Friday, December 26, 2014

Mochad bug fix

This has been driving me nuts. Mochad would lock up from time to time and always when sending the USB data. I found that the particular USB library call was deprecated and tried the timeout version. Result: still doesn't work, doesn't timeout. So I added a bunch of debug statements and accidentally found the CM15A was sending an 0xA5. I recognized that immediately as the request to reset the time. I then added a routine to reset the time and the problem is solved (I hope). I'll need to get this up on git so others can find it. I've added the updates to my mochad repo on my Github account. I've incremented the version to 0.1.17. I'll also add support for IPV6 in version 0.1.18. For no other reason than to experiment with IPV6. I'll also add some features to make it useful to debug.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas toys :-)

While I did pick up a few store bought things for my friends I also picked up a few things to build. I ordered some Fubarinos mini boards (PIC32), WIZ550io boards, and DHT22 (Humidity & Temperature) sensors. My friends also have HA systems and I figured a nice programmable sensor node would be a good thing to have. While mine sits on a MQTT network these will be simple nodes that serve up HTTP until I can get a bit more of MQTT working with the HA software they're using. I've also picked up a few ESP8266 WiFi modules. At this time I don't have specific plans for them but I wouldn't mind turning them into something like the WIZ550io board. Add a nice WiFi module to the Fubarino, some sensors, a battery and a solar panel and this could be a useful DIY remote sensor node.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Bits and pieces

Well the little bits and pieces are falling into place for my presentation. I still need to get a better description of "The Cloud" and how it relates to HA. Let's face it, the cloud's meaning depends on its application (and what marketing wants to say or not say ;-) ). I think I have some good material for the IoT and some of the protocols used.

On the HomeSeer (HS) front I have Monodevelop working and I have it compiling the HS sample plugins and the MQTT example. I'll need a bit more time to figure out how to turn the MQTT example into a HS plugin. At the moment I have HS setup with X10 (CM15A and mochad). Mochad is having problems and I need to debug the USB interface (grr). Hopefully I'll have the mochad Perl replacement script working soon and I'll have something I can demonstrate with. The Perl script shouldn't take too much longer. I just need the proper time to sit down and think about it.

On the subject of the IoT, my friend D gave me a Oregon Scientific LW301 wireless weather station as a Christmas present. From what I've seen this weather station connects to the internet and you get the information from Oregon Scientific's web page rather than from a locally server up page. I'm working on whether (weather? ;-) ) it is possible to pull out information from the device rather than the web. So far it doesn't seem so.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Trenton Computer Festival 2015, HA Presentation

In case I didn't mention it, I'm doing a HA presentation basically on Linux Home Automation using the doll house with Misterhouse, Homeseer and possibly Pytomation. Misterhouse has been around for a while and it works well. Pytomation is a lot more complex but supports object oriented programming better. Homeseer is a commercial product that runs on Windows, Mac and Linux. A commercial product for Linux is not a bad thing and some users may find Homeseer matches their needs better. I've started playing with the features and with the plugins. Homeseer has an SDK for it's plugins. The plugins can be written in C# or (Mono and Monodevelop). I've setup the mono enviroment and compiled the sample Homeseer plugins, which is a good start. While I'm not too thrilled about mono, I am happy that there is a flexible, open programmable enviroment. I'm working on getting a MQTT plugin working (C#). The use of MQTT would allow Misterhouse, Homeseer, Pytomation and any other software to share the same devices. Yes, I've taken a liking to MQTT but I'll also be looking at XMPP and CoAP but for now I'll stick to MQTT as I have it up and running and the libraries are easy to use.

Of course, everything I learn will be going into my presentation @ Trenton Computer Festival in March. I'll have a doll house setup on a Raspberry Pi (Homeseer, Misterhouse, HS3 Pi and perhaps Pytomation) with X10, Insteon and Z-Wave devices. This will be interesting.