X10 Community Forum

🔌General Home Automation => Automating Your House => Topic started by: bkenobi on October 19, 2017, 02:30:13 PM

Title: Looking for new HA software (maybe)
Post by: bkenobi on October 19, 2017, 02:30:13 PM
I've been very happy overall with HomeGenie for the last few years.  In the last few months, the author has decided that he needs a job (he's actually been unemployed for a long time) and so he's effectively setting HG aside.  The forum was transitioned to Google+ and last week the old forum went dead.  This is unfortunate because all of the posts are now gone (yes, archive.org has them, but still).  There is a user supported forum available (homegenie.club) but I'm not sure it will take off.  I hate Google+, so that's not really an option for me.

My question that I'm posing is...if you were looking for a new HA software, what would you use?  I have requirements that all don't meet which makes it a shorter list I'm sure.

I picked HG because it met all of these.  It looks like Domoticz is an option, but I recall ruling it out last time for some reason.  It looks like it might be a good fit, but I'm thinking others might have more options that they have vetted (positive or negative).
Title: Re: Looking for new HA software (maybe)
Post by: Tuicemen on October 19, 2017, 04:56:18 PM
My question that I'm posing is...if you were looking for a new HA software, what would you use?
That is a good question.
I had never liked open source mainly because multi programmers adding to it almost all ways made it bloated,or broke it.
Not to mention code that was added to it never seemed to follow the same rules. Making it difficult to interface to with after each update.

I started to use HA-Bridge to allow Alexa control of X10.
This is a multi platform open source program and probably  meets most of your needs.
It isn't x10 compatible directly but you can create scripts to send commands through another simple command line x10 program. It has added support for several other programs which is making it unnecessarily bloated.
A program that utilized plugins like HomeSeer would be my preference. That way you could control how bloated it got.
However I'll never move to HS

There is no money in programing unless it is for a company which is why very few HA programs keep advancing and stay supported. Developers that create HA programs and ask little or nothing for it do it for the joy of programing.
Sadly there have been some good HA programs disappear or support for them disappear.
If I were to need a new HA software and couldn't make my own I'd be lost. :-[

Title: Re: Looking for new HA software (maybe)
Post by: HA Dave on October 19, 2017, 05:50:23 PM
.........if you were looking for a new HA software, what would you use? ....

Sorry to read about your HomeGenie setup. I think the greatest fear of any HA user.... is losing our systems due to some failure that is out of our control.

I think (just my own humble opinion) the AHP software with the CM15A interface... was at one time... heads and shoulders above everything else.

Running AHP (and a few plug-ins) along with BVC (Bill's Voice Commander) on my Home Automation XP PC (running 24/7).... was pretty high tech. But that all started a decade ago. But... also I have two back-up desk-top PC's loaded with AHP, and one additional laptop in case my current laptop fails. And thankfully Tuicemen has created a means to continue with AHP.... maybe for years to come.

I keep hoping X10 will introduce a new wifi interface with new abilities that build on the old AHP. But I am not holding my breath either.

The grandkids crushed my daily-use laptop a few weeks ago. I have a Home Theater electrically operated recliner I use as an easy-chair now. And they accidently got my laptop caught in the mechanism while they played with raising and lowering the footrest. It was an old windows 8 laptop that had upgraded to the windows 10 OS.

In a way.... much like yourself (and HomeGenie) I first wondered... what should I do now? Which technology should exploit? I've played with android tablets. My wife has a iPad she really likes. I could got a windows tablet or a surface unit. I have an iPhone and an apple TV unit.... I could use a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse and use my phone and TV as Hi-tech Internet device.

I bought a new laptop. It was just simpler not to have to think about it.

And that may explain why many of us here continue to wait for a new X10 interface. Although many of us have also experimented with other devices and interfaces too. I've often wondered why I am using AHP/PC timers..... when all that stuff probability should be converted over to cloud-based AI stuff. After all [Amazon's] echo is currently the heart of my system. And why am I running my old XP laptop 24/7 when I could likely get similar results running everything on my phone (which is already running 24/7).

After all... all the best setups of a decade ago... resembled AI in they're operation... if only by using multiple simple macros. Today much of that AI technology is already there. I regularly talk to Alexa, telling her [it] to remind me, set an alarm, give me info on a actor, or something. Although control of my X10 is now accomplished using a Homeseer device... that works flawlessly with my CM15A and Alexa. 

So that's my rambling advice. Find a copy of HomeGenie (if that's what you NEED).... but migrate over to voice controlled, phone monitored, cloud based AI technologies. And.... wait for the new X10 interface with the rest of us  :'   rofl
Title: Re: Looking for new HA software (maybe)
Post by: bkenobi on October 20, 2017, 11:11:47 AM
I have a stable setup now.  If things break for some reason, I have backups of most things.  The problem (and benefit I guess) is, the core of the system is a RPi.  This means that flaws/exploits can be fixed by the Linux community.  But, that also means that if I have a failure and have to start over, I'll be using a newer OS and dependent software than HG is expecting.  I've seen this is an issue with the last time I refreshed the HA setup (SD card failure and bad backup somehow).  My current plan is to have 1 or 2 backups of the setup on other SD cards so if something fails I can simply swap cards.

However, there are a few issues I've never been able to nail down.  A few issues pop up once in a while (once every 1-6 months).  Or for some reason the smart lighting gets dumb and requires a restart.  I'm ok with it in a way, but I really was hoping the developer could help run these issues down in his code.  Either way, not going to happen.  So, I think I'll get a RPi3 and tinker with new HA software (hence the thread).
Title: Re: Looking for new HA software (maybe)
Post by: HA Dave on October 22, 2017, 12:53:43 PM
I have a stable setup now.  If things break for some reason, I have backups of most things.

Good man! I always feel bad when someone posts that their system/part/device/memory failed.... and they hadn't made preparations to put it back together. I am big believer in back-ups... and back-ups to the back-ups.

But I sometimes find myself wondering.... what if I was forced to re-make my setup... either by natural disaster or even just a move to another house.

My setup came to me in a haphazard fashion. First I wanted to dim the lights in my (at the time) new home theater. Then I added a camera to see my driveway. Then a security alarm, a HA PC with BVC (voice control),... then a spell of HA addiction.

The theater has been upgraded a couple times. The camera system has been greatly upgraded, I still use X10 extensively, and BVC (for voice announcements) on a laptop. But Amazon's echo has replaced the CM15A as the heart of my setup.

I think if I was going to re-build my entire setup...  I don't know. Maybe move all the "smarts" to the cloud. Monitor everything with apps on my phone. I wish X10 would hurry along their device so I can make this all happen.   
Title: Re: Looking for new HA software (maybe)
Post by: HA Dave on August 12, 2018, 11:10:59 PM
I have a stable setup now.

Amazing how much (or little) difference a few months can make.

I've been drawn (like a moth to a flame) to this Linux-Pi stuff. Although my efforts have been mostly wasted for some time..... stubborn persistence has finally started to make this endeavor look more hopeful. Following Tuicemen's instructions (here at this forum) (http://forums.x10.com/index.php?topic=30427.msg174845#msg174845).. I was able to install and run Home Genie on my RBPi 3 (last years model of Pi). I loaded some lights (in setup) attached a CM15A (via a USB cable to the Pi) and was able to turn the modules on and off by clicking the icons with a mouse.

OK... I accomplished as much with my old CM11A on the 1st night years and years ago.... and much, much, more with a CM15A. But to be honest... I was shocked and surprised I got the darn thing to work at all. And meanwhile.... my Homeseer Hometroller is connecting to Amazons Alexa... and my other automation hubs. So there is a bit of catching up to do here.

But we got this far! And I do believe we'll get all the way to where this Home Genie/X10/RBPi stuff can be a rock solid, complete in it's abilities, and as easy to setup and operate as any of the other HA flavors.

Thank you bkenobi for dragging me and others along in this search for great, affordable HA.