Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

The X10Hub (PiX10Hub) is here! Created by the Community, for the Community.:)% #:)

Pages: [1] 2

Author Topic: Any advantage to a new CM15A  (Read 5236 times)

racerfern

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 5
  • Posts: 257
Any advantage to a new CM15A
« on: November 29, 2015, 09:32:14 AM »

I've had a CM15A for more than ten years. The little code on the back says "05D18". Is that a date or firmware code?

Is there any advantage to getting a new one?

Thanks!
Logged

dhouston

  • Advanced Member
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 37
  • Posts: 2487
    • davehouston.org
Re: Any advantage to a new CM15A
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2015, 11:17:02 AM »

I've had a CM15A for more than ten years. The little code on the back says "05D18". Is that a date or firmware code?

Is there any advantage to getting a new one?

It's a datecode for when it was manufactured - April 2005. The latest model uses the same components - it merely converted nearly all of the through-hole components to surface mounted ones. Any benefit is in manufacturing not performance.
Logged
This message was composed entirely from recycled letters of the alphabet using only renewable, caffeinated energy sources.
No trees, wabbits, chimps or whales died in the process.
https://www.laser.com/dhouston

toasterking

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 7
  • Posts: 268
  • We adore chaos because we love to produce order.
Re: Any advantage to a new CM15A
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2015, 11:17:58 AM »

That's a date code. Yours was manufactured in the 18th week of 2005 during April. See here for info on decoding it: http://forums.x10.com/index.php?topic=29215.0

It's not the same as a firmware code. The date code can generally be used to determine which design was used, but it cannot be assumed that a newer date code always means a newer design since X10WTI has been known to reuse old parts and designs when their stock on new ones from the factory got low. Only X10WTI knew the precise significance of each date code for each model and I suspect that the information is lost now.

There appears to be a recent redesign of the CM15A with somewhat better performance, but the features have not changed: http://tuicemen.com/forum/index.php?topic=753.0
Logged

toasterking

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 7
  • Posts: 268
  • We adore chaos because we love to produce order.
Re: Any advantage to a new CM15A
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2015, 11:22:36 AM »

Any benefit is in manufacturing not performance.
The post I linked claims that the newer revision yielded better performance for the user, but the gain could have just been due to replacing aging equipment with newly manufactured equipment rather than a change in the design.
Logged

dhouston

  • Advanced Member
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 37
  • Posts: 2487
    • davehouston.org
Re: Any advantage to a new CM15A
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2015, 01:23:14 PM »

The post I linked claims that the newer revision yielded better performance for the user, but the gain could have just been due to replacing aging equipment with newly manufactured equipment rather than a change in the design.

As far as RF input, the new design uses the same components as on the older design's daughterboards so I doubt there's any significant improvement.

Since I refuse to contaminate any of my PCs with X10 software, I was unable to test PLC performance. Authinx may have boosted PLC output - Tuicemen may know.

The one I have is from June 2013 so Authinx may have redesigned it since then but I sincerely doubt that.

I had posted pictures to my webpage and linked them here but I've shut down my webpage since then.
http://forums.x10.com/index.php?topic=29278.0
« Last Edit: November 29, 2015, 02:01:19 PM by dhouston »
Logged
This message was composed entirely from recycled letters of the alphabet using only renewable, caffeinated energy sources.
No trees, wabbits, chimps or whales died in the process.
https://www.laser.com/dhouston

Tuicemen

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 265
  • Posts: 9467
  • I don't work for X10, I use it successfuly!
    • Tuicemen Software
Re: Any advantage to a new CM15A
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2015, 02:10:49 PM »

Authinx has not improved the CM15A as yet.
They have stated that as they run out of stock and have to get more manufactured those modules will get hardware enhancements.
The CM15As that they have in stock are from X10WTI.
Logged
Please Read Topic:
General Forum Etiquette
Before you post!

Find extra info @ My forum

dhouston

  • Advanced Member
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 37
  • Posts: 2487
    • davehouston.org
Re: Any advantage to a new CM15A
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2015, 02:22:12 PM »

Authinx has not improved the CM15A as yet.
They have stated that as they run out of stock and have to get more manufactured those modules will get hardware enhancements.

Then, once again, I strongly urge them to replace the Cypress MCU with the Atmel ATmega328P used in the Arduino. They would gain several million fans that way.
Logged
This message was composed entirely from recycled letters of the alphabet using only renewable, caffeinated energy sources.
No trees, wabbits, chimps or whales died in the process.
https://www.laser.com/dhouston

Tuicemen

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 265
  • Posts: 9467
  • I don't work for X10, I use it successfuly!
    • Tuicemen Software
Re: Any advantage to a new CM15A
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2015, 03:39:32 PM »

I have forwarded several improvement suggestions for the cm15 from users to Authinx.
Perhaps the best thing would be fore them to consult the user base before they go ahead with new manufacturing.
Cost is always a factor when adding new things, even pennies here and there add up.
Logged
Please Read Topic:
General Forum Etiquette
Before you post!

Find extra info @ My forum

dave w

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 137
  • Posts: 5983
Re: Any advantage to a new CM15A
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2015, 10:54:37 PM »

Quote from: dhouston link=topic=29386.msg164808#msg164808 date=1448821394
Since I refuse to contaminate any of my PCs with X10 software.....
[/quote
rofl
Logged
"This aftershave makes me look fat"

dhouston

  • Advanced Member
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 37
  • Posts: 2487
    • davehouston.org
Re: Any advantage to a new CM15A
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2015, 05:47:12 AM »

Cost is always a factor when adding new things, even pennies here and there add up.
The Atmel chip costs much less than the Cypress chip used now. It's $1.85/1000 pcs to $1.15/4000 pcs at Digi-Key while the Cypress CY7C63723-SC is not stocked by any distributor I can find. Digi-Key can get it but you have to call them for prices. It would also require a USB-SER chip but the CH340G now goes for about $0.20/25 pcs on AliBaba. The Atmel chip and the CH340G are used in millions of Arduino clones.

Or they could do this...
http://www.zdnet.com/article/raspberry-pi-will-now-build-you-a-bespoke-board-so-long-as-you-buy-3000/
« Last Edit: November 30, 2015, 07:43:11 AM by dhouston »
Logged
This message was composed entirely from recycled letters of the alphabet using only renewable, caffeinated energy sources.
No trees, wabbits, chimps or whales died in the process.
https://www.laser.com/dhouston

JeffVolp

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 107
  • Posts: 2062
    • XTB Home Page
Re: Any advantage to a new CM15A
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2015, 10:37:30 AM »

The Atmel chip costs much less than the Cypress chip used now.

What about the firmware?  I'm not familiar with the Atmel chip, but I assume the firmware would not be the same.  So that development effort has to be considered too.

Jeff
Logged
X-10 automation since the BSR days

Brian H

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 289
  • Posts: 12703
Re: Any advantage to a new CM15A
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2015, 12:37:57 PM »

Probably also mean new from scratch software.
Then how do you sill support the older CM15 with AHP and the new controller model?
Logged

toasterking

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 7
  • Posts: 268
  • We adore chaos because we love to produce order.
Re: Any advantage to a new CM15A
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2015, 01:21:41 PM »

I expect that AHP will eventually need to be replaced with something else anyway if they plan to extend the feature set in the future, since apparently they don't have the source code to AHP.  They may not have the source code for the compiled firmware used in the Cypress MCU either.  It may take significant effort to even reverse engineer the USB protocol used by the CM15A if they don't have the tech notes on that.  It's possible that, for all these reasons, any change like using a new MCU may mean creating a completely new platform: new firmware, a new communication protocol, and new PC software on the PC side, completely from scratch.  It may be too large an undertaking for the company to justify the investment at the present juncture.  But we're talking about building and supporting an entire integrated platform.

On the other hand, I think that Dave Houston has a potentially great idea here.  All that may be needed is to create a modded CM15A based around the Atmel MCU and provide a basic library for Arduino, put it out there, and see what happens.  They wouldn't necessarily have to write much firmware; Arduino already has an OS that runs its basic hardware and has USB support.  Authinx would need only write an Arduino library to control the PLC and RF hardware in the device.  It would effectively be a new platform that is not compatible with the old USB protocol, AHP software, or SDK.  But it may not even matter.  Arduino is incredibly popular among hobbyists and there is quite a large open source community.  The rest of the software will come.

It's not like Authinx will lose control of the X10 market by doing this.  X10 patents are already expired and the PLC and RF protocols are already published on the Internet, so they've already lost control.  Nameless Chinese companies with the proper resources can build knockoff X10 products, and they have.  Any hobbyist with the technical skills and proper motivation and patience can build their own X10 hardware whenever they want, and they do.  But it doesn't usually amount to anything in a commercial production run.  Authinx already has a leg up here in that they have existing designs to work from, engineers on staff, a factory with tooling to build the products, shipping and marketing operations, etc., and they are positioned to build and sell superior hardware.  As long as they continue to build quality hardware, people will keep coming back.  If this catches on, it could help sell their other products and put money back into the company.
Logged

Tuicemen

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 265
  • Posts: 9467
  • I don't work for X10, I use it successfuly!
    • Tuicemen Software
Re: Any advantage to a new CM15A
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2015, 02:22:02 PM »

I also agree that AHP will need to be replaced although Authinx does have some if not all the source code it is all over the place on several old servers.
I've tried to help locating the files by attempting to compile what they supplied and report what I found missing. However I'm not experienced with C++ and it is written using visual studio 2003 which doesn't seem to upgrade to the newer versions well.
I'm told they are looking for a programmer experienced with Visual studio C++2003 or at least C++ to create a new AHP build with all plugins free.
If they can get that done they would know if they had the complete protocol and would release it to the public.

I imagine once they need to replenish their Cm15A stock we will see some movement here either with a revamped CM15a and AHP or a replacement for both.
Logged
Please Read Topic:
General Forum Etiquette
Before you post!

Find extra info @ My forum

dhouston

  • Advanced Member
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 37
  • Posts: 2487
    • davehouston.org
Re: Any advantage to a new CM15A
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2015, 06:04:08 PM »

What about the firmware?  I'm not familiar with the Atmel chip, but I assume the firmware would not be the same.  So that development effort has to be considered too.

It's already been done. There are tons of Arduino sketches some of which support X10. Adding CM15A features to existing code would be simple.
https://www.arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/x10

And, I worked with the author of ZBasic (which compiles to C and then to Atmel AVR machine language and can even import Arduino code) 4-5 years ago to handle X10 I/O in the background (like a UART) and with optional CM15A specific signals and timing (AGC Reset, AGC Window Control). He might even be a candidate to supply Authinx with a complete package although he probably won't want to interrupt his retirement. It might take him 3-4 days.  ;)

Also, with the ESP8266 selling for $2 in single quantities, adding WiFi is a no-brainer. (BTW, ZBasic also supports the ESP8266.)
http://www.ebay.com/itm/ESP8266-Serial-WIFI-Wireless-Transceiver-Module-DIY-Send-Receive-LWIP-AP-STA-A-/301761350680?hash=item464260cc18:g:vWsAAOSwAodWFUv7

Bluetooth costs a bit more due to lower volume.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/1pc-HC-05-6-Pin-Wireless-Bluetooth-RF-Transceiver-Module-Serial-For-Arduino-UL-/161880385361?hash=item25b0d2a751:g:8MkAAOSwo6lWPLAS

Finally, there are better (much wider bandwidth) and cheaper RF receiver chips - MICRF008YM, for example.
www.micrel.com/_PDF/micrf008.pdf
« Last Edit: December 02, 2015, 09:00:34 AM by dhouston »
Logged
This message was composed entirely from recycled letters of the alphabet using only renewable, caffeinated energy sources.
No trees, wabbits, chimps or whales died in the process.
https://www.laser.com/dhouston
Pages: [1] 2
 

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