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Beginner advice and questions

Steven McElrea

On Sep 29, 2012 13:59

Hello there all,
Been going through the Interwebs like crazy to find a realistic way of adding some of features to the house. X10, Z-Wave etc.
Still don't know which solution I'll be using, but one thing I'm hoping on using would be a Raspberry Pi (low power, always on, GPIO, etc).
Pretty much trying to avoid a using a laptop, but also adding some difficulty factor. Of course the whole setup has to be "wife proof" so
can't go too hardcore DIY (if you see my meaning, no offense to wives out there).

So far I'm gearing towards the Z-wave solution. Took a peek at something called Z-Wave.me thing, but no cloud services for me.

There are other methods to controlling Z-Wave stuff, but I'll admit so far OpenRemote does offer the "cute-factor". Which for the wife is good.
The "cute-factor" offered here also equals easy to use for the end-user. And seeing this is an Open Source project, maybe I'll be able to get my
hands dirty in some code... Hated Java back in school, actually I still do, but that's my problem. Will need to get over it.

I've read some people has had success installing the Controller application on the PI. A few have seemed to experienced what seems to be some resource
issues when having multiple pages with several images (referring to another thread: http://www.openremote.org/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=20450400&focusedCommentId=20451159#comment-20451159).
Has this behaviour been an issue when testing with the Raspberry Pi?
Guess it's logical, the more pages/panels/images more the server application works.
How does OpenRemote compare when run on other systems? (i.e: basic laptop running either Windows or Linux)

I'm also curious as how many remote controls, or clients, are supported using the Pi? I've read a few threads with people using several tablets at once. Just wondering how the Raspberry Pi would
fare when servicing 5 or 7 Android tablets. Or is this not really an issue.

There's also the part about the require JAR file (still under beta) that cannot be distributed.
What type of information is needed when e-mailing a request for this?

How does OpenRemote's support with Z-wave compare to other technologies such as X10?
Would X10 be easier to use?

Odds are I'm repeating questions already answered on the forum. I do apologize, I'm probably blind as I haven't really found all the answers.
More questions to come for sure...

Edit: Oh one more question. As far as using an Android tablet to controls lights etc. It's software depended. As in any new/cheap tablet running Android will do correct?

 
Labels:
Participants: Juha Lindfors , Steven McElrea , pz1
  1. Sep 29, 2012

    pz1 says:

    In Openremote Z-Wave is still at beta stage. Marcus Redeker is the developer, an...

    In Openremote Z-Wave is still at beta stage. Marcus Redeker is the developer, and you should send him an email for the test version. As far as I know there are not yet any fixed release dates, nor descriptions of what it ultimately will have in terms of functionality.
    The advantage of OpenRemote is that you can integrate multiple protocols. There is a quite active core working on it at the moment.
    If you chose in favour of Z-Wave devices, I imho ZWave>Me is a good place to start learning home control with these devices. I do agree with you, cloud-based real time home control is not a sensible choice. The atractiveness of ZWave>Me is that the user interface is not shiny, but very adequate for learning. You can build/test your home infratstructure there, and easily import that in the Openremote Designer. You can go back and forward between both systems.
    I can't answer the Raspberry question. What I would suggest to first think thoroughly about what you want to automate in your home, and only after that has settled, consider the how, and the subsequent hardware choices. Because most* of OpenRemote is open source, you do have a lot of choices for platforms here.

    *Some of the Zwave device drivers stuff is closed because of the Z-Wave licensing terms.
    PS: I started myself with a handful of Zwave devices on ZWave>Me

    1. Sep 29, 2012

      Steven McElrea says:

      Thanks for the reply, The reason why Z-Wave is on the top of my list comes down...

      Thanks for the reply,

      The reason why Z-Wave is on the top of my list comes down to a few reasons. Price tag is affordable, and I like the fact each "module" (light switch, receptacle, etc) acts as a bridge to extend it's overall range in the house. It seems pretty modular and easy to add new devices over time. I don't plan an automating my whole house in one week. Months/years is probably more realistic.

      I like open source aspect of it OpenRemote. I'm a coder and work in IT so going this route is a natural choice for me. So far this project supports my automation needs at the moment. Only thing missing is thermostat control. Which I do hope is, or will be, worked on in the future by the design team (unless it can already be done and I missed it). There's also the missing GPIO control, but pretty sure with a little time and elbow grease I can figure away around that, but not a priority at the moment.

      Again, Raspberry Pi is something I really wish to use. Small, compact and dirty cheap. Guess if I have to, I could sacrifice my NB200 netbook, just seems a bit overkill.

      Going the X10 route...well with all my searching, it's confusing actually. Especially if I want this thing to work on the Pi.

      Again thanks for the reply, hoping others can chime in with answering some questions as well.

      1. Oct 01, 2012

        Juha Lindfors says:

        You can run with RPi but as Pieter said, develop and test your system first, wor...

        You can run with RPi but as Pieter said, develop and test your system first, worry about the hardware platform later It'll be below $200 mark no matter what and most likely will be the $35 of RPi. In the end the actual cost of the CPU processing unit where the magic lies is the least expensive part of your system. Your Android devices, the light switches etc are going to be the bulk of your costs (sadly). Talk to Marcus about the z-wave test package. Get your Java books out. If you make progress with the GPIO, let us know. Welcome.

        1. Oct 01, 2012

          Steven McElrea says:

          Thanks for the reply. Yeah all I'm doing now (or soon to do) will just testing w...

          Thanks for the reply.
          Yeah all I'm doing now (or soon to do) will just testing with one dimmer switch and getting things to work. So I ordered the ZSTICK-S2 - Aeon Labs ZWave USB Adapter and a dimmer switch. That should be a good start for testing. I've emailed Mister Marcus about getting the JAR file, and hoping to get OpenRemote working soon. Until then, guess I'll try out zwave.me
          As far as cost... it's a hobby I hope to enjoy, and like the wife said hobbies usually aren't cheap.

          Question, noticed playing with the designer we can configure a button to issue shell commands. Does this work using z-wave?

          1. Oct 01, 2012

            pz1 says:

            What kind of z-wave things would you want to do using shell commands?

            What kind of z-wave things would you want to do using shell commands?

            1. Oct 01, 2012

              Steven McElrea says:

              Curiosity's sake really. I know there are python libraries to control the GPIOs ...

              Curiosity's sake really. I know there are python libraries to control the GPIOs of the Rapberry Pi.
              Figured that be one way of controlling them via OpenRemote... cheap way true. But like I said just thinking. Looking at possibilities etc..

              1. Oct 01, 2012

                Juha Lindfors says:

                Nothing wrong with cheap. If shell to python does the trick, go for it.

                Nothing wrong with cheap. If shell to python does the trick, go for it.

  2. Sep 30, 2012

    Steven McElrea says:

    Me again with another question. Lots of information on this site and very intere...

    Me again with another question.
    Lots of information on this site and very interesting.

    Had fun installing the OpenRemote Controller on an Ubuntu server, just to test drive the install process. Pretty easy and no problems what-so-ever. Always nice to see...
    Designed an Android interface via the online tool, very impressive. Although I do have a question.
    When selecting either iPhone/Android phone, there's a nice imagine representing the chosen device. Very nice, but I plan on using an Android 7" tablet for this project.
    Was wondering how does one create an interface for a larger screen? Is it just as simple as choosing "custom panel" entering the correct dimensions?

    Thanks a lot for any insight anyone may have...

    1. Oct 01, 2012

      Juha Lindfors says:

      Yes, use the custom panel and enter the screen dimensions.

      Yes, use the custom panel and enter the screen dimensions.

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