I posted about my recent purchase of the Vera Lite Z-Wave controller the other day in a rather ambiguous blog title. Since then, I’ve been researching ways in which I can build my own sensors that would ultimately be much cheaper than buying ready-made Z-Wave sensors.
I came across this website that details a project that allows you to build your own sensors using Arduino, and it plugs directly into a Vera. On average, the sensors should cost anywhere around USD 10, but I’ll see what the actuals will be after I get all the pieces.
My initial plan is to get the following sensors built:
- Temperature for each room of the house (5 or 6)
- Humidity+Temperature for the two bathrooms (more on this later!)
- Barometric pressure+Temperature for outside (for fun)
I thought about trying to locate most of this stuff in Singapore but I figured I’d end up paying more than double of what I would if I sourced from China myself (and not to mention the time it would take for me to drive around and locate everything!)
The above linked project site was nice enough to link to individual products on eBay, so I decided to dust off my old eBay account and get purchasing.
cost me just about USD 120 (or about SGD 160) for the raw materials. This should get me a good 8 different sensors. Compare this to getting a Z-Wave-enabled Fibaro Universal sensor
at GBP 36, plus the cost of the actual sensor chip – I think going this DIY route will save quite a bit of money.
I have some thoughts of what to do in “Phase 2”. Building on the base, I want to do the following:
- Automated bathroom exhaust fan (using the humidity sensor)
- Automated plant waterer (using the not-yet-purchased moisture sensor)
I’ll report back when I get the devices. Work can’t start until I move in April or so any way..