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Author Topic: Good advice for HA device suppliers  (Read 11304 times)

HA Dave

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Re: Good advice for HA device suppliers
« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2016, 11:24:48 AM »

Dave, some people are just not as progressive as you...... I have never used voice control........ Voice control would be a huge leap forward for me.

Most of the world uses NO automation anything. However some of us do. Neither the users or non-users are wrong. WARNING: if you try voice control stuff.... you may get hooked. 

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dhouston

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Re: Good advice for HA device suppliers
« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2016, 11:37:58 AM »

I'm going to get their basic package to see how it works with the XTB-232.

Their list of supported X10 interfaces is truly impressive (as is their list of other supported protocols/interfaces) and they will support your ADI hardware should there be any issues with the XTB-232.
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HA Dave

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Re: Good advice for HA device suppliers
« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2016, 11:46:09 AM »

I've never seen the need for voice control.

Thank God!

When Bill (of BVC) realized that X10 and windows voice recognition could be combined via a software to benefit people with very a limited range of motion. Bill invested hundreds and hundreds of hours of effort and helped many people enjoy a much greater degree of control over their lives.  He used to joke that his biggest user (me)... wasn't disabled.... just lazy.

And where it is true that I don't NEED... ANY automation. I do enjoy it.

If I were to set up a new home theater that was connected to a PC, I'd definitely do something more advanced, but my current setup works fine and doesn't bother others........... Voice control probably wouldn't add much to what we do with the system.

Forget the computer! Although I do have a PC connected to a 46" TV in my man-cave... I did that to keep from having a desk in the room. I can use the PC from a bar-like table/stool or recliner with a remote keyboard mouse.

Get yourself a Amazon fire device! Become a prime member and voice search THOUSANDS of movies you can stream to your theater..... free of charge.

I use the Man-cave PC-TV to view YouTube cycling movies to make my winter cycling training more fun.

P.S. on one of the (pretend) rides through the mountains... the decent was so steep and fast and the views so exciting... I leaned so hard I almost fell off my bicycle.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2016, 12:57:18 PM by HA Dave »
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dhouston

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Re: Good advice for HA device suppliers
« Reply #18 on: July 28, 2016, 12:05:05 PM »

Using the API cloud function like dhouston suggested the other day is the perfect (complete) automation solution. But it requires a cloud connected X10 interface. But like I posted earlier.... the device doesn't need be anymore than a cheap tablet, a CM19A-like dongle, a couple apps, and a cloud/server site.

Hmmm, I've reread my post and the article I linked and I'm unable to find the word cloud anywhere in it. I guess when you have your head in the clouds you see clouds every which way you look.

HAL, which Jeff linked to, has been around for 24 years supporting/integrating X-10 and the other powerline protocols. They have done this without the need for clouds because the various interfaces provided APIs (or Communications Protocols) that allowed them to integrate them into one control program. Notably absent is the CM15A because X-10 never released a Communications Protocol for it and it was a superhuman task to use USB from low power embedded MCUs.

I offered similar support/integration for numerous HA hardware interfaces when I designed the BX24-AHT many years ago. I also wrote Commander X, a Windows application which interfaced with it and other hardware. About 15 years ago, an engineer on a temporary assignment in eastern Canada, controlled/monitored his house in Southern California using the internet and Commander X - with no clouds needed.
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HA Dave

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Re: Good advice for HA device suppliers
« Reply #19 on: July 28, 2016, 12:18:10 PM »

This is funny... I think. I was reading my previous post to correct my crappy grammar and spelling. When Siri asked for confirmation to text Mary to reminder her "it's pizza night"

WOW. Not five minutes after posting this... I get a text from my wife saying "I am bringing home pizza tonight". I had to check my texts to make sure I hadn't requested it. Psychic Automation???????
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HA Dave

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Re: Good advice for HA device suppliers
« Reply #20 on: July 28, 2016, 12:33:11 PM »

Hmmm, I've reread my post and the article I linked and I'm unable to find the word cloud anywhere in it. I guess when you have your head in the clouds you see clouds every which way you look.

It's implied in the name:  API

....... About 15 years ago, an engineer on a temporary assignment in eastern Canada, controlled/monitored his house in Southern California using the internet and Commander X - with no clouds needed.

No. You're mistaken. The HTTP didn't allow that then... or now. Although we didn't use the term cloud in those days.... he used it. I remember back in the ole days..... I bought one of the 1st D-Cams (at a computer show.... maybe the Hamvention) 1995-96?. I actually got two... and had to "rent" server space in order to use them. Since the cost/price/use of servers has become so little that we don't think about how data gets from here to there. BUT... there is no way your engineer friend got a direct connection from his work to home unless he had a server-line (HTTP) at home. 15 years ago.... even today... very pricey.

Of course there was a way... using the static IP assigned by a cable ISP you could setup a home server. I actually setup up a (apache) file server in my basement for a brief period. I guess your engineer friend could have done that. But I never found that setup to be anything near maintenance free. And once again a DIY cloud... is still a cloud.

Now-a-days.... the grandkids "facetime" with Grammy.... and we wirelessly connect the iPhone with the Apple TV [device]. Put the grandkids up on the 50" in the living room. Almost like being a Jetson!
« Last Edit: July 28, 2016, 01:07:34 PM by HA Dave »
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JeffVolp

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Re: Good advice for HA device suppliers
« Reply #21 on: July 28, 2016, 12:41:12 PM »

Get yourself a Amazon fire device! Become a prime member and voice search THOUSANDS of movies you can stream to your theater..... free of charge.

$99 a year isn't exactly free of charge.  And most of the movies I was interested in had an additional charge above the Prime account.  I prefer Roku and Netflix.  And Roku gives you access to almost unlimited streaming - much of it for free (if you can put up with the commercials).

Jeff
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HA Dave

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Re: Good advice for HA device suppliers
« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2016, 12:44:07 PM »

Come on guys!!!!

We're old... were not idiots! Everything changes. The technology advances... in small little incremental steps. You guys are all likely better educated and trained than myself. This isn't that difficult to keep up with... and certainly NOTHING to be afraid of. The technology of the 70's and 80's was nice stuff. But the new stuff is MUCH better.

It's OK if you don't want automation!!! Not everybody does. But why do you post anti-automation posts... at an automation forum????
« Last Edit: July 28, 2016, 12:51:49 PM by HA Dave »
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HA Dave

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Re: Good advice for HA device suppliers
« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2016, 12:50:55 PM »

$99 a year isn't exactly free of charge.  And most of the movies I was interested in had an additional charge above the Prime account.  I prefer Roku and Netflix.  And Roku gives you access to almost unlimited streaming - much of it for free (if you can put up with the commercials).

Jeff

Yeah... I remember in an earlier post you mentioned you like Netflix. But, bkenobi hadn't. I myself favor the Amazon service.

I also have a Roku device. I do not have a Netflix account. There are many, many options. Roku also has the voice search option.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2016, 12:52:53 PM by HA Dave »
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dhouston

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Re: Good advice for HA device suppliers
« Reply #24 on: July 28, 2016, 02:01:44 PM »

Hmmm, I've reread my post and the article I linked and I'm unable to find the word cloud anywhere in it. I guess when you have your head in the clouds you see clouds every which way you look.
It's implied in the name:  API
Only to the computer illiterate.

I've programmed computers since the days of Fortran/Cobol, and IBM punch cards fed to a mainframe so I think I understand the terminology.
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JeffVolp

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Re: Good advice for HA device suppliers
« Reply #25 on: July 28, 2016, 02:21:54 PM »

We're old... were not idiots! Everything changes. The technology advances... in small little incremental steps. You guys are all likely better educated and trained than myself. This isn't that difficult to keep up with... and certainly NOTHING to be afraid of. The technology of the 70's and 80's was nice stuff. But the new stuff is MUCH better.

Jeepers, I've been doing home automation since the original brown BSR modules came out.  They still work today.  I buy what I need or want.  I don't want to be interrupted by a cellphone, and am annoyed by people who interrupt their conversations to accept a cellphone call.  That is why we do not do any telephone support.  As I said earlier, I keep one in my backpack just in case.

I built my own computer from components back before even the Apple or Commodore were available.  That ran an operating similar to DOS, and I used it for years developing factory automation equipment.  Now we have 6 Windows computers ranging from this 15-year old XP workhorse to three newer Windows 7 systems, and even a tablet to access the web when we are on the road.  I'll admit the Windows 7 quad-core I built is much faster than this PC, but this still does the job for my engineering applications, email, and web access to sites like this.

I see no need to update our automation system because it essentially does everything we want it to do.  The house takes care of itself whether we are here or not.  Why should I need a cellphone to access it when a nearby PalmPad can control everything?

We watch movies in our theater room on a 120 inch screen.  The projector doesn't support 3D, but we have 4 subwoofers that can do justice to any sound track.  And our Oppo video player can support any current media from commercial BluRay and DVDs to just about any video format on a USB memory stick.  Our other equipment supports everything from VHS to web streaming.  So we are pretty current there.

Jeff
« Last Edit: July 28, 2016, 11:20:22 PM by JeffVolp »
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dhouston

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Re: Good advice for HA device suppliers
« Reply #26 on: July 28, 2016, 02:22:37 PM »

It's OK if you don't want automation!!! Not everybody does. But why do you post anti-automation posts... at an automation forum????
No one has expressed any anti-automation views. A few of us have even pioneered Home Automation approaches. Jeff Volp, Dan Lanciani, Charles Sullivan, Neil Cherry, Brian Karas, Ed Cheung, myself and a few others posted frequently on HA topics to comp.home.automation back in prehistoric times and have made a few contributions to the art.

It's having automation that's cloud-dependent that we dislike. I, and I suspect others in this thread, have no problem with opt-in cloud connections that augment local control but we also understand that there's very little that cannot be done locally.

Besides, X10 is a very minor subset of Home Automation so calling this an automation forum is a stretch.

If those who offer HA interfaces, hubs, etc. would supply APIs (i.e. publish communications protocols) it allows integrating/melding control of disparate systems and would prevent hardware obsolescence when proprietary clouds burst.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2016, 04:04:45 PM by dhouston »
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JeffVolp

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Re: Good advice for HA device suppliers
« Reply #27 on: July 28, 2016, 02:33:09 PM »

I've programmed computers since the days of Fortran/Cobol, and IBM punch cards fed to a mainframe so I think I understand the terminology.

Somewhere in my "hording" I have a jar of chads that I save as a reminder of that era.  I also have that paper tape for tic-tac-toe, which was the first program I wrote for my own computer.  Very soon after that I went to storing programs on cassette tape using tone bursts.  Gee, that kind of sounds like X10...

Jeff
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dhouston

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Re: Good advice for HA device suppliers
« Reply #28 on: July 28, 2016, 03:36:03 PM »

....... About 15 years ago, an engineer on a temporary assignment in eastern Canada, controlled/monitored his house in Southern California using the internet and Commander X - with no clouds needed.
No. You're mistaken. The HTTP didn't allow that then... or now.

http://www.automatedhome.co.uk/New-Products/IP-Commander.html

When SmartHome bought Switchlinc, one of the principals took the money and ran - to the mountains of eastern Tennessee where he designed the IP Commander. I don't recall when I got mine - I sometimes got early versions of hardware because I would usually review them on comp.home.automation - but I probably had it prior to the date (12/5/2001) on the online offering above by a dealer in the UK. I still have mine.

I found the first mention in comp.home.automation.
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!searchin/comp.home.automation/ip$20commander/comp.home.automation/WjiMPPt3YRc/BTORLmSe5twJ
We followed up via e-mail.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2016, 03:44:51 PM by dhouston »
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dhouston

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Re: Good advice for HA device suppliers
« Reply #29 on: July 28, 2016, 04:00:02 PM »

Very soon after that I went to storing programs on cassette tape using tone bursts.  Gee, that kind of sounds like X10...
Jeff Mayes, who designed the IP Commander, suggested using an LM567 tone decoder IC for receiving X10.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2016, 04:14:53 PM by dhouston »
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