Upgrade Schneider/Gardy IHC Domotics with OpenHABian

Support by Schneider for its Domotics IHC devices is just terrible. The app has been removed from the AppStore and never actually worked well. Until now… this guide will cover all steps on how to give a new life to your old and Schneider/Gardy IHC central using openHAB.

First, a word to Schneider: The app that comes with an IHC central system was garbage from its first release. Then they won’t update a 5-year-old IHC Central. And now they just remove the apps from the app store which makes it impossible to remotely control your lights. I highly recommend NEVER buying any “smart” devices from Schneider as they don’t care about after purchase support or updates.

Requirements

  • IHC with Ethernet Support
  • A Raspberry Pi with power supply
  • 16gb+ MicroSD card
  • PC/Mac to install Linux onto the MicroSD

WARNING: According to the original creator of the IHC binding, The iHC binding has been merged into the openhab2 repo and will be available from openhab2 V2.5 which has not yet been released.

Create openHAB RPI SD Card

OpenHAB has prebuilt raspberry pi images available on their website, Download the latest build Here. Then use BaldenaEtcher or Win32diskimager to flash the downloaded image onto the SD card.

Then put the sd card in your raspberry pi and connect the power supply. openHABian has a first installation guide which will guide you through the installation process. Once the setup is done, you should be able to open openHAB in any browser on your local network by surfing to your raspberry pi’s IP:8080 unless configured differently. The following screen should open

Install Add-on

In Openhab2, there is an IHC binding addon (binding-ihc1 – 1.13.0). However this one is not working correctly in openHAB2 and instead, they recommend using the “IHC / ELKO Binding“. But this plugin does not exist in openHAB2. Luckily I found a post with a modified version of the openHAB1 IHC addon which will now work with the latest version of openHAB2.

To copy the downloaded file to your openHAB installation, I used SCP to copy the file to the raspberry pi running my openHAB installation.

scp /Users/steven/Desktop/org.openhab.binding.ihc_2.3.0.201806062121.jar openhabian@192.168.1.4:/usr/share/openhab2/addons

Then connect to your raspberry pi over ssh and set permissions to the file you just copied

ssh openhabian@192.168.1.4

chmod 777 /usr/share/openhab2/addons/org.openhab.binding.ihc_2.3.0.201806062121.jar

Now reboot your raspberry pi and openHAB should automatically pick up the new plugin. You can now configure your IHC as normal.

Configure IHC Central

To link your IHC to openHAB, in the openHAB open PaperUI – Configuration – Things, Then click the plus to add the IHC / ELKO binding which should be visible after clicking the Plus button. Then fill in all the information of your IHC central and click the checkmark on top of the page to save the settings

If all settings were correct, you should see your new ‘thing’ with a ‘Online’ bubble next to it. This means the settings are correct and openHAB was able to connect to your IHC Central.

Add bindings

Now we need to add bindings for each output of your IHC. This may take a while if you have a lot of fixtures connected to your IHC. In openHAB, click on your IHC controller you added earlier and you should see a list of all available fixtures.

Click the open circle next to the items you want link to openHAB. If the circle is filled, this means the item is linked to openHAB and it should be available in HABPanel to create your mapping. Adding these devices automatically will use the “ihc:controller:e91a9eb4:641112470096-lowBattery” identifier. Add all the fixtures you need and you are now ready to build your HABpanel.

Add to HABPanel

First, open HABPanel and click the gear icon on the top right. Then add a new dashboard choose a name and click OK. Then click the gear icon again to leave “edit” mode and enter your new dashboard. The dashboard is still empty so click the “edit” icon again, this time next to the title of the dashboard. The icon should appear when hovering the mouse near the dashboard title.

Then click “Add Widget” in the top right corner and select switch. A new widget should appear on your dashboard. Click the 3 dots in the top right corner of the new switch to assign a light from your IHC

There are a few extra options to style the button to your liking, I recommend testing all of the optionsto see what looks the best.

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