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Author Topic: ESP8266 or ESP32 Wifi enabled boards & HA  (Read 4521 times)

petera

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Re: ESP8266 or ESP32 Wifi enabled boards & HA
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2021, 02:44:28 PM »

Designing, tweaking and tinkering are very different from operating a manufacturing company, even as a small tabletop enterprise.  The sourcing, kitting, production, marketing, sales and support functions are a completely different skill set.  Sadly, the market for Jeff's products are mostly limited to serious X10 users who are in ever shorter supply and have probably already purchased what they need from Jeff.  The bottom line is that there really isn't much of a bottom line in pursuing the business and, as Jeff found, no real financially rewarding exit strategy.  Even X10, who stands the most to gain in producing at least some of Jeff's designs won't step up.  Let's face it, there is very little, if any, new blood joining the X10 community.  Someone just starting out in HA wouldn't even be exposed to X10 in the market anymore and going with a WiFi/Zwave/ZigBee based solution eliminates all the PLC issues which only get worse over time.

Indeed but while there's still life in the old dog that is X10, for someone with time on their hands, a passion for X10 and who has now exposed their talents beyond Windows, this would be an ideal fit. It is not a mass production full time operation, hence the quality and most sales would be assembled to order. These units are not cheap far eastern hubs or control units and prospective buyers understand what goes into the effort of assembling them and are willing to wait.

I'm sure Jeff would go through all the nuances with the right person. Remember he's retiring from this venture which in itself says a lot about the equipment he produces. Most ventures just fold these days without warning.

You can only judge a product on its longevity these days and X10 still turns on my lights and switches. Any of it's supposed shortcomings can be easily addressed (pardon the pun) with software solutions and in some cases additional hardware solutions. If I didn't think that was the case I wouldn't be on this forum commenting in the first place.

I cannot comment directly on the corporate workings of Authinx but they have in the early days been badly advised from some quarters if I am to believe what I read on this forum. Maybe if individuals with the requisite credentials once again made another approach to them, Authinx, armed with the experience now, might see their way to engaging in meaningful discussion on what the X10 user base need.

Possibly if they had their own user forum where users could exchange their ideas directly with the manufacturer this could go some way to halting the decline of X10
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brobin

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Re: ESP8266 or ESP32 Wifi enabled boards & HA
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2021, 02:59:53 PM »

...
Possibly if they had their own user forum where users could exchange their ideas directly with the manufacturer this could go some way to halting the decline of X10

Ironically, this IS their user forum.  They just choose not to participate.  :'
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petera

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Re: ESP8266 or ESP32 Wifi enabled boards & HA
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2021, 03:33:33 PM »

...
Possibly if they had their own user forum where users could exchange their ideas directly with the manufacturer this could go some way to halting the decline of X10

Ironically, this IS their user forum.  They just choose not to participate.  :'

As far as Iím aware they handed the reigns to Mr T. Maybe they didnít see the value in one when they embarked on their venture. Maybe they do now and could establish their own platform to discuss matters with their user base. From what I can gather now this forum has no affiliation with X10 whatsoever. Maybe some of the membership do not realize this.
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brobin

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Re: ESP8266 or ESP32 Wifi enabled boards & HA
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2021, 03:36:17 PM »

I among those who did not.  I though they were still paying for it even if not participating.  Mr. T will know.
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bkenobi

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Re: ESP8266 or ESP32 Wifi enabled boards & HA
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2021, 03:40:53 PM »

This was the old X10's forum which they seldom commented in.  When they went under the forum stayed online because (as I understand) it was handed over to the users.  I don't know who was paying the bills to keep it's hosting, but when Authentix bought the assets, they let Tuicemen run the show here.  The new owner of X10 started investing in upgrades, but unfortunately passed away leaving the assets to his spouse and brother (I believe) which is around the time the WM100 fiasco got out of control.  If you look back at the time just after Authentix bought X10, there was actually a number of improvements made.

As I recall from reading various threads, Jeff tried to get Authentix to take on his products but I don't know the timing, so not sure if that was during the initial surge in product development, or after the WM100.  Either way, the ideal solution would be Authentix taking on Jeff's products and also talking to dhouston about his work.  None of that is likely though.

As for the ESP projects, I'm a little confused.  Tuicemen said months ago that he wanted to add some sensors to his RPi but wasn't interested in anything other than directly plugging into the GPIO (which had to be pre-installed).  A breadboard was too much at that point.  However, now the HG-mini is a serious consideration.  I looked at that project when it was originally posted and again recently.  The project requires building your own controller based on a board you have to have custom printed and find a source for all of the components all of which will need soldering together.  IMO, a breadboard is a very simple way to prototype but it's considered complicated and yet these other steps are worth playing with?  I guess I'm just looking at complexity a little different, but it seems like a simple breadboard circuit with provided code on the Arduino forum would be a better starting point than trying to duplicate Gene's custom board (at least as a first project).

Tuicemen

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Re: ESP8266 or ESP32 Wifi enabled boards & HA
« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2021, 05:39:42 PM »

For someone who appears to have a passion for all things X10, has time on their hands and is constantly looking at ways of fitting boards into a CM15 I'm amazed you haven't taken up the very generous offer from Jeff Volp to continue producing his high quality X10 equipment.
http://forums.x10.com/index.php?topic=31418.0
not interested in a new job

Quote

Maybe if you reached out to Jeff you might find some common ground in order to pursue a project like this.  Sounds like a very rewarding project to me.
Actualy Jeff, Dave and I had all been communicating about something with a ESP board prior.

The Forum is still fully in the hands of Authinx (x10) and they do have staff that monitors it, however like X10WTI they don't participate in the forums discussions.
As for the ESP projects, I'm a little confused.  Tuicemen said months ago that he wanted to add some sensors to his RPi but wasn't interested in anything other than directly plugging into the GPIO (which had to be pre-installed).  A breadboard was too much at that point.  However, now the HG-mini is a serious consideration.  I looked at that project when it was originally posted and again recently.  The project requires building your own controller based on a board you have to have custom printed and find a source for all of the components all of which will need soldering together.

I did add sensors to my Pi inside the CM15A without installing the GPIO header. this was something I had wished to do for some time but never got to. I didn't wish to play with a bread board and still don't Sure this is the easy way to do things but I'm a gluten for punishment I guess. ::) :'
Like you I also looked at the HG mini when Gene first released it as well as Platform.io. However Dave was working on his own ESP version to be added to one of Jeff's X10 controllers.
 The HG-mini isn't a serious consideration for me thought I most likely will build one just to play around with. If you look at the HG-mini Gerber files you can see you don't need to have the board custom made, it just makes things easier. I have everything on hand except the temperature and light sensors. ;)
 
By the way today I did manage to figure out Platform.io sketch up loading, and even uploaded HG-mini to a Wemos D1. However since I don't have all the parts on hand for a complete HG-mini board I can't comment on it's operation. I'll try to get a similar board put together this week less the sensors (they can always be added later though I don't see a need for them right now).
 >!
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dhouston

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Re: ESP8266 or ESP32 Wifi enabled boards & HA
« Reply #21 on: February 15, 2021, 06:11:04 PM »

Like you I also looked at the HG mini when Gene first released it as well as Platform.io. However Dave was working on his own ESP version to be added to one of Jeff's X10 controllers.
Since Jeff has discontinued the XTB-232 I've abandoned the XTB-ESP. As it used a custom PCB it wasn't very cost effective anyway.

I have since designed a D1 mini Shield which includes CM11/XTB-232 interface, battery backed RTC (ESP8266 RTC is not reliable.), X10RF TX/RX (TX requires ~$5 added hardware.) and 4KB EEPROM. However, even a 1.5x1 inch custom shield is relatively expensive so I'm not sure it's worthwhile to take it beyond the design stage.
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Tuicemen

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Re: ESP8266 or ESP32 Wifi enabled boards & HA
« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2021, 07:06:19 PM »

I have since designed a D1 mini Shield which includes CM11/XTB-232 interface, battery backed RTC (ESP8266 RTC is not reliable.), X10RF TX/RX (TX requires ~$5 added hardware.) and 4KB EEPROM. However, even a 1.5x1 inch custom shield is relatively expensive so I'm not sure it's worthwhile to take it beyond the design stage.
I'm glad to see you continued your work with a ESP X10 interface and never abandoned it :)%
I doubt anything I come up with will go beyond the design stage as well, but we can all dream. rofl
 >!
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Tuicemen

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Re: ESP8266 or ESP32 Wifi enabled boards & HA
« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2021, 08:05:03 AM »

I have since designed a D1 mini Shield which includes CM11/XTB-232 interface, battery backed RTC (ESP8266 RTC is not reliable.), X10RF TX/RX (TX requires ~$5 added hardware.) and 4KB EEPROM.

What software did you finally use to flash your D1? I remember you looking at several options.
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dhouston

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Re: ESP8266 or ESP32 Wifi enabled boards & HA
« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2021, 08:23:21 AM »

I'm still awaiting the boards and still evaluating available software. The ESP8266 has built-in infrared including the NEC 32-bit protocol used by X10 for RF. I am hoping to use the IR functions with an RF receiver by inverting the output (IR receivers are active low while RF receivers are active high.) and not all software supports the native IR. There's always the option of doing RF directly. I'd also prefer a compiled language as that's always faster than interpreted ones. Finally, given my age (I recently celebrated my 39th birthday for the 40th time.) and very tenuous health, I'm not eager to try learning a new language.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2021, 08:25:59 AM by dhouston »
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Tuicemen

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Re: ESP8266 or ESP32 Wifi enabled boards & HA
« Reply #25 on: February 20, 2021, 08:55:43 AM »

I'm not eager to try learning a new language.
I never am eager to attempt learning a new language.  rofl
Some of these flashing software tools are said to be easy to use and fast but it takes me forever to get anywhere with them. B:(   I've yet to try the B4ESP, I actualy had forgoten about that one untill seeing your recent post. I never realized there were so many flashing tools ::) :'
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brobin

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Re: ESP8266 or ESP32 Wifi enabled boards & HA
« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2021, 12:00:28 PM »

I never realized there were so many flashing tools ::) :'

Oh yeah, they're everywhere. One just got arrested in the supermarket parking lot the other day!  rofl rofl
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Tuicemen

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Re: ESP8266 or ESP32 Wifi enabled boards & HA
« Reply #27 on: February 20, 2021, 01:41:03 PM »

I read an article the other day that showed placing a ESP-01 into a old flashdrive or inside a old 3-5volt wallwart.
Wish I had book marked it  B:( :-[ both required a voltage regulator and the old flashdrive mode stated not to plug into a PC but use a Phone charger. If I had a old dead flashdrive laying arround this would have been a cool project.
However after thinking about it I have several old phone charges and other 3-5 volt walwarts laying around in a junk box. B:(
I never did find the article mentioned but did find a similar one I'll post here incase any one else wishes to read it and if I wish to find it again. ::) :' https://www.instructables.com/Free-Dynamic-DNS-Server-With-Esp8266-and-OSD-FOSCA/
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JeffVolp

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Re: ESP8266 or ESP32 Wifi enabled boards & HA
« Reply #28 on: February 21, 2021, 12:21:15 PM »


For someone who appears to have a passion for all things X10, has time on their hands and is constantly looking at ways of fitting boards into a CM15 I'm amazed you haven't taken up the very generous offer from Jeff Volp to continue producing his high quality X10 equipment.
http://forums.x10.com/index.php?topic=31418.0

Surely time spent on a proven venture like this would be time well spent and at the same time providing customers like the user base here with high quality X10 hardware. Who knows, with a little more technical input from the right people you might even be able to produce commercially something along the lines you outline here. You might even make a few dollars from a venture like this into the bargain.

Maybe if you reached out to Jeff you might find some common ground in order to pursue a project like this.  Sounds like a very rewarding project to me.

I just bit the bullet to assemble another batch of XTB-232's for those who had been asking for one.  They will be available soon.  But I believe a good match would be using the XTB-232 back end for a XTB-USB or XTB-WiFi interface.  The XTB-232 uses the CM11A real-time protocol, and supports all standard and extended X10 commands.  So replacing the serial port interface with a USB or WiFi interface seems like something to pursue.

Jeff
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petera

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Re: ESP8266 or ESP32 Wifi enabled boards & HA
« Reply #29 on: February 21, 2021, 01:13:54 PM »


For someone who appears to have a passion for all things X10, has time on their hands and is constantly looking at ways of fitting boards into a CM15 I'm amazed you haven't taken up the very generous offer from Jeff Volp to continue producing his high quality X10 equipment.
http://forums.x10.com/index.php?topic=31418.0

Surely time spent on a proven venture like this would be time well spent and at the same time providing customers like the user base here with high quality X10 hardware. Who knows, with a little more technical input from the right people you might even be able to produce commercially something along the lines you outline here. You might even make a few dollars from a venture like this into the bargain.

Maybe if you reached out to Jeff you might find some common ground in order to pursue a project like this.  Sounds like a very rewarding project to me.

I just bit the bullet to assemble another batch of XTB-232's for those who had been asking for one.  They will be available soon.  But I believe a good match would be using the XTB-232 back end for a XTB-USB or XTB-WiFi interface.  The XTB-232 uses the CM11A real-time protocol, and supports all standard and extended X10 commands.  So replacing the serial port interface with a USB or WiFi interface seems like something to pursue.

Jeff

Thereís definitely no keeping a good man down  :)% From all reports X10 is screwed as a technology without you.
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