Smarthings. Frankly I think my mom could setup this Ring Alarm system, its so so easy.

The base station for the Ring system includes a Z Wave radio (what their stuff uses), Zigbee, and a surprise radio that is turned off now. They have a lot of ambitious plans for it. You can manually add Z Wave devices but you get no functionality other than basic switching so I am keeping all my home automation stuff with Smarthings.

The Ring system needs some more stuff: a glass break detector, a way to talk to Smarthings like my doorbell with them will, a good indoor cam (they showed one at CES) that auto records when motion is detected (can't even do that with doorbell yet), and a way to arm via voice assistant. But they seem committed to all of this and with the backing of Amazon I am willing to grow with them given how cheap it is.

Highly recommended.
 

MjnMixael

Senior member
Aug 17, 2014
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I'm actually very unimpressed with my Ring Pro doorbell. It's really slow to offer up a view of who's outside and 40% of the time choose Live Stream "failed to connect". I'm looking to get off of the Ring system completely.. just waiting on a Nest version of the Floodlight Cam.

I don't find monitoring to be worth any cost. Police give those sorts of systems very low priority and since I have cameras and a phone, I can monitor my own home for free and then call the police myself if I have to. "Yeah, there's a guy in my house right now. I'm watching him on my camera." I also have Smartthings connected to my Google Home system and have it set up to play an audible alarm if something is triggered while Smartthings is armed.
 
Sep 22, 2007
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I bought a Ring Pro and Chime on sale during the holidays and have yet to install them. I'm thinking about putting them on eBay. I have the porch covered with Blink cameras and while I'd like a doorbell, I think it will be a PITA to install where I need it.
 
Nov 20, 2005
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The Ring Pro came with my new house so I worked hard to make it work. It’s wifi chip really sucks, so much I had trouble keeping it hooked up to my Orbi (which is amazing with high end stuff but explodes with crappy stuff). Like my Orbi would freak out and the network would go down.

The Aprilaire smart thermostat that came with the house sucks too, so I have an old router configured to be a 2.4Ghz 802.11N with no broadcasted SSID that I hook the Ring and thermostat directly too. Every since then the Ring has worked amazing.

My wife is very concerned about our house burning down while we are in a movie or something like that, so monitoring is all about the fire protection for me which Ring does offer. The hub is big (like four SmartThings hubs) but it does have Ethernet thank god.

I just got one of those new Amazon cloud cams to mess with and it’s pretty impressive too.
 

paperfist

Diamond Member
Nov 30, 2000
6,157
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www.the-teh.com
I'm actually very unimpressed with my Ring Pro doorbell. It's really slow to offer up a view of who's outside and 40% of the time choose Live Stream "failed to connect". I'm looking to get off of the Ring system completely.. just waiting on a Nest version of the Floodlight Cam.

I don't find monitoring to be worth any cost. Police give those sorts of systems very low priority and since I have cameras and a phone, I can monitor my own home for free and then call the police myself if I have to. "Yeah, there's a guy in my house right now. I'm watching him on my camera." I also have Smartthings connected to my Google Home system and have it set up to play an audible alarm if something is triggered while Smartthings is armed.
I was looking to buy that door bell. The $250 is kind of hard to swallow and your review seals the deal for me.

The one thing I don't get about these door bells is the only way to see the video is through your phone? While it's with me most of the time, when I'm home it's not. Would be nice if the video could be fed to a TV.
 

gorcorps

aka Brandon
Jul 18, 2004
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I was looking to buy that door bell. The $250 is kind of hard to swallow and your review seals the deal for me.

The one thing I don't get about these door bells is the only way to see the video is through your phone? While it's with me most of the time, when I'm home it's not. Would be nice if the video could be fed to a TV.
That's the one and only perk I see with the comcast/xfinity home system if you already have their TV. The camera feeds will display on your tv, and you can use your voice remote to open any camera view. It's really pricey so I can't see ever going through with it, but their products are getting pretty slick these days.
 

paperfist

Diamond Member
Nov 30, 2000
6,157
78
106
www.the-teh.com
That's the one and only perk I see with the comcast/xfinity home system if you already have their TV. The camera feeds will display on your tv, and you can use your voice remote to open any camera view. It's really pricey so I can't see ever going through with it, but their products are getting pretty slick these days.
I don't have comcast :(

I've been looking at using a Raspberry Pi to build a wireless video doorbell. It doesn't look too complicated.

https://www.hackster.io/Kishore10211/smart-doorbell-with-azure-windows10-iot-uwp-app-0e4e4d
 

MaxDepth

Diamond Member
Jun 12, 2001
8,758
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DO NOT, PLEASE!
Shutting off vents sounds like a great idea but it will actually harm your HVAC.

I know because I thought I was pretty cool inventing a shunt system based in the ductwork that relied on data fed from room temperature monitor. It works great and I submitted a patent for it - as an IoT networked system.

To only be told by my uncle, with 40+ years experience in heating and cooling that unless your system is built for multi-zone, the pressure created by the shut off vents will cause the unit to work harder to blow the same cool air. The more vents you close, the higher the pressure in the duct system goes. The ECM (electronically commutated motor) blower will use more and more energy as you do so. The PSC (permanent split capacitor) blower will work less but not move as much conditioned air. In both cases, the duct leakage will increase further. In air conditioning systems, it can cause the whole thing to turn into a block of ice. In heating systems, lower flow can cause the furnace to overheat and even crack.

<snip>
I just installed a Keen Home vent. Those things are sliiiiiiick. Definitely gonna add those to every room in the house over the next few months.
<snip>
 

dlock13

Platinum Member
Oct 24, 2006
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Anyone have the Nest Hello? I'm looking to get that as it seems like it would meet all of my needs, and I've seen deals on it for around $150.
 

MjnMixael

Senior member
Aug 17, 2014
315
0
81
DO NOT, PLEASE!
Shutting off vents sounds like a great idea but it will actually harm your HVAC.

I know because I thought I was pretty cool inventing a shunt system based in the ductwork that relied on data fed from room temperature monitor. It works great and I submitted a patent for it - as an IoT networked system.

To only be told by my uncle, with 40+ years experience in heating and cooling that unless your system is built for multi-zone, the pressure created by the shut off vents will cause the unit to work harder to blow the same cool air. The more vents you close, the higher the pressure in the duct system goes. The ECM (electronically commutated motor) blower will use more and more energy as you do so. The PSC (permanent split capacitor) blower will work less but not move as much conditioned air. In both cases, the duct leakage will increase further. In air conditioning systems, it can cause the whole thing to turn into a block of ice. In heating systems, lower flow can cause the furnace to overheat and even crack.
First, I'm not going to trust some random poster's uncle. I also suspect you actually just copied this article or one similar.

Second, your design clearly didn't account for all the issues. My system as currently setup monitors temp in rooms, averages them into zones, and sets the hvac based on the zone temp average. It also monitors room pressure & vent pressure. It adjusts vents by a percentage (as opposed to just open/close) and has a fail safe to ensure that enough air is blowing past the coils to not harm the system (by way of averaging the all the vent's open percentage and not lowering it past a certain threshold). Essentially it's way more advanced math than just a temp comparison = open/close.

Third, the article (and study from 2003 that most of these are based on in terms of efficiency) is flawed in it's basic assumptions. I'm not trying to save energy by cooling only certain rooms faster. I'm saving energy by adjusting the HVAC based on zones. What that means is that instead of the HVAC only being controlled by the thermostat temp in the hallway, it's controlled by the temp of a particular zone. If that zone is cooled to 75 while the hallway is still at 79, we don't care. Shut off the HVAC early. The vents are simply used to balance the cooling in that zone. For instance, in the bedroom zone in my house, the baby's room was always about 10 degrees colder than the others while the older kid's room was several degrees warmer. Now they are generally even with the baby's room vent adjusting to 30-40%, the master bedroom to around 80%, and the kid's room to 100%.
 

cliftonite

Diamond Member
Jul 15, 2001
6,831
4
81
Is there anything other than something like Control4 that will allow me to manage all of my devices from a single dashboard? I am looking for something like this: https://imgur.com/a/b4Cv9HY

I have my house pre-wired for speakers/tv/security and need to start getting stuff installed after closing in two weeks.

Based on my research I am leaning towards using Z-wave plus devices for controlling my lights, Lutron Serena shades for our family room, Rachio for the sprinkler system.

What I haven't decided on is the security system. I originally wanted to use Konnected.io but my wife is insisting that we use a monitored service so I have to find something else. Is there a provider (Honeywell, etc.) that is modern? I hate looking at those keypads and would prefer a nice touch screen.

With Control 4, it looks like I can integrate security, cameras(even has Blue Iris plugin), and my Zwave automation. Is there anything else out there that offers this? My low voltage tech is reccomending urc total control over Control 4 but I haven't been able to find enough review on that product.
 
Sep 22, 2007
33,195
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Is there anything other than something like Control4 that will allow me to manage all of my devices from a single dashboard? I am looking for something like this: https://imgur.com/a/b4Cv9HY

I have my house pre-wired for speakers/tv/security and need to start getting stuff installed after closing in two weeks.

Based on my research I am leaning towards using Z-wave plus devices for controlling my lights, Lutron Serena shades for our family room, Rachio for the sprinkler system.

What I haven't decided on is the security system. I originally wanted to use Konnected.io but my wife is insisting that we use a monitored service so I have to find something else. Is there a provider (Honeywell, etc.) that is modern? I hate looking at those keypads and would prefer a nice touch screen.

With Control 4, it looks like I can integrate security, cameras(even has Blue Iris plugin), and my Zwave automation. Is there anything else out there that offers this? My low voltage tech is reccomending urc total control over Control 4 but I haven't been able to find enough review on that product.
SmartThings and Hubitat both have dashboard solutions. SmartThings’ solution is called ActionTiles and is a cheap (under $30) product that is really good. Hubitat has a dashboard solution built-in.

SmartThings has a solution with ADT which I believe is monitored. To be honest, the best security system is going to probably be a wired and dedicated system. I use ST for security but I am under no illusion that it is 100% reliable - it is merely “good enough” for me.
 
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cliftonite

Diamond Member
Jul 15, 2001
6,831
4
81
SmartThings and Hubitat both have dashboard solutions. SmartThings’ solution is called ActionTiles and is a cheap (under $30) product that is really good. Hubitat has a dashboard solution built-in.

SmartThings has a solution with ADT which I believe is monitored. To be honest, the best security system is going to probably be a wired and dedicated system. I use ST for security but I am under no illusion that it is 100% reliable - it is merely “good enough” for me.
The house is pre-wired for a security system for all windows & doors in the basement (its a walkout) and the first floor. I also have pre-wire (Cat5e) for various locations throughout the house. Was debating going with a regular system (Honeywell, etc) vs Konnected. I hate PIN code crap that normal vendors have and would prefer a touchscreen.
 

gorcorps

aka Brandon
Jul 18, 2004
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Alright folks, I haven't really dabbled in much home automation stuff but I'm starting to consider it. What I want for starters is a way to trigger some sort of audible warning, or light bulb flashing/color change when I enter my garage on trash days. I'm terrible at remembering trash/recycle day, and despite phone notifications I often forget about them by the time I finish breakfast and head out the door. I figure if there was some way of getting my attention as soon as I enter the garage on specific days (I always leave the house through the garage) then I really couldn't ignore it. I would think that with a door sensor and a smart switch (or bulbs, or both) it would be easy to set up some sort of routine to flash or cycle colors on a bulb whenever the door is opened on certain days. The next step would be the possibility of an audible alarm, but that can be a future project.

So... since I'm starting from scratch, what would be a recommendation for a solid solution with future expandability? I think a smartthings kit might fit the bill the next time it's on sale, but I'm not sure.
 
Sep 22, 2007
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Alright folks, I haven't really dabbled in much home automation stuff but I'm starting to consider it. What I want for starters is a way to trigger some sort of audible warning, or light bulb flashing/color change when I enter my garage on trash days. I'm terrible at remembering trash/recycle day, and despite phone notifications I often forget about them by the time I finish breakfast and head out the door. I figure if there was some way of getting my attention as soon as I enter the garage on specific days (I always leave the house through the garage) then I really couldn't ignore it. I would think that with a door sensor and a smart switch (or bulbs, or both) it would be easy to set up some sort of routine to flash or cycle colors on a bulb whenever the door is opened on certain days. The next step would be the possibility of an audible alarm, but that can be a future project.

So... since I'm starting from scratch, what would be a recommendation for a solid solution with future expandability? I think a smartthings kit might fit the bill the next time it's on sale, but I'm not sure.
SmartThings or Hubitat would work. SmartThings just released v3 of the hub, which is a cost-reduced version of v2 basically (less resources).
 

gorcorps

aka Brandon
Jul 18, 2004
30,622
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SmartThings or Hubitat would work. SmartThings just released v3 of the hub, which is a cost-reduced version of v2 basically (less resources).
I see. In my very quick research, it looks like that unless I need the wifi capabilities of v3, then there's really no major benefit in going with the new one unless it's that much cheaper
 
Sep 22, 2007
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I see. In my very quick research, it looks like that unless I need the wifi capabilities of v3, then there's really no major benefit in going with the new one unless it's that much cheaper
$20 cheaper - I think it retails for $69.99 and v2 is $89.99. I’d always advise hardwiring a smarthome hub.
 

gorcorps

aka Brandon
Jul 18, 2004
30,622
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$20 cheaper - I think it retails for $69.99 and v2 is $89.99. I’d always advise hardwiring a smarthome hub.
I plan to. I have the ethernet available and it's pretty central to the house anyway. I have some points through samsung pay that I can redeem for samsung store credit, so I might as well get a hub there and a door sensor. Might get the water sensor too... I've thought about getting something like that anyway.
 
Sep 22, 2007
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I plan to. I have the ethernet available and it's pretty central to the house anyway. I have some points through samsung pay that I can redeem for samsung store credit, so I might as well get a hub there and a door sensor. Might get the water sensor too... I've thought about getting something like that anyway.
Water sensors are some of the best sensors you can buy. I have them everywhere - in all bathrooms, under some sinks, in the laundry room, under the dishwasher, and in the garage under the water heater and next to the AC. The new water sensor is good because it has contacts on the top too, so if something above is dripping, it will register that immediately.

One of those water sensors caught a water heater leak. I probably need to do an automated valve to turn main water off at some point as well.
 

MaxDepth

Diamond Member
Jun 12, 2001
8,758
5
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Do you mind if I revisit this thread in about 18 months to see if you haven't blown your HVAC or at least burnt out the contactor?

First, I'm not going to trust some random poster's uncle. I also suspect you actually just copied this article or one similar.

<SNIP>.
EDIT: I like that you called me a some random poster... lol
 
Sep 22, 2007
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Do you mind if I revisit this thread in about 18 months to see if you haven't blown your HVAC or at least burnt out the contactor?



EDIT: I like that you called me a some random poster... lol
Aren’t we all just random posters?
 

gorcorps

aka Brandon
Jul 18, 2004
30,622
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I got my smartthings hub in and installed it over the weekend. Also installed my GE z-wave motion sensing switch for the garage lights. Also installed a door sensor on the interior door going into the garage.

First order of business was to find a way of flashing the lights in the garage as a reminder for trash or recycling day. I went through all of the routines and other options on the smartthings app and found I couldn't do what I wanted easily through what's included. I couldn't even schedule something to happen every OTHER week like I needed for recycle day.

Down the google rabbit hole I go, and found I needed webcore to do the more custom/intricate things I had in mind. First order of business was to force the lights to flash on and off 5 times when I opened the garage door. I was able to get that working relatively quickly with a couple tweaks to the "piston" figuring out how long I wanted the cycles to last. Then I figured out relatively quickly how to make sure that happens every Tuesday (trash day). Perfect, as far as I know it's set up correctly and I'll know tomorrow morning if it works or not.

I had to google around to find a way to get the every other week schedule to work properly, and what I found is that there's nothing in place to do that automatically and there's a number of different ways to do it. I settled on creating a variable called "week" which is just an integer for week number, which I set to 34 for last week. I created a piston which runs every Sunday, and indexes the week number by 1 (I just checked and the week number is now 35, so that looks like it worked... hooray!). If the week number was already at 52, then it resets the week number to "1" and starts counting again after that. Now that I have a week number, I was able to schedule my "recycling day" light flashing piston to only happen on every Thursday but only on EVEN weeks. Now I've successfully got an "every other week" schedule running.

Given the lengths I had to go through just to get an "every other week" schedule, I don't think this system is ready for prime time as far as home users go, but I actually enjoyed setting it up. While webcore isn't the most intuitive, it's friendly enough for someone like me to figure out a way to do what I want to do... even if there's no built in way to do it. I actually find things like that fun, it's almost like a puzzle trying to figure out how to use the limited set of rules you're given to run automation the way you intended it to run.
 

MjnMixael

Senior member
Aug 17, 2014
315
0
81
No smart home system is ready for "prime time". This stuff's all for the nerds.
 
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