Homey Community Forum

Considering buying Athom Homey

#1

Hey all.

I have been considering buying Athom Homey to integrate the smart units in my Home, although the most recent articles regarding the best smart Home hub suggest the samsung smartthings hub.

However, Athom Homey can connect to more devices and look more exciting.

I have Philips Hue, Google Home mini/chromecast/chromecast audio, logitech Harmony hub, lg tv with webos 3.0 and some smart plugs.

My concern is that I find it hard to find any reviews on the Athom homey in 2019 and can see in the apps that several of those regarding the units, im using, arent working that great…yet

So my question is whether the Athom homey is a great buy at the moment, with the new 2.0 app, or if its better to wait a while as to the units, I have in my house?

Thank you :slight_smile:

#2

If you like to be able to do anything with all your smart devices without being a rocket scientist, homey is the right choice! All the apps are pretty stable and the new 2.0 version is more responsive and easy to use with a smart phone. I had something called futurehome for one week, but it was simply too boring and too “easy” for me. Homey is more challenging in the way that you can set up more scenarios and do more complex stuff. You should buy one, if you don’t like it just sell it on eBay or something :slight_smile:

#3

I’m in the same position about buying a Homey / Homey Pro in 2019.

I currently have the Fibaro Home Centre 2 controller which has been a pain in the arse for a number of years with lack of support / plugins and instability between updates. So i’m looking to leave and Homey looked like fun.

#4

I’m a new user to Homey after moving over from Vera Plus, I only bought after the V2.0 firmware was released so I have no experience of the previous version. I think it has a lot of potential, I’m not a fan of the design, I much prefer the anonymous boxes that I can just put in a rack somewhere out of the way, but that’s a bit of a niggle.
The biggest problem I had with the Vera was that complex automation logic couldn’t be done easily. Most things can be done in LUA script, but I don’t want to write code in a text box in a browser. I’m a software engineer by profession so am happy writing code, but not in that tooling. The flow logic in Homey is far superior to Vera, and the opportunities for automation far greater. The downside is that devices are supported by app, so if there isn’t an app for your device, you’re faced with the options of writing one, asking the community to write one or hoping that Athom get round to writing one for your device. I’m in the U.K. and a big user of LightwaveRF and didn’t realise that there was no support in V2 of the software. It is in beta though with support for a limited number of devices, so I’m interested to see how quickly that becomes generally available.
The other big problem I had with Vera was the glacial pace at which improvements came to the software / firmware. I can’t speak to that with Athom yet, but they do seem to be (a little) more engaged with the community so that’s a positive.
Overall I bought with the option of returning it if I wasn’t happy and decided not to, but I am in this strange limbo place waiting for all my devices to be supported. I would check the support for your devices more thoroughly than I did.
Hope this helps :grinning:

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#5

I’ve been in this exact place with my Fibaro Home Centre 2 for many years :expressionless:
I don’t fancy moving to Homey and doing the same again… fingers crossed the development is more rapid.

#6

Are many of your devices not supported @Budda

#7

My advice, just go for it.
I had the Vera then Fibaro HCL and then the HC2 (twice!)

Not just that Homey can do more than Fibaro HC2, but most important, it is backed up by this excellent community.

#8

I’m also looking into a buying a Homey. Previously done Vera, Zipato, Fibaro and Domoticz (for customers)

I think most of my needs are covered. But have some questions as well.

  • I like scripting capabilities. For 2 purposes: 1) build additional device support (drivers, or whatever you call them), and 2) having complex if/then logic. Item 1 seems to be covered. But not sure about nr 2. Does Homey only have “Flows” or can that also be extended to/with scripting?

  • Why was the hardware upgraded (cpu & memory)? were there issues before?

  • How many zwave devices does it support? (theory says 253 I know, but what is the practical limit? for example a Fibaro HCL starts having issues after 10/15 devices. A 1st gen Zipabox becomes slow at appr. 60)

  • What is the quality level of upgrades? In my experience, Zipato and Fibaro always break stuff, sometimes minor, but also major issues I’ve seen.

  • Is there a notion of user objects, with meta data. With this I mean data available for automation. For example “is user X at home”

  • Does homey support virtual devices? Zipato has them, Fibaro not. For example a virtual sensor “Dark-Inside”, the state of the sensor is determined by a complex combination of time, and multiple indoor light-sensors. With a virtual device I can have that logic in 1 place, and have all other rules/automation depend on that single virtual sensor.

On thoughts on those would be appreciated.
thx.

#9

I bought the Homey since I gave up on Vera ever getting a stable system. The direction they took was going for fancy UI and new functionality instead of reliability. This left them with lots of issues and lots of unhappy customers. Homey is still on trial with me since it’s hardly stable with the new 2.0 firmware and constant updates. Fibaro devices, for example, only become usable a few weeks ago. These things will likely get stable.
My main concern is the fundamental design which don’t really scale to a lager house. The antennas are built in and not very good. Both the Vera and my Homeseer can include devices across the house, the Homey has to be moved around for inclusion and in sparse areas states don’t update properly. The radio (433) is ok for smaller rooms but it can’t pick up a temperature sensor a room away… Since it doesn’t have USB you can’t add an eternal radio like the TRX/RFX which with an external antenna picks up a tempsensor in my garage 35m away!
My second problem with it is that it does not work with Google home in any way if you are Swedish and only partially if you are English…

#10
  1. Yes Homey has a scripting language for items which are more complex then flows, but dont require an app. https://apps.athom.com/app/com.athom.homeyscript - its in JavaScript

  2. Faster hardware is always better, the upgraded version is the ‘pro’ but myself and the vast majority of people use the ‘regular’ version.

  3. The issue with the number of devices seems to be slightly different with Homey - the number of ‘different’ devices has a bigger impact. For example 60 fibaro devices will not be a problem, but if you had 60 devices from 30 different supplies you might run into problem. In which case - you should buy the Pro. This is the scenario in which the extra hardware of the Pro has been created for.

  4. There are two upgrade ‘circles’, you can either go on ‘experimental’ which is basically beta. And get releases/features immediately as they come out. But may contain some bugs. Or you can remain on the stable release cycle which means you get releases once they are deemed stable.

  5. Yes

  6. Yes

#11

I have had a Homey for over two years now and I must say I am reasonably happy with it. Not completely happy because not everything works 100% all the time. For example, sometimes there are communication errors with my devices. I postponed the update to 2.0 because Athom decided to leave the WebIF. Since the introduction of the new WebIF flow editor I did do the upgrade and to be hounest I am not impressed. Yes, the phone app is better than before but I find it not very user friendly. I think Athom still has a long way to go when it comes to reliablity and user friendlyness. I also would have wanted it to be a more professional system (not only CPU and memory) with the ability to add antenna’s and hardware connections (LAN/IO). But obviously Athom aims at the consumer market only which I think is a missed opportunity. There is still a big gap with the professional systems. Overall my Homey has performed pretty well the last few years, despite all the issues they had so far.

#12

How is the Athom connection with Google Home? I live in Denmark and cant find Athom Homey, so I suppose it only work with the English version of Google Home?

#13

It only works in the English version by saying “Hey Google, tell homey to…” and Google gets homey confused with home etc… In other implementations for other home controllers the individual devices are exposed to Google home such that you can say “Hey Google turn on the bedroom lights” if a lamp in the bedroom is present, this does not work in Homey.

#14

My advice don’t. It does not deliver what is promised and the service desk is terrible

#15

I bought a pro a couple of weeks ago. If you like figuring things out and experimenting then I think there is no real alternative.
Although it isn’t perfect, it works really well for me.

#16

I have tried it for a couple of days and more or.less have decided to return it, and instead go with samsung smartthings hub that are much cheaper.

Philips Hue was working fine, but there wasnt any integration with Google assistant (not in Denmark yet) and the connection with Google Chromecast seemed not to work properly. Got a lot of errors.

#17

Well homey has some bugs and it’s not always easy, but homey is freedom to do what you want. As a user you will have to be a little bit more interested in smart home and special customization to enjoy the Homey. If you are a regular user that only want to control some lights and tell Google to do easy tasks, you should go with something else.

#18

Agree, if you live in a small apartment. In a house it’s not got the range and scalability.

#19

200 square meter house and no problems, whats the problem?

40+ zwave and 30+ zigbee 5 wifi units,

@Sigge

#20

That it maybe for you not working doesnt mean its not working in every house

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