Adding Smarts to the Solar Powered Pump

I’ve begun integrating the solar pump into the home automation system running in my house (Home-Assistant) using the MySensors platform.  The goal is to be able to control the pump via Home-Assistant, and have Home-Assistant automatically water the garden when needed.

So far, I’ve setup a MySensors Gateway, connected it to my Home-Assistant instance, and created a relay switch to turn off/on the pump wirelessly.  If this is something you’re interested in doing yourself, here are the pages that I referenced to accomplish this:

One big hiccup that I ran into came when I expected the relay sensor to appear in Home-Assistant as a new entity.  In order for that to happen, the relay needs to send its initial values to the gateway, which in turn sends this to Home-Assistant.  The example Arduino sketch does not do this, so I had to add code to present the initial values in the “loop” function.  Here are the lines that I added to the sketch to get it working:

#define CHILD_ID1 1
#define CHILD_ID2 2

bool state = false;
bool initialValueSent = false;

void loop()
 if (!initialValueSent) {
 Serial.println("Sending initial value");
 Serial.println("Requesting initial value from controller");
 request(CHILD_ID1, V_STATUS);
 request(CHILD_ID2, V_STATUS);
 //wait(2000, C_SET, V_STATUS);

void receive(const MyMessage &message)
  if (message.type==V_STATUS) {
    if (!initialValueSent) {
      initialValueSent = true;

Here is the relay sensor itself (Please excuse the shoddy soldering!):


MySensors Relay Actuator on Proto board.
Shoddy soldering job :)


Presentation of Relay in Home-Assistant:

Solar Pump presentation in Home-Assistant