new system - HW+SW

Forum about Domotica Home Automation for dummies, is only for the real beginner questions.

Moderator: TANE

new system - HW+SW

Postby WooTz » Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:42 pm

Hi All,

I want to start with Domotics in my house. I dont have any hardware at this moment but would like to start adding. I will most likely create my own software due to flexability to embedded platforms (.NET Micro).

I'd like to use the following hardware:
-Temperature /Humidity
-Switch / Dim
-Power usage

Later on motion etc...

However after reading several days im not quite sure where to start. For power usage I guess plugwise is the best way to go. But for temperature / humidity / switching etc.. i can't figure out what to use.

Z-Wave looks very main stream in Europe, but temp/hum is really expensive. The oregon modules look a lot cheaper, but require RFXCom (transmitter=quite expensive). For switching I think KAKU is quite good to use (and will also work without the computer).

I saw a thread of using a JeeLink for KAKU communication. Can this also read the Oregon modules for temp/humidity?
Are there people using standard XBee modules? Will these take over from Z-Wave?

I have no interest on working on hardware, but I can manage the software part. So all the modules should be kind of plug and play.

is xPL becoming an accepted standard? I saw that the RFXcom supports it, but that is about it.

Hope some of you can guide me in the right direction.

Thanks!
WooTz
Starting Member
Starting Member
 
Posts: 31
Joined: June 2011

Re: new system - HW+SW

Postby Alexander » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:04 am

I can't help you with all your questions.
Z-Wave is more of becoming a standard in Domotica.

The problem can be that you will get reactions from members whom are pro z-wave, or pro X10/A10. Ofcourse it can help you in your decision making, but can also make it very hard. There are a few members that have gone through all these technology because of the many years of having Domotica.

I began in 2007 I think, directly with Xanura A10 switches and dimmers. Mostly because I'd "copied" it from bwired.nl and reading this on this forum. Next was the RFXCOM receiver and transmitter. The transmitter for the curtains (Which i'd also read on bwired.nl) I'd bought for the new house. The receiver was for the X10 wireless devices (The MS13 motion detectors), weight scale and central power usage monitoring (RFXpwr). I'd already got into problems with the Xanura stuff. Like everyone you have to have filters in your home to have a nice powerline with low noise. There were issues, like plugging in a charger for the phone did already gave problems for Xanura switches to reach the receiver connected to the computer. I was disappointed that to overcome these issues i'd to plug a filter between the device and socket. This wasn't workable for me (And I don't understand why somebody would take this hassile currently).
So than there was Z-Wave. Started with the Duwi switches and dimmers. Man was that a difference, no issues any more of not reaching the signal. Only issue: No status update with you switch or dim locally. The pc will not receive the signal, because it isn't in the product. You can configure polling, but that is not realtime ofcourse. Creating events based on that.... nightmare.

So what I've running currently? Only the Zwave dimmers and switches, but my server is down at the moment (capacity issues). The RFXCom stuff is still powered, but I don't use it. I will disconnect it, because I don't see use of it anymore to monitor the power consumption without knowing which device is using power. The RFXtransmitter is in use for the curtains, but I think I will sell this one also and just wire a remote of the curtains to the computer.
So If you would ask me what my plans are:
- Z-Wave for switching/dimming
- Zigbee devices for monitoring (temp etc...) or create own devices with devices like JeeNodes. But If Zigbee stuff will not be available in NL on a bigger scale, Z-Wave would be my choice.
- Z-Wave/Zigbee devices for power consumption. The in-wall switches will also monitor power consumption... nice i think. Plugwise has it's own system. I'd that system too, but sold it. I will go for the Z-wave stuff.

Having multiple technologies in your house also mean you would need to have more interfaces for your computer: Z-Wave stick, Zigbee Stick, Plugwise Stick, JeeNode Stick, RFXCom (If you use the USB version). I didn't had that many protocols in home, which I'm happy of now. It's like betting on more horses. Or ofcouse you love the technologies and "hobbybob" those into your home. I don't have the time any more and frankly I don't want to.
Alexander
Alexander
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 1532
Joined: March 2007
Location: Netherlands

Re: new system - HW+SW

Postby WooTz » Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:54 am

Hi,

Thanks for your reply. I'd definately will not use the X10 :-) I've seen enough people with problems on that protocol.

I think ZigBee is very interesting, but I have troubles finding the right information for modules. Most of the things that I have seen are loose PCBs and i'm looking for market-ready products.

I will browse the ZigBee site some more.

Thanks!
WooTz
Starting Member
Starting Member
 
Posts: 31
Joined: June 2011

Re: new system - HW+SW

Postby Francois » Mon Jul 11, 2011 4:23 pm

Alexander wrote:I can't help you with all your questions.
Only issue: No status update with you switch or dim locally. The pc will not receive the signal, because it isn't in the product. You can configure polling, but that is not realtime ofcourse. Creating events based on that.... nightmare.


Hey Alexander,

Do I understand you correctly that the devices do not send any status information if something changes beacuse of local interaction? In case of Homeseer, the device status will not be updated if operated manually?
Do you have any idea what the polling interval in Homeseer can be configured for (if at all possible). It will probably depend on the time it takes to poll a single device (and I wonder how long that takes). In other words, how many devices can I poll in one minute..
Francois
Francois
Member
Member
 
Posts: 255
Joined: April 2008
Location: Netherlands

Re: new system - HW+SW

Postby Mdamen » Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:57 pm

Francois wrote:
Alexander wrote:I can't help you with all your questions.
Only issue: No status update with you switch or dim locally. The pc will not receive the signal, because it isn't in the product. You can configure polling, but that is not realtime ofcourse. Creating events based on that.... nightmare.


Hey Alexander,

Do I understand you correctly that the devices do not send any status information if something changes beacuse of local interaction? In case of Homeseer, the device status will not be updated if operated manually?
Do you have any idea what the polling interval in Homeseer can be configured for (if at all possible). It will probably depend on the time it takes to poll a single device (and I wonder how long that takes). In other words, how many devices can I poll in one minute..


This is not really a Homeseer limitation, but more a license issue. Only one manufacturer can use status updates (can't remember which one)
Polling is just a matter of seconds (max 1-2 seconds) so one minute as poll interval should work fine.
Mdamen
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 390
Joined: November 2008
Location: Netherlands

Re: new system - HW+SW

Postby WooTz » Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:03 pm

Hi Alexander,

Thanks for your valuable feedback. I agree in cutting down as many protocols as I can.

I had a look at ZigBee but I tought it was not really available in Europe, but browsing some more I do find some modules. I may want to look at this further for temperature/humidty.

Z-Wave probably has the nicest wall-switches.

I'm still looking for the power consumption information. Can anyone comment what documents/techniques they have used to develop their Z-Wave or ZigBee drivers?
I had a quick look at the specification for ZigBee, but thats quite some pages and really not with the protocol information.
WooTz
Starting Member
Starting Member
 
Posts: 31
Joined: June 2011

Re: new system - HW+SW

Postby John » Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:50 pm

The new duwi switches will change the status information so polling is not longer required.

John
John
Member
Member
 
Posts: 143
Joined: August 2010

Re: new system - HW+SW

Postby Francois » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:32 pm

John wrote:The new duwi switches will change the status information so polling is not longer required.

John


How about Merten Connect, do they support status information?
Francois
Francois
Member
Member
 
Posts: 255
Joined: April 2008
Location: Netherlands

Re: new system - HW+SW

Postby Alexander » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:33 pm

Francois,

I don't have to answer your first question i think? ('cause Maarten already did)
Maarten can't recall the manufacturer, but it's Merten ;-) (Come on Maarten, its almost your name. Don't forget anymore okay? :D )
So that answers your last question.

But don't forget that Merten has nice products, but you'll have to have multiple parts to combine as one switch or dimmer. Costs will go up quickly.
As John stated, the new (not released yet) Duwi switches has the realtime status update. Ask Enver for more information (Check his updates about these products). I'm waiting for Qees.

The polling mechanism works fine, but it will consume CPU cycles ofcourse. On my Atom system (which is off right now) with 8 switches it got to a continue 80% usage because of this. And to be honest, forget any products that will not update realtime. You will regret it.
Alexander
Alexander
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 1532
Joined: March 2007
Location: Netherlands

Re: new system - HW+SW

Postby Francois » Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:43 am

Alexander wrote:Francois,

I don't have to answer your first question i think? ('cause Maarten already did)
Maarten can't recall the manufacturer, but it's Merten ;-) (Come on Maarten, its almost your name. Don't forget anymore okay? :D )
So that answers your last question.

But don't forget that Merten has nice products, but you'll have to have multiple parts to combine as one switch or dimmer. Costs will go up quickly.
As John stated, the new (not released yet) Duwi switches has the realtime status update. Ask Enver for more information (Check his updates about these products). I'm waiting for Qees.

The polling mechanism works fine, but it will consume CPU cycles ofcourse. On my Atom system (which is off right now) with 8 switches it got to a continue 80% usage because of this. And to be honest, forget any products that will not update realtime. You will regret it.



Alexander,

thanks for the confirmation, great to hear that Merten is supporting status updates, thats something I have always been missing with X10. Do you use merten yourself or something else beacuse of the polling metrics you could provide?

You are right about the prices, I have checked in the Netherlands and found Merten is not a common product. Most wholesale shops will charge you listprices and nothing less. Wim (Wim2008) recommended an online shop in Grmany htp://www.ksh-technik.de and I previously found several others like http://www.eibmarkt.com/ and http://www.voltus.de. Their price policy is a lot nicer but I do agree it's still not cheap.

I am planning to start with a small install in paralell to the existing X10 modules and if it proves to be (a lot) more reliable I'll probably gradualy replace the X10 modules.

The only think I don't like is that I have to buy a Merten USB controller to program all modules and setup the network but that this box does not work with Homeseer and I need an additional AEON stick to interface.
Francois
Francois
Member
Member
 
Posts: 255
Joined: April 2008
Location: Netherlands

Re: new system - HW+SW

Postby Mdamen » Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:26 am

Alexander wrote:Francois,

I don't have to answer your first question i think? ('cause Maarten already did)
Maarten can't recall the manufacturer, but it's Merten ;-) (Come on Maarten, its almost your name. Don't forget anymore okay? :D )


:lol: :lol: :lol:
I won't forget it anymore :-)

Btw, the CPU time is enormous.. is that with Homeseer? How often are you polling?
Mdamen
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 390
Joined: November 2008
Location: Netherlands

Re: new system - HW+SW

Postby Alexander » Wed Jul 13, 2011 5:58 pm

Francois wrote:thanks for the confirmation, great to hear that Merten is supporting status updates, thats something I have always been missing with X10. Do you use merten yourself or something else beacuse of the polling metrics you could provide?


No I don't use Merten. I'm using the Duwi switches/dimmers. So, the polling stuff. But i'm low key at the moment. System is down. I need a bigger server to support all the VM's. Hope to buy it next week. But besides the polling and flicking of the lights @ standard times, I'm happy with these switches.

The two main reasons I'm waiting for qees is a) Power metering within the switches/dimmers b) realtime update. I don't kwow if the new Duwi switches do support the power metering stuff. (Enver?)
I'd the Xanura switches and other X10 inwall stuff. Besides the X10 protocol issues I did come to the conclusion that switches which need to be placed behind the standard switches is rather a time consuming business (And frankly, I can use my free time better and it irritates me (you have to wire the stuff to the regular switch)). So basicly I skip Merten because a) of its price b) installation time consuming. Qees and Duwi provide switches with plates.

Mdamen wrote:Btw, the CPU time is enormous.. is that with Homeseer? How often are you polling?


Yep HomeSeer. To answer your question you need to remember that if you set the polling to x seconds, the updates within HS will be delayed with maximum of x seconds. If you have events created based on the device changes, you will end up with x seconds start delay. And now, that is not what you want, If i may spit out my opinion. I'd it on 1 second and 5 seconds, but it doesn't matter. The polling system does take time to retreive the device status. If you have 10 devices, you will end up with a CPU active time of 10 multiply by the time its take to receive the update. So, for example if the total time of receiving the status and setting its value is 500 ms... You will end with 5 seconds of polling. Now if you set this to 5 seconds each device (you set it per device!!)....
Alexander
Alexander
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 1532
Joined: March 2007
Location: Netherlands

Re: new system - HW+SW

Postby Mdamen » Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:33 pm

Alexander wrote:Yep HomeSeer. To answer your question you need to remember that if you set the polling to x seconds, the updates within HS will be delayed with maximum of x seconds. If you have events created based on the device changes, you will end up with x seconds start delay. And now, that is not what you want, If i may spit out my opinion. I'd it on 1 second and 5 seconds, but it doesn't matter. The polling system does take time to retreive the device status. If you have 10 devices, you will end up with a CPU active time of 10 multiply by the time its take to receive the update. So, for example if the total time of receiving the status and setting its value is 500 ms... You will end with 5 seconds of polling. Now if you set this to 5 seconds each device (you set it per device!!)....


I understand the problem, but I still think CPU load is really high. I'll do some performance tests with polling. Polling one specific z-wave class shouldn't take more then 100ms max..
However it could take a really long time if you poll all the z-wave classes, but that's not really required for light switch changes. Yet, the polling system is still stupid if you ask me..
Mdamen
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 390
Joined: November 2008
Location: Netherlands


Return to Domotica for Dummies Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest