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61
If you are one of the many people who have sent us your thoughts on possibly starting a Home Automation / Smart Home consulting business we'd like to hear from you again in this thread.

If you are happy to share some of your thoughts or ideas in the open then please post them in this thread. I know many of you have some great ideas - so please share them here if you feel happy too.

Thanks again for everyone's feedback and encouragement too!

Best

Andy

62
Dianemo-Rpi2 Preview Release for Raspberry Pi2
A new Era in Smart Home Technology
Add a second license for just $49.50 USD

Before we stop registrations for the Dianemo-Rpi2 Preview we'd like to encourage additional signups from you guys (or someone you may know). We're looking for the following kinds of people to join the preview ;

- Anyone with a 2nd home (we want to have some of you to test linking home automation in two homes together)

- Anyone with a family member living in another location. That family member should ideally be not too technical (again we want to test linking your home to theirs so that you can remotely access some of their system features remotely - allows you to help the other person with the system remotely)

- In addition we would like to test how easy it is for non-technical people to setup the basic Dianemo-Rpi2 system. You would be our local eyes and ears and would report back any issues to us that they hit during setup. There would not be any kind of onerous commitment from you fo this - minimally we want to know how easy the non-technical person found setup.

So if you already have a Preview licence, or are new to the Preview and don't have a license yet - but have a family member who would like to get involved too then please get in touch. We would greatly appreciate your help making the system as simple to setup & use as possible.

In each case the 2nd license would cost just $49.50 USD and this is based on you already having a Dianemo-Rpi2 license obviously. If you don't own a license yet then you can buy one for $99 USD and add the 2nd one for $49.50 USD (but we would ask you to use the 2nd license to assist us with at least some aspect of the above tests)

To order licenses please send an email to inquiries@ellipticalcurve.com with 'Dianemo-RPi2 Preview' in the subject line. Please indicate that you want to purchase an ARM only license, and or a 2nd license, in the body of your email and also include you Paypal details.

Best regards

Andy

63
Marketplace / Dianemo - System Checkups
« on: April 11, 2015, 12:54:32 pm »
Dianemo System Checkup
Get your system checked over for a fixed cost

Dianemo System Checkup is a service where one of our Support Engineers remotely connects to your Dianemo NC and gives it a 'health check' to make sure all the basics are setup and working as they should. It also allows you to report any issues your experiencing and have us look into them for you (the checkup lasts 90 minutes and will cover the basics + anything that can be put right inside that time) - we will either fix them for you or explain what the problem is so you can fix them. Our System Checkup service costs a flat $50 USD.

We've been offering this service to Pro-installers for some time as an add-on they can offer their customers - and it's been incredibly well received.

To book a System Checkup simply email inquiries@ellipticalcurve.com or PM me here on the Forum mentioning 'System Checkup' and with your PayPal details.

All the best

Andy

64
Marketplace / Re: Dianemo-RPi2 Preview Edition - for Raspberry Pi2 FAQ
« on: April 10, 2015, 06:32:03 pm »
Andrew I fail to see how adding an RPi costs only $35 and find this suggestion to be very misleading to the point of this being false advertising.

The pi itself cannot be cannot be acquired for $35.  The pi itself is $35USD + taxes and shipping, this comes to greater than $50CDN dollars for a pi in hand.  An SD card is required ~$10, a power supply is required ~$10, an additional license is required ~$100 (something you fail to mention above).  So with taxes and shipping and the required additional pieces adding an RPi2 MD or UPnP Media Player costs upwards of ~$170USD each.  That is a *very* far from your suggestion of $35 to add an MD.

J.

No additional licenses are required at all from us - see my earlier responses above.

The Raspberry Pi2 is $35USD before tax - but tax varies from state to state, and even country to country, so the bare price is what I quoted (as do the Raspberry Pi foundation on their site too). Yes you may need a power supply and an SD card - but many don't as they have those anyway. Its common knowledge you will need those items if you don't have any spare lying around - I hardly think our readership here needs me to point that out!

So come on - give me a break!

Andy

65
Hi Andrew,

Just a query about the above FAQ.

Q: Will a Dianemo-Rpi2 Core/NC support a local MD & HDMI audio?

While the Rpi2 hardware will definitely support HDMI audio we do not currently plan to support MD functionality on the Core/NC itself. We don't think the performance will be adequate (we may revise this if tests prove performance is not a problem). But since adding another Rpi2 as an MD or as a UPnP Media player is simple and only costs an additional $35 USD we feel that’s an acceptable limitation.

will there be a different image for the Rpi2 as an MD?  Will this license cover the Rpi2 as UPnP Media player?

Thanks
Damian

Yes the license will provide a separate MD image and a Rpi2 compatible UPnP install too.

Andy

66
Dianemo-Rpi2 Preview Release for Raspberry Pi2
A new Era in Smart Home Technology

As part of the Dianemo-Rpi2 Preview we are looking for people who are thinking about, or are interested in starting or expanding into the Home Automation installation business. You don't need to have any previous Home Automation experience or any familiarity with either Dianemo or LinuxMCE to take part in the preview. If you take part in the preview as a prospective new Home Automation installer then we will continue to ask for your feedback after Dianemo-Rpi2 launches and invite you to preview new features and options before they are released.


See our announcement on how licensing will work after we launch and what a great deal the Dianemo-Rpi2 Preview is here; http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=14048.msg101427#msg101427


With Dianemo-Rpi2 we aim to make setting up, configuring and customising Home Automation solutions many times easier than its been in the past. By bringing together super affordable hardware with powerful, simple to configure and customise software we believe we can provide a platform that can enable a new wave of consulting and Smart Home installation businesses.

In the past complex software and expensive PC based hardware were the big limiting factors to being able to build a Home Automation business. The other factor was that the market for Home Automation was small and limited to the wealthy few. But Moores law, and an overwhelming change in the level of awareness, and acceptance of the Internet of Things has opened up the market. Now the time is right for an affordable platform that can be customised, adapted and installed easily. We believe there is a market for this kind of Home Automation product, a product that can be installed at around the same cost as a professionally installed security alarm system. We like to think of Dianemo-Rpi2 as the Wordpress of Home Automation platforms - flexible, infinitely extendable and customisable with plugins and UI themes.

We would like feedback from you on how well the configuration & set-up process works from the perspective of setting up Dianemo-Rpi2 for a customer. We're looking for honest feedback on how easy, or hard you found configuring the system for use. We'd also like to hear about any suggestions you have for improving the set-up experience.

If your excited by Home Automation and you've been thinking about converting your hobby into a business then please sign up for our Dianemo-Rpi2 Preview using the link below and be one of the first of a new wave of Home Automation installers;

http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=14026.msg101298#msg101298
(**Please mention that you are a potential commercial installer when contacting us **)

All the best

Andy

67
Users / Re: Raspberry Pi2 Bencharked Against other Sub 2w Boards
« on: April 01, 2015, 07:09:36 pm »
More Raspberry Pi2 benchmarks;

http://taoofmac.com/space/blog/2015/02/07/1200

Enjoy!

Andy

68
Marketplace / Why Dianemo-Rpi2 ?
« on: March 31, 2015, 11:14:00 am »
Dianemo-Rpi2 - making programming & customization easy
A New Era in Smart Home Technology

In Dianemo-Rpi2 we didn't just want to build a smaller more efficient Dianemo system we also wanted to make it much more accessible to ordinary users. We wanted to make customizing Dianemo-Rpi2 by adding new code much easier for people who are not experienced at writing code and in parallel we also wanted to make laying out & designing UI's a much richer and more visual experience.

Adding the code for a new device template or scenario will be a simple process dragging, dropping and connecting visual objects together. The objects will be written under the hood in Python, and if you are a Python programmer you can create your own objects and add them to the system (these objects will be shareable between users/systems). The process of creating the code for a Device Template will involve dragging some pre-built objects into the editor and connecting them together to indicate how data should be passed from one object to another. If say your device takes input from an door bell for example and needed to react to the button being pressed you would drag out a 'Switch' object and 'watcher' object and connect the 'watcher' object to the 'Switch' objects output. Now when the 'Switch' object changed state ie someone pressed the door bell your system would be alerted by the 'watcher' object and could react in some way. This is a simple example but it explains the high level visual process of adding code to Dianemo-Rpi2.

If you know Python and your device template needs something special that is not in the object library already then you can create a new object by writing some Python code and adding it to it. Most users will not need to know or code in Python and will simply use the standard Objects. Once you have created the logic of your Device Template then you can then layout any UI screens your template needs visually too. Simply drag & drop buttons, sliders & other UI controls into position and associate the UI screen with the visual code object you created earlier and you have a complete Device Template. Device Templates can be shared with other users easily too.

The same visual editing process will make changing or creating Dianemo-Rpi2 UI skins just as easy. Simply open the UI screen you want to modify in the visual layout editor and make any changes by dragging button objects or any others around, add new objects or adjust the layout visually. When your happy with your changes save them. If you are comfortable editing HTML5/Javascript in a text editor then you can edit UI skins that way too. As with Device Templates UI skins can also be shared easily with other Dianemo-Rpi2 users too.

We hope Dianemo-Rpi2 will provide a powerful and accessible visual environment for customizing and extending the system while also providing a rich Python based coding environment for those who know Python and have coding experience. Hopefully both types of user will find Dianemo-Rpi2 a great environment to build and develop in. Obviously I am only providing a very basic overview here and I hope to be able describe more details and in depth examples in the future.

As ever please if you have questions either email them to us here; inquiries@ellipticalcurve.com or post your question here in this thread.

All the best

Andy

69
Users / ...and some more Raspberry Pi2 benchmarks
« on: March 27, 2015, 03:09:01 pm »
More benchmark goodness for your pleasure;


The BeagleBone Black is interesting but it just doesn't have enough RAM and neither does the XM either. In any case the XM is over 4x the cost of a Rpi2. Watch this space is the phrase that comes to mind!

All the best

Andy

70
Users / More Raspberry Pi2 Benchmarks from Hackaday
« on: March 27, 2015, 02:44:59 pm »
Another set of benchmarks here for comparison and one set against the Beaglebone Black again too;

http://hackaday.com/2015/02/05/benchmarking-the-raspberry-pi-2/

Enjoy!

All the best

Andy

71
Marketplace / Dianemo-Rpi2 for ARM FAQ
« on: March 27, 2015, 02:37:47 pm »
I've had many people ask in recent days whether there is an FAQ for Dianemo-Rpi2 for ARM - there is one here;


If the FAQ doesn't answer your question then please either post the question to the thread or email me at inquiries@ellipticalcurve.com

All the best

Andy

72
Users / Re: rpi2
« on: March 27, 2015, 10:22:03 am »
I doubt your statement. 5-6 streams at 10MBit/s are 50-60MBits/s  - 802.11n (which has only been around since 2009 officially), is supposedly good for a thoughput of net 40MBit/s under good circumstances. Repeaters do not enlarge the bandwidth, only the covered area.

Good that your clients did not see any problems.

I will not trust wifi for my media consumption need, except maybe audio.

Its has nothing to do with 'trust' - its simply a matter of engineering, physics and spending the time needed to set Wifi LAN's up properly.

Our clients don't see throughput problems because we spend time installing and optimising their wifi - the results are worth the extra effort/cost (in most cases). There are always situations where a 'thrown' together wifi LAN will do the job - and of course the industry likes to portray wifi LAN's as something anyone can setup in 2 minutes with no technical effort! That's simply marketing crap. But if you want to extract the maximum from wifi then you need to spend the time/effort to get it.

In real world use with a properly configured Wifi LAN (using good quality hardware), and good coverage throughout the property (that's where the wifi repeaters are important and better signal quality translates into better throughput locally from that repeater - not for enlarging bandwidth) 802.11n can deliver 70Mbts+ and with 802.11ac we have networks delivering 90Mbts+. You need to use good quality Wifi AP's (a $45 USD unit will not have the throughput because its SOC and other components simply will never deliver it - a function of cost) and they need to be configured properly - and importantly the resultant LAN needs to be tested, and adjusted, if you want the maximum throughput.

See here; http://www.speedguide.net/faq/what-is-the-actual-real-life-speed-of-wireless-374

We see Wifi LAN's delivering broadly the throughputs mentioned in this article in real world installations - i've been personally involved with 4x such installations so far this year. They are all delivering reliable service at the throughputs mentioned above.

All the best

Andy

73
Users / Re: rpi2
« on: March 26, 2015, 02:11:49 pm »
Because wifi is not meant to transfer large amounts of data. imho wifi is great for getting access, but not for using it with HD content transfers. For example, the current bandwidth used by a public HD broadcaster in Germany is 11MBit/s - now take two people trying to watch that broadcast. In everything but the most perfect situations, you will get a problem.

Well in my experience with a properly setup 802.11n or 802.11ac Wifi network with repeaters to fill in any dead zones etc we have regularly seen 5-6 simultaneous 11Mbts (or thereabouts some HD streams would be slightly higher here in the UK) being accessed without a problem. Of course you will get congestion and buffering if you push the LAN to its limits but there is no need to do that with modern Wifi router/LAN's. Yes you need a well implemented Wifi installation - a single router stuffed in the back of a closet is not going to deliver that. And the installation will be largely driven by what construction is used in the building etc. But all of those can be worked around by using multiple AP's strategically located.

Of course the other factor is that for most of the time, in most situations, there are not 5-6 HD streams being moved across the LAN.

All the best

Andy

74
Users / Raspberry Pi2 Bencharked Against other Sub 2w Boards
« on: March 26, 2015, 01:21:42 pm »
David Hunt Benchmarks the Rpi2 against; Rpi1 B+, Beaglebone Black, Intel Edison, Imagination MIPS Creator C120; http://www.davidhunt.ie/raspberry-pi-2-benchmarked/

Interestingly the Intel Atom based Edison is not that far ahead of the Rpi2 in performance terms on any of the benchmarks but is at least 3x more expensive because of the requirement to add a Baseboard to the main Edison board, and of course it has no community/eco system at all.

Raspberry Pi Foundation have announced that they had shipped around 4.5million Rpi's just prior to announcing the Raspberry Pi2 in late Jan and have since announced that they are manufacturing (& selling) 20,000 Rpi2's a day currently which means that by April they will certainly have shipped over 6 million Rpi's.

All the best

Andy

75
Users / Re: rpi2
« on: March 26, 2015, 11:07:51 am »
The same reason why you wouldn't want Wifi with a disked x86 MD apply to the rpi.

Why's that? We used to build MD's in that config in the distant past...2007-8 or there about.

Andy

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