Aqara Opple Button

As of late, my smartthings buttons have been a bit flaky. I decided that I should try out some other buttons to explore that functionality. I decided to try the Aqara Opple button. In case you don’t know what it is, here’s a link Aquara Opple

I chose the two pack - 6 button layout. I’m not big on a button that has 18 press combinations because there’s no way you can remember what all of those presses do. BUT, it’s the most cost effective in case there are some things that I wanted to hide within the button.

Received the buttons really quickly. To date, it’s been on my desk for about 2 weeks while I considered what to do with it. As I’m sitting home today, I decided to take the time to figure it out.

The button is a bit larger, but good looking. It can be removed from the dock/mount.

The nice thing is I can mount it on my fridge, but move it to the table if I need. Completely magnetic.

One thing I found immediately satisfying is the magnetic holder and button. Yes, the button comes out of the holder and is also magnetic. For two weeks now, I’ve been clicking the button in and out of the holder like a small child with a fidget-spinner. :grin:

Now that I’m … kind’ve past stopping everything I’m doing to repeatedly undock and dock the button with it’s holder… wait …
image

I set up a few automations on it in Node-Red. I’m not done, as there are other things I’ll bury in a press for myself, but to date, I can unlock my front lock for visitors so that I don’t need to actually walk out there. I’m working on a press to change the color of my deck lights and a press to open/close the garage door from inside. I have a toggle that will override some lighting schemes as well. A must have at times. Even though my house is pretty good about keeping the lights on when I need them to be on through normal automations.

So I mentioned toggle. I’m using that in a subflow. That will increase functionality to two functions per button press. 3 possible button press combinations per button. 6 buttons. That’s a lot of options. NOT that it would be efficient, but hey … it’s a thought, right?

So, my point … I don’t have one. Just wanted to talk about this button. I think it’s cool. :grin:

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If you could share that subflow I would be interested. I assume the 3 presses are single and hold (integrated?) and double press via subflow?

How, if at all, do these compare to Pico Remotes? Obviously the picos require an expensive lutron pro bridge, so the value proposition isnt great for a low volume application, but outside of that, how do they compare?

I have a couple of these. Love them they are super low profile and have that ultra modern look. I just use them as on/off + dim up/down.

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I was just informed that each button does a triple click and then hold. That adds even more presses. They’re good little buttons, I’m still new to them, but I think I’m going to like them. I now own two.

I haven’t tried the picos. In discussing them with Markus, he tells me that there are clear limitations with these that makes him not want to try them. I’ll take his word for it. I’m sure others will pipe in. There are plenty of people who like them. I can say that the Opples haven’t disappointed me, but … click … :grin: I think I’ll always like them.

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The only limitation with Picos is that anything other than a single press needs to be derived based on time stamps. The devices report both press and release events. So a press means a press event quickly followed by a release event. A hold means a press with delayed release. A double tap means multiple presses. The issues relate to figuring out the right number of milliseconds between events. There are OS implementations, including node-red flows, that can provide a guideline for timings.

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Only? That sounds painful.

As I said, plenty of people/projects have implemented holds and at least double taps. It’s simple math. Not that painful. The best thing about Picos and Lutron is that they always work unlike Z-Wave especially or even Zigbee.

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I have a few different brands of zigbee buttons but none have ever stopped working other than a dead battery

so they too “always work”

anytime i hear complaints about how zigbee or zwave don’t work reliably my first thoughts are you have poor mesh coverage and need a couple repeaters, you have junk repeaters on your mesh, or your using a hub with a poorly implemented stack…

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:thinking:

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I agree, but a poor implementation or dead nodes can be a cause of dead batteries. I know that there is talk about a migration, and I’ve been testing this. Will migrating tables work? Yes. I have a working mesh to prove that. But, I recently reset my Z-Wave and went through my network. I found that everything paired with barely one button press for activity on CORE and reacts in a heartbeat. NOT that it wasn’t snappy enough before, but I’m super happy with performance as of late.

I know that you don’t want to hear it, but it seems that a fresh install is the way to go on these things. It’s something that you should put some thought into because it’s convenient to migrate these things, but this migration won’t be as clean as a fresh install. This creates frustration. It only took me a couple of hours to migrate 50+ devices. It’s just a thought and observation.

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Undoubtedly part of the issue. Yet not the entire issue.

Silicon Labs should not have released 700 series controllers. 700 series is still beta. And Z-Wave no matter the series is completely brittle. What is the point of a mesh if a single bad device can bring down the rest of one’s devices? There’s a reason that Z-Wave is developing the 800 series so quickly and LR devices are likely coming. Lutron has shown that at low frequency star topology can work really well without all the mesh complexity.

On the Zigbee side the mesh can be extremely easy to get working reliably. As long as the devices one adds are either standard or the driver writer has figured out the manufacturer’s non-standard protocol implementation. IME Zigbee is much more resilient than Z-Wave, even with many fewer repeaters.

I suspect that Thread/Matter will make a big difference over the next few years, to everyone’s benefit. Even Lutron is putting 2.4Ghz radios that seem to be Thread-based into their new controllers (but they aren’t using Matter). Z-Wave will have to fight to remain relevant. And Zigbee will naturally wither away.

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Yah, it’s interesting to watch things progress. I think everything has a place and a use. I really think there is a use case for all protocols. Some will stick around because it’s easy for newbies to understand. Other protocols will be more advanced. I recently redid my z-wave network to see the effects of migration compared to a fresh install. It was night and day. I feel like a take over, no matter what protocol or platform can be messy for many reasons. I paired the most important devices used in our home. Contact sensors, switches, and locks and left some of the extras out for now. My total number was around 60. I was dealing with some instability on a migrated system and some speed issues. The fresh install took a few hours and since I had a list of the naming convention, the rules picked back up where they left off. No reconfiguring in node red. I still see some instability, but I believe that will calm down as the mesh settles in. I did do everything in one day. I’ll be patient and see where it goes. I do plan on removing a few of the problematic zigbee devices. I have some lightify strips that like to complain. A lot. They’ll get retired at some point I think.