As described in my previous article the combination of a Rpi and a Rfxcom usb tranceiver is very versatile. But what about the software to control all the sensors, switches and scenes? For me Domoticz was the way to go.
What I really liked about Domoticz was its simplicity. You can download a SD-Card image for a Rpi which made it so much easier to get things up and running. I just downloaded the Rpi image, followed their detailed installation manual which explains for example how to set a static ip address. Then I plugged the Rfxcom in the free USB port, powered the Rpi and done. Note: The default username is pi with the password raspberry
I must emphasise that I was so happy with Domoticz and the ease of use, I didn’t try any other platforms yet. In the future I want to test other platforms as well.
One of the things I didn’t like about Domoticz was the looks. The screenshot below shows how my sensors look in their default theme. Theming is not very easy and can only be done with a custom css file. The HTML structure is fixed so it takes good css skills to get what you need.
There some themes out there but I decided to create my own: OsiDark Theme, which is an adaptive flat design theme. This is the best I could do with pure css:
If you like to use this theme you can follow the installation instructions on my Github page.
Beside easy installation Domoticz provides a JSON Api endpoint which allows you to create your own frontend.
Of course Domoticz isn’t the only software available. Below I wrote a brief description on other open source home automation solutions.
OpenHAB runs on a Rpi so that was great. It also supports the Rfxcom tranceiver. But it did run in Java. I am quite unfamiliar with Java and didn’t want to run into problems which I was unable to solve. Therefore OpenHAB was off the list.
Home automation platform Calaos is a full stack solution. Providing server, touchscreen, web app, iOS and Android app and Linux based Calaos OS. Calaos is written in C++.
HomeGenie is an open source project written in C#.