Want to build a smart health home not expensive?How to DIY your smart home not expensive .We will first need our mini central unit running 24/24 with a home automation management application. You’ll see, it’s finally quite simple to set up. Here is the list of equipment to buy, it will allow you to know the total costs of our installation for this project:
Raspberry Pi 4 (version 4 is recommended) (38 $)
16 GB MicroSd card (more than enough) ($ 7)
Z-wave module (69 $)
A total of $ 176.
The advantage of the Fibaro sensor is that it will allow us to achieve both a complete monitoring system and a silent alarm. Everything I am going to tell you here is the result of my own research according to the specific needs I had. Inevitably, in some, it may be that this configuration is not suitable.
Jeedom is the top of the line at the moment in terms of home automation manager
However, the wireless connection makes it possible to touch almost all existing room / room configurations. The choice of distribution is essential for the comfort of installation and future update.
I chose Jeedom, created and maintained by a French team. The system is free with a store full of free (cool!) And paid plugins (guys have to eat). Nothing serious, we will not need to take out an extra euro, the total bill above will not change. This application is based on the Rasbpian OS, provided on the official microcomputer website.
A few months ago, we had to go through a step-by-step installation of the Linux command application, since things have changed and an image of the OS with the application is provided free of charge on the site, is that we are going to set up on our Raspberry Pi 4.
SD card preparation
As with the terminal, the easiest way to install these OS is still to have a PC or Mac. To install the image directly on the card, you will need:
On PC, Win32 Disk Imager.
On Mac, ApplePi-Baker
Nothing too complex, however pay attention to the connection of the Razberry to your Raspberry Pi 4 (yeah, the names can be confusing). I myself had a little connection problem, the legs of the GPIO were not deep enough because of the shell I had chosen.
Insert your SD card into the RPI 2 slot and you just have to wait a little before going to get the application’s online daskboard (wait a few minutes).
Type the IP address of your Raspberry Pi in your favorite browser (not IE therefore) to access the Jeedom interface, ex: http://192.168.0.69/ (unstoppable memo-technical means)
For the first connection, the login and password are “admin”, don’t forget to change them later.
You then enter the Jeedom dashboard (yes!)
The latter is composed of a dashboard on which you can pin what will interest you in the form of an object. Don’t panic, it’s quite simple;)
Let’s start making our objects before setting anything up.
An object represents an entity, for my part, my house is an object which contains two other sub-objects, my living room and my garage.
My home is the primary parent object of my system. Just choose the title, icon and color in the “Tools / Object / Add” section. Below is the example with the object garage, whose parent is the house.
Let’s take care of the Z-Wave connection. For information, the Z-Wave protocol is like a kind of Bluetooth connection passing through radio waves but very energy efficient and with a low bandwidth of course (between 9 and 40 kbit / s). First, head to the market in your Jeedom interface and download / install the Z-Wave plugin (free).
Once this is done, we will make the bridge between the raspberry and the Fibaro sensor. Z-Wave works in inclusion / exclusion mode. To add new material, you must go into inclusion mode on your interface via the “plugin / home automation protocol / Z-Wave / Inclusion mode” menu.
You will have to put your Fibaro sensor (or other) on the inclusion mode just after that. Click the button three times inside the device to trigger inclusion.
If the operation works, you should find yourself directly on the Fibaro configuration page, the parameters displayed are those by default, they are basic quite well adjusted. It’s up to you to adjust them according to your needs.
Now that the sensor is in place, we’ll just download an additional plugin to send an email when an intruder enters the home. Nothing’s easier.
An email to be immediately notified of a home intrusion
Download and install the Mail communication plugin on the market. You will need to use an SMTP server for sending your emails, for my part I simply used that of my provider.
We want the email to be sent when the sensor has detected a presence. We are going to do that, create a scenario and finally activate the process.
The scenarios are composed of event and conditional block. We will first create a scenario that we will call “Alarm” (Tools / Scenarios / Add).
Choose the “Provoked” scenario mode.
For the event, it is the sensor that will do the job thanks to its presence detection functionality. Configure as below (“equipment” corresponds to the name you have assigned to your sensor):
Add a new block, the condition being already set by the event, we will set that of the block to “true” all the time, namely “1 = 1”.
Then fill in the “Then” part as below:
Then simply customize a title and a typical message for your alert. Your alarm is now ready, to start it, change the state of the scenario to “Active”. The “Visible” option of the scenario will allow you to activate / deactivate it with a single click of the main dashboard.
Just come back to the dashboard, you will then have an overview block of your sensor (s) as below:
To activate and deactivate the alarm, click on the gears at the top right of the dashboard, you will then see this:
Here, we are finished for this first part. You can deport your interface on a tablet that you can put in the entrance of your home, such as the Kindle Fire that I recommended in this article.
Of course, there is still a lot to improve, we will see in the following articles, but our base is in place and our home automation is 100% private and scalable.
Talking smart at home
Now that we have set up the base of our home automation, it’s time to take the next step;)
What could be more enjoyable than being able to speak directly to her house and above all that she answers you. Before launching, be aware that this configuration is obviously not the only and perhaps not the best. You must have done the first tutorial before you start this one.
How? ‘Or’ What ?
Many of you have asked me questions about Homekit and Homebridge which are very popular at the moment (I will come back to this in another article I think). This is one of those really comfortable solutions but that I purposely excluded it from the project for two important reasons:
Communication from outside the local network is not (yet) possible
Network devices must be exclusively Apple. Far be it from me to spit on Apple, but I do not exclude to change the environment in the future, as much to leave on a system open to all OS. Apple may also be loosening its policy a little bit, but nothing can stop me from coming back to it.
Homebridge is still a bit hot to run, and my goal is to share with you an easily reproducible solution.
The goal of the game will be to communicate via SMS (or oral with Siri for example) with our installation. And when I say communicate, it means asking a question and waiting for an answer, for example:
Me: “Activate the alarm”
House: “Ok, the alarm is on, boy, can you get out of here?”
No need to have a 3G / 4G network to retrieve information from your installation. You just need the bare minimum to send an SMS (EDGE connection).
We are going to give our house a small name because it will have its own telephone number. For my part, I chose to call my house “Michel”. I invite you to cogitate on the first name while waiting for the rest.
The total cost of the operation is only $30!
We will have to equip our central unit so that it can speak to us via SMS. The evidence has brought me closer to the cheapest solution: The GPRS USB dongle.
We are on a Linux environment, it should not be forgotten. Installing or compiling a driver doesn’t make me particularly dreamy 🙂
In fact, I opted for ease by choosing the HUAWEI E220 dongle which can be found on Michaël eBay for less than 20 €. The drivers are already present on the Jeedom distribution, it will suffice to connect the dongle to the Raspberry Pi for it to be functional.
You will still need a telephone subscription because without a SIM card, this obviously cannot work.
I would only advise Free too much, even if their speed is as stable as a flank on the back of an Arabian thoroughbred, their package remains the cheapest on the market.
If you own a free line, it will cost you nothing (0 $ for Free subscribers) if not 2$ per month. You will only be charged ten euros for shipping the card.
In short, communicating with your home will only cost you $30, not bad?
You just have to connect and configure Jeedom, let’s see it together.
Connect to your Jeedom interface and go to the store to download the “SMS” plugin. Connect your dongle to one of the Raspberry Pi’s USB ports of your choice and modify the configuration of your plugin (Plugins / Communication / SMS):
The “SMS port” field corresponds to the USB port on which you inserted your dongle (provided with its SIM card). Leave all the default values except the PIN code which corresponds to that of your telephone supplier (for FREE it is 1234, Bouygues 0000, …). Don’t forget to save.
Then create a new entity that will be called “SMS” by clicking on “add” in the main SMS menu:
The last line is essential with the number or numbers authorized to communicate with Jeedom, ie your personal number. You can very well add the numbers of your entourage so that they themselves are notified in the event of an intrusion.
Press the “test” button on the last line to find out if everything is set up correctly (the line with the telephone number). You should receive an SMS from your Raspberry, if this is not the case, verify that you have selected the correct port on which your dongle is located.
Interactions allow intelligent communication with your installation
Now that you have received an SMS, do not forget to create a contact card in your phone in order to give a little personality to your home automation;)
The communication being established, we will carry out “interactions” in the Jeedom interface so that it can react and respond to our texts.
We previously set up our silent alarm. However, you have to return to the interface each time to activate or deactivate it, in short it is quite painful in the long run.
We are going to teach “Michel” (my home automation) how to activate the alarm. This is the best way to learn the concept of Jeedom interactions.
Go to the “interactions” menu and in the “management” submenu, make “add”. Create an “Activate alarm” interaction.
In order not to get confused, we will do the simplest. Fill in the fields as above. The most important being “request” which corresponds to what you will send by SMS to Jeedom. I for my part put “activate alarm”. “Response” will be the sentence sent by Jeedom if it understands the interaction correctly.
Another important point, you will have to type by hand in the first field of the Action section the word “scenario” in order to access the different scenarios on the next field (I think it will be improved in a later version of Jeedom).
In the next field, select your alarm scenario with the “activate” action. Save your scenario and do the same to deactivate your alarm. Only the fields “Request” (deactivate alarm) and “action” (Deactivate) will change for this interaction, which you will understand, will stop our alarm.
We can control the silent alarm on our phone.
However, there is one more thing left to be on top. In the previous tutorial, Jeedom sent us an email as soon as the presence detector caught someone. Now that we have the possibility to communicate by SMS, we will simply redirect the alert to the SMS.
Return to the alarm scenario and select the HUAWEI E220 dongle in the action block with the options below. The “message” field allows you to write the SMS that you will receive during an alert.
Ask Siri or Ok Google to send an SMS to artsmarthealth(first name of your smart home) with the following text “activate alarm”. Logically, your home automation will answer “Ok, the alarm is active. The house is protected ”(depending on the text you put).
Pass in front of the sensor or pass the thoroughbred from the start of the tutorial, you should receive an alert SMS.
To deactivate the alarm, simply send a new SMS to artsmarthealth with the following text: “Deactivate alarm”.
This good artsmarthealth will answer you in a minute.