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Author Topic: Home Automation has gone mainstream  (Read 26021 times)

racerfern

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Re: Home Automation has gone mainstream
« Reply #90 on: December 28, 2016, 07:35:33 PM »

Quote
Give it some parameters and turn it on.

But where is simplified version of the script stored? Isn't it online? I've browsed their website and some things aren't quite clear.
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Tuicemen

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Re: Home Automation has gone mainstream
« Reply #91 on: December 28, 2016, 07:49:20 PM »

What solareclipse said!  Dave your over thinking things, the biggest obstacle I found was finding the Alexa link in the applet section.  It is easier then setting up a Smartmacro in AHP (well not for me since it isn't supported here yet).

Quote
Give it some parameters and turn it on.
But where is simplified version of the script stored? Isn't it online? I've browsed their website and some things aren't quite clear.
By everything I read it is stored in the cloud.
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bkenobi

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Re: Home Automation has gone mainstream
« Reply #92 on: December 28, 2016, 08:30:57 PM »

Is there a critical web server that would cripple your access should it disappear or is all data local?

All of the data required to run HG is local.  There are some APPs that use the internet (cloud if you prefer), but they are not required.  I'm thinking specifically about weather and sunrise/sunset data.  HG can pull data from Weather Underground based on a location specified.  It's possible to write functions that rely on the weather forecast, so if WU disappeared, some functionality could be compromised.  However, since you have full access to the functions/code, changing to a different server is definitely possible.

There was actually a second weather APP that used to be available but that server changed to a paid service.  When that happened, I switched back to WU.

The only thing that might be an issue is that WU is used for sunrise/sunset time calculations by default.  There is a different APP that I use for calculating these which does not use a network connection.  If WU or your internet went down and the default setting was used, lights might not turn on/off exactly at the right time.  If either went down for a long time, the difference between actual and HG sunrise/sunset would get worse.

HA Dave

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Re: Home Automation has gone mainstream
« Reply #93 on: December 29, 2016, 12:46:44 AM »

What solareclipse said!  Dave your over thinking things, the biggest obstacle I found was finding the Alexa link in the applet section.  It is easier then setting up a Smartmacro in AHP (well not for me since it isn't supported here yet).

I don't know.... Smartmacros came with a little instruction booklet. I haven't found any instructions for this other stuff.
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Tuicemen

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Re: Home Automation has gone mainstream
« Reply #94 on: December 29, 2016, 06:36:15 AM »

A booklet?
I never got one of those. ::) :'
As for instructions for IFTTT: Here's one of many
 >!
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toasterking

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Re: Home Automation has gone mainstream
« Reply #95 on: January 03, 2017, 06:25:25 PM »

The only thing that might be an issue is that WU is used for sunrise/sunset time calculations by default.  There is a different APP that I use for calculating these which does not use a network connection.  If WU or your internet went down and the default setting was used, lights might not turn on/off exactly at the right time.  If either went down for a long time, the difference between actual and HG sunrise/sunset would get worse.
Internet or none, screw the calculation; that's still just faking the sunrise/sunset time!  I decided a while back that I could get more precise sunrise/sunset data for my location (make sure you're sitting down for this crazy idea...) at my location.  I already have an X10 PR511 motion floodlight module under the eave on the front of my house.  One of its optional features is to send an ON command on any combination of 4 unit codes when it detects a sun down condition and an OFF command when it detects a sun up condition (for turning on/off nighttime lights).  Most of the X10 wireless motion detectors will provide the same functionality on one unit code.  Everything can be scheduled around that one piece of data.  That's what the feature is for!

The only problem is that there's not much in the module to filter out errant conditions.  Once the light level crosses the threshold, the command is sent within about 2 seconds.  Variations in cloud cover or an object momentarily passing in front of the sensor could potentially falsely trigger it.  The opposite can also occur; the PR511 is a dumb transmitter and doesn't check the line before transmitting, so there is the occasional chance that a collision could occur and the ON or OFF command could fail to be be received when the sunrise/sunset transition occurs.  So here is my algorithm for filtering out these errant conditions:
  • Once a new state command (ON or OFF) is received, the state must remain consistent (no opposite state command received) for at least 5 minutes to be considered by the following rules.
  • If the new state is ON (sundown)...
    • and the currently known state is OFF (sunup)...
      • and 7+ hours in the day have passed since the last validated OFF (sunup) transition time...
        • and the current time is within +/-30 minutes of the last validated (usually previous day's) ON (sundown) transition
          -OR-
          3+ days have passed since an ON (sundown) transition could be matched to the previous validated one using the +/-30 minute rule...
          • ==> Validate (log) the new ON (sundown) transition time and update the event schedules.
  • If the new state is OFF (sunup)...
    • and the currently known state is ON (sundown)...
      • and 7+ hours in the day have passed since the last validated ON (sundown) transition time...
        • and the current time is within +/-30 minutes of the last validated (usually previous day's) OFF (sunup) transition
          -OR-
          3+ days have passed since an OFF (sunup) transition could be matched to the previous validated one using the +/-30 minute rule...
          • ==> Validate (log) the new OFF (sunup) transition time and update the event schedules.
  • Until a new ON (sundown) or OFF (sunup) transition is validated by the above algorithm, the previous validated time is used to schedule events.
  • All time calculations take the DST offset into consideration so that the comparison to validated times will survive a Daylight Saving Time transition.

Events are scheduled using offsets of the validated times.  The drapery for the large picture window on the front of the house closes earliest to prevent snooping neighbors from seeing inside from a distance once the ambient light level outside is dimmer than inside.  The shade on the smaller kitchen window closes a little later.  The shade on the back of the house closes last of all, since we like to watch the sunset.

There are many ways to do this, and even X10WTI included automatic sunrise/sunset calculation in AHP rather than using signals from local modules, but I figured I might as well use the more precise local data since I have it!
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bkenobi

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Re: Home Automation has gone mainstream
« Reply #96 on: January 04, 2017, 10:45:31 AM »

Agreed, calculations are not ideal for sunrise/sunset.  As we all know, a cloudy day will actually get dark sooner than a clear day.  What we really want is for the lights to come on and turn off based on the actual ambient lighting rather than where the sun is relative to the site's location.  However, I decided that trying to use signals from the PR511 or MS16A or whatnot were too problematic for the very reason you stated.  Passing clouds at noon could potentially trigger dusk and depending on the code that triggers off that signal, everything could be thrown for a loop.

IMO, a better approach to using either a calculation or using an X10 sensor would be to use a combination of time of day and a luminescence sensor.  With an actual light level (not a trip point) and a time of day, one could more logically determine if lower light levels should be interpreted as dusk.  I'm envisioning something on the lines of

If time is between (1 hour after sunrise*) and (1 hour before sunset*) and light level is high = day
If time is between (1 hour after sunset*) and (1 hour before sunrise*) and light level is low = night
If time is between [(sunrise*) and (1 hour before sunrise*)] or [(1 hour before sunset*) and (sunset*)] and light level is low = trigger night conditions

*calculated

Anyway, this can be done pretty easily in HG as well, but I don't have a luminescence sensor or the desire to mess with the potential fallout from the wife if my enhanced night detection breaks a bunch of stuff.  Using a calculation is very good and the easiest solution to it getting dark early or light a bit late is simply to add an offset (which I do).

 >!

HA Dave

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Re: Home Automation has gone mainstream
« Reply #97 on: January 04, 2017, 12:27:49 PM »

Agreed, calculations are not ideal for sunrise/sunset.  As we all know, a cloudy day will actually get dark sooner than a clear day.  What we really want is for the lights to come on and turn off based on the actual ambient lighting rather than where the sun is relative to the site's location.  However, I decided that trying to use signals from the PR511 or MS16A or whatnot were too problematic for the very reason you stated.  Passing clouds at noon could potentially trigger dusk and depending on the code that triggers off that signal, everything could be thrown for a loop.

I mix and match sun/light day/night based timers. It doesn't hurt to have a light turn on when a storm rolls in and presents itself as sunset. I've actually been warned by just such event... when sunset lights came on mid-day. And when the storm passes BEFORE sunset... you have an artificial sunrise... and all returns to normal (assuming parallel timers). I also run timers along with light detection. I like knowing at what "time" a macro is triggered. And I run these macros on a non-internet connected PC... it loses about 2 minutes a year... I can live with that.

I like bkenobi's idea of using "conditional macros" in the setup as well.

The more I lean into the "new" HA devices.... the greater my appreciation for the abilities of AHP... connected to a PC. Still today... AHP is a powerful HA device. 

IFTTT applets aren't even script writing, they're very simple (a bit too simple in my mind).  You just pick your "If" service, then your "Then" service.  Give it some parameters and turn it on.  Check it out.

I am getting there. Besides adding another ihome device (3 now) I also re-installed a light device associated with my (on-line app operated) garage door opener. As time goes on... I may start using some of the WiFi light bulbs and various sensors and detectors that can determine by our Bluetooth phones who is in the house and where. 

Also along with the DOT... I setup a Wink Hub (the original NOT a hub2). This should.... allow me to connect services without venturing into accounts that are also associated with purchases.

But... again... I am still well pleased with the X10 setup, devices, various software,  and AHP.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2017, 12:51:57 PM by HA Dave »
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solareclipse

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Re: Home Automation has gone mainstream
« Reply #98 on: January 04, 2017, 12:36:34 PM »

The more I lean into the "new" HA devices.... the greater my appreciation for the abilities of AHP... connected to a PC. Still today... AHP is a powerful HA device.

This I agree with.  I'm amazed at a lot of the things I can't do yet "out of the box" with Hue, Google Home, and even when including some of the integration tools I'm playing with like IFTTT and Tasker.
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HA Dave

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Re: Home Automation has gone mainstream
« Reply #99 on: January 04, 2017, 01:08:30 PM »

The more I lean into the "new" HA devices.... the greater my appreciation for the abilities of AHP... connected to a PC. Still today... AHP is a powerful HA device.

This I agree with.  I'm amazed at a lot of the things I can't do yet "out of the box" with Hue, Google Home, and even when including some of the integration tools I'm playing with like IFTTT and Tasker.

It makes me wonder if.... we (pronounced, ME) just didn't realized how good we had it with AHP. Or maybe the success of AHP came partly for the imagination and creativity of the many devoted X10 users. A PC/phone programmable AHP internet connected hub.... that could connect to the Google and Amazon voice devices. As well as speak X10 RF, PLC, and the other flavors of HA devices (including cameras)... could be a whole new X10 business.

Whatever the future holds for HA. I am happy to see that at least... HA does appear to have an active future.
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racerfern

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Re: Home Automation has gone mainstream
« Reply #100 on: January 04, 2017, 01:30:06 PM »

If it weren't for the signal loss, signal suckling electrical gadget interference, the poor RF range, etc... did I forget anything... some kind of WiFi integration...

Other than that I thoroughly enjoyed X10 and unfortunately I will probably have to go to through a significant learning curve with zwave commands. Also, X10 modules are more reasonably priced and more robust, IMO.
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solareclipse

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Re: Home Automation has gone mainstream
« Reply #101 on: January 04, 2017, 01:35:34 PM »

A PC/phone programmable AHP internet connected hub.... that could connect to the Google and Amazon voice devices. As well as speak X10 RF, PLC, and the other flavors of HA devices (including cameras)... could be a whole new X10 business.

 -:)  I'd buy it today.

Right now if I want to use a voice command to have Google Home turn on 3 Hue bulbs in three different rooms, I need Google Home > an IFTTT applet that transmits a URL to > the AutoRemote app on my phone which sends a command to > Tasker on my phone which runs the actions using the > HuePro Tasker plugin on my phone.

My phone has quickly become an integral part of my HA system.

If it weren't for the signal loss, signal suckling electrical gadget interference, the poor RF range, etc... did I forget anything... some kind of WiFi integration...

This too.  Any new generation of X10 devices needs to be functional in a household with a typical array of current-day electronics.  Crank the powerline signal way up.
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bkenobi

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Re: Home Automation has gone mainstream
« Reply #102 on: January 04, 2017, 02:11:46 PM »

SmartHome Insteon devices fix a lot of the issues you talk about by simply being dual mode (PLC + RF) and inherently perform repeating operations.  Adding a few filters to the nasty devices as necessary should mean a very well behaved system that performs in much the same way as X10.  That said, the components are much more expensive and no longer send/listen to X10 signals.

dhouston

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Re: Home Automation has gone mainstream
« Reply #103 on: January 04, 2017, 02:46:29 PM »

A PC/phone programmable AHP internet connected hub.... that could connect to the Google and Amazon voice devices. As well as speak X10 RF, PLC, and the other flavors of HA devices (including cameras)... could be a whole new X10 business.

Sorta like this?
https://www.laser.com/dhouston/ultimate-X10.html

This is beginning to look very doable. I have a preliminary hardware design and will order a few PCBs for testing soon. I'm waiting to see whether ZBasic or Basic4Arduino release ESP32 compilers. Both are working on it. If not, it's supported by the Arduino IDE, MicroPython, LUA,...   
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racerfern

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Re: Home Automation has gone mainstream
« Reply #104 on: January 04, 2017, 03:16:15 PM »

I knew there was something else. First the RF signal doesn't travel far enough so I tried a repeater. No combination ever worked properly. Either still no joy or I would get double signals coming through which made the SC1200 ding twice. At other times spurious signals would make the SC1200 chime when there was nothing going on.
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