Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - jgalak

Pages: 1 [2]
Users / Re: Raspberry Pi as Media Directory
« on: December 26, 2012, 04:01:53 pm »
Getting your hands on enough is the first problem...  I got 1, need about a dozen (not for MD use).  Still, nothing out there with the same price/capabilities.

Users / Re: Squeezebox and multi room audio
« on: December 21, 2012, 10:43:36 pm »
I use/recommend these amps!/~/product/category=285320&id=867437  Auto on, Auto Off when not in use.

Can be daisy chained together for single source multi-zone and has second input override for multi-source multi-zone applications.

I want each zone to have its own audio stream.  With the second input, do you mean it can act as an amp for two separate zone?  If so, that's a possibility.  If its just one per zone, that's way too expensive (even one per two zones is pushing the cost higher than ideal).

The kit amp I linked has a controllable mute pin, which I can trip with the GPIO pin on the Raspberry Pi, though auto-off would obviously be easier.

Users / Squeezebox and multi room audio
« on: December 21, 2012, 02:58:10 pm »
Still exploring the multi-room audio idea, and had some questions.  My understanding is that LMCE simply runs a squezeserver instance on the core, right?  So from the point of view of the squeezebox device, it just looks like a normal squeeze server?  Therefore any hardware or software player that works with squeezebox should work?  Including the controls on such device?

Assuming the above is correct, is there any way to route the audio stream outside the internal network and out to the Internet?  There are squeezebox players for iOs and Android that can steream over 3/4G (or wifi) from a squeeze server, and it seems like this would be a nice additional feature.

On the hardware side, I am looking to provide audio, eventually, to 8-12 zones, all pre-wired for speakers.  With that many zones, I'd like to keep prices low, ideally under $100 per zone (excluding the cost of the speakers).  I'd also prefer to use unpowered speakers.  I am currently considering three approaches:

1) Cheap wired device (Raspberry Pi is my top choice right now - $39) running squeezeslave plus a cheap amp ( is my current choice - $29).

2) USB sound card (~$20), plus the same amp.  Running squeezeslave on core.

3) A USB DAC with built-in amp (like the T-30 - $89).  Running squeezeslave on core.

Any other options I should consider in the same price range?

I am also concerned that with the T-30 or the USB sound card, the amp is always on,  which is a power drain, and, more importantly to me, you can get hum/noise from the speaker when there is no audio signal.  With the raspberry Pi, I can use one of its GPIO pins to mute the amp.  I suppose an X10/ZWave switch can be used to power off the amp, but that's another device that must be paid for for each zone...

Another issue is whether with this many zones, will squeeze slave on core be an unacceptable CPU load.  Not that more than 2-3 zones will usually be in use at once, but it's certainly possible that most/all will be on at the same time.

Advice appreciated.

Users / Re: Welcome
« on: December 21, 2012, 03:01:41 am »
What about X10/Insteon support?

Users / Re: Multi-room audio
« on: September 09, 2012, 10:58:58 pm »
I use these auto on amps

Get an extra punch with these usb DAC's

Either work great as  a squeeze slave. Daisy chain the amps to have synced or independent audio in each zone.

Ok, I understand using the USB sound card to get more audio zones, and I understand using that (or another) amp to boost the sound card's output for use with unpowered speakers,  but what are DACs for?  Are they for use instead of the sound card, or am I missing something?

I was actually thinking of using these guys - - as amps, for the low coast and small size.  Would USB sound card -> amp -> normal home theater speaker work well here?

Another thought was to try installing squeeze box software onto a Raspberry Pi (done by someone on the Squeezebox forums), and then using that amp.  Might be too much work though....

Users / Multi-room audio
« on: August 28, 2012, 11:31:16 pm »
Still in the early stages of designing the home system, one of my thoughts is on piping audio to multiple rooms.  I can have the house pre-wired for speakers, but not sure what the best way to do this is.  I would like sound in 5-6 rooms. 

I saw the option of using network audio players (like the SqueezeBox), but that seems expensive to put in each room. 

Can I just put conventional speakers in each room, and wire them to a bunch of sound cards?  Can LinuxMCE support multiple sound cards in one computer and pipe different music to each?  Or would I need a separate media director for each room (expensive for just audio - most of these rooms will not have video).

Any other options?


Users / Newbie camera question
« on: July 04, 2012, 08:27:38 pm »
I am in the early stages of designing an automation system for my new house, and one of the things I'd like to do is have surveillance cameras.  To that end, I have a few questions:

1) Do I understand correctly that with IP cameras I can have either pan/tilt/zoom, or motion-triggered events, but not both?

2) With motion triggered events, is the system able to exclude non-human motion (cats, etc.)?

3) In terms of IP vs. analog cameras, what are the pluses and minuses of each approach?  I plan on a mix of indoor and outdoor cameras, and see at least 3 different options - IP cameras, analog going to motion capture cards (I am expecting about 10-12 cameras, are there any cards that can support that many inputs?), or analog going to a separate security DVR (designed for multiple cameras), most of which have an IP output, not sure if anyone's used any of these with Linux MCE.

I've heard that IP cameras can be laggy, by as much as 8 seconds or so, any truth to that? 

Also, if I have IP cameras and want to output to a TV, I assume I can do that through a media director, but how's the quality in those cases?  Can I have a media director with an HDMI output to get good quality video on the screen?  In the past, hooking up a computer to a TV (using composite or S-video) has left much to be desired in terms of quality, never tried it on an HD TV with HDMI connections.


Users / Re: What to do for lighting - Z-Wave or Insteon or ?
« on: December 27, 2011, 10:59:49 pm »
Is KNX available in the US?  Everything a quick google search found was in Europe.

What's the wiring for KNX?   Cat-5?  Or something else?

Is there a good guide on setting up a KNX system that anyone knows?


Users / Re: What to do for lighting - Z-Wave or Insteon or ?
« on: December 27, 2011, 10:40:22 pm »
I'm in a very similar boat (less the years of following LinuxMCE - didn't discover it till just recently).  It seems that the protocol of choice varied over time.  Searching the forums, it seems Insteon was hot circa 2008, Z-Wave was the top choice around 2010.  What's king of the hill these days?   If you were doing a clean-page design, which system would you go with? 

I'm mostly looking at lighting, maybe eventually door locks and window shades.  Heating will be handled in a different manner, but AC integration would be nice (room a/c at first, maybe ductless central air later on).

Feature requests & roadmap / Re: Tekmar heating controls integration?
« on: December 08, 2011, 01:29:21 am »
Does it have to be in Ruby?  Can the device driver be written in C++?  I've never programmed in Ruby, but did (admittedly, a long time ago) work quite a but in C++

This is a someday project - we haven't finished redoing the house or putting in the new heating system, etc.  But If I go with home automation, I want to wire for it now, even if this part of the project doesnt go into place for a year or two.

Feature requests & roadmap / Tekmar heating controls integration?
« on: December 07, 2011, 07:11:49 pm »
I am planning a new house, and was hoping to install some home automation features.  LinuxMCE seems like a perfect way to go, but one key (for me) feature is missing - I intend to use a Tekmar heating control system (put one in my current house and love it), but I don't see it listed as supported anywhere.  Any chance this is a project someone will be doing in the next few years?  

The full specs for the protocol are on the tekmar website, but I can't seem to post a link to it.  It's on the tekmar control website, search for "482", then click the "Information for Custom Developers" button at the top.

Doesn't look too tough, but not really within my ability to program - I've never done any sort of low-level protocol programming before...


Pages: 1 [2]