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General => Users => Topic started by: Veidit on January 01, 2008, 05:37:09 pm

Title: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: Veidit on January 01, 2008, 05:37:09 pm
Hello

I am looking for home automation hardware that work with 230V and something that I can buy in Europe (hopefully Sweden) that either I or an electrician can install? It also needs to work with LinuxMCE or that can easily be added? Perhaps totallymaxed knows something?
Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: Veidit on January 01, 2008, 05:48:00 pm
X10 hardware is avaliable to buy in sweden (and also something called waveman) but is ZigBee or Z-Wave better?

I am looking to dim the lights when I turn a movie on or turn on all lights as soon as I come home (perhaps turn off all the lights from the bed)
Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: posde on January 01, 2008, 06:27:08 pm
Hello,

have a look at the European-Installation-Bus. Lots of companies to choose from. Not cheap, but very versatile.
See http://wiki.linuxmce.com/index.php/EIB (http://wiki.linuxmce.com/index.php/EIB).

rgds
Oliver
Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: Veidit on January 01, 2008, 06:44:24 pm
Yes but it seems a bit overkill or am I wrong?
Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: hari on January 01, 2008, 06:49:37 pm
http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/PLCBUS
Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: posde on January 01, 2008, 07:27:47 pm
Yes but it seems a bit overkill or am I wrong?

It depends on your wants and needs. It sure is more expensive than things like X-10. I recently priced EIB just for kicks.

Starting with the needed stuff is about 300EUR, plus around 100-150EUR per device you want to control.

rgds
Oliver
Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: ddamron on January 02, 2008, 01:46:06 am
Looks like I'll be implementing PLCBUS next...  It seems to be in the right position for 50Hz countries..
It's 2-way, designed for 50Hz 240V.. seems to be a good fit.

Dan
Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: Amathus on January 02, 2008, 08:54:31 am
A.CS are relasing 220 / 230  / 240V / 250V / 50Hz UPB March 2008  :- contact Mario Papas / A.CS mariopapas@optusnet.com.au
Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: nite_man on January 02, 2008, 09:53:02 am
Looks like I'll be implementing PLCBUS next...  It seems to be in the right position for 50Hz countries..
It's 2-way, designed for 50Hz 240V.. seems to be a good fit.

It'd be nice. Since you already have a big experience with similar INSTEON implementation. You can find the protocol description here - http://x10-hk.com/store/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=11&products_id=165&osCsid=79a25bd5130ce6e1e994760b29ef9f1b (http://x10-hk.com/store/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=11&products_id=165&osCsid=79a25bd5130ce6e1e994760b29ef9f1b)
Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: totallymaxed on January 02, 2008, 10:11:12 am
Hello

I am looking for home automation hardware that work with 230V and something that I can buy in Europe (hopefully Sweden) that either I or an electrician can install? It also needs to work with LinuxMCE or that can easily be added? Perhaps totallymaxed knows something?

Well you have the following options currently;

lmce-0704 & lmce-0710 both have X10 and z-wave drivers build-in but in both cases communication is only from the Core to the device with no data returning to confirm status of a device etc.

Then you have the option of waiting for Dan's new X10 or PLCBUS drivers which will be full two way drivers. It looks like Dan is close to having a stable release of his X10 driver.
Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: totallymaxed on January 02, 2008, 10:42:17 am
X10 hardware is avaliable to buy in sweden (and also something called waveman) but is ZigBee or Z-Wave better?

I am looking to dim the lights when I turn a movie on or turn on all lights as soon as I come home (perhaps turn off all the lights from the bed)

Waveman is based on a proprietary protocol developed by Aurex Industries in Taiwan.

As to whether Zigbee or z-wave is better... I'm not sure thats the right question to ask. At present we do not have a driver for Zigbee - it would be great to have one though. The current problem with Zigbee though is that as far as I can tell there are no companies out there manufacturing devices you can actually install in a home - there are plenty of companies selling the zigbee radio modules to build into devices but thats about it.

We need to make it easier to add drivers for new home automation control technologies to LinuxMCE - LinuxMCE is 'agnostic' about which standard or protocol is actually used already but adding driver support is not as easy as it could be. Partly that is because of a lack of documentation and partly because we need to have a more developed framework into which protocol specific drivers can be quickly added. Work on this is underway.
Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: ddamron on January 02, 2008, 03:52:21 pm
Hello

I am looking for home automation hardware that work with 230V and something that I can buy in Europe (hopefully Sweden) that either I or an electrician can install? It also needs to work with LinuxMCE or that can easily be added? Perhaps totallymaxed knows something?

Well you have the following options currently;

lmce-0704 & lmce-0710 both have X10 and z-wave drivers build-in but in both cases communication is only from the Core to the device with no data returning to confirm status of a device etc.

Then you have the option of waiting for Dan's new X10 or PLCBUS drivers which will be full two way drivers. It looks like Dan is close to having a stable release of his X10 driver.

Totallymaxed,

I haven't written a X10 driver as yet..  the Insteon driver I'm writing ALSO does X10..
Unless there's a HUGE petition for it, I doubt I will write a replacement X10 driver.. the spec is just too old..
Especially when there will be  PLCBUS and Insteon drivers available...

Regards,

Dan
Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: totallymaxed on January 02, 2008, 05:49:09 pm
Hello

I am looking for home automation hardware that work with 230V and something that I can buy in Europe (hopefully Sweden) that either I or an electrician can install? It also needs to work with LinuxMCE or that can easily be added? Perhaps totallymaxed knows something?

Well you have the following options currently;

lmce-0704 & lmce-0710 both have X10 and z-wave drivers build-in but in both cases communication is only from the Core to the device with no data returning to confirm status of a device etc.

Then you have the option of waiting for Dan's new X10 or PLCBUS drivers which will be full two way drivers. It looks like Dan is close to having a stable release of his X10 driver.

Totallymaxed,

I haven't written a X10 driver as yet..  the Insteon driver I'm writing ALSO does X10..
Unless there's a HUGE petition for it, I doubt I will write a replacement X10 driver.. the spec is just too old..
Especially when there will be  PLCBUS and Insteon drivers available...

Regards,

Dan

Thanks Dan for clearing that up... I realised that detail but forgot to mention it ;-)

I agree there is little point in breaking out X10 into a separate driver if the Insteon code will do the job for both.
Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: hari on January 02, 2008, 05:51:24 pm
I haven't written a X10 driver as yet..  the Insteon driver I'm writing ALSO does X10..
Unless there's a HUGE petition for it, I doubt I will write a replacement X10 driver.. the spec is just too old..
Especially when there will be  PLCBUS and Insteon drivers available...
plcbus also has X10 support with some cheap gateway (additionally includes an appliance plug).

I went through the CM11A device code yesterday. It's not that complicated. But i don't have any X10 devices..

best regards,
Hari
Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: Veidit on January 02, 2008, 06:22:37 pm
PLCBUS seems to be the right choise, now I just need to find shops/sites that sells is (if even possible in Sweden)
Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: colinjones on January 02, 2008, 11:33:46 pm
Is it just me or does anybody else have concerns that the PLCBUS info on the various web sites i have read (primarily the ones Hari put in the wiki, but also thru google searches) seems very thin on the ground?

On the 3 main ones (in Singapore, Hong Kong and China), I couldn't even find the actual PC controller interface PLC. A sparse spattering of a few light switches, and RF modules, but not much else. Not exactly an extensive catalogue, and the info/support stuff wasn't very encouraging either. Am I looking at the wrong sites? I did look at plcbus.com.cn ...
Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: posde on January 03, 2008, 08:45:23 am
Exactly my feelings as well. From my point of view, it might make more sense to "fix" the Z-Wave implementation to support the currently available controllers. The pricing for the components is not that far off, and you have way more choice. At the end of the day you have to have devices to use, and what I have seen on the PLC related sites do not look so promising.

My €0,02.

rgds
Oliver
Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: totallymaxed on January 03, 2008, 10:03:51 am
Exactly my feelings as well. From my point of view, it might make more sense to "fix" the Z-Wave implementation to support the currently available controllers. The pricing for the components is not that far off, and you have way more choice. At the end of the day you have to have devices to use, and what I have seen on the PLC related sites do not look so promising.

My €0,02.

rgds
Oliver

Well there is a lot of logic to what you are saying. The reason Z-wave was focused on previously was because of the wide availability around the world of devices. This is still true. So a simple update of the Driver so that it will work with a current production usb interface is I think effort worth expending as it will deliver a quick and useful result.
Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: ddamron on January 03, 2008, 11:07:13 am
The way I'm implementing 2-way communication is more of a hack..  The proper way, and what the current Zwave device tries, is to implement the communication back via events, not commands..
(I'm currently sending SELF a command from SELF, and ignoring it.  Sounds useless?  Yup.  But it's the only way to 'set' state information.)

The main problem with that is that is was never implemented in LMCE properly, hence there's no events that match the criteria.

Ideally, THAT should be fixed before we 'HACK' too many interfaces..

Bulek has posted bug reports in these regards, and I back him totally.

For what it's worth, zwave is a complicated protocol to begin with.  (more than Insteon, I would say).  and adding 'hacks' to a protocol driver that really is implemented properly, I disagree with.

I'm hoping that the Floorplan Objects, and the HA device objects are updated soon to support more events..  This will GREATLY simplify all HA drivers.

HTH,

Dan

Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: totallymaxed on January 03, 2008, 01:20:49 pm
The way I'm implementing 2-way communication is more of a hack..  The proper way, and what the current Zwave device tries, is to implement the communication back via events, not commands..
(I'm currently sending SELF a command from SELF, and ignoring it.  Sounds useless?  Yup.  But it's the only way to 'set' state information.)

The main problem with that is that is was never implemented in LMCE properly, hence there's no events that match the criteria.

Ideally, THAT should be fixed before we 'HACK' too many interfaces..

Bulek has posted bug reports in these regards, and I back him totally.

For what it's worth, zwave is a complicated protocol to begin with.  (more than Insteon, I would say).  and adding 'hacks' to a protocol driver that really is implemented properly, I disagree with.

I'm hoping that the Floorplan Objects, and the HA device objects are updated soon to support more events..  This will GREATLY simplify all HA drivers.

HTH,

Dan



Hi Dan,

My suggestion is that we make a 'quick fix' to the current z-wave driver to allow it to support using a currently shipping z-wave usb interface ( the new ACT unit would seem the choice as the current driver already works with the older ACT interface). This would purely be a temporary fix so that z-wave users could actually go and buy an ACT usb interface and use it right now.

In parallel to the above I would suggest that you, Bulek and PeteK (sorry if I've missed someone out!) work on a simple description that pulls together the changes needed to build a new architecture for supporting multiple home control interfaces 'the right way'. This description should pickup and indentify the target functionality & features and then should identify all the known areas in the current lmce environment that would need to be updated to achieve those. I would suggest that we use Insteon & z-wave as the initial target implementations to prove this new approach with.

Our objective needs to be to deliver a robust 2-way framework that delivers on all the areas that you guys have identified and allows for future changes - and delivers elegance, simplicity & flexibility ;-)
Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: hari on January 03, 2008, 10:49:34 pm
On the 3 main ones (in Singapore, Hong Kong and China), I couldn't even find the actual PC controller interface PLC.
the usb controller is brand new. Watch out, the RF pc interface does not support reading from the bus.

best regards,
Hari
Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: hari on January 03, 2008, 10:59:04 pm
Exactly my feelings as well. From my point of view, it might make more sense to "fix" the Z-Wave implementation to support the currently available controllers.
more sense than what? Supporting more interfaces?
I really looked into Z-Wave, but as i can't afford the SDK i can't fix it myself. PLCBUS is available in Europe. There are plenty of devices (micro modules, rf interfaces, rf remotes, tabletop controller, X10 gateway, plugs, really nice switches, USB interface) and the protocol is open. The manufacturer was very responsive to me. The price will fall when more shops stock the products. So i can't use Z-Wave now and can't write a driver for the new zensys chip revision. For now PLCUSB seems the logical way for me. Your mileage may vary.

best regards,
Hari
Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: colinjones on January 03, 2008, 11:15:50 pm
Hari - any chance you could let me know who you are dealing with? I would like to ask them if they will be supporting the Type I plug/sockets (Australia/New Zealand/Mainland China/Argentina/Uruguay) with modules, and if they have any distributors here in Australia....
Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: ddamron on January 03, 2008, 11:20:43 pm

Hi Dan,

My suggestion is that we make a 'quick fix' to the current z-wave driver to allow it to support using a currently shipping z-wave usb interface ( the new ACT unit would seem the choice as the current driver already works with the older ACT interface). This would purely be a temporary fix so that z-wave users could actually go and buy an ACT usb interface and use it right now.

In parallel to the above I would suggest that you, Bulek and PeteK (sorry if I've missed someone out!) work on a simple description that pulls together the changes needed to build a new architecture for supporting multiple home control interfaces 'the right way'. This description should pickup and indentify the target functionality & features and then should identify all the known areas in the current lmce environment that would need to be updated to achieve those. I would suggest that we use Insteon & z-wave as the initial target implementations to prove this new approach with.

Our objective needs to be to deliver a robust 2-way framework that delivers on all the areas that you guys have identified and allows for future changes - and delivers elegance, simplicity & flexibility ;-)

Bulek has already identified the problems and posted them in mantis. 

he was WAY ahead of me on these notes.   8)
I have verified his findings and posted comments to Bulek's posts (in mantis)
Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: hari on January 03, 2008, 11:48:36 pm
Hari - any chance you could let me know who you are dealing with? I would like to ask them if they will be supporting the Type I plug/sockets (Australia/New Zealand/Mainland China/Argentina/Uruguay) with modules, and if they have any distributors here in Australia....
you want the AU version (e.g. PLCBUS-R 2026AU for the lamp plug).

best regards,
Hari
Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: colinjones on January 03, 2008, 11:59:51 pm
where did you get that from ... :) I couldn't find anything for AU... are you still looking at the NL site, or is this with your contact? Will chase as we discussed.. thanks Hari.
Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: hari on January 04, 2008, 12:17:06 am
where did you get that from ... :) I couldn't find anything for AU... are you still looking at the NL site, or is this with your contact? Will chase as we discussed.. thanks Hari.
http://www.x10-hk.com/store/manual/plcbus/plcbus-2026.pdf lists UK, G and AU styles. I also get that from the price list. But i think i messed up the product code. Omit the "-R".

best regards,
Hari
Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: Amathus on January 07, 2008, 11:39:20 pm
We represent PLLC - a company in Australia who has re-designed UPB for 240V markets - release will be March 2008. If u are interested contact Mario Papas from A.CS at mpap4699@bigpond.net.au - I think UPB can easily be added to MCE.
Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: 1audio on January 08, 2008, 12:27:36 am
Is the 240V 50 Hz version of UPB control interface compatible with the US version? A lot of DIYers are using UPB things here in the US. Its not as fast a network as ZWave but seems easy and cheap to implement. I hope its more reliable than X10 over powerline. it would be nice to have it in LMCE especially if one driver would work worldwide.
Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: darrenmason on January 08, 2008, 03:29:47 am
Colin,

I am quite tempted to get some PLCBUS stuff and see what I can get working. Are you still leaning towards this? It seems to me to be the best option for Australia at the moment. Although, it is still a few hundred dollars for what is currently still an experiment. I noticed they have windows drivers only for their USB adapter - but if the documentation is available then we could probably write a linux driver for it.

Mario,

Do you have any idea of the product range and approximate pricing for the UPB stuff?

regards
Darren
Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: colinjones on January 08, 2008, 03:56:03 am
Darren - I'm trying not to get too far ahead of myself.... let me build my core first :)

But, yes, I've been looking for something that would work in Australia and was easily available here but compatible with LMCE. The Linux driver is what Dan (in Canada) is currently gearing up to write with Hari's help (in Austria I think, or possibly Germany with an Austrian email address!) So that seems already to be underway - hence I have been researching suppliers in Australia. But NOT X10! PLCBUS seems to be the closest fit yet, and with the weight of support from our European buddies, and Dan, we should be in a good position.

Have been talking with the MD from MOX in Australia, who have the PLCBUS products - he tried to sell me their complete HA solution, not understanding what I was doing. I turned it around and tried to sell back to him LMCE as a major value-add to their offerings! :) He hasn't replied yet, I'll see how I go with the evangelising!

The only thing I see as an obvious drawback at this stage is the wall light switches seem to be quite different profiles from Australian ones, and with brick/concrete walls in a rental property that could present me with problems....
Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: ddamron on January 08, 2008, 04:52:02 am
Hi guys..
Just a note on the PLCBUS progress...

The underlying structure is almost complete.  I have designed it to be as Object oriented as possible.  this should decrease bugs substantially.  The protocol seems pretty simple, and 90% of it is now implemented into it's own class object.

Now, the job of :
1.  associating 'DCE' commands to 'PLCBUS' commands
2.  associating 'PLCBUS' responses to 'DCE' commands (bidirectional support)
3.  associating 'PLCBUS' commands to 'DCE' commands
4.  associating 'DCE' responses to 'PLCBUS' commands (if needed, kind of inverted bidirectional support)

To accomplish these, I first need to make sure my PLCBUS class is sending correct commands, and receiving correct responses.

I'm pretty much ready to start the 'integrating' part, which requires access to a LMCE system connected to a PLCBUS interface. (preferrably, with a webcam of some sort, so I can see the actual command execute)

Hari is getting this set up for me.. so, I'm taking this time now to bone up on Ruby more.
The Insteon driver was my first project in Ruby, and I now have a couple books on it.  So, I'm studying...
(and finding all kinds of neat info!)

Regards,

Dan
Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: niz23 on January 08, 2008, 01:32:13 pm
Hi guys!

Hi though I share this with the rest of you.

A couple of days ago I was on my way to order plcbus products when I saw this note about Insteon products beeing available in europe soon.
See, http://smart-home-blog.com/archives/893

I have asked Insteon about what timeframe these products will be released in.
when I get a response back I´ll post it here.

From my personal perspective it seem that Insteon is fare more mature than plcbus. Insteon also feature a lot more bandwith(2kbit-13kbit/s) which make it suitable to do measuring, displays, keypads etc. Plcbus I believe have to low bandwitdth for this purpose (200bit/s) and onle seem to be supported by few companies.

/niz23
Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: ddamron on January 08, 2008, 02:16:58 pm
Sweet!
Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: darrenmason on January 08, 2008, 10:31:46 pm
Dan,

I realise that you are looking at creating the LMCE device for PLCBUS, but has someone actually got serial communications to work with them under linux? If so, which device is this, I am assuming the Serial port based one rather than the USB one. Is this correct?
Hari, are you the one that has the hardware? Can you add anything?

regards
Darren
Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: hari on January 09, 2008, 12:31:14 am
Hari, are you the one that has the hardware? Can you add anything?
received the hardware today. USB Interface, 2 lamp plugs and an appliance plug. I did a small c program to send plcbus commands and was able to assign addresses to the plugs after short time. Talking to the interface is very easy. I now can control my lava lamp from linux ;)

just playing with the other commands and trying to get feedback from the interface.

EDIT: uses a prolific pl2303:
Quote
Bus 002 Device 003: ID 067b:2303 Prolific Technology, Inc. PL2303 Serial Port

best regards,
Hari

Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: ddamron on January 09, 2008, 06:45:57 am
Darren,

I think Hari answered your question..

We looked at that before he ordered the products.. (to make sure we didn't run into the same problem that the zwave USB is dealing with)

Hari, When you're ready, I'm ready!
Lemme know..

Regards,

Dan
Title: Re: Home automation in Europe?
Post by: darrenmason on January 09, 2008, 06:56:21 am
received the hardware today. USB Interface, 2 lamp plugs and an appliance plug. I did a small c program to send plcbus commands and was able to assign addresses to the plugs after short time. Talking to the interface is very easy. I now can control my lava lamp from linux ;)

just playing with the other commands and trying to get feedback from the interface.

EDIT: uses a prolific pl2303:
Bus 002 Device 003: ID 067b:2303 Prolific Technology, Inc. PL2303 Serial Port

Sounds good, I think I will order some stuff as well.

Regards
Darren