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Author Topic: WM100 RPi3B companion  (Read 882 times)

Tuicemen

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WM100 RPi3B companion
« on: March 03, 2018, 11:35:10 PM »

As much as I like the RPi3B companion module idea, software that has the power of AHP likely wouldn't support the CM15 (at least not fully).
No one at Authinx or the factory has any knowledge of how it (CM15a) works internally.
X10WTI had problems keeping software programers and Authinx is no different. Many developers came and went during the WM100 developement. B:(

I believe any companion module needs to come with the protocol for the WM100.
The Open source community would utilize the full functionality of this far faster then any single X10 developer could.
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dhouston

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Re: WM100 RPi3B companion
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2018, 11:43:22 PM »

As much as I like the RPi3B companion module idea, software that has the power of AHP likely wouldn't support the CM15 (at least not fully).
There's no need to use the CM15A for anything other than a PLC and RF interface. All the functions that were served internally by the CM15A can be internal to the RPi3B (which has tons more processing power and memory). That's the case with most of the current RPi X10 applications. And, adding the battery-backed RTC to the RPi3B addresses one of the current WM100 issues.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2018, 11:46:34 PM by dhouston »
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dhouston

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Re: WM100 RPi3B companion
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2018, 08:21:54 PM »

Yesterday, on Pi Day, the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ was introduced. It's faster, has faster Ethernet and adds Power -over-Ethernet support making it an even more attractive candidate for a WM100 companion module.

https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/
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HA Dave

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Re: WM100 RPi3B companion
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2018, 10:23:02 PM »

......... making it an even more attractive candidate for a WM100 companion module. 

I certainly agree. Actually..... my Homeseer Hometroller is a RBPi that USB connects to a CM15A... just EXACTLY as you suggest (for using a CM15A with a Pi). But of course.... there is no reason I know of.... why the WM100 couldn't connect to a RBPi wirelessly. And for that matter... I'd think a driver could be developed so the Pi could accept/use the USB (firecracker or) CM19A and add RF to the WM100 wireless connection.

It's all about the software!

This can't be emphasized enough. I don't know who, if, or when there will be a HA protocol "winner" in the current growth spurt of HA products, manufactures, and protocols. As these company's (who don't prosper) cut staff, sell off inventory, or just lose their lease and close their doors.... software updates will stop and eventually even the Alexa "skills" will disappear. I THINK... I am describing or forecasting numerous mini old X10-like shut-downs.

The new X10 (and everyone else) should take steps to obsolete-proof new software. This could/would be most easily done using the Raspberry Pi and it's software infrastructure. X10 could release it's official version with all the bells and whistles for sale with a device/devices and still allow a groups of interested code writers to maintain and keep available an X10 for RBPi on the GitHub.

You are right on the spot with your idea dhouston.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2018, 10:24:52 PM by HA Dave »
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dhouston

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Re: WM100 RPi3B companion
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2018, 03:46:42 AM »

I agree that it's ALL about the software.

In olden times X10 released APIs or Communications Protocols for the CP290 (both DOS & Windows) and the CM11A.  But, starting with the CM15A they maintained a tight chokehold on the hardware/firmware/software. While several hacker types were able to reverse engineer the PLC & RF protocols, it wasn't possible to do the same for macros & timers without knowing how the CM15A's memory is organized.

I would argue that Authinx has followed X10's CM15A model by trying to maintain tight control of the WM100 hardware/firmware/software. This led to some of the delays in releasing the product and has been the cause of most of the complaints from users post-release. I've yet to see anyone complain about the WM100 PLC signal level - all the complaints have to do with the software.

Had they released it with a Communications Protocol and a pass-through function, developers would have quickly added it to existing software running on multiple platforms. They would be the ones now solving things like DST, Timers, Macros, Scenes, etc. And they would be the ones fielding most user complaints while Authinx could sit back, relax and sell more hardware.
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petera

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Re: WM100 RPi3B companion
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2018, 09:20:57 AM »

I wouldn't be too sure about the Raspberry Pi maintaining its position in the SoC market. I've just taken delivery of this little beauty and on first impressions it's a beast. I thought the Raspberry Pi new release would include at the very least an increase in RAM size. Not to be this time.

https://www.pine64.org/?product=rock64-media-board-computer

You can put virtually any OS on this and throw what you like at it.

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HA Dave

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Re: WM100 RPi3B companion
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2018, 08:07:24 PM »

...... I would argue that Authinx has followed X10's CM15A model by trying to maintain tight control of the WM100 hardware/firmware/software. This led to some of the delays in releasing the product and has been the cause of most of the complaints from users post-release....

I'd guess the release delays were part cultural and part Authinx not having a solid plan for moving forward.

Had they released it with a Communications Protocol and a pass-through function, developers would have quickly added it to existing software running on multiple platforms. They would be the ones now solving things like DST, Timers, Macros, Scenes, etc. And they would be the ones fielding most user complaints while Authinx could sit back, relax and sell more hardware.

Maybe. But part of the hold-back with Home Automation (IMHO)... is the required level of tech, electrical, problem solving skills needed. It just gets too complex for a large sector of the public. Although I think... Authinx could benefit from the public code writing input to quicken and lower costs with a RBPi companion module.

But updates still need to be automatically downloaded. Via the users phone or tablet just like "normal" apps... for the WM100 to be acceptable to the mass public. Me included. 
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tflemer

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Re: WM100 RPi3B companion
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2018, 11:47:27 PM »

Here are some electrons to throw around for thought.  A little over a decade ago, I started installing net/phone/tv to every room in our 100 year old home.  This took a couple of years to complete.  When I was pushing down the wires on the last connector, all I could say was that’s nice and obsolete.  We already had a wireless router for smart phones and laptops.  Then we bought a new printer with WIFI.  Two PC’s just needed WIFI dongles and all the cat cable was dead.   BTW, phone and TV cables are functional as well, but not used much.

The CM15A has been a real workhorse in our home.  Even though X10 had gone bankrupt, I had this “great” idea, to add access to X10.  I would install dummy versions of AHP on cheap Windows tablets.  These would be wall mounted.  We could then access the X10 modules from a couple more locations in the house.  I had a proof-of-concept running and was ready to cut holes in the walls.  However, by installing AHP on Windows 7 Pro, we could use Remote Desktop Connector to access X10 anywhere in the house.  At least I was not tightening down the last screw on a wall panel to only say, that’s nice and obsolete.

The WM100 certainly has potential.  A WIFI accessible device is the way to go.  I wonder how long USB devices will be around.  If it were not for cloud computing, a 256G thumb drive with a hearing aid size battery could easily connect to any computing device and transfer data.  I think I understand the machinations of business well enough to see that Authinx needs to draw a value line in the sand for their products.

Raspberry Pi has been a phenomenon.  Three major revisions in six years.  Now there are even smaller versions, the Zero and Zero W.  The user community is huge.  Both in channel at raspberrypi.org and related, like the stackexchange technical forum.  Plus HA applications that have included RPi versions.  One key point is that Raspberry Pi org focus is on making a low cost board that can be used in education.   Not to say the RPi’s are cheap and poorly designed. There are limits, like using micro SD cards and the network hardware/software has a couple of glitches.  A wider community found value in the RPi and has put them in serious applications.  RPi does very well, just need to remember .org’s focus.

Here I am.   I just installed OpenPLC (Programmable Logic Control) on a RPi and the editor on a Win Laptop.  Although the RPi is hardware limited, having industrial PLC is like walking through a door to a whole new world with all the industrial protocols available.  In modern speak – totally cool.  I am even considering using a RPi as a desktop.  A from the ground up build, a desktop would easily cost less that $200.  Libre Office has decent document processing.  My current “great” idea is to use RPi’s as access points in every room.  Gotta find a way to use all that cat cable by connecting a PoE switch.  So far the first phase proof-of-concept is working well.  With one laptop connected, the RPi is transparent speed wise.  I even added a HA package to load it down.  Next in this phase is to put it in a room with a few more devices.  I had considered the Alexa or Google Assistant app.  For the price, buying the small version is less than adding speakers, microphone…et al.    My maddest in a phase two is to add temp/humidity/light color/ geofencing sensors in the access point for zoned home control.  I am afraid that when I get the last unit installed I will ask “Alexa, turn  on the lights”.  She will respond, ”OK.  That’s nice and obsolete”
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dhouston

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Re: WM100 RPi3B companion
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2018, 12:37:33 AM »

RPi does very well, just need to remember .org’s focus.
While their primary focus may be UK schools, they are now about equally successful in N. America. They guarantee the RPi3B+ will be available for several years. They have lobbied for a version of Windows desktop which would likely change their focus. And they've sold over 9 million Pi3 units (of 19 million total).
https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/
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”OK.  That’s nice and obsolete”
Been there, done that. The BX24-AHT did much of what we'd now like to do with the RPi3B+ and did it with 32KB EEPROM (program and data). There were 8 bytes left when I had to stop responding to user requests for changes.
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« Last Edit: March 16, 2018, 01:12:07 AM by dhouston »
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dhouston

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Re: WM100 RPi3B companion
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2018, 12:47:15 AM »

I wouldn't be too sure about the Raspberry Pi maintaining its position in the SoC market. I've just taken delivery of this little beauty and on first impressions it's a beast. I thought the Raspberry Pi new release would include at the very least an increase in RAM size. Not to be this time.

https://www.pine64.org/?product=rock64-media-board-computer

You can put virtually any OS on this and throw what you like at it.

There have been several other RPi copycats but most have been more costly than your new toy.

However, I still prefer the RPi3B+ (with its onboard WiFi and Bluetooth) for the purpose at hand - WM100 Companion Module.

It would be best were Authinx to sell it as a Plug'n'Play device and then support it. Next best, would be adding WM100 support to existing (and still supported) RPi HA applications.
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racerfern

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Re: WM100 RPi3B companion
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2018, 06:45:53 AM »

Quote
I will ask “Alexa, turn  on the lights”.  She will respond, ”OK.  That’s nice and obsolete”

Thanks for a great read! You're absolutely correct, the minions are thinking and moving at one level but there are the Musk's of the world moving at light speed.

I've retired my X10 devices, but I keep coming back here because that's what Pavlov would do. I'm now on z-wave and HomeSeer3 on a miniPC but it shouldn't be long before the Pi is really up to speed. I added a RPi3 with a zigbee board to my z-wave system and can imagine a WM100 on another RPi with some kind of WM100 or equivalent with open source software. That would be a god send.

Now where did I put that big box of X10 devices?

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HA Dave

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Re: WM100 RPi3B companion
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2018, 11:37:14 AM »

....... I am afraid that when I get the last unit installed I will ask “Alexa, turn  on the lights”.  She will respond, ”OK.  That’s nice and obsolete”

Maybe! But don't forget..... Alexa is genuine AI [artificial intelligence]. Humans will get obsolete before AI does. It would be more likely that some future version of Alexa (that's selects a new name for itself).... will reply "no thank you" when request for lights to be turned.... as it will have IR vision and not require additional lighting.

Home Automation... covers a broad spectrum of technology. Whereas I'd argue that even The Clapper is good solid home automation. But I also believe that Home Automation is by it's very nature.... cutting edge tech. And therefore IS always evolving and getting better, and better. Amazon Alexa... gets new additional feature almost daily.

I recently shut-down my HA laptop.... and am now leaning heavily on my RBPi centered Homeseer-Hometroller... which uses a CM15A as an interface. And I am also using a WM100..... and a few other [integrated] technologies as well. But of course.... it isn't the same old setup. I am attempting to re-imagine my automated smart home.

Sure my setup may be completely obsolete in months (if I ever stop building it). But it's a lot of fun trying to just be current.
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HA Dave

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Re: WM100 RPi3B companion
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2018, 11:41:51 AM »

.... I've retired my X10 devices, but I keep coming back here because that's what Pavlov would do. ....

You keep leading the way to the new world of HA. I'll keep trying to keep up. I read your posts at Homeseer's forum as well as the ones here. You're doing great.... and I wouldn't be where I am at now without your help. I know like me.... you also enjoy this HA stuff as much as anyone.
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petera

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Re: WM100 RPi3B companion
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2018, 08:28:20 PM »

As much as I like the RPi3B companion module idea, software that has the power of AHP likely wouldn't support the CM15 (at least not fully).
No one at Authinx or the factory has any knowledge of how it (CM15a) works internally.
X10WTI had problems keeping software programers and Authinx is no different. Many developers came and went during the WM100 developement. B:(

I believe any companion module needs to come with the protocol for the WM100.
The Open source community would utilize the full functionality of this far faster then any single X10 developer could.
  >!

I completely agree with you Tuicemen. If the work done on "hacking" the CM15 is anything to go by the WM100 would benefit greatly by having its inner workings opened up to the tech world. Using the CM15 and the CM11 (CM12 and CM15 Pro in my case) and the TIP10RF in an alternative OS environment has once again allowed me to deploy my considerable collection of X10 devices.

I'm using a Raspberry Pi 3 with such systems as Homeseer (Linux), Domoticz and Homegenie (Linux) which integrates with my security cameras, security alarm panel and lighting all currently controlled by events with Alexa. Not being able to deploy the WM100 (I'm not in the 110vac world) I can see the benefit of the WM100 partnering with the manufacturer of Raspberry Pi or any other single board computer manufacturer.

I still hold the view that the simplicity of X10 and it's workings has been key to its longevity. No doubt many pretenders to its throne have come and gone and Here i am  >!still using 43 year old technology which is happily dealing with what I throw at it.
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Tuicemen

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Re: WM100 RPi3B companion
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2018, 09:02:51 PM »

I suspect it is just a matter of time before someone hacks the WM100 like they did with the CM15.
I actually started to look at this while the WM100 was in beta testing but stopped as nothing was set in stone.
Also Authinx has assured me several times the Protocol will be released.
It appears the WM100 uses the standard IOT way for initial connection and setup.
The app transmits the info from the QR code on every additional call.
Some additional security info has now been added as an old beta model I have, although initially connects with the new app, does not accept any additional info.
Using a tool like WireShark I'm sure the protocol can be sniffed out, many Wifi devices have been hacked this way.
There are several QR scanners available that will read the QR code and display the info require for initial connection.

Since the WM100 with a Upgradable firmware means the Protocol can change with every update, it maybe a while be for we see a published protocol. We may just see a hacked protocol published before an official one.
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