Author Topic: embedded Ethernet control device support in LinuxMCE  (Read 4775 times)

ajward

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Re: embedded Ethernet control device support in LinuxMCE
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2012, 10:12:18 am »
That's interesting. The only weakness of the message routing architecture that I can see is that it is hard to avoid a single point of failure.

To be honest, when I looked at LinuxMCE, the biggest quandry for me was "what do I use as the actual control bus/network?" Here are my conclusions:

Z-wave is great for retro-fit, and the mesh capabilities give it a fighting chance in real life situations (14" solid stone internal walls, that sort of thing). But it is relatively expensive to equip a whole house, and I worry that WiFi, Z-Wave, Bluetooth, Microwave ovens and so on all sharing the same space is likely to cause problems.

X10 is too slow for a whole house implementation these days. I'm surprised someone hasn't updated it with the HomePlug Ethernet-over-mains standard - I looked into it, and all the parts are there. Imagine just reaching out over the network to each auto-configured light fitting directly!

Knx/EIB is a powerful standard, but look at the price of a dimmer or a light switch. I didn't look any deeper for that reason.

Clipsal/CBus has most of the characteristics of Knx/EIB (including the price!). Nice kit, though.

DMX512 looks good as a lighting standard (fast, easy to run cables, low cost per lamp), but the whole house would depend on one PC if I used a USB or serial DMX controller on the Core. I could use Media Directors to spread the control a bit, but the DCErouter is still in the path to every lighting change.

1-Wire is capable and cheap, but sensors and controls are limited

I had been working with WebBrick Systems to try and build solution for my house, and they got a lot of things right before their unfortunate demise, but the engineer in me could see something better and more capable. That led me onto the Barionet, and MythTV led me onto LinuxMCE. I believe I have the skills to put the two together - let's see what comes out!

I just thought I'd explain this in case anyone is coming to the conclusion I'm just plain crazy (maybe it's too late :) ).

Andy.

JaseP

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Re: embedded Ethernet control device support in LinuxMCE
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2012, 02:43:38 pm »
Z-wave mesh networks will periodically go through a "healing" process where the devices work out amongst each other how to best route messages back and forth. The more devices you have, the more solid the mesh network. Your fix for stone walls, concrete and rebar are to have enough devices to work around those obsticals. Lag is inherent in any home automation system. I'm generally impressed with z-wave responsiveness,  but there are occasional annoying lags.

As for cost, z-wave can be relatively cheap, or it can be obscenely expensive. It depends what you want. I have 2 z-wave thermostats, 3 door locks, 4 in wall dimmers, 4 appliance modules, an infrared multi-sensor (infrared, light, temperature), a MCV Vera as master controller, a second Aeon Labs z-wave USB inclusion controller for the LinuxMCE core, a radio signal/scene controller, and a z-wave enabled universal remote. But I didn't buy all my stuff at once. I bought a few things at a time. I will be buying more too. Plus I have a wired IP camera, and a whole house full of computerized gadgets. It's a lifestyle choice.  Nobody (short of the physically handicapped) needs a home automation and multimedia system.  It's a luxury/choice/hobby.

PS: As to signal interference,  z-wave works on a frequency apart from normal wireless (in the US at least). You get more z-wave interference from baby monitors than anything else. Wifi and Bluetooth will bang heads with each other more often.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2012, 02:47:43 pm by JaseP »
See my User page on the LinuxMCE Wiki for a description of my system configuration (click the little globe under my profile pic).

tschak909

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Re: embedded Ethernet control device support in LinuxMCE
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2012, 05:03:01 pm »
Remember that LinuxMCE acts as a mediator for different system busses, so you can mix and match different bus topologies in the system; use the right tool for the job.

-Thom

posde

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Re: embedded Ethernet control device support in LinuxMCE
« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2012, 09:23:36 pm »
* posde is mostly using KNX sprinkled in with DMX512 where it makes sense (RGB LED dimming).

KNX is not (much) more expensive than Z-Wave, IF you factor in quality of the parts. Especially dimmers. There are good ones, and non-working ones ;)

I will continue to use KNX for switching stuff, and DMX for dimming stuff. Together they work without a problem so far.
* posde doesn't tell about the one remaining X10 switch

hari

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Re: embedded Ethernet control device support in LinuxMCE
« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2012, 12:53:41 pm »
Z-wave is great for retro-fit, and the mesh capabilities give it a fighting chance in real life situations (14" solid stone internal walls, that sort of thing). But it is relatively expensive to equip a whole house, and I worry that WiFi, Z-Wave, Bluetooth, Microwave ovens and so on all sharing the same space is likely to cause problems.
Z-Wave does not use 2,4GHz, so no interference from Wifi, Bluetooth, Microwave ovens etc.

Quote
Knx/EIB is a powerful standard, but look at the price of a dimmer or a light switch. I didn't look any deeper for that reason.
when you use REG units you can be cheaper than with Z-Wave depending on your existing wiring..
rock your home - http://www.agocontrol.com home automation

ajward

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Re: embedded Ethernet control device support in LinuxMCE
« Reply #20 on: March 25, 2012, 01:05:47 pm »
@tschak909

I understand. My system is coming out as a combination of DMX, MODBUS, 1-Wire and a bit of X10. The difference is the lights will still come on and the heating will work with just the Barionets running (probably off local batteries). Still controllable from any Orbiter/Media Director of course.

Most of my lighting is LED-based, and it's hard to beat a 9-channel DMX PWM LED driver for £50 (+PSU, but you need that anyway);
DMX mains dimmers can be got for £30-50;
MODBUS is for digital and analogue I/O (I have 9 zones controlled by 14 dampers with 0-10v control), LCD room controls and touch switches;
1-Wire is for the large number of temperature, pressure and flow-rate sensors in the plant room
X-10 is just for integrating a few plug-in lamps into the lighting scenes

@hari, JaseP

My mistake about the frequencies - I haven't used Z-wave because I don't think I need to in a new house. 900MHz is one of the 2G mobile frequencies in Europe, but I'm guessing it's not close enough to interfere.

Andy W.

JaseP

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Re: embedded Ethernet control device support in LinuxMCE
« Reply #21 on: April 01, 2012, 03:13:29 am »
I haven't been to Europe in over 20 years, so I am nobody to talk about z-wave frequency collisions there. But in the US, only legacy (analog) cordless phones and baby monitors tend to collide with z-wave here. I've been pleasantly surprised that as I have added z-wave nodes, the network has become more robust. I'm only smarting that I missed the big Radio Shack exodus from the z-wave retailer market... I saw references to the sales and wish I had picked up a half a dozen appliance modules...

Z-wave is fairly strong as home automation goes... But remember, even the biggest thing in this market is a niche product as far as the general public is concerned... Most of the world is 20 years behind in the home automation scheme of things...
See my User page on the LinuxMCE Wiki for a description of my system configuration (click the little globe under my profile pic).

hari

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Re: embedded Ethernet control device support in LinuxMCE
« Reply #22 on: April 03, 2012, 02:14:08 pm »
My mistake about the frequencies - I haven't used Z-wave because I don't think I need to in a new house. 900MHz is one of the 2G mobile frequencies in Europe, but I'm guessing it's not close enough to interfere.
Z-Wave in Europe does not use the US frequency (908,42 MHz). in Europa ZWave is at 868,42 MHz.
rock your home - http://www.agocontrol.com home automation

totallymaxed

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Re: embedded Ethernet control device support in LinuxMCE
« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2012, 12:00:25 pm »
As per my other thread, I haven't had much luck with reliability from my GC-100 - but i'm still investigating the reasons.

We've found GC products to be very reliable in our experience. So you may have a faulty unit... but in our experience that's very rare indeed.

All the best

Andrew
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