IoT Software Notes

I’m trying to get my head around all the IoT “hub” software options. I’m focusing on software that runs locally, rather than proprietary cloud services like IFTTT.

List o’ IoT Softwares

Open Source

Proprietary

  • Hubitat (link) Proprietary gateway that works without “the cloud.” Provides API for apps and drivers and SmartThings compatable scripting language. Ships with support for with ZigBee, ZWave and IP based devices.
  • Phillips Hue Bridge
  • Samsung SmartThings Hub (link). Closed source running on proprietary hardware HUB, but extensible and works with both Samsung and 3rd Party IoT hardware over Zigbee, WiFi and Z-Waver

Details

Home Assistant

“Open source home automation that puts local control and privacy first. Powered by a worldwide community of tinkerers and DIY enthusiasts.”

Has native (python) HomekKit support

Homebridge

Homebridge is opensource software built on Node.js.

It describes itself as “HomeKit support for the impatient”

It provides a path to Apple HomeKit support for a variety of 3rd party ecosystems, like Samsung SmartThings by emulating the HomeKit API.

People have provided plug-ins and guides to enable all sorts of useful integrations.

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Mozilla Webthings Gateway

openHAB

Other Notes

GL-Inet GL-MT-300Nv2 Power Consumption

Today I updated the firmware on my GL-Inet MT-300N v2 “Mango” travel router, and while I had it out I decided to measure its power consumption.

For those who don’t know, a travel router makes it easier to securely use a temporary internet connection, like that provided by a hotel, and share it among multiple devices. The hardware specs on the GL-MT-300Nv2 are modest, but sufficient, it is compact (about the volume of a deck of playing cards), and inexpensive ($20.49 on Amazon). The firmware is based on a recent release of OpenWRT with a UI optimized for use as a travel router. For those who want it, the standard OpenWRT Luci interface is available.

I decided to test the power consumption because my tiny solar power station (~18W panel, 120Wh LiIon battery), was generating more power than it could store and I’d already finished charging my phone for the day. As I unplugged my phone’s charging cable, I noticed that the USB-powered router was right there, so I plugged it in instead and reset my USB power meter.

Once the router started up and I connected my laptop to it over wifi, I noted the power consumption was about ~1.3-1.5W. I ran an Internet speed test from my laptop and the power consumption bumped up slightly. After an hour, the cumulative power consumption was ~1.4Wh. I connected the router to ethernet to see if that made an obvious difference in the power consumption; it didn’t.

Based on these crude measurements, I think it’s safe to say that the GL-Inet GL-MT-300Nv2 uses less than 2W on average. That means that, if necessary, it could run for >3h off a typical small USB power bank, and could probably run directly off a ~$15 6-7W solar panel with USB output through most of a summer day.

I didn’t check the power consumption while using the router as a VPN gateway, which is probably the most CPU intensive use of a travel router. The manufacturer’s specs for power input are 1A @ 5v, which works out to 5W, so thats the limit on peak power draw, and would only be reached during the peaks of VPN use. Peak VPN speeds are in-turn limited by the CPU’s performance, which limits peak VPN speed to ~10Mbps.