0Sensori per piante MiFlora in Home Assistant

I’ve been suing the MiFlora Home Assist­ant integ­ra­tion to get data on vari­ous house plants for a while. How­ever along the way I’ve had to over­come vari­ous hurdles includ­ing lim­ited range of bluetooth, bat­tery life issues, and get­ting the bat­tery val­ues to report. I finally seem to have cracked all of these and now have a sys­tem that works reli­ably with lots of plants around the house. I’ve sum­mar­ised what I’ve used below.

Hardware

La prima cosa da dire è che ho un bluetooth USB dongle attached to my home assist­ant sys­tem. This mon­it­ors the plants in range dir­ectly (i.e. quelli nella stessa stanza del box HA). To mon­it­or more dis­tance devices I have used an ESP32 board with built-in bluetooth mod­ule which I have inside a cheap little case and have powered with an old micro-USB caricatore del telefono

  • USB Dongle: the one I got is no longer avail­able — due to age — but there are plenty of amazon and else­where — just make sure it has sup­port in linux
  • Scheda ESP32: ho un JZK ESP32‑S which is cur­rently £6.49 on amazon
  • Custodia per ESP32: I found the case for a NodeM­CU Wroom-32D (short aer­i­al) fit­ted my board — this was £4.20 from ebay

Integrazioni per Home Assistant

Whilst the basic MiFlora integ­ra­tion is built in to home assist­ant I found it uses a lot of bat­tery when used nat­ively. Invece io uso il Bluetooth Low Energy Mon­it­or 3rd party integ­ra­tion which you can install eas­ily using RITARDO
Ho poi installato anche il ESPHome integ­ra­tion for home assist­ant to man­age my ESP32 BLE repeater
Finalmente, to dis­play the plants in a nice way I added a par­tic­u­lar fork of the carta della pianta del lovelace addon tramite LAG

Configurazione

Once BLE Mon­it­or was installed and con­figured with my bluetooth dongle it picked up the MiFlora sensors with­in range and lis­ted them in its “devices” drop down as well as list­ing the devices and entit­ies on it’s card in the HA configuration
The great thing about BLE mon­it­or is that it listens for the sensors to trans­mit, rather than act­ively polling them, which would run down their bat­ter­ies. tuttavia, the sensors don’t trans­mit bat­tery inform­a­tion so to get this we have to act­ively poll for it. Sondaggio solo per questo, and pass­ively listen­ing for the oth­er data seems to be the best com­prom­ise if you want to have all the data avail­able but also max­im­ise the sensor’s bat­tery life. I have sep­ar­ated my configuration.yaml into mul­tiple sep­ar­ate files to keep things a bit easi­er to man­age so I just have the fol­low­ing line in my configuration.yaml —

Then in sensors.yaml I have each plant lis­ted as follows

Next — to make the plants appear nicely I have a plants con­fig. Come prima, una singola riga in configuration.yaml per cominciare: 

E poi in plants.yaml ho quanto segue

Note the subtle dif­fer­ence between the entity name for the bat­tery com­pared with the oth­er sensors. The bat­tery entity is com­ing from the miflora plat­form in sensors.yaml whilst the oth­er 4 sensors are com­ing from the BLE integ­ra­tion. There IS a bat­tery entity lis­ted by the BLE integ­ra­tion but this just shows as “unknown” for this plant. This con­fig­ur­a­tion is needed for the plant card to show the plant in a nicely presen­ted way
Quindi vai semplicemente nel punto in cui desideri aggiungere la tua pianta e aggiungi la carta della pianta lovelace. You will have to “con­fig­ure” the card manu­ally, but it only takes 3 lines…

Note that the spe­cies is lis­ted for 2 motivi. Firstly it will dis­play the name on the card, ma più import-antly, it will also dis­play a pic­ture of the plant if you have down­loaded the plant images and added them into \config\www\images\plants using the lat­in names — the inform­a­tion on the data­base is avail­able on the lovelace plant card documentation

Estendere la gamma

Finalmente, dobbiamo estendere la gamma che possiamo raggiungere. Per questo abbiamo bisogno del dispositivo ESP32. The first thing to do is to get it hooked up to your com­puter via USB e esegui il flashing con un'immagine ESPHome di base
Ho usato il ESPHome Flash­er e la cp210x uni­ver­sal win­dows driver from SiL­abs and fol­lowed the guide provided by the ESPHome Home­As­sist­ant integration
The con­fig I used for my ESP32 device is below

Quindi salva e aggiorna sul tuo dispositivo esp32 tramite wifi. The ESP32 device will pick up the data from the miflora sensor and will ‘push’ it via wifi to the BLE integ­ra­tion which will cre­ate a device and entit­ies auto­mat­ic­ally. Devices pushed in this way do appear to show their bat­teyr level (thanks to the code at the bot­tom of the myhomeiot_ble_client sec­tion I believe). Quindi devi solo dare al dispositivo un bel nome (and let the entit­ies be renamed too) and then cre­ate an entry in plants.yaml with the right entities

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