Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

The Buster PiX10Hub is here! Created by the Community, for the Community.:)% #:)

Author Topic: CM15A alternative  (Read 5773 times)

bkenobi

  • PI Expert
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 20
  • Posts: 1865
CM15A alternative
« on: January 12, 2012, 12:19:02 PM »

I've just stumbled upon the Arduino for one of my HA projects (http://forums.x10.com/index.php?topic=25801.0).  I have become enamored with the possibilities that it puts within reach for the non-EE.  While reading some threads this morning, I stumbled across dhouston's web site again.  I've seen it in the past, but dismissed all the cool boards that he developed as "nothing I'll ever need".  When I looked today, I realized he appears to have been working on a replacement board for the CM15, but I don't understand enough about it's capabilities to go further than having a "gee wiz" stare when reading the details.

Does anyone have one of the "Arduino™ compatible X-10 PLC shield"?  I'm wondering if the Arduino is a good environment to work with for HA or if it's essentially a toy and can't handle a full home's HA as a controller.  Opinions?

http://davehouston.org/X10_PLC.htm

dhouston

  • Advanced Member
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 37
  • Posts: 2518
    • davehouston.org
Re: CM15A alternative
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2012, 01:54:26 PM »

No - none of the ZarduinoTM are replacements for any of the X-10 powerline controllers but merely interface with the existing HA powerline controllers be it X-10, UPB, Insteon, or whatever (anything with a serial or TTL interface). The X10 shield interfaces with the TW523/PCSO5/XM10 or PL513/PCS04 and with legacy devices like the Ocelot, JDS Stargate, HomeVision etc., emulating a TW523 for the legacy devices.

The only thing approaching a replacement powerline controller is the RR5x5 and it's merely a daughterboard that turns existing RR501s into an RS232 device and adds a few enhancements.

Even if powerline modem ICs were still as widely available they were 10-12 years ago, designing a CM15A replacement is a bigger project than I want to take on.

No one has any yet as they are still a few weeks away from release.

As to whether the Arduino is capable of handling all of the HA tasks it really depends on the number of tasks and on the skill of the programmer.

However, I did not think the basic Arduino was as capable as needed - that's why I designed the Zarduino-40TM - it has more power and more pins. But I also offload a great deal of the processing. The Serial shield has PICs (one for each serial channel) that handle serial I/O on their own and the I2C shield also has PICs that handle DIO streams (e,g. IR/RF in/out) so it's not limited to the processing power of the ZX-40n main processor. There's also considerably more (and faster) EEPROM for macros, timers, etc.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2012, 02:58:38 PM by dhouston »
Logged
This message was composed entirely from recycled letters of the alphabet using only renewable, caffeinated energy sources.
No twees, wabbits, chimps or whales died in the process.
https://www.laser.com/dhouston

bkenobi

  • PI Expert
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 20
  • Posts: 1865
Re: CM15A alternative
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2012, 04:13:39 PM »

Thanks for the clarification!  I spent a few minutes reading some manuals on your site, but it was more technical than a quick skimming would allow.  I guess I was just hoping that there would be a nice upgrade path forward when the CM15A inevitably dies.  Unless X10 decides to continue production at some point, the step forward would be a step back technologically.

dhouston

  • Advanced Member
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 37
  • Posts: 2518
    • davehouston.org
Re: CM15A alternative
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2012, 04:50:36 PM »

Unless X10 decides to continue production at some point, the step forward would be a step back technologically.
I'm not sure what you mean but I don't consider what I'm doing as a step back by any means. It allows you to mix and match powerline protocols (i.e, X10, Insteon, UPB) as well as incorporate IR and RF from various manufacturers for various purposes (motion sensors, security sensors, etc.). It will work with as yet unknown devices as long as they use a serial or TTL interface. And it will allow users to gracefully abandon technologies that are abandoned by the manufacturers, moving almost seamlessly to other technologies to accomplish the same tasks. And all of the ZarduinoTM shields can be used with any Arduino or clone plus most shields designed for those Arduinos and clones can be easily adapted for use with the Zarduino-28TM and Zarduino-40TM.

Personally, I've never thought much of the CM15A or the CM11A for that matter and consider X10 software to be amateurish. You can do more with separate RF receivers/transmitters and external EEPROM for macros/timers. And even the TW523 had a higher output (about twice the CM11A and CM15A). If there were a reliable source for it, I would offer a daughterboard to allow for real-time reports of what's on the powerline without X10's filtering and delaying of the signals.

All of the board layouts are open source and the firmware (except for Insteon where I'm bound by an NDA) will also be open source. I just don't want to release them until I'm satisfied they are stable as I do not want to be bogged down with reports of problems during the final development. Much of the firmware was developed and tested a few years ago so I don't anticipate many issues but I do need to rewrite the interfaces for Windows, Linux & OSX as well as write the Android app that will interface via WiFi or ethernet as well as Bluetooth.
Logged
This message was composed entirely from recycled letters of the alphabet using only renewable, caffeinated energy sources.
No twees, wabbits, chimps or whales died in the process.
https://www.laser.com/dhouston

bkenobi

  • PI Expert
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 20
  • Posts: 1865
Re: CM15A alternative
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2012, 07:36:46 PM »

I'm not trying to say anything negative about your project.  I was simply meaning that the CM15A seems to have been discontinued and replaced by the "upgrade" to a CM15K (CM19A + TM751).  I don't consider those two in combination equal to or better than the CM15A by any stretch!

Ideally, I'd like to see a path forward that included some kind of a network gateway device (wired or wireless...either way would work) that could receive/transmit PLC and RF (at a reasonable range without voiding the warranty).  It would be ideal if such a device could incorporate a powerful enough processor to do basic logic and timer operations for the full range of addresses.  Anything more complicated (voice control for instance) would be dealt with by a HA computer.

I know I can build a computer that can do much of this and just utilize the PLC/RF controllers as is (which is how I currently use the CM15A primarily), but I don't like the idea of a standard PC running something an embedded machine (low power, higher reliability, etc) could do.  I could be in the minority, but that would be the direction I personally would prefer.  It appears your device is pretty close to that direction except it's not an X10 only device as it can be expanded to any system (a nice bonus).

Thanks for the explanation.

dhouston

  • Advanced Member
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 37
  • Posts: 2518
    • davehouston.org
Re: CM15A alternative
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2012, 07:55:41 PM »

There's Arduino code that can duplicate much of what the CM15A does using the TW523/PSC05 an RF receiver module and the M17A (Firecracker).
You can accomplish the same thing but more easily with the Zarduino-28TM as the ZBasic chips all have low level X10 TTL functions built-in. They operate in the background and all you need do is a bit of setup and then handle the input/output.

When I send Noam the hardware to beta test the Zarduino-28TM with the CM11A, I'll also provide code to duplicate brohogan's PCS05 & RF code but in ZBasic and with a 310MHz RF transmitter rescued from a Stanley garage door remote.
Logged
This message was composed entirely from recycled letters of the alphabet using only renewable, caffeinated energy sources.
No twees, wabbits, chimps or whales died in the process.
https://www.laser.com/dhouston

bkenobi

  • PI Expert
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 20
  • Posts: 1865
Re: CM15A alternative
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2012, 11:21:57 AM »

I see.  Since there are fairly easy ways to add a transmitter/receiver to an Arduino (via a proto shield for instance), can I assume that this might be a standard-ish feature for your Zarduino shield (solder pads for a standard module)?  Also, I see that you have schematics posted for most of your boards as well as images of the traced out board.  I've done some brief investigation into production of PCB's and it appears that there is currently no "cheap and easy" way to do it.  Are you planning on running a batch of a selection of these boards for sale at some point in the future?

dhouston

  • Advanced Member
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 37
  • Posts: 2518
    • davehouston.org
Re: CM15A alternative
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2012, 01:08:59 PM »

Are you planning on running a batch of a selection of these boards for sale at some point in the future?
Right now I have a handful of of each of about 2/3 of the prototype boards (with the others being made) and am assembling/testing them. Once I have tested them, they will be available from YourDuino.com. Just when is up to the distributor.

At this point, I'm not sure just when but bare boards will also be available from the Chinese company that made the prototypes. I do not want to provide that URL until I'm sure there are no major design errors. I did all the designs very quickly so there may be some things I missed.
Logged
This message was composed entirely from recycled letters of the alphabet using only renewable, caffeinated energy sources.
No twees, wabbits, chimps or whales died in the process.
https://www.laser.com/dhouston

bkenobi

  • PI Expert
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 20
  • Posts: 1865
Re: CM15A alternative
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2012, 01:15:56 PM »

Sounds good.  I'll keep an eye out for a release notice!   #:)
 

X10.com | About X10 | X10 Security Systems | Cameras| Package Deals
© Copyright 2014-2016 X10.com All rights reserved.