When Ton Kersten asked me a few weeks ago whether I’d like to prepare a home automation workshop to be held in Utrecht, I quickly said yes.

It’s been four and a half years since I started using openHAB, and I haven’t regretted it once. The system has been very reliable, and I’m still running an early 2016 version. Why upgrade?

Meanwhile a lot has happened in the world of openHAB including a few very large new releases, so there are a lot of new things for me to learn and most of it is fun. Most of it.

I’m having a lot of fun putting together a nice demonstration environment for the workshop, and I’m using Ansible to set up virtual machines participants will use in the labs. Apropos labs I wanted participants to be able to connect a real physical switch and a real lamp, but investing in 20 Homematic CCU2 or in 20 Z-Wave sticks would be prohibitive, so we arrived at an alternative and fun solution:

These are Wemos-D1 mini (ESP8266) fitted with button shields (the physical button) which Ton soldered together, and they have an on-board LED (the physical lamp). The devices will be speaking MQTT with openHAB (yes, we’ll discuss MQTT as well), and the firmware’s been flashed onto them. I’ve just completed writting all the exercises we’ll be doing with a number of different openHAB bindings.

It’s impossible to cover all details of what openHAB has to offer, but I believe we’ll get to know most of it. Also, my focus will be on keeping data within the confines of your house/office; we’ll touch upon external services, but the Intranet of Things is what it should be. :-)

Care to join us? The workshop will be in Utrecht (that link contains the description as well) and in the English language, and I can tell you I am very much looking forward to that event.

Let there be blinkenlights!