Step-by-step how-to guide install the RFLink, on a Raspberry Pi 4, with the latest Raspbian Buster image and Domoticz.

Connection will be based directly on USB, we are working on how-to guides to connect the RF-Link in different ways such as over ethernet (ser2net) or wifi (ESPEasy).

This how-to is part of a bigger series of Domoticz how-to’s on sancla.com!

This tutorial has been verified with:
Domoticz 2020.1

Prerequisites

Tested with

  • Raspberry Pi 4 (MEM 2GB with 16GB sd-card)
  • Raspbian Buster Lite 4.19, Februari 2020
  • Domoticz Stable 2020.1 (compile date 22-3-2020)
  • RFLink firmware R48 (USB/MEGA)

Step 1 Connect the RFLink with USB

This is probably the most easiest step I ever included in a how-to, but just connect your RFLink to the Raspberry Pi.

However, if you haven’t used your RFLink in a long time and you aren’t sure about the firmware version, you can upgrade this to the latest version very easily.

The developers made it easy update the firmware with their (Windows) support application, it’s included with the firmware update download:
http://www.rflink.nl/blog2/download
Just connect your RFLink to your PC, run the support application “RFLinkLoader.exe”, select the included firmware and press the “Upload/Program firmware to device” button.

The RFLink support application  "RFLinkLoader.exe"
The RFLink support application “RFLinkLoader.exe”

Step 2: Configure the RFLink in Domoticz

Once you have connect the RFLink to your Raspberry Pi, go to Domoticz and then to the hardware section under Setup.

  • Name: RfLink433
  • Type: RFLink Gateway USB
  • Data Timeout: Disabled
  • Serial Port: Select the one with “Arduino” in it.
    If this doesn’t work later on, try the other ports till you found the right one.
Adding the RFLink as a hardware device in Domoticz
Adding the RFLink as a hardware device in Domoticz

Step 3: Connect devices in Domoticz

Once you have configured your hardware device, Domoticz will start automatically to recognize the device in your neighborhood once it receives a signal from it. Over time, this can get a bit messy and easily get out of hand, see step 4 for a solution.

Now, once you press a button of a 433mhz device (or any other RF kind if your RFLink supports this), RFLink will communicate that signal to Domoticz and Domoticz will automatically add the device under devices.

Example of recognized 433 devices in Domoticz
Example of recognized 433 devices in Domoticz

The biggest problem with the devices is recognizing the device in question. It’s a trail-and-error game of can give you head-aches if you live in a crowded area such as a city. However, for light switches, we have a trick. Every time you click on a ON/OFF button of your 433mhz device, the device gets an update and you will see the state change in Domoticz in 1-2 seconds.

Last Seen status in Domoticz
Last Seen status in Domoticz

After you identified all your RF devices, named and enabled them, your set and it should all work in Domoticz. Fun fact, in most area’s almost always a neighbor has a 433mhz based outdoor temperature sensor you can receive. And in most cases, they will change the batteries periodically for you, it won’t cost you a single penny!

Step 4: Disable “Accept new Hardware Devices” in Domoticz

Once you have identified and configured your sensors, it’s best to disable the auto-acceptance of new devices and remove the devices that are not yours. Domoticz provides you with a way to work around this ‘feature’ by allowing Domoticz to find and auto-recognize new devices for a short period of time only, for 5 minutes.

To disable the auto-acceptance of new devices or to enable the auto-acceptance for 5 minutes, find the “Hardware/Devices” section under Setup -> Settings.

Be aware that this also disables the recognition of new devices of other hardware devices.
If you add any new hardware or devices of any kind, you may temporary enable this setting again.

Disable the "Accept new Hardware Devices" feature in Domoticz
Disable the “Accept new Hardware Devices” feature in Domoticz

Tips & Tricks

Dipole antenne 433 Mhz from nodo-shop.nl

Sources

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