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Just wanted to say that my life as a quadriplegic would be 13.4 million percent more crap without Home Assistant. Being quadriplegic and having something as open as Home Assistant is absolutely amazing, I have automated absolutely everything in the house and home assistant has not choked once.

Couple that with one of the friendliest communities for newbies I have come across in a long time and you have something really awesome.

I've been using it for a couple of years, I have tried all the other open source alternatives but nothing really comes close for me. I'm actually fiddling with my installation right now as it were.

I cannot plug my phone in to charge it up myself obviously, so I am writing a little automation that will check who is in the house and announce through the speakers my phone needs charging up or send them a text message if I have their phone number when my mobile phone charge gets below 20%.

Totally cool beanz and I am totally serious about how much easier this makes my life as a quadriplegic.

Thanks for your comment. I came to this discussion with my blinkers on, so to speak, pre -judging how I need less automation in my world, and you give concrete evidence how someone's "meh" can be balanced by untold advantages (13.4 million, in fact) of such a system.

Thanks for making me eat humble pie and broadening my views. Sometimes more tech is helpful indeed.

Ps: The way you're applying it is creative and awesome too!

No need to eat humble pie at all! it has been my experience thatEngineers And other reprobates like the ones that haunt can use don't know anything about this stuff, but the second it is brought to their attention I pretty uniformly had positive responses along the lines of "hmm, that is an interesting engineering question" and away we go. :-)

It is one of the wonderful things about this place, who gives a crap about the emotion being quadriplegic (I certainly don't) let's just solve the logistical problems! And as far as I'm concerned all of the problems that disability has introduced into my life have solutions that revolve around logistics, which project/process/company/widget do I need to buy/invent/collaborate on to make this thing work. It's great.

I'm automating my house because I nearly ended up being quadriplegic[1] and I want to be prepared next time if I loose my mobility.

I'm largely doing it with 433Mhz hardware, Raspberry Pi and python scripts. I didn't use Home Assistant because I presumed large project might be overhead and inhibit my choice of hardware; your comment has made me to rethink my strategy.


Raspi is definitely a good starting place for Home Assistant (the Hassio distro makes Home assistant particularly easy to pick up). If / when you grow out of it, an older laptop or desktop would probably be more than enough for you. I’m a big fan of Home Assistant!

Are the integrations with non-branded off the shelf hardware (e.g. 433Mhz Gas sensor) instead of branded well known IoT sensors possible?

I integrated all my 433MHz devices by listening for them on a Sonoff RF Bridge (https://sonoff.tech/product/accessories/433-rf-bridge) which then pushes the signal to MQTT. From there it is easy to pick it up.

Generally speaking the main problem is the RF part (to be able to catch it somewhere, and reuse)

I should have mentioned that I'm using RTL-SDR to catch the signal.

And how do you interface to it? Do you send what you caught to MQTT?

I am considering having something else as the RF receiver but would need to forward what it received to MQTT (I can write that part myself - it is really the interface to the dongle I would like to understand)

I use DVB-T USB dongle. You can use this project[1] to decode it.


It is. Often via simple configuration.

I cannot plug my phone in to charge it up myself obviously

Do you mind if I ask how much precision your conveyance of choice has? I've built docking stations for small mobile robots by mounting qi receiver pads [1] on the robot and compatible phone chargers [2] on walls where the robot can drive up to them to recharge. If you have enough precision you might be able to do the same thing, mount a pair of pads somewhere, run a cable from the pad to your phone, and dock them together to recharge.

Hmm. Not sure what to do if you don't have enough precision to dock a pair of charge pads like that. Maybe... put the one on the wall on a horizontal rail at the correct height and add a motor to run it back and forth until it starts charging? Maybe mount it on a small robot arm?

[1] https://smile.amazon.com/Wireless-Charging-Receiver-Qi-Stand... [2] https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MZPCC7X

Can you clarify what you mean by "conveyance of choice has" please?

Apple has a very very awesome accessibility software, it is seriously the best of the world and I have tried all in the decade since I became a full-time wheelchair driver. I use a chin controller to drive my chair, and I also use the chin controller to access Apple's Switch Control[1] using the Tecla Bluetooth bridge. As soon as funds permit I will be updating to the new Tecla as it is an amazing device, it really is the missing link.

This means that anything you can do on an iPhone I can do the same, it is not some subset of commands like most other mobile platforms. Once a new phone or any of the other Apple offerings is taken out of the box, I can get my designated hands to turn on the accessibility software and from then on I can do it all myself. There is literally no the company where this is true. As far as I know.

If I understand you correctly, it might be cool when my iPhone is connected to my wheelchair to be able to drive up to something while I am working and have it charge. It would have to be pretty robust as I will drive into it at some point!

[1]: https://gettecla.com/blogs/news/15538916-what-is-switch-cont... [2]: https://gettecla.com/

Ah, sorry, I didn't know what kind of wheelchair or control scheme you were using so I didn't know whether you'd be able to align yourself precisely enough to get the thing to charge.

> If I understand you correctly, it might be cool when my iPhone is connected to my wheelchair to be able to drive up to something while I am working and have it charge. It would have to be pretty robust as I will drive into it at some point!

I think that that's doable, yes! Above, I linked the amazon page for a receiver pad that's designed to be mounted to cell phones to let them use wireless charging even if they don't have it built-in. If you mount one to your wheelchair somewhere and connect it to your phone, you should be able to mount a matching phone charger pad on your desk or the wall so you can drive up to it and your phone will charge as if you'd placed it on the pad. It might be a bit slow - it'll probably only charge at 5W, which looks like it'd take about 4 hours to fully charge an iPhone while it's in use - but it should work.

The hardware itself is pretty durable. The receivers are designed to be mounted underneath phone cases, so you can do the same thing to the one you mount on your wheelchair. The pads are designed to have phones tossed at them every afternoon for several years; I've never had one get even close to breaking. If it does have trouble, the wireless charging tech is designed to be able to run through cell phones' shells and cases and you can build version two with a polycarbonate cover that'd survive a charging battlebot.

If the phone is mounted to the electric wheelchair anyway, could one just use the chair's battery as a powerbank?

You probably could. I personally wouldn't attempt it because I mostly do software and wouldn't want to risk draining it dry overnight or voiding the warranty or something, but if it's a just a car battery it shouldn't be hard for someone with more EE knowledge.

Another option might just be to mount an entirely sperate power system just for the phone and any other devices. Buy a huge USB power bank off Amazon and mount it to the carriage or something, might not even need duct tape.

That was my first thought too. If there's a 12v battery on the chair, a car USB adapter could power the qi pad. Then the issue is how to move phone to pad and move it off the pad for use. There would be virtually no chance of running down the wheelchair battery with this setup; the motors use much more energy than a USB charger.

It (or something in my stack) has choked for me a few times. The power went out at my house for an hour last week. and my kitchen lights somehow dropped off my network? I had to reconnect my lights to my network, and then i had to completely remove TPLink from my server, reboot the server, and then connect TPLink back to be able to control my lights.

Barring an extended power outage though, I would agree, it is pretty amazing.

Was looking at going with OpenHAB for a bit, but something about home assistant ease of use really got me.

I’d love to hear about your automations. Would you share them with us?

I thought somebody might ask, so I am just sanitising my config files and then they will be available on my Github[1] hopefully in about an hour. Was there any particular automation you were interested in?

[1]: https://github.com/robotsandcake/homeassistant

I’m interested in the whole thing, particularly any use cases I have not thought of.

I’m curious to know how you’d rank them by usefulness.

No problem, in about an hour things will start appearing And I will include usefulness et cetera.

The most commonly used automation by a very long way are the lights, because I use voice operated computer people were continually coming into my asking if I was okay because they could hear me talking. This obviously was crazy makin.

So now they ignore all talking unless they see:

All of the lights pulse on and off in a blue colour, which means can you please give me a hand when you have a minute I would like a drink or something similar and it is not urgent.


All of the lights pulse on and off in a red colour, which means drop and come running as I am having and episode of autononmic dysreflexia, my hair is on fire or something equally problematic. It is a very much urgent.

after that I would say that these three are the most used, I'm sure there is a way of pulling that information out of the database but I'm not sure how. If someone from home Assistant Team would like to tell me, that would be great!

* Battery Level on iPhone is below 20%, get someone to plug it in * Notification asking that the basement be closed when it starts raining, or if someone opens the window when rain is predicted to please close it * Logging whenever the medication draw is opened and closed and keeping a running tally (this one is super important)


Thanks a lot for sharing!

That is an incredible usage of Home Assistant! Could you give some more examples of automation which help you?

What brands have you found reliable and well supported?

Aeotec and Fibaro Tend to be my go to companies when I want to buy some sort of sensor, anything from door and window sensors to motion sensors. Overall they have been the most solid and well performing in my experience.

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