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Jun 28 / Greg

Ubiquiti mFi


I can’t describe to you how excited I am for these. I do a good bit of SCADA/data acquisition/monitoring, so when I see something like this come along I get all giddy.

It appears as if they have gone and made a slew of remote sensors and controllable outlets. They have also made a centralized management interface to aggregate the system. It really appears to be a wired/wireless ethernet building automation system.


The software appears to be the nerve center of the product. They are boasting a unified interface for all of the devices. The reporting is sent back and graphed here. Events and alerts as well as automation happens here. It looks like you can add triggered scripts and actions based on sensor thresholds and events.


Here are controllable power strips that I believe can also read amperage. I’ve done a LOT with branch circuit monitoring, which is basically polling CTs to gain amperage on a large scale. See my BCM project, though I have a FAR more advanced version that I haven’t published…if anyone wants to buy it hehehe.
These come in an 8, 3 an 1 port version. I currently use 8 port controllers at my tower locations, so I would love to see the price point on these.


Now I’m getting all tingly in my manly bits! Here is a wall mount motion detector which I assume sends back events on detection. These connect to the mPort modules below.

Here is a ceiling mount detector. I would assume it operates the same as the above. These connect to the mPort modules below.

Here’s a temp sensor, which I assume is just a gussied up thermister. These connect to the mPort modules below.

These are some fancy split core CTs. They will measure from 0-100Amps, though I’m not sure how granular the readings are. In a nutshell, you clip these over a single lead of an electrical circuit and they will read the current amperage. These connect to the mPort modules below. Again, see my BCM project.

Here’s a door sensor. Looks to be just a dry contact to read on or off. These connect to the IO port on the mPort. It appears the mPort only supports a single dry contact connection like this. I suppose you could daisy chain several in series, though you wouldn’t be able to discern which specific sensor alerted.


The mPort terminates two of the above sensors and one door sensor. This is the gateway for the sensors back into the IP network. It has both wired and wireless connectivity. You can also see the sensors connect with standard cat5 cables. Do remember that in electrically noisy environments you will most likely want to use shielded patch cables.

The mPort Serial is basically a remote serial port. You can connect to switches and routers. I assume you can do far more with this because it has not only RS232, but RS485 and RS422 capabilities!

Now, for my questions:

  • Will the sensors’ info be available via SNMP?
  • Will you be able to control the outlets via SNMP?
  • Will mPorts dump SNMP traps based on sensor status?
  • Will mPorts dump syslog messages based on sensor status?
  • Will info be available via Modbus TCP?
  • Will outlets be controllable via Modbus TCP?
  • Will the mPort Serial do Modbus RTU?
  • Will the mPort Serial act as a Modbus RTU to Modbus TCP gateway?
  • Do you guys have any plans to manufacture an TTL level output interface?
  • Do you guys have any plans to have an TTL level input interface?
  • Obviously, what’s the price going to be like on this stuff?
  • Are the sensors analog or digital…I assume digital?
  • What do you guys think?


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    1. Robert W / Jun 29 2012

      Personally, I’m stoked to see something like this. I’ve been contemplating integration of a full BCM style system into my home renovation, which is going to be involving a full gutting and modernization of the electrical. I’d REALLY like to see them put out a full panel system with the BCM built in. The hardware I’ve had designed (very similar to what you have posted in the BCM project page) for a long while now, but the software (and my own time in getting this project worked on) has been my stumbling block.

      I’m jazzed to start tearing apart the protocol used and see how it can be extended! I’ve been learning a LOT about data acquisition systems and PLC integration lately (mostly for work, but I tend to take the work home with me sometimes) and if they can keep the supply chain working on it, this can be a hit.

      I’d love to see a tie in with the AirVision software to allow for a mFi sensor trip to start recording and be able to tie an event directly to a recorded video.

      Oh, as far as the 8-port mPower Pro, Streakwave has them at $99

    2. Greg / Jul 2 2012

      You sound like my kinda guy! I was thinking the same thing “I wonder how hard it will be to reverse the digital protocol coming off of the sensors.” I can see reversing it to build your own custom sensors that interface with the mPort or to create a sensor or system that will use the IP protocol to communicate back to the hosting station.

      I keep wondering how much they will integrate all of the systems…just have to wait and see I suppose 🙂

    3. NuNu / Nov 20 2012

      Modbus is the answer!
      I don’t know if they… but lets integrate Modbus RTU commands 3,6 ok well 1,2,4,5 also… And you get a reeeeeeal power out of it…
      If I made this it will look like (on the device config page):
      1: Modbus command (dropdown) [V] Payload (some data) Result varaible

      This way you can issue multiple commands, and sore their responses to different variables… Then you can filter them, issue alerts, and so on…

    4. Greg / Nov 20 2012

      I’m with you on that!

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