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Author Topic: On the cheap  (Read 647 times)

HA Dave

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On the cheap
« on: January 29, 2020, 09:19:22 PM »

The grocery chain Aldi had an off-brand (I think) Atomi modules at the store (seasonal section). I was a two-module package deal (for Christmas light control. One inside and one outdoor module. But they didn't all sell... and now they're clearance priced at 10 Bucks even. That reminded me of the old days of X10 at $5 a module when you bought several. 

A great way to try this stuff out.
 
« Last Edit: January 29, 2020, 09:21:16 PM by HA Dave »
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bkenobi

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Re: On the cheap
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2020, 10:43:40 AM »

Are these wifi app controlled or are they cloud based?  If they can be controlled directly from HG, they would be a nice replacement for appliance modules.

Tuicemen

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Re: On the cheap
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2020, 10:48:26 AM »

Are these wifi app controlled or are they cloud based?  If they can be controlled directly from HG, they would be a nice replacement for appliance modules.
I agreed, if they are only controllable via cloud based phone app they might as well give them away for free.
The way these wifi Smart device manufactures are coming and going now a days they could be bricks before you open the package. Unless your able to hack the firmware
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bkenobi

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Re: On the cheap
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2020, 10:53:56 AM »

That is a real concern if they are really a no-name brand.  I haven't looked into these though I've seen similar looking ones at Costco so perhaps they are all OEM and link to the same generic cloud app.

HA Dave

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Re: On the cheap
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2020, 12:51:45 PM »

.... If they can be controlled directly from HG, they would be a nice replacement for appliance modules.

No. It's a cloud-based world on this side of the millennium. Only the old-school, old tech isn't cloud based. Don't forget.... everything is locally controlled... using the switch.


...... if they are only controllable via cloud based phone app they might as well give them away for free.
The way these wifi Smart device manufactures are coming and going now a days they could be bricks before you open the package.

It wasn't that many years ago..... we used to buy boxes of incandescent light bulbs. We did so knowing full well that they would only last a few hundred hours. Then the expensive lights would have to be disposed of and replaced as the were completely UN-repairable.  

It is very possible that these modules may fail to function in the very near future. The same can be said for some, or even many, of the various brands of modules sold today. I use enough different brands that it's unlikely my entire system would just crash because of a corporate bankruptcy .... AGAIN.

But at five bucks a module..... they will likely be cheaper than the old light bulbs once used in the very same locations.

Don't forget.... although there are MANY valid forms of Home Automation... lighting control isn't enough for many of us. And without the collective AI smarts only available via the use of Internet connectivity.... it's impossible to have a modern smart home. So far..... I've been able to keep building and improving my automation setup..... without a fee-based plan. And to do so.... I think I can live with another brand-name (or even protocol failure).

It would be nice however.... if some smart code writer created a server based site that would allow various phones, modules, protocols, and control software to integrate. Although Amazon is doing a pretty good job at that anymore. It has all turned into a huge corporate mainstream industry. That wasn't MY idea... or my choice. But I've always believed that exploiting this technology means accepting what is available and working with that.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2020, 01:12:07 PM by HA Dave »
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bkenobi

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Re: On the cheap
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2020, 02:10:14 PM »

Not sure you got the point, but cool.  If you buy a HA device on clearance from a company nobody has heard of and the device only works with their dedicated cloud, then it is pertinent to know that it may not function as it sits in the packaging on the store shelf.  If it has local control via an app/etc, then even if the company turns the lights off, it still works to some degree.  Saying that it will have local control because you can toggle the light switch is not exactly helpful since you can unplug your desk lamp for each use too.  Interesting that a valid question about a device available for sale yields responses suggesting tin foil hats these days.   ::)

Tuicemen

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Re: On the cheap
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2020, 02:31:49 PM »

Dave, it should be noted that because something has an internet (cloud) server doesn't mean HG can't control it.
I've controlled several iot devices that have a cloud server via HG.
  Interesting that a valid question about a device available for sale yields responses suggesting tin foil hats these days.   ::)
  rofl
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dave w

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Re: On the cheap
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2020, 08:29:30 PM »

Only the old-school, old tech isn't cloud based. Don't forget.... everything is locally controlled... using the switch.

That sounds good until there are two modules behind the couch, the cloud bursts, and there are three 250 pounders sitting on your couch, eating Cheetos and guzzling Heinekens, waiting for the lights and the popcorn cart to come on.   rofl
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HA Dave

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Re: On the cheap
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2020, 09:30:26 PM »

Not sure you got the point, but cool.  If you buy a HA device on clearance .........

I got your point.

Dave, it should be noted that because something has an internet (cloud) server doesn't mean HG can't control it.
I've controlled several iot devices......

Yeah. If your into "control" (We've had this same discussion before). It is super easy to control.... But Home Automation isn't just light control anymore (although admittedly these modules won't do much more than that). And NEVER will they have a remote control with a bunch of (labeled) buttons controlling lights around the house.

And YES.... it's completely true.... these and EVERY electronic device in my home... in short order (or should I say shorter order than I'd like) will fail. It's always a crap shoot with such things. But at 5 bucks a module... that's penny ante. I had no idea if my WiFi would reach the outside modules till I tried. It does.

And if a WiFi device that actually DOES have a Amazon skill, and actual working servers are a high-risk no-name (which they are).... what does that make systems that don't even have that? I really wish X10 would grow up and make an add-on Wifi device with an app and an Amazon skill.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2020, 10:00:19 PM by HA Dave »
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HA Dave

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Re: On the cheap
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2020, 09:55:14 PM »

That sounds good until there are two modules behind the couch, the cloud bursts, and there are three 250 pounders sitting on your couch, eating Cheetos and guzzling Heinekens, waiting for the lights and the popcorn cart to come on.   rofl

I do have a nice-sized popcorn machine (not on a module) in the theater! But the automated lights in the theater can also be controlled locally (wall switches - easily accessible). However.... most of the media I view in the Theater now-a-days is streamed via the Interweb. So you are correct. Everything always fails at the worse possible time.   
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brobin

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Re: On the cheap
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2020, 01:55:49 AM »

I really wish X10 would grow up and make an add-on Wifi device with an app and an Amazon skill.

Why does it have to be branded X10? Someone else has already done exactly that for X10 (and more) for 30% less than X10's misguided attempt.
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bkenobi

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Re: On the cheap
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2020, 11:36:44 AM »

Yeah. If your into "control" (We've had this same discussion before). It is super easy to control.... But Home Automation isn't just light control anymore (although admittedly these modules won't do much more than that). And NEVER will they have a remote control with a bunch of (labeled) buttons controlling lights around the house.

I don't know why you would want to buy a device that is designed to control an appliance if you didn't want to control that appliance.  Silly me.   :'

HA Dave

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Re: On the cheap
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2020, 09:11:00 AM »

Why does it have to be branded X10? Someone else has already done exactly that for X10 (and more) for 30% less than X10's misguided attempt.

Because.... it is impossible for X10 to profit from the success of it competitors. And without profits X10 will once again close its doors.
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HA Dave

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Re: On the cheap
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2020, 09:18:02 AM »

I don't know why you would want to buy a device that is designed to control an appliance if you didn't want to control that appliance.  Silly me.   :'

No. Not silly.

But every light switch ever made is “controlled”. I’d prefer the convenience of “automation”. Currently.... Smart Home technology includes IA.... which is pretty cool stuff. 
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brobin

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Re: On the cheap
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2020, 09:43:24 AM »

Why does it have to be branded X10? Someone else has already done exactly that for X10 (and more) for 30% less than X10's misguided attempt.

Because.... it is impossible for X10 to profit from the success of it competitors. And without profits X10 will once again close its doors.

But that's inevitable. Even if they fully developed the WM100, the market for X10 products isn't big enough to sustain the company. They'd need a total product overhaul and major marketing push to become relevant again. Even Insteon, which is struggling, did that by making their products "dual band" to overcome PLC issues.  There's little need to buy anything directly from X10 today as it's all available on eBay for half the cost. As much as I'd like to see them succeed it won't happen without a major investment. 
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