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Bluetooth usage that could help in disaster situations

  Bluetooth usage that could help in disaster situations I read a tweet about communication protocols that could be used in a disaster. Then I asked myself how existing technologies could help. As a disclaimer, I’m not a first responder or a disaster expert of any kind. Just an engineer trying to propose ideas to help. Many Bluetooth tracker devices broadcast their information for days, even years. These trackers can be keychains, wristbands, or watches. Some publicly advertise their data in a way that can be interpreted easily. In an earthquake situation, first responders could use Bluetooth scanners to detect if there are devices nearby and identify personal devices among them. Thanks to the received signal strength indicator (RSSI), they can have a rough idea of the distance and get closer to the device. Here is a screenshot from the free nRF Connect app while scanning for Bluetooth devices in the neighborhood: You can see that the smartphone discovered a personal fitness tracker

The first OpenMQTTGateway powered off the shelves device !

  The first OpenMQTTGateway-powered device ready to set up is available! The smart home is a fragmented space with difficulties in making ecosystems talk together, it should improve with the new Matter standard, but we still have millions of devices already produced that are not Matter compatible . What if we could reduce the number of hubs required and have only one that supports different ecosystems? This is the purpose of OpenMQTTGateway , an open-source project compatible with Home Assistant, Homebridge, OpenHAB, DomoticZ, FHEM, Jeedom, NodeRed, AWS, and any MQTT-compatible IoT or SmartHome system. For example, with OpenMQTTGateway, the appropriate BLE sensor, and one of these smart home platforms, you can: Monitor your plants and have an alert when the moisture is too low, Have a notification when your meat is at the expected temperature, thanks to BBQ sensors, Monitor your fridge/freezer temperature  Verify if the humidity in your wine cellar or cigar box is as expected Measure C

Playing with the B-Parasite

One of the most successful Bluetooth Low Energy devices that started appearing in our Smart Home is the Xiaomi Mi Flora. Decoded and integrated into OpenMQTTGateway in 2017  this device enabled us to have a nice follow-up on our plants and vegetables' health. One of the main drawbacks is its power consumption, I'm around 6-9 months in terms of battery life. Not very satisfying when we see BLE sensors that can last several years. By chance, I found recently the work of Raphael about the b-Parasite, a BLE open-source plant sensor: It is interesting from several aspects: Nice form factor and size The moisture probe is integrated into the PCB You can order directly from the files proposed to a PCB manufacturer with most of the components already soldered nRF52 powered, a reference module in Bluetooth Low Energy It's open-source design and code! So why not try it and see if it can replace my Mi Floras. The ordering experience from JLPCB was

OpenMQTTGateway and OpenHAB 3 with auto discovery of Things

  This tutorial will show how to integrate the BLE gateway to OpenHAB3 leveraging the auto-discovery functionality. After this tutorial, you should see your   Bluetooth Low Energy devices compatible with OpenMQTTGateway   in OpenHAB3 without any file-based manual configuration. Note that this tutorial is also available in OpenMQTTGateway  documentation Prerequisites OpenHAB 3.3 or higher MQTT broker installed with or without authentication A location defined in the “Model” section under “Settings” IP address (if your broker is installed on the same server as OpenHAB) The goal is to disable the IPv6 address of the broker server, so that the gateway can connect through IPv4. From the Administration click on Settings Click on Network Settings Click on Show Advanced Disable IPv6 Click on Save Note If the broker is installed on another server you will also need to configure it with an IPv4 address. Install the MQTT binding From the Administration click on Settings Click on Bindings Install

Theengs mobile application to read your BLE sensors

I’m excited to announce the release of Theengs Android mobile application, the application uses  Theengs Decoder  to read data from BLE devices and display those to your mobile, you can download it on Google Play (paid app) To stick with the spirit of  OpenMQTTGateway  the app can also be used as a gateway to an MQTT broker! So if you have an Android touch screen, you can install the app and configure it to read BLE sensor data and push it to your favorite Home Automation controller. Note that if you want to run the integration in the background this is possible as an experimental feature (we need your feedback on this). More information on the app documentation . We came a long way from removing the decoding of BLE sensors from OpenMQTTGateway, creating a dedicated  library , creating a  gateway , a Home Assistant  Addon  a data  explorer  and now a  mobile application ! And you know what, this is not the end, we have plans to release the app for other platforms.

Get your BLE sensors data into Home Assistant in a snap without ESP32

 The power of OpenMQTTGateway BLE is now accessible without an ESP32 and can be installed to Home Assistant in a snap.  Theengs Gateway can be installed as an  Addon in Home Assistant thanks to the work of Mihai Ambrosie Here is the process in a few step: Open Home Assistant and navigate to the "Add-on Store". Click on the 3 dots (top right) and select "Repositories". Enter in the box and click on "Add." You should now see "TheengsGateway HA Add-on" at the bottom list. Click on "TheengsGateway", then click "Install". Under the "Configuration" tab, change the settings appropriately (at least MQTT parameters). See Parameters. Start the Add-on. No need of creating YAML configuration for the sensors, they are automatically created in the Devices and Entities section. From this, they can be easily added to your dashboards and automation.

OpenMQTTGateway BLE on Windows, Raspberry Pi or Apple MAC !

  From a   long time   it was asked if OpenMQTTGateway could run on a Raspberry Pi. 100% 75% 50% image With the externalization of the part of OMG BLE code into  Theengs Decoder  and the multi-platform compatibility of the library, the doors were wide open to it. By integrating  Theengs Decoder  into a Python script we made a multi-platform  BLE to MQTT gateway  that can run on a Raspberry Pi, Unix, Windows, MAC, and many more. So now if you have a server with a BLE component you can retrieve decoded BLE sensors data and publish those to MQTT. Cherry on the cake,  TheengsGateway  use the same API as OpenMQTTGateway, so it will act in concert with your existing ESP based OpenMQTTGateway. If you use auto-discovery with OMG the sensors data will be automatically retrieved from  TheengsGateway  also! If you have Python and Pip this is as simple as one command: pip install TheengsGateway Full documentation can be found below: Theengs gateway Multi platform MQTT gateway lev