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 is experimental at the moment with a constraint being that it 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 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 ActronConnect 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

Enjoy!

~ Mike

9 thoughts on “Actron Connect and Home Assistant

    1. The bulk of the code would be the same. You’d probably need to move the config file path to somewhere modifiable from outside the container, and maybe tweak the dockerfile slightly, then you could just run it as a standard container.

  1. OK. I’ve installed Hass.io in a docker container on RPi3 running Raspbian Lite. Previously I used the python virtual environment install for HA but you don’t get the add-on store with that option and I wanted to get my Actron Connect working with Siri ASAP. If anyone else is running HA and wants to switch to Hass.io but running on Raspbian Lite, the guide for doing this is here: https://www.home-assistant.io/hassio/installation/#alternative-install-on-generic-linux-server (there were a few RPi specific issues with the directions in that link; I’ll elaborate on the fixes for them once I get this working).

    I also setup dnsmasq on my Netgear R7000 running merlin xwrt-vortex firmware. Once I had that setup I put a DNS redirect on the router so those two urls point to the Hass.io server.

    Installed the add-on from the store. Reconfigured all of my existing HA devices…. this took a while. I got a call from my wife to open the garage door because Siri wouldn’t do it for her – had to get up and do it manually. First world problems.

    Now, it looks like Actron Connect is talking to MQTT as per the logs:

    09-01-2019 19:06:51.71 DeviceController.Data() Client: ::ffff:192.168.0.88:3053
    09-01-2019 19:06:51.87 DeviceController.Data() Data: {“G”:”0″,”V”:2,”D”:6,”DA”:{“isOn”:true,”mode”:2,”fanSpeed”:2,”setPoint”:25.0,”roomTemp_oC”:25.0,”isInESP_Mode”:true,”fanIsCont”:0,”compressorActivity”:2,”errorCode”:””,”individualZoneTemperatures_oC”:[26.1,26.1,26.4,25.9,25.6,26.5,25.4,25.0],”enabledZones”:[0,0,0,0,0,0,0,1],”liveTimer”:null}}

    However I’m not seeing a climate component showing up on the overview screen. Do I need to add something to configuration.yaml?

    Thanks Mike!!

    1. Well, the add-on is hearing from the air conditioner which is good. MQTT on the other hand – not necessarily.

      What MQTT server are you using? The default configuration of the add-on is to use ‘core-mosquitto’ which is the internal network name for the mosquitto MQTT add-on. Does the MQTT addon show the air conditioner add-on log in to it?

      1. Fantastic! Got this up and running with a bit of debugging with Mike’s input (had to add MQTT discovery option to configuration.yaml). Amazing to have HA / Siri integration to control the Actron A/C and also discarding the slow and unencrypted cloud integration. Thanks for your impressive work on this add-on Mike.

  2. Thanks for your work Mike, incredible improvement to Home Assistant, and delivered where Actron wouldnt. I know, I tried asking.

  3. Thanks, this is awesome! Managed to get the docker container running on my Synology communicating with mosquitto (docker) to Home Assistant (docker) which in turn is also connecting to HomeKit. Can now ditch the Actron Connect iOS app and not have to worry about the online service being shut down. I additionally used the reverse proxy feature of the Synology to forward to the port 80 web service.
    One question though is there a way to set the fan speed to ESP and the additional ‘const’ modes?

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