Using without internet


#1

I’ve been flamed to death about this in other topics but I feel it would be nice if able to use sense without internet. Contrary to what others have commented back to me, WiFi and internet are not the same and this wasn’t information I found out until after purchasing and installing. Some of us live in areas very rural where, in my case, there is extensive work being done on the phone and dsl lines. I don’t have a steady reliable connection. If it’s not available for current models, maybe in the future?


Notice all detected devices default to “OTHER”?
#2

This will never happen since the data that is collected by the monitor is send to the Sense servers so the Machine Learning backend there can analyze the data, to recognize patterns for devices, etc. Unless you want to setup a complete server farm in your house with a few dozen (I’m assuming) servers, etc to run the Machine Learning AI it’s simply impossible.


#3

I’m not talking about anything but being able to view current usage on the graph in real time without internet. I, like you, understand that this little box is probably not making the calculations for device detection and is basically a multimeter sending the information to the servers. I would think that the same information that is sent to the servers for current usage wouldn’t be difficult for the app to do nothing more than display. A server farm would t do any good. All this is proprietary and not open source, they wouldn’t release anything to us and I wouldn’t want that headache anyway. I just recently had to turn a laptop with 1tb hard drive and 8 gb (older laptop) of RAM into a machine that does nothing but diagnose the electronics on my BMW. It would take as you say, a server farm for this.


#4

Do you have solar ?? If not, then this box might be helpful:

https://rainforestautomation.com/rfa-z114-eagle-200-2/

It reads the realtime data from your smart meter (if you have one) and sends it via your local LAN to your PC browser.

Gives you charts like this:

Plus you can also download the data from the device.

Warning: The UI for Sense is much better, plus if you have solar, you only see the net metering results (that’s why my demand and consumption goes negative). Plus there is value in having data uploaded to the web with long term history as Sense does.


#5

While I agree that it would be nice to be able to get some minimal functionality from the Sense monitor with no Internet access, that feature is not really commonplace in the IoT devices I have experience with. For example, my Samsung SmartThings app and Nest app can’t communicate with their respective devices locally if the cloud servers or my local Internet connection is down. I know this very well because both of those platforms have had regular and long-lasting cloud platform outages in the past few months.

One IoT device that implements this feature very well is my WeatherFlow smart weather station. The hub can connect to the local app using bluetooth locally in addition to wifi/cloud. And it can send UDP data over the LAN for local logging regardless of whether an Internet connection is present. It also stores a good bit of data onboard and automatically uploads it to the cloud servers if Internet access goes down.

If your ISP is as unreliable as it sounds, you might want to look into using a router that can support dual ISPs, or has a cellular backup failover function. Or, if you’re in a REALLY remote area, you might be stuck with a dual-WAN router and satellite backup. That’s the solution I use at home to remove any dependency on local ISP infrastructure.


#6

The entire way that Sense works is built on being constantly connected to the back end. There’s no (realistic) way to replicate the kind of server power and software locally to accomplish what you’re hoping to do - I think you may be drastically underestimating how much data is passed back and forth by Sense every second via the internet.

If you’re just looking for a simple wattage monitor there are options out there that don’t need a net connection whatsoever, or can create a local rudimentary web page on a local server, but to get the features of a system like Sense, you’re going to need an always on internet connection.


#7

Im just talking about current usage like the real time graph that doesn’t require any calculations or input from the server side. It would basically just be relaying the same information it’s constantly sending to the servers. There are other ways to accomplish this but not quite as detailed as the sense provides where you can see the wattages displayed turning on and off.


#8

A bit OT, but replace your SmartThings hub with a Hubitat Elevation and you will not have this problem with most of your devices. The Hubitat Elevation runs most things locally on the hub, no internet required. I just installed mine on Monday and I’m super impressed with the device support (my SmartThings hub had issues after 70ish devices, I have 128 on the Hubitat Elevation right now), as well as their standard Apps. Also lots of custom “unofficial” apps available to hook lots of other devices up to it besides the officially supported ones.


#9

Looks like a great product and just what I need for my many internet problems


#10

Yes it’s super awesome. I’m very impressed (and that doesn’t happen often :slight_smile: LOL)


#11

Great price also. That’s been part of my problem that most just wont understand. The sense is priced low for what it is but that’s also relative to what someone an afford. Before my health took a dive, $300 was nothing. Nowadays it’s different unfortunately. I wouldn’t call it a big purchase but it’s jist extremely difficult to swing anything extra these days


#12

Yeah definitely great price. They had it for $15 off last week when I bought mine, so price was even better then.(edit - oh no they still have that price, I thought they were ending that last Monday, guess not)


#13

I’m keeping an eye on Hubitat for sure. But it’s a new platform and the USB-connected radio dongle makes it seem a bit hack-y for my taste. Hopefully they will come out with a slightly more refined hadware rev and then I’ll give it a try.

I’m looking for a decent level of refinement before I go through the huge task of migrating all my ST automations and devices to a new platform.


#14

They will not integrate the radios afaik because this way they can support additional standards as they come out as well and you can just replace the USB radio dongle, instead of having to buy a whole new hub. I kinda like that approach myself. Yes it is a new platform, but as far as I’m concerned miles ahead of SmartThings already with their Rules Engine(s) especially. It also seems to use a similar approach as SmartThings w/ their custom devices and apps (all Groovy script) so seems like most SmartThings custom/community developed device support can easily (and already has in many cases) be ported to Hubitat. I.e. the TP-Link integration I could never get to work on my SmartThings hub works flawlessly on the Hubitat.


#15

If it’s the size of the single throwing people off about it being cheap or it’s capabiliTunes, that just doesn’t apply like the past. Someone had responded to my lost and mentioned how much sense could do based on size. Look at how huge sense is compared to an iPhone that has radio capabilities that support every cell network in the world, over 20 bands plus Bluetooth. It also has dual WiFi and GPS radio. That’s just it’s radio capabilities. The size of the tiny WiFi dongles I use for older computers amazes me, they are the size of a fingernail


#16

I’m sure there’s more than just an antenna in that dongle. It likely has several chips in it to translate the ZigBee/ZWave signals to whatever protocol is used over the USB port it plugs into. WiFi also is a MUCH stronger signal power wise, so a tiny antenna is good enough to get that signal to work. ZigBee and ZWave are very low powered signals, so a larger antenna (which requires more space) is better to improve signal reception. Don’t forget that your cellphone has quite a large antenna in it as well, it’s just hidden inside the huge (in comparison) case. So yeah the dongle isn’t small but I’m sure it’s as small as they can make it at this point to ensure good connectivity, even if the closest ZigBee/ZWave device is at the edge of the “range” to still be able to get the Mesh network setup, etc.


#17

The antenna for WiFi is actually very short. Antenna size corresponds to wavelength determined by frequency. Most of the time radios use a fractional length antenna like 1/4 or 1/20. For 2.4 ghz the length of the full wave is 12 centimeters but can effectively use a tuned antenna of 1/20th at about 7mm. Antenna are very misunderstood and the general public thinks bigger is better.
I’m also a HAM operator. Call sign KJ4MSA.
I think it’s time to renew my license