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My first contact with Home Automation

About 5 years ago we bought our house and I was curious about home automation installations and what they could contribute to our day to day, so I began to investigate the different options available at that time.
First, I found out about some commercial options that, although they looked very good, had what for me were some drawbacks:

  • Proprietary systems, so you are dependent on a single manufacturer; if that manufacturer does not have the component you need the integration with materials from other manufacturers is usually difficult or impossible.
  • The installation in a house that is not a new construction is complicated, limited and has a high cost.
  • Less fun and after all it’s my hobby  😁 

DIY options

After discarding the commercial options, which did not suit my needs and tastes, I started looking for information about the DIY options that I had discovered while looking for information. At that time I found the following options:

  • Eedomus
  • Jeedom
  • Domoticz
  • OpenHab
  • Home Assistant

My experience with some of these systems

The first one I tried was Eedomus, a French home automation system that sells its own hardware with Zwave communication and two USB ports to which other peripherals can be connected.
Together with Eedomus I bought some Zwave devices, specifically a pair of dimmers and a pair of sockets.
Although the controller was stable at all times, my experience was not very satisfactory as it did not seem intuitive to me, the documentation was scarce and the non-french community was not very wide, so I sold the controller after a few months of use.

After this and taking advantage of the fact that I had a Raspberry Pi at home that I was not using, I was encouraged to try Jeedom, another open source, multiprotocol software, based on Java and also French that works based on plugins, some of them free and others of payment but whose price is usually quite affordable.
The only disadvantage compared to Eedomus is that the hardware is DIY so I had to purchase a Zwave antenna to communicate with the devices that I had installed.

My experience with Jeedom has been satisfactory and one of the few problems I have encountered is that the documentation is not up to date and most of it is only available in French. Also, a large part of the community is French-speaking, although the Spanish community is not small and is very active.

The first serious problem

The first serious problem happened a few months after starting to use the Raspberry Pi; the SD card died due to the amount of data that is written and read, it seems that this problem is common to any software of this type that is installed in this way. In summary, I had to reinstall everything since I had not taken the precaution of making regular backups.

Once everything was reinstalled I started to see more and more posts in the forums where people used a mini PC to install the controller, this greatly improved the performance and eliminated SD card corruption problems, so you can already imagine what the next purchase was…

If you have made it this far, thank you very much! If you have any questions, do not hesitate to leave them in the comments and I will do my best to help.

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