Actron Connect and Home Assistant

“Gentlemen, I am now about to send a signal from this laptop through our local ISP, racing down fiber-optic cable at the speed of light to San Francisco, bouncing off a satellite in geosynchronous orbit to Lisbon, Portugal, where the data packets will be handed off to submerged transatlantic cables terminating in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and transferred across the continent via microwave relays back to our ISP and the X10 receiver attached to this (clicks mouse, lamp switches on) lamp.” – Howard Wolowitz.

As mentioned in a previous post (here), I was able to integrate an Actron air conditioner using the ActronConnect Wi-Fi module with my home automation software. Recently however, I decided to create an add-on for Home Assistant so that it could interface with that unit.

The add-on needs an MQTT broker to handle messaging to Home Assistant. The default configuration assumes you’re using the Mosquitto MQTT broker that comes with Home Assistant, but you could use any other product if you preferred.

The add-on has been compiled for amd64, armhf, armv7, and i386, and tested on a Linux 64bit virtual machine, and a Raspberry Pi using a 32-bit Home Assistant image.

Installation

Add a new add-on repository to your Home Assistant deployment, and you should be able to access the compiled add-on.

Add On

The repository for the add-on is here: https://github.com/MikeJMcGuire/HASSAddons. It should install fairly quickly, the add-on is about 200mb.

Add On

You need only configure a couple of settings to use it. If you leave the default MQTTBroker of ‘core-mosquitto,’ it will use the Mosquitto add-on of Home Assistant (core-mosquitto is the internal name of the Mosquitto add-on (when hosted by Home Assistant). You could also put the IP address/host name of your broker if you host it elsewhere.

The logging is a little intense at the moment, but I’ll back that off once its had a bit more testing.

Once the add-on is installed, you’ll need to configure your home DNS (whether its on your router or otherwise), to make the the add-on look like the cloud service used by the Actron Connect module.

You will need to create DNS entries for these hosts, and resolve them to the IP address of your Home Assistant. Once you’ve done that, a reboot of the air conditioner will force the ActronConnect to lookup those IP addresses again, and then connect to your Home Assistant. Entries:

  • actron.ninja.is
  • actron-connect.actronair.com.au
  • que.actronair.com.au

Enjoy!

Edit: I’ve released a couple of updates since the original release. The add-on can now create per-zone temperature sensors if your Actron has a per-zone temperature readout, and can support multiple Actron Connect units.

Update: I’ve created an add-on for Actron Que and Neo – here.

~ Mike

151 thoughts on “Actron Connect and Home Assistant

  1. Excited to get this working with our new Actron Neo but I’m a bit confused how to implement with my container install HA. Assume I can just use docker-compose and my container mqtt by specifying ip:port but what config files do I need to include? Do I just mount the config.json into the /data volume or do I also need options.json and build.json?

  2. I’ve got this integration working in my HA okay, for the light switches in my house I have KNX based Theben switches with integrated temperature sensors with which I can import the recorded value into HA. Is it possible to use this as the individual zone temperatures for the AC via this interface?

    1. Howdy, the AC object itself in HA can only show one temperature. You can simply create additional entities in HA to represent the temperatures coming from your individual sensors, and then use that information for general viewing, or driving automations etc.

      1. Thanks Mike, I may not have explained myself properly, The temp sensors are currently not part of the AC system, am looking to see if I can assign through your integration into the Actron unit for the room sensor values the AC can use

      2. Not Mike answering but my guess is if you can get those sensors into Home Assistant you can use them in automations to control the aircon.

        The sensors will need to be supported by their own adding/integration.

      3. Howdy – yep understood that. You can’t change how the AC works, but you can use automations in HA to change AC settings – and you can do that based on those entities for the per room sensors.

        Edit: Yep – what Shane said.

  3. Hi Mike, loaded your addon yesterday and it’s magnificent!!

    One small touch up: the mqtt payload for “actronque/compressorpower” seems to have a comma “,” which HASS is using as a decimal place… as you might expect the history graph shows power going from 999w to 1w.

    Thanks again mate, brilliant addon.

  4. Hi Mike, is this add-on able to support multiple units?
    I have two ActronConnect units in my house, upstairs and downstairs. Wanting to add both to be managed by HA as the ActronConnect app is to basic to support controlling both units without split accounts.
    Thank you

  5. Hi Mike,
    Just wondering if it’s possible to control the temperature of an individual zone remotely? As if pressing the button on the normal on wall sensor?

    Cheers,
    Simon

      1. Hi Mike. Yes it’s possible per zone with the zone controllers. Also available in the app – tap on the zone and set the temp. Can set different temps per room but I think the global “auto” “cool” or “heat” setting controls the overall heat/cool mode.

      2. Hi Mike,
        Each zone controller allows individual control with up & down buttons, but it is not available on the Actron Connect App.
        Cheers,
        Simon

      3. Thanks Simon – I imagine its not possible if their app can’t do it. However, I’ve emailed you anyway to get some info from your AC – you never know.

  6. Hi Mike,

    Great work on this add-on, it’s been helpful in addressing zoning climates in which the Actron ESP is limited. Can you provide any documentation on how to connect two units? I noticed in the configuration the ability to add another unit however, I cannot figure out how to assign the air conditioner to the named additional unit and then assign zones to each unit.

    1. Howdy – the add-on documentation shows how to manage multiple units. There’s an example config available. It’s on the main page of the add-on in Home Assistant. Let me know how you go.

  7. as im a simpleton with this stuff, lol. how do i get the host names to resolve through HA? (you have a manual for dummies?

      1. Sorry mate thought I replied to this, I did get it sorted thank you. I send those hosts through adguard in HA to rewrite the dns. However whats the preferred way? I have my whole network pointing towards HA as primary DNS because of adguard but if my HA goes down I lose internet. There’s got to be a better way surely?

      2. It depends on what you have available at home. My AC is on a different subnet/vlan to the rest of my devices, so it was easy to give it a different DNS server to that of the other devices. Your DHCP server though might let you provide a different DNS IP to your AC than it does to the rest of your network.

  8. If anyone is having issues with the Actron connecting to the WiFi, I think the ActronConnect module is using WPA1.

    If anyone uses Unifi gear with newer firmware versions, try setting WPA Mode to both WPA1 and WPA2.

    This is found under

    – Settings -> Wireless Networks -> SSID -> WPA Mode (in the legacy interface).
    – Settings -> Wifi -> Security -> Security Protocol (in the new interface)

  9. Hi Mike, is it possible to change the Thermostat Card, to show text instead of the icons for auto heat cool fan etc. If so can you point me in the right direction ??

  10. Hi there
    Looks like something is a miss with the 0.9.2022 update.
    “Can’t install mikejmcguire/hass-actron-aarch64:2022.9.0: 404 Client Error for http+docker://localhost/v1.41/images/create?tag=2022.9.0&fromImage=mikejmcguire%2Fhass-actron-aarch64&platform=linux%2Farm64: Not Found (“manifest for mikejmcguire/hass-actron-aarch64:2022.9.0 not found: manifest unknown: manifest unknown”)”

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