Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The End is Near

We'll be moving soon and I've been slowly packing up pieces of our home automation system along with our regular belongings. We've been here over 15 1/2 years and automation is so embedded in the house it's going to take some time to extract it all. We'll be moving into a rental for a little while so HA will be on hold. This was in the cards for a while and part of the reason I've slowed down on automation projects recently. We're planning to sell the house, although we have discussed renting it out. Even though this is Silicon Valley, it's hard to say how much automation I will leave intact. On to new adventures...

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Just Tweaking

I haven't felt like blogging for a while, as I've been distracted with life in general. My son's first school basketball season dominated winter, then both kids were playing Spring league. At work, there was turmoil and uncertainty for the first 6 months of the year, leading my group to be acquihired. So now, I just started work at the new place while my kids are gearing up for Summer league.

I have been doing some minor HA stuff during that time. The TC+ Python code was stabilized and rock solid a few days after my last post. The new HA server was brought online shortly after and I quickly ported my xEngine app to x64. The Haswell based server is so much more efficient, our power usage dropped considerably and I'm now considering another one to upgrade the media server. The BeagleBone Black has been reliably running ZWave, RFID, UPB and the W800. I deployed my first Arduino, just to try out using a DHT11 based humidity sensor. It's not as accurate as I hoped, so I'm still looking for other methods.

Software-wise, I haven't felt the inspiration to undertake any neat, new projects. I'm mostly in maintenance mode, occasionally finding some obscure bug introduced when I ported over to xEngine. Otherwise, everything just works. I did modify the JavaScript and PHP for our AJAX based HA GUI to use JSON, instead of the comma delimted data format I had before. I still have a couple Kinects I haven't done anything with and I'm learning AngularJS right now. With the new job, I'm not sure how much time I'll have to play. Hopefully, I'll have some time and find some inspiration.

Monday, January 13, 2014

HA Revamp Progress

It took about 3 days to get the W800 code migrated over from starCOMUltra and debugged. That's now sitting on an Edgeport 4 port serial to USB adapter connected to the Beaglebone Black, along with 1Wire, UPB and the RFID reader. The last major interface to write was for the JDS TimeCommander+, which I started on January 1. I completed most of it by Friday the 3rd so I was able to shut off starCOMUltra and let my engine run overnight all by itself for the first time. Since I had to go back to work the following week, I probably spent 15 hours a day working on it that last weekend. It's been over week now and I'm still cleaning up code, making the Python interface to the TC+ more reliable and fixing some events that didn't get correctly ported over from starCOMUltra. Last night, I put in the final piece of TC+ support by adding control of the IR Xpander. The next steps will be porting this engine over to x64. After that, hopefully I can start migrating everything to the new server.