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Voting closed: September 10, 2018, 07:16:43 AM


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Author Topic: The Pi Alexa X10 Hub  (Read 1148 times)

petera

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Re: The Pi Alexa X10 Hub
« Reply #75 on: October 07, 2018, 03:52:11 PM »

And now, Report6, taken with the new powered 3 port hub w/Ethernet.  This hub will not work without power (I tried).  I am powering the hub with the same power supply as before. The pi's power cord is unplugged and the hub is powering the pi.  BTW, the CM19a is working with all configurations so far.

Do you have a separate power supply for the hub and one for the Pi Zero. You shouldn't really be powering the Pi Zero via a USB hub. Voltage drops will cause your wifi and your CM19a to periodically drop connection. It's fine to use a powered hub with the Pi Zero but not to power it and your USB devices at the same time.

Your dmesg looks a little healthier. You could do with removing drivers/modules that are currently registered with the system and not in use but it's not critical at the moment.

Have you taken an image of your SD card at any stage. It really is important when experimenting with setups.
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brobin

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Re: The Pi Alexa X10 Hub
« Reply #76 on: October 07, 2018, 03:59:53 PM »

Yes, I took an image of the SD card two nights ago so I have another SD card ready to go.

In playing around some more it turns out that this hub does NOT need it's own power and WILL work from the pi. I may have jumped the gun before and not waited long enough for the boot up to finish. 

For now everything seems to working reliably.  My next test will be plugging in an ethernet cable to the new hub.
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petera

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Re: The Pi Alexa X10 Hub
« Reply #77 on: October 07, 2018, 04:16:05 PM »

Yes, I took an image of the SD card two nights ago so I have another SD card ready to go.

In playing around some more it turns out that this hub does NOT need it's own power and WILL work from the pi. I may have jumped the gun before and not waited long enough for the boot up to finish. 

For now everything seems to working reliably.  My next test will be plugging in an ethernet cable to the new hub.

Ok.

My advice from here is to power the Pi Zero with its own supply and the Hub with its own supply.

This will ensure you avoid any voltage drops or over amperage draws which can cause the behaviour you originally reported.

Also I suggest you revert to your image of two days ago as it should help remove some of the unwanted modules which were registered with the system during your experimentation.

Had you an ATI Remote attached to your system at any stage. Did it have a USB to serial adaptor attached to it.
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dave w

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Re: The Pi Alexa X10 Hub
« Reply #78 on: October 07, 2018, 04:37:24 PM »

...it's easier than learning Fortran was in 1968!  ::)
The hardest part was shuffling all those punch cards.
Been there, done that. Good ole Hollerith code.
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brobin

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Re: The Pi Alexa X10 Hub
« Reply #79 on: October 07, 2018, 04:55:16 PM »

No ATI remote or serial interface, the only things ever connected is the CM19A, keyboard and mouse.  I've tried using the Ethernet port on the hub but no joy either powered or unpowered.  I didn't try power to both as I've read that bad things can happen when doing that.  Could be a bad hub or maybe the pi needs to be told to look for it. Since the WiFi seems stable now I'm just going to revert the image to two days ago and use the 'no-hub' configuration and see how it goes. So far it's been rock solid since the initial hiccup.

Thanks to everyone for their input and help and @petera thank you for all the time and analysis - I've learned a LOT in the last 24 hours.  I'll post any new info. 
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petera

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Re: The Pi Alexa X10 Hub
« Reply #80 on: October 07, 2018, 06:03:20 PM »

No ATI remote or serial interface, the only things ever connected is the CM19A, keyboard and mouse.  I've tried using the Ethernet port on the hub but no joy either powered or unpowered.  I didn't try power to both as I've read that bad things can happen when doing that.  Could be a bad hub or maybe the pi needs to be told to look for it. Since the WiFi seems stable now I'm just going to revert the image to two days ago and use the 'no-hub' configuration and see how it goes. So far it's been rock solid since the initial hiccup.

Thanks to everyone for their input and help and @petera thank you for all the time and analysis - I've learned a LOT in the last 24 hours.  I'll post any new info.

There's so many fairy tales and myths on Raspberry Pis it's hard to wade through them. This is an informed post you can read yourself to give you an idea on the power supply issue. https://www.domoticz.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=21645&start=260

Ideally the Pi Zero is designed for specific one device projects, hence the single USB port. For any heavier USB requirements I'd use a standard Raspberry Pi model.

I've never been a big fan of USB hubs powered or not and particularly in the Linux for reasons I've explained above. Going that route you will need to have a good look at the modprobe command which will allow you to manually add or remove drivers/modules which cause IRQ conflicts or are not recognised by your USB devices on boot.

Glad you're up and running now. You now know what commands to run and what to look for when having problems. Familiarise yourself with the output of dmesg as its a very useful fault finding tool.
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brobin

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Re: The Pi Alexa X10 Hub
« Reply #81 on: October 10, 2018, 01:07:43 PM »

The Pi Alexa Hub continues to work well but I've noticed that response time varies widely and unpredictably. When I say "Alexa turn on desk," Alexa responds instantly with "OK," but there can then be a lag of 1 to 9 seconds before the CM19A flickers. If I test 5 times in a row I will have 5 different response times mostly around 5 seconds.  Not a big deal, I'm in no hurry, but it's just long enough to wonder whether I have to repeat the command.  Any ideas on this are appreciated.  The same CM19A under Alex10 did not have any delays.
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Tuicemen

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Re: The Pi Alexa X10 Hub
« Reply #82 on: October 10, 2018, 01:25:55 PM »

I'm not sure if when using Alex10 on your PC you were running via wi-fi or ethernet. Wi-fi has a slower data transfer rate and I'm not sure what the Zero is rated at verses what you were using on your PC.
 Also I have noticed delays at times for other Alexa calls of late, so I suspect the server needs a update as the user base keeps growing and more options are added.
Amazon just rolled out an update to the Alexa app so that too could be causing a slowdown as all apps are updating.
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petera

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Re: The Pi Alexa X10 Hub
« Reply #83 on: October 10, 2018, 04:17:50 PM »

I'm not sure if when using Alex10 on your PC you were running via wi-fi or ethernet. Wi-fi has a slower data transfer rate and I'm not sure what the Zero is rated at verses what you were using on your PC.
 Also I have noticed delays at times for other Alexa calls of late, so I suspect the server needs a update as the user base keeps growing and more options are added.
Amazon just rolled out an update to the Alexa app so that too could be causing a slowdown as all apps are updating.

You know how temperamental women can be  :)

Seriously, Alexa is a fun toy and once you view it that way you'll not have any problems. Clearly it's a way for Amazon to win hearts and minds with a much bigger goal in mind. I wouldn't entrust any form of mission critical tasks to it. Each day it's a case of what you see (or in her case what she chooses to hear) is what you get.

I've no doubt there's bigger plans in the pipeline for Alexa but for the moment she jumps to attention or takes her time. It's not down to Tuicemen's Alex10.
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Tuicemen

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Re: The Pi Alexa X10 Hub
« Reply #84 on: October 10, 2018, 06:15:24 PM »


You know how temperamental women can be  :)
rofl
Her hearing like my wife's seems to be selective too.
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dave w

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Re: The Pi Alexa X10 Hub
« Reply #85 on: October 10, 2018, 06:28:59 PM »

Also I have noticed delays at times for other Alexa calls of late, so I suspect the server needs a update as the user base keeps growing and more options are added.
Yes, I am seeing that also.
I was wondering if the problem might be with Homeseer. Because most of our Alexa calls are for HA and not the news, weather, etc. I had no comparison to a non-home automation call.  Now I know.
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brobin

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Re: The Pi Alexa X10 Hub
« Reply #86 on: October 10, 2018, 07:08:34 PM »

I had the Alex10 laptop - an agonizingly slow old Sony - on WiFi too.  At my other place I'm using a CM15A that I'll compare when I'm back there late next week.  I thought it might have something to do with the pi's wifi power saver but there was no difference after turning that off.  It's probably just the server as you both suggested. I figured that when the 'OK' response is immediate the action should be as well but as I think about it, at my other place the action is often completed before I hear the 'OK' or sometimes Alexa says she can't find the device but the action completes anyway. Go figure!
 I agree that Alexa isn't for mission critical tasks and it's probably only a matter of time before Alexa starts giving US the commands! 
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petera

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Re: The Pi Alexa X10 Hub
« Reply #87 on: October 11, 2018, 09:31:39 AM »

Also I have noticed delays at times for other Alexa calls of late, so I suspect the server needs a update as the user base keeps growing and more options are added.
Yes, I am seeing that also.
I was wondering if the problem might be with Homeseer. Because most of our Alexa calls are for HA and not the news, weather, etc. I had no comparison to a non-home automation call.  Now I know.

Are you routing your Alexa calls via MyHS or directly to your system.

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Tuicemen

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Re: The Pi Alexa X10 Hub
« Reply #88 on: October 11, 2018, 09:50:04 AM »

I had the Alex10 laptop - an agonizingly slow old Sony - on WiFi too.  At my other place I'm using a CM15A that I'll compare when I'm back there late next week. 
The CM19 will naturally be slower then the CM15 though the difference shouldn't be to noticeable.
The CM19 has to send RF to a transceiver which then converts the RF to PLC and sends the command over the power line. The CM15 is sending the signal directly to the powerline.
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brobin

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Re: The Pi Alexa X10 Hub
« Reply #89 on: October 11, 2018, 10:37:41 AM »

Yes the RF can add a few milliseconds delay which is generally not noticeable.  Last night, before I unplugged the power supply from the X10 module per your advice, I ran the Halt command. After plugging in the PS and waiting for the boot to finish, Alexa requests would return 'OK' but nothing would happen.  B:( I unplugged the CM19a from the OTG dongle, plugged it back in and Bingo! now the delays are gone - at least for now.  The CM19a is responding the instant that Alexa says OK.  :)% 
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