New Members/Old Members: Introduce yourself!


#21

My name is Frankwin and I’m in Meridian, ID. We just bought a new house and I installed my Sense last night. I’m now anxiously waiting for it to do it’s thing and for some bubbles to show up. I did already use it to determine that what I thought were LED flood lights in my ceiling are actually regular incandescent bulbs (using 60 Watt each when I turn them on) so those are going to be replaced with some LED lights soon (Actually ordered 12 Sengled BR30 smart LED bulbs for that). I’m quite a bit into Home Automation, etc and have currently 6 x Google Home speakers, a variety of smart light bulbs (Philips Hue, Sengled and TP Link), an EcoBee 3 Plus Thermostat, August smart lock, Garadget Garage Door opener, a Circle, Ecobee Vacuum, a couple of Wyze cams, a variety of smart plugs and finally a Samsung SmartThings hub with a variety of Sensors installed in our new home. I do also have a blog around Smart Home Automation (https://homeautomationstuff.blogspot.com) that I’ll be writing for again now that I’m done moving (except an article on Sense within in the next few weeks for example). I’m always looking for article ideas btw and if anyone has any spare smart home stuff let me know :slight_smile:

I’m a Software Developer in my daily life and in my spare time I’m working on my own SmartHome Automation system/app/etc as I’m kind of tired having about 15 different applications on my phone to control the various things in my house. I’ve tried out HomeAssistant and OpenHAB but neither really meet my personal needs. If anyone is interested in collaborating on this effort shoot me a note. The system is currently being developed in C# with a Angular front end. The phone app is likely going to be a Xamarin app.


#22

I’m Chris and we live in the Pasadena, CA area. I’m an energy nerd and former building science researcher. Currently teaching myself to be a general contractor, renovating our house to be all-electric and zero net energy. We’ve had sense for about a month now. Initially I got Sense because our solar installer went under and we lost access to a lot of data, so I wanted to both have some redundancy and the ability to monitor our generation (and now, consumption) with a device that I control. We get very excited when Sense finds a new device. It’s found 8 devices so far, but the device we’re really hoping for it to find is our mini-split heat pump, which is by far our largest load. I understand that Sense has trouble with variable loads.

I think the only other “smart home” tech we have is a smart plug that the demand-response program OhmConnect can control. I’m vegan, so no barbecue for me. Although jackfruit can be made into a decent vegan barbecue.

I’m not really on Reddit. Twitter @christratton. Blog at frugalhappy.org. Looking forward to hearing from others. Seems like we have a disproportionate representation of techie males. :slight_smile: Makes sense, er, so to speak.


#23

Hello All,

I’m Andrew and run a smart-home device blog where we review all things smart-home related. I initially purchased a since to help gain insights as to energy usage of appliances and devices that we use in our everyday life around the home with hopes of using the information to show cost/value benefit of upgrading these household items to smart devices. I look forward to participating in the forum as well as learning from you guys. I have had my Sense installed for nearly a month now and I can’t wait to see the innovations and upgrades moving forward.


#24

Welcome! I actually did some jackfruit “pulled pork” last week and I was very pleasantly surprised.

and welcome @frankwin.hooglander and @AverageJoeSmartHome!


#25

I’m here to get a feel for how sense is working for others - and to get an idea of when new things may be identified or connected. I first got my sense installed in late May 2018 (Christmas purchase, I’m backlogged!) I had been eyeing the sense as a source of backing information in a long term project to reduce energy usage in order to approach solar viability (Pacific Northwest) within our budget. (<— ok, that sentence is far far bigger than it should be. I needed information and didn’t trust my simple plug/unplug and check the total power draw system and preferred the sense way to others.)

I work from home on small office database automation and IT/support for individual departments or small companies - in a household of 4 cats, 3 adults, 2 dogs, 1 child.

Long time home tech addict (X10!) I’ve cobbled together a mixture of things throughout the house: Sense, Lennox/iComfort, Hue/LIFX, Plex, Blue Iris/Dahua vs Nest/Logi/August, Mikrotik + Orbi based three-ISP network with split IoT wifi. I’ve never been satisfied with the smart speakers, so I keep a stable of dumb (bluetooth) speakers currently, and have been experimenting with sensor based event tracking (cat motion tracking, HVAC costs vs door/window status, pressure-based shopping lists.)

My favorite type of barbecue is the kind I’m eating. Unless I don’t have any, in which case it’s the next type that I smell. I cannot currently remember a barbecue I didn’t enjoy.

I read on reddit, but I don’t post. I find reddit to be more of an information eddy and primary use it to find sources for more detail. Similar with Twitter.


#26

Andrew here from New Orleans. I enjoy bright days, dark nights, and long walks… anywhere that I can look up at the night sky and see the night sky.
I am currently a Physicist, but I am considering leaving the field of Physics to do either some kind of engineering or teach.

I love collecting data and using it to improve efficiency. I have an Automatic for my car which I use to analyze my driving and maximize my fuel efficiency, 4 hue lights, a Nest thermostat (which I was disappointed to find out had such a short and vague usage history) which for several years had me looking occasionally for a device like Sense. And finally, in January, I found one. Installed in late February.

It had discovered many devices, but I didn’t count them this morning before I deleted them all to start the detection over. It was getting my portable dehumidifier and AC mixed up too much. But I didn’t delete the data, so it quickly detected 6 devices within a few minutes. I haven’t bothered to rename them yet.


#27

Laurence from Virginia. I work in IT security, which often contradicts a lot of the IOT stuff. I have a bunch of different Smart things (Hue, Sonoff, cams, alexa, etc). We are still in very early days for all of this stuff, so I’m really excited to see where it goes and what kinds of standards are brought into place.

I have had sense for about a month now and its detected a few things. Some things were obvious, others I still don’t know what they are.

Reasons I bought Sense:
1 - We own a farm and when topping up water troughs, we often forget to turn off the Well. I’m waiting for Sense to detect our Well so that I can Set an alert if it has been on for over 15 mins.
2 - We had a flooded basement recently due to the AC Condensate pump dying. I am waiting for sense to detect the pump so that I can set an alarm if it doesn’t turn on within ~12. Same plan for our main sumps too.


#28

and @lwarriner

Welcome (back, in the case of you Grandpa)!

Laurence, given your interests in IoT and in IT sec, I’m curious what your thoughts are on a device like BitDefender (in case you’re not familiar…https://www.bitdefender.com/). IT sec is admittedly something I don’t know that much about, but my IoT collection is growing and I’m always looking into ways to keep all these connected devices more secure in my home.

And pumps (especially if they’re variable speed) can be quite challenging. Have you worked with support on these at all?


#29

I’m aware of bitdefender, but I haven’t used it enough to comment intelligently about it. I have used the Norton Core router and although its very powerful and I trust the Symantec intelligence, it wasn’t flexible enough for me (More advanced user). I would highly recommend that to a standard home user though.

At the moment, Security and IOT contradict each other. I love security, but also playing with IOT stuff. I have a bunch of stuff, including the cheap Chinese stuff (Which is good kit, but about as secure as a sheet of paper). It’s an ongoing challenge.


#30

@RyanAtSense I am not sure what you are linking to at Bitdefender, but if you are looking at the lot box, I use Bitdefender for my computers. It’s the only company I trust. (Kapersky too, but I don’t do a lot of business with them).

https://www.av-comparatives.org
is a company that does testing of antivirus products such as Bitdefender and, Bitdefender consistently comes out on top. Kapersky is the only other name that has such consistency in high security. Without dependency on the user (like Windows is known for), and without a lot of false positives.

https://www.av-comparatives.org/comparison/

According to that chart, a lot of companies are doing better this year than they have the past years. It’s nice to see that Symantec (Norton) is finally allowing its products to be thrown into the ring. Up until 2017, they refused to let the testing be done. Which turned me off. Especially since they weren’t doing to hot before they said “no more” to AV-Comparitives.

I was turned on to Bitdefender by my neighbor who worked in IT security for businesses, and at my last job, my IT friend liked Kapersky (which is good too according to the independent testing), I like Bitdefender. Both are top-notch products. Bitdefender, is consistently in or 2nd to the #1 spot. blocks everything with the fewest false positives. (which is important. We all remembers Windows Vista’s antivirus. Ask the user to block the entire internet and not to run any executables, and then they’d be safe from malware).

Here’s their antivirus for business and enterprise (https://www.av-comparatives.org/enterprise/comparison/).

I think you are probably looking at the https://www.bitdefender.com/box/ . To me, they have so consistently shown high skill and performance in other areas of computer and network security, I would trust them and them alone for this kind of device https://www.bitdefender.com/box/

Which I may be wrong. (correct me if I am) but it appears to be the same product as their total security package, with just installed on a router like device, that can protect the entire network without having to install it on everything. I think I would still want there security suite on my computers becomes they can the files on my computer. But with this, I would feel no need to get their antivirus for android, and I would feel like my smart devices were more secure than what my regular router can do.

as @lwarriner said, this is still a relatively new deal, so I don’t know how much faith I’d be willing to put into these devices in general. I’m waiting for independent testing to start trying these products by fire. But if I were to put my faith in any company, it would be Bitdefender.

edit: I don’t know who else makes these. but I know who I wouldn’t buy from. Microsoft, and McAfee. It’s a running joke that McAfee doesn’t even use McAfee. lol. (true story)


#31

Hey guys and gals. My name is Todd. I live outside of Denver with a unique home that sits on top of a mountain at 8000 feet. I do have solar, but with our climate no air conditioning. I also have solar water heating that I use for heating house and heating domestic water. I am a true believer in Sense. I installed it Feb this year and it learned most all my critical devices. My average utility bill was roughtly $80/month averaged over the year prior to Sense. I have now been 4 straight months with a $5/month bill, which is the lowest it will be as this is the connection fee. How we did it…three things. Turned down hot tub temperature, use dryer only when sun is out, and use delay setting on dishwasher to run during the day. I am looking forward to this winter so see if I can continue the trend. Only down side is that I am somewhat driving my wife crazy about consuming energy. After a couple months with reduced bills, she is slowly getting over it.

BBQ - Love it all. Especially one of those texas style briskets.


#32

Thanks so much for this extensive writeup. I’ll do a bit more research into all of it.

@todd.mikulenka welcome! I’m glad to hear that Sense has been treating you well. And I’ll be smoking a nice brisket this weekend :beers:


#33

@todd.mikulenka can you go here and give some more details about your solar?

Tell me about your solar


#34

I’m Paul we live in Kansas City. We just added solar (8.25KW) to the house and included Sense in the install. It’s been up and running a little over a week and has discover 5 devices. AC, Garage Door, Dryer, Coffee Pot and Fridge. Waiting for the power company to approve the install and swap meters so we can turn the panels on, the wait is killing me. I was a little surprised how good our always on is at 148. Also added a Tesla Model 3 recently as well, so fun to see that draw happen.

KC, well BBQ is pretty much everywhere here and I love it all.


#35

Hello There. Installed Sense over the weekend. Finished the calibration process and its been about 24hrs. Sense detected a device Heat1 and I am still trying to figure out what it might be.
Hopefully over next few days we start finding more devices.

Question - is there a way we can self identify devices by turning them on and off and tagging them. This way we can speed up the process of detection.


#36

Welcome!

You’ll find the answer to your question spelled out at length here: Why can’t you train Sense?


#37

Hi. I’m a relatively new Sense user. I’ve got a power hog central AC unit that Sense has convinced me to upgrade (but is still struggling to identify), more computers than is reasonable in one house and a completely zwave enabled light/switching system running from Home Assistant open source software (which integrates nicely with Sense). I’m an IT Security consultant, guitarist, and amateur radio operator, the latter two making me probably one of the rare “vacuum tube” power signature users with Sense :slight_smile:


#38

Welcome!

And if I didn’t just offload my tube gear for a nice solid state preamp to pair with my recording monitors (small apartment life :frowning_face:), I’d also be a member of the Sense-users-with-vacuum-tubes club.


#39

Another Tuber here! 1934 Zenith Super Hetrodyne Radio Receiver console - bought new by my grandfather off the showroom floor.


#40

Hi, all,
My PhD is in Computer Science. I am very interested in discrete optimization (NP-hard problems). I work for TransUnion, developing software for hard optimization problems. That involves lots of matching, entity-resolution, pattern-recognition, and machine-learning algorithms.

I just installed the hardware last weekend, in my own house, and am exploring the web site while I am waiting for it to start doing something useful. So far, I seem to have a fancy amp-meter on my main feeder wires.

I see why device-discovery is a hard problem. Matching an individual signal to known forms, even when there is no background noise, is a hard problem by itself. Detecting a time-varying signal in a knapsack of other signals would be an NP hard problem, even if all of the possible signals were already known. So I will be surprised if the approach ever works.

I had a TED system installed on this house, for about a decade. That didn’t try to be smart. It just had a bunch of induction coils, that could each measure one load. A pair of coils per-major-appliance, and a pair for the mains, solved the device-identification problem a-priori. (The pair of wires that go the the air-conditioner, had their own induction coils, so there was no signal-identification problem to solve.) The TED system had a problem, though. It communicates over the power lines, and trips arc-fault circuit breakers.

The only advantage that Sense seems to have, so far, is that it does not seem to trip arc-fault breakers.