Author Topic: Automation module  (Read 3077 times)

jondecker76

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Automation module
« on: February 27, 2008, 04:04:05 pm »
I think automation needs separated from lighting.

The lighting module is great and all, but there are so many other devices that would fit better under an "Automation" heading. Everything from x10 appliance modules (that are the same as light modules except they don't respont to "All Lights on/off functions), to custom devices such as sensors and devices that need to be read and/or controlled - but aren't lights.
For example, all of the outlets in my house are x10 controllable. But some may have fans plugged into them, or other non-light type devices. Currently in LMCE, i have to put them as light-type devices to control them with LMCE from my orbiter.

I think we need to work more towards separating the Automation scenario from the Lighting scenario. What does everyone else think?

darrenmason

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Re: Automation module
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2008, 10:57:34 pm »
I thought the same thing reading your post. But perhaps fans need to popup in the climate section?

However, I guess an 'Automation' heading might make sense for things like irrigation systems, pool pumps, door latches etc

Are we getting too clutterred then though?

Does anyone know the degree or effort to add another category - I'm guessing that it is just a whole lot of code replication and updates, some gui designer work and possibly some DB work.

I know other people have commented in the past similar to yours.


Zaerc

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Re: Automation module
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2008, 12:53:48 am »
I think most of those could be put under existing categories, like motion sensors and door latches under security, fans, sprinklers, pool pumps and such under climate, etc.  Is there anything that couldn't fit in the existing categories?
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bulek

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Re: Automation module
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2008, 03:33:40 am »
I think most of those could be put under existing categories, like motion sensors and door latches under security, fans, sprinklers, pool pumps and such under climate, etc.  Is there anything that couldn't fit in the existing categories?
Hi,

I think we need more generic support for devices. That means that devices are categorized on Floorplan acording to their category... so if I change category of x-10 outlet connected to irrigation, it can be added to climate category... Currently, AFAIK some devices are hardcoded...

For instance if you want to add drapes or blinds to the system - currently no proper support. But there is workaround - you can add dimmable light switch (so you get controls 0-100%) and then just change it's icon to blinds or drapes - but when you change icon, it's not displayed on floorplan of Orbiter. Therefore I assume there is some hardcoded check up....

HTH;

regards,

Bulek.
Thanks in advance,

regards,

Bulek.

totallymaxed

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Re: Automation module
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2008, 12:21:51 pm »
I think automation needs separated from lighting.

The lighting module is great and all, but there are so many other devices that would fit better under an "Automation" heading. Everything from x10 appliance modules (that are the same as light modules except they don't respont to "All Lights on/off functions), to custom devices such as sensors and devices that need to be read and/or controlled - but aren't lights.
For example, all of the outlets in my house are x10 controllable. But some may have fans plugged into them, or other non-light type devices. Currently in LMCE, i have to put them as light-type devices to control them with LMCE from my orbiter.

I think we need to work more towards separating the Automation scenario from the Lighting scenario. What does everyone else think?


Hmmm... well I'm not sure i agree 100% with that. In my view we either need a 'universal' Home Automation wizard that knows how to configure/manage all types of devices eg PIR's, Lights, Window/Door open/close sensors, Thermostats, Radiator valves etc etc and also can use X10, z-wave, Insteon etc etc as it's control network... or we need separate z-wave, X10, Insteon setup wizards (all based on the same code but with configs for the devices supported/control network).

For z-wave this is important because you need to add all your z-wave devices to the Master Controller first... so that means not just lighting but all types of devices. But of course the current z-wave focussed Lighting Wizard was created at a time when there was really only lighting modules available.

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ddamron

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Re: Automation module
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2008, 05:09:31 pm »
Currently, the Insteon PLM Ruby code senses the EZRain Insteon Irrigation controller, and installs it as a climate device.  (template 1780 I think)

I agree with jon though, there are a lot of devices that don't quite 'fit'.  Probably the main one is window coverings...
Fans, although they don't exist yet, can go under climate.

What about Sauna's and whirlpools?  I have a Insteonized Sauna that I can't really implement yet.. :)
currently, it's on a ON/OFF switch treated as a light, but that's not a good long term solution.

Also, looking at the breadth of insteon devices (and zwave devices) it might be worth while adding an 'automation' category.

Insteon now also has a automatic Pet feeder :)  How do I set that sucker up!?!?

HTH, and best regards,

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1audio

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Re: Automation module
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2008, 04:51:43 pm »
Long before LMCE was released "climate" was to be "environment". However that was decided to be too unfriendly on the UI.

bulek

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Re: Automation module
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2008, 08:54:10 pm »
Long before LMCE was released "climate" was to be "environment". However that was decided to be too unfriendly on the UI.
What about using "Devices" ?

I have around 120 devices in my new house, and have lighting and security floorplans and menus filled, but climate is much less populated, cause I cannot put any usable device in it... I mostly use "lightswitch" trick for any other  simple on/off device...

Thanks in advance,

regards,

Bulek.
 
Thanks in advance,

regards,

Bulek.

jondecker76

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Re: Automation module
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2008, 05:18:13 pm »
I really like the idea of changing "Climate" to "Devices".. Lighting, i believe, still deserves its own category..  If this doesn't seem to fit right, maybe just the addition of "Devices".

Of course, in any case, a greatly expanded set of Floorplan Icons needs implemented for this as well (I'm getting pretty comfortable in HADesigner now, so this part isn't that hard really. Its something I'm planning on getting to anyways).

Pros&Cons for changing "Climate" to "Devices":
Pro - most of the logic is already there
Con - a lot of variables/constants/MySQL table entries would need changed to make it "clean"
Pro - the buttons remain the same size on the screen, without the addition of a new scenario row to clutter the UI
Con - Disapproval by other users that heavily use the Climate scenario row.

Pros and Cons of making a new "Devices" scenario row:
Pro - Would offer much much greater flexability for users that want control over more than just Lights and thermostats
Con - An entire new plugin would need developed. This also includes a lot of changes in HADesigner.
Pro - It would provide an opportunity to fully document exactly everything that would go into making a new plugin and all of the changes necessary in the database and in HADesigner...
Con - Screen realestate is important, and adding another scenario row may make the UI a bit more cluttered than we want it to be..


Anyone else have some input on this?

Zaerc

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Re: Automation module
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2008, 06:19:48 pm »
Apart from the automatic pet feeder (which I would probably bluntly chuck under "climate" anyway), I still haven't seen anything mentioned that does not fit under the existing categories. 
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jondecker76

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Re: Automation module
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2008, 07:45:09 pm »
I can think of many devices..
Saunas
whirlpools
Level sensors (water in the basement? Propane tank level? Cistern Level?)
Garage Doors(open/close)
Swimming Pool automation (recirculation pump, water heater...)
Fish Pond/Fish Tank items (timed aerators, waterfalls, etc etc)
Water heaters, other appliances (to turn on at your vacation home before you get there for example)
Alternative Energy (how many amps is my solar panel producing? How many RPM's at my windmill?... etc)
Kitchen appliances (turn your crockpot on/off from work so your meal is ready when you get home.. Turn a cheap $5 coffee maker into one that brews every morning..
Set your shower water temperature (these units are coming way down in price)
irrigation devices
Agricultural devices
Seasonal Yard Displays (Christmas lights and animated displays etc.. that really don't fit in the lighting category)
Sports/Exercise (tennis ball serving machine, baseball pitching machine, etc)
Entertainment that isn't media (traintrack setup)
Decor - in-wall waterfalls, fountains, Light-Up pictures (that isn't necessary lighting either), plasma globes, neon signs
Utility/tool items - control of a trickle charger hooked to a car that you rarely drive that you're storing in the garage
the list goes on and on..

Nobody can convince me that every single thing that can be controlled is of the type Lighting, Climate, Telephone, Media or Security. These items might not be prevalent, but their support is needed for a truely smart home solution.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2008, 08:56:56 pm by jondecker76 »

jondecker76

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Re: Automation module
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2008, 08:37:03 pm »
Quote
For instance if you want to add drapes or blinds to the system - currently no proper support. But there is workaround - you can add dimmable light switch (so you get controls 0-100%) and then just change it's icon to blinds or drapes - but when you change icon, it's not displayed on floorplan of Orbiter. Therefore I assume there is some hardcoded check up....

There is no hard-coded checkup. So long as you make a new image with the same name and the same resolution, and replace the original image (in /usr/pluto/orbiter/skins/Basic/Icons/map off the top of my head) then it should work. However, you do have to do a full regen of the orbiter and a reload before you would see changes in the icons displayed. This is because the source icons are pretty large, and OrbiterGen must scale them down for the target orbiter platform.

Zaerc

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Re: Automation module
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2008, 12:23:00 pm »
I can think of many devices..
Saunas
whirlpools
Level sensors (water in the basement? Propane tank level? Cistern Level?)
Garage Doors(open/close)
Swimming Pool automation (recirculation pump, water heater...)
Fish Pond/Fish Tank items (timed aerators, waterfalls, etc etc)
Water heaters, other appliances (to turn on at your vacation home before you get there for example)
Alternative Energy (how many amps is my solar panel producing? How many RPM's at my windmill?... etc)
Kitchen appliances (turn your crockpot on/off from work so your meal is ready when you get home.. Turn a cheap $5 coffee maker into one that brews every morning..
Set your shower water temperature (these units are coming way down in price)
irrigation devices
Agricultural devices
Seasonal Yard Displays (Christmas lights and animated displays etc.. that really don't fit in the lighting category)
Sports/Exercise (tennis ball serving machine, baseball pitching machine, etc)
Entertainment that isn't media (traintrack setup)
Decor - in-wall waterfalls, fountains, Light-Up pictures (that isn't necessary lighting either), plasma globes, neon signs
Utility/tool items - control of a trickle charger hooked to a car that you rarely drive that you're storing in the garage
the list goes on and on..

Nobody can convince me that every single thing that can be controlled is of the type Lighting, Climate, Telephone, Media or Security. These items might not be prevalent, but their support is needed for a truely smart home solution.

Still most of those fit just fine under the existing categories, for example: Saunas, whirlpools, Level sensors, Swimming Pool automation, Fish Pond/Fish Tank items, Water heaters, shower water temperature, irrigation devices and Decor - in-wall waterfalls all fit nicely under climate.  Garage Doors go under security and stuff like Seasonal Yard Displays and Light-Up pictures do fit fine under lighting.

But like you said, nobody can convince you, so I guess there is no point in debating this any further.
"Change is inevitable. Progress is optional."
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jondecker76

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Re: Automation module
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2008, 12:46:38 pm »
Maybe we just have different views on the definition of Lighting and Climate.

For me, the term Lighting means a device used to bring an approximation of sunlight into an area without sunlight so that I can see better. This is why, to me, things like seasonal decorations, pictures and other decorative objects seem out of place as a Lighting device - they aren't used to approximate sunlight, or to help me see better in an area without sunlight, they are simply decorations.

Likewise, Climate, to me, means a device used to control the comfort level of the air (just as how the term is used in weather - temperature, humidity and wind)..  This is why waterfalls, swimming pools, irrigation, etc seem out of place in Climate.

My point is, there is your view on these definitions, there is my view on these definitions, and there are probably an infinite number of views inbetween - depending on who you ask. By having an Automation or Devices type of category, we move from a setup that fits only one type of view, to a solution that can pretty much fit anyone's type of view. (I.e. if someone feels that Device_X isn't a light, and isn't a climate device, then they certainly can't argue that it isn't a "Device").

And don't get me wrong, i'm not trying to be arguative or trying to change your point of view. I'm simply trying to state that there are other points of view on this (and not just my personal point of view) and I feel its important to have a system designed that can cater to everyone.