As you know, AquaShield is a high-end device specially designed for monitoring and controlling hydroponics and aquaponics systems. It acts like a smart home system, so it was a no-brainer for AquaShield to be able to connect to the most widely used smart home environment, the Home Assistant.
In the last few months we implemented some new features for AquaShield, that enables the AquaShield’s software to fully integrate to the Home Assistant. Let’s check out how you can connect your AquaShield to the Home Assistant:
- Running AquaShield
- Running Home Assistant in same network
- In Home Assistant:
- Installed “Node-RED” component from Home Assistant Add-on store
- Installed “File editor” component from Home Assistant Add-on store
- Installed and configured MQTT server
In this manual we suppose you’re familiar with Home Assistant, all required components configured and running.
Note: It’s highly recommended that you change the Home Assistant default database (recorder) from SQLite to MariaDB. Here is the topic where you can start if this is new for you: https://www.home-assistant.io/integrations/recorder/ There is also a MariaDB component in the Add-on store which is a good choice to use.
If you want to use nice and customisable graphs, then you may be interested in Grafana and InfluxDB too. There are also components for them in the Add-on store.
Before we can install the Node-RED flows we need to do some changes in the configuration.yaml with the File editor. You need to copy these entities (basically what you own from these) to your configuration.yaml. If the editor didn’t show any error, then save, and restart Home Assistant.
You can copy the configuration.yaml pieces here: https://pastebin.com/jf8TR7py
Redis contrib – Node-Red component
After you set up your AquaShield entities in your configuration.yaml we’re going to install the Node-RED – Redis component.
Import the flows
You can copy the Import JSON string from here: https://pastebin.com/HanRKrQ6 (use the raw data)
First step, click on Node-RED and when it’s loaded, click on the menu button on the top right. On the opening menu panel choose the export.
Copy the JSON into the textarea on the opened panel, and click the import button.
After importing, there are three new flows showing up. AquaShield Relay, Aquashield Sensor, Aquashield Level switch (binary sensors).
The Relay flow that you copied is ready to handle two relays. If you need less, just select the third and fourth row and hit del. If you need more, just select the third and fourth row, hit ctrl-c then ctrl-v. Click on the duplicated parts Redis and MQTT nodes, and set the relay number.
The Level Switch Flow’s up or downgrade is the same method like the Relays.
The Sensors depend only on what sensors you configured in your confiuguration.yaml. The flow will fill up everyone, you don’t need to change anything on it.
Configuring Redis node
Double Click on a Redis node. In the opening window hit the edit button right to the Server: AS.local row. In the new panel press the three dots right to the options JSON string. In the new panel change your host IP address to your AquaShield local network IP address. Press Done, then Update, then Done.
Configuring MQTT node
Double Click on a MQTT node. In the opening window hit the edit button right to the Server: LocalMQTT row. Change your Server IP address to your MQTT server’s local network IP address. If you use the Home Assistant MQTT component, then you can use your Home Assistant’s local network IP address. Fill in the user and password what you use for your MQTT server in the Security tab.
Press Done, then Update, then Done.
Deploy and start
If you’re ready, hit the red Deploy button left to the menu button at the top right. If these are the only Node-RED flows in your system hit before Modified Flows, then Deploy.
Congratulations! If you made everything right, now you have new sensors and switches in your Home Assistant system.
Finally, we have the connection between Home Assistant and AquaShield Redis server, we have the flows up and running. Now we want to see the Relays, and sensors. For this we need an “Entities” card. Create a new one, and look for AquaShield entities:
Finally you have to see something like this:
With some creativity, and custom card types you can do something like this:
The coolest thing in this automation is that you can connect it to your Smart Home ecosystem, and with this, for example you can control your device eg. with a Shelly or Xiaomi sensor. Or control your other smart devices based on AS sensors. From here, the possibilities are endless!
Hope we have your imagination running wild! If you have questions, please let us know in the comments!