To have a stable and reliable network of sensors and lamps, more and more people are using the affordable alternative to Zwave, Zigbee. By linking a Zigbee Gateway to domoticz you can easily use multiple systems from multiple manufacturers at the same time. Consider, for example, the Ikea Tradfri lamps, Philips Hue or Xiaomi Aqara sensors. You no longer need the expensive Bridges and gateways! In this blog post you can read how you can use the Zigate USB TTL stick in combination with a Synology NAS and home automation software domoticz.
What do you need to connect Zigate to Synology NAS?
I’m assuming a situation where you already have domoticz running on your Synology NAS. You also need:
- Domoticz for Synology NAS van jahdal. Pick the version with Python included. At this moment it is v4.10717 met Python 3.5.1
- Python 3 from Synology Package Manager
- GIT Server from Synology Package Manager
- Optionally USButils van jahdal
- Zigate USB TTL
- Zigbee lamps, sensors or other Zigbee protocol devices supported by Zigate, like Ikea Tradfri lamps, Philips Hue or Xiaomi Aqara sensors
Assembling the Zigate USB TTL
When you have ordered the Zigate and it arrived at your house, open the box and assemble the package. The Zigate USB-TTL kit consists a housing, two printed circuit boards and two screws.
Mount the two printed circuit boards together using the 5-pin connector. Connect the modules as shown in the photo below.
Assemble the housing around the module and close it with the screws.
Plug in your Zigate USB-TTL in the Synology NAS and you can see if it is correctly recognized in the DSM Info Center.
How to install the Zigate domoticz plugin
To allow the Zigate to communicate with domoticz, a Zigate domoticz plugin has been developed by Pipiche. You can install the plugin with Putty. To perform the following steps you need root access on your Synology NAS. If you don’t have root access yet, read my article about getting root access on a Synology NAS.
If you don’t have GIT on your NAS, you can also download the zip from Pipche’s Github page and unpack it manually in the folder below. The use of WinSCP with root access is then easy.
- Start putty and connect to the NAS
- Navigate to the plugins folder of domoticz. Use command:
- Download and clone the code from github with command:
sudo git clone https://github.com/sasu-drooz/Domoticz-Zigate.git Zigate
- Restart domoticz via Package Manager in DSM.
Connect Zigate USB-TTL to Synology NAS
Now you are ready to connect the Zigate to the Synology NAS. Put the stick in a free USB port. If necessary, use a USB extension cable because the stick takes up a lot of space and to be able to position it better.
- Start domoticz.
- In domoticz navigate to Settings -> Hardware
- Pick Zigate Plugin from the dropdownlist, name it and pick the right USB port.
- At the first start set “Erase Persistent Data” to True to build a new network.
- Set Permit Join value to 255 to search for a unlimited time for new devices. When the stick is in Permit Join mode, the leds are flickering.
Add Zigbee sensors to domoticz
To add the Zigbee sensors to domoticz via the Zigate, the sensors or lamps must be supported by the Zigate. There is an compatibility list available on their website. If the sensor is supported, you can add it in the usual way. For example a Xiaomi Aqara Motion Sensor, pressing the button for 3 seconds. View the domoticz log to see if the Zigate detects the sensor. All kinds of messages pass by and after a few seconds you can see the new sensor in the Devices menu.
After you have finished adding sensors, set “Erase Persistent Data” to false again. Also set Permit Join to 254 or lower. Click Adjust to post the values and restart the plugin.
How to use Zigbee devices in domoticz
In the device menu you can add the sensors to one of the domoticz overviews (switches, temperature, etc.). The plugin automatically creates the correct sensors. For example, for a Xiaomi Aqara Temperature and Humidity sensor, 5 devices are added:
- Temp + humidity + baro sensor
- Temp sensor
- Temp + humidity sensor
- Humidity sensor
- Baro sensor.
So you can choose which you want to add and use.
Now that the Zigate works, you can easily expand your smarthome with a large assortment of extra products. I have used the Aqara Motion Sensors for a while and work very well. With the help of those sensors, for example, I created beautiful lighting on the stairs that turns on when you walk on the stairs. I also control the mechanical ventilation based on a number of Aqara Temperature and Humidity sensors in my house.
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