Monday, August 29, 2005

Daemons in my closet

Well I've been busy coding and I now have the Insteon daemon to show for it! I wouldn't get too excited as it's an Alpha quality daemon but it's probably enough to get started. I've modeled it after Dan Lanciani's x10d. You type in commands like a1aon or p3pdimpdim and the Insteon PLC sends the commands. I need to fix the response that the insteond returns but it will send the command. Now the more important part is the Insteon stuff. To send an Insteon command type !i 00.01.b4 on ff. The 00.01.b4 is the address written on the LampLinc or ApplianceLinc. The command on is the command to turn on the device and the ff is the hex dim/bright level of the device (where ff is full on). So far I haven't been able to use fast on (I don't even know if the device supports it) or played with the dim rates or speeds (yeah you can adjust those :-). I do see ACKs and NAKs (for non existent devices or errors) so it looks like the Insteon protocol is filling in the holes where X10 is really lacking (2 way communication). I've also been able to ping the devices (and even get a NAK for non-existent devices, cool). I haven't figured out how to ask for a devices current state (hey I'm still reading!).

Now for some important details, the program is released under the GPL. Currently I only support the serial PLC. I'll work on the USB version when I get one and get some time (an important project is underway so I may not be able to work on the code for a while). I've included a quickly put together readme so there is at least some documentation. The source code (yes you have to compile it) is Alpha quality. It's inconsistent in some places and lacks proper comments (or the comments are 'Greek'). And lastly it's not done so not all the commands are supported yet.

So what are my goals for this project? One is to be able to support the current collection of X10 modules I have. Second is the support the Insteon modules I'll be getting. Lastly to improve the reliability of the communication of the power line network. Insteond (and Insteon) looks like it's well on it's way to fulfilling those goals.


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