gGoncçalomb MB >: .compt


Domus40 HA - Part 1 - Introduction

2023-06-16T18:51:30+00:00 • goncalomb • home-automation

Domus40 HA series: Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 (TBA).

Recently I've discovered a new line of home automation (HA) devices called Domus40.

These devices are from a local Portuguese company, EFAPEL, that makes products for electrical installations.

If you visit a newly renovated home here in Portugal there is some chance that it uses EFAPEL sockets and switches, in place of other more established brands like Legrand or Schneider.

In this series of posts, I want to explore this new line of devices, show some internals and see if they are a good alternative to other devices like the Shelly.

Domus40 / Domus40 Technical Manual
Domus40 / Domus40 Technical Manual

Devices, Documentation and Price

From the Domus40 page, I've compiled the list of connected devices (see original page for images):

Ref. Name Price € Manual
40930 Home Server 208.49
40925 Installation Key 42.95 PDF
40213 Single Pole Switch with Metering 61.03 PDF
40214 Double Pole Switch with Metering 65.37 PDF
40218 Blinds Control Switch with Metering 69.08 PDF
40215 250VA RLC Electronic Dimmer with Metering 74.23 PDF
40217 1-10V 50mA Electronic Dimmer with Metering 77.35 PDF
40260 Schuko Socket 16A with Metering 47.68 PDF
40961 Mobile Schuko Socket 10A with Metering 62.72 PDF
40226 4-Gang Push Button 41.34 PDF
40227 Wireless 4-Gang Push Button 24.73 PDF
40235 Multifunction Sensor 51.44 PDF
Domus40 Catalog (in Portuguese) PDF
Domus40 Technical Manual (in Portuguese) PDF
EU Declaration of Conformity PDF

The prices are from EFAPEL's price table (2023-05-03).

The devices only appear on the Portuguese version of EFAPEL's website, hinting at the fact that they may not be available outside Portugal at the moment.

Most devices use the standard recessed style box used in home installations in Portugal and other EU countries.

The "private network"

What piqued my interest was the fact that, according to EFAPEL's weird one-PDF-per-question FAQ (in Portuguese), they use a "private network of 2.4 GHz" and "it's only possible to guarantee reliable communication between Domus40 devices".

Well, I suspect it's Zigbee. And some posts on the CPHA forum (in Portuguese) also point to that.

In contrast, other brands like Legrand (Netatmo), with similar devices, don't hide the fact that they use Zigbee.

The Home Server (ref. 40930)

The system uses a proprietary Home Server as the control unit. It apparently provides a web interface and connects to the internet for cloud and mobile access.

The Domus40 Technical Manual has very little information about the server. It shows a device with 8 ports in the back, but only the 5V in, 2 USBs and RJ45 are mentioned in the manual, the others appear to be an HDMI, Micro USB, some other 7-pin port and an unknown slot. If the images are to scale, then looking at the size of the ports, the server must be very small.

The Home Server is also missing from the EU Declaration of Conformity, maybe it's just a rebranded mini/embedded PC not produced by EFAPEL with custom firmware.

Home Server / Domus40 Technical Manual - Some generic mini/embedded PC?
Home Server / Domus40 Technical Manual - Some generic mini/embedded PC?

The Installation Key (ref. 40925)

The Installation Key appears to be a USB gateway to connect all the wireless devices to the Home Server. The cool thing is that it has an internal battery, supposedly you go around to all the devices, pair them with the key, and then connect the key to the server.

If the protocol is indeed Zigbee, then it's the only commercial Zigbee gateway that I've seen with an internal battery. In contrast, for Z-Wave, we have the Z-Stick Gen5+ that also has a battery and works the same way.

Installation Key / Domus40 Technical Manual - A Zigbee gateway?
Installation Key / Domus40 Technical Manual - A Zigbee gateway?

What's Next?

Well, I've already ordered 3 devices: the Installation Key (gateway), the Mobile Schuko Socket (smart plug) and the Wireless 4-Gang Push Button (smart switches). None of these are for permanent mains installation.

As much as I would like to inspect and take apart the Home Server, I can't justify buying one, seeing that I don't actually want to use the system.

In the next series of posts, I will take apart these devices, inspect them and ultimately try to connect them to a Home Assistant instance.

If anyone from EFAPEL is reading this, send me a Home Server and I'll tear it down. ;)

I have no affiliation with EFAPEL, all opinions are my own.

Domus40 HA series: Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 (TBA).