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Driver Development Discussion of new drivers, new work on existing drivers, finding someone to write a new driver, etc...

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  #51  
Old 11-01-2006, 08:31 AM
Dean Roddey's Avatar
Dean Roddey Dean Roddey is online now
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Any chance the errors come from clicking too quickly? I had gotten a little clock overlay with a "Please Wait" and immediately after that I get this error. THis time I'm able to recover, but the time when it stopped working was after the same thing.

It's probably the other way around, i.e. the clock is popping up because the driver froze and didn't respond due to the hardware lockup. So the client has to wait for the remote call to timeout and the clock comes up.
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  #52  
Old 11-01-2006, 07:10 PM
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I quickly gave the driver a try tonight.. I sort of got it to turn one light on after several attempts, then CQC pretty much locked up. I had to cycle the service to get it to come back. All of the drivers disappeared fromt he list (I was using the field browser), and they slowly came back, but offline.

I don't know what firmware my USB controller has, so I should check into that. Does SH provide software to do firmware upgrades on the USB controllers?
  #53  
Old 11-02-2006, 02:34 AM
Jonathan Jonathan is offline
 
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The firmware isn't flashable unfortunately...

I've had the driver apart and while the purist in me wants to continue to do direct communication to the PLC, I've found more documentation vs. reality discrepancies and also found that the PLC is very timing sensitive and as I've found, will lock up if you violate timing constraints. This wouldn't be such an issue if the documentation wasn't a year out of date and wrong in many places.

So, I'm considering switching tactics here to going to the SDM using network communication and letting the SDM take care of the hardware interface and as a bonus this means we'd have a single driver that would support the serial and USB versions of the PLC. Obviously the downside is you need to run the SDM executable but I suspect most of you are using the SDM already as it is needed for HouseLinc, PowerLinc, etc.

This would be an invisible change from the view of the templates. This only changes how I'm communicating at the lower level with the PLC not how the driver works or the functionality I'm exposing.

Anyone have an opinion on this potential change of tactic?
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Last edited by Jonathan : 11-02-2006 at 03:40 AM.
  #54  
Old 11-02-2006, 08:30 AM
Prefect Prefect is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Jonathan
Anyone have an opinion on this potential change of tactic?

On a purist level I don't like it, but you can't help that the SH USB interface seems to have been implemented by first graders. I'm a professional hardware/firmware developer by trade (with quite a bit of USB experience), and everything I've heard you say about it is downright scary. No USB device should be that timing critical, especially one that presents itself as HID class! It's absurd. Clearly implemented by people who don't understand USB.

At the end of the day, I just want something that works. If that means having to run the SDM, so be it, as long as it's stable. HouseLinc is really helpful (if klunky and slow), so I do plan to keep that around on the server for managing links, etc.

Maybe I should sign up to be an Insteon developer, perhaps I could give you a hand with it in my not-so-copious spare time. I've written a few CML drivers for CQC so far.
  #55  
Old 11-03-2006, 07:00 AM
Mark P Mark P is offline
 
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So where does this plugin stand as far as working? I have 152 Insteon devices and have them working in a slightly limited fashion in another automation software. One at a time is flawless and smooth. Groups are the same but not to preset Dims ( Ramp rates always work)

To turn on all 152 lights ramping to a dimmed state it has to be accomplished 1 light at a time by a 152 command macro which is really no problem because it takes about 1 minute which is better than going around pressing buttons or ativating one button at a time 152 times.

I am absolute newbie here so what exactly can this plugin do in simple terms I can understand?

I must also add my Insteon products are 2 weeks old and nothing has seemed to not respond or " die" or lockup, I used Houselinc to perfect all my links and two way communication. Houselinc is touchy at best but there is a foolproof way to make everything work if anyone cares to hear how

Last edited by Mark P : 11-03-2006 at 07:09 AM.
  #56  
Old 11-03-2006, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark P
I must also add my Insteon products are 2 weeks old and nothing has seemed to not respond or " die" or lockup, I used Houselinc to perfect all my links and two way communication. Houselinc is touchy at best but there is a foolproof way to make everything work if anyone cares to hear how

I've had my stuff for a few days and so far it's been a bit quirky but functional on the whole. Always curious to hear tips and tricks. It took me a few tries to figure out to keep re-discovering devices that came up as ?? before I could link them... Once I figured that out, it seems OK.
  #57  
Old 11-04-2006, 04:59 AM
Mark P Mark P is offline
 
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could you explain quirky? Are the developers working with new Insteon products or the older buggy Insteon?

With Houselink to work well it must not have anything in RED on the right side, theres even a deep red almost brown on the PLC in some cases, these are caused by several things like changing switches to higher wattage or just plain setting up manual linking and such multiple times. Theres a variety of thngs that make a mess and heres how I cleaned everything up.

If you wrote the numbers down on the switch itself and what light it controls as well as what switches link to this switch, your set and ready to go, I have a Master list of all this info. You will a list like this if you have 150 switches, I originally just installed them, linked them manually, as well as manually to the PLC without writing anything down and this is why I had to figure out Houselinc because 95% of my stuff worked, it was the 5% that bothered me. Most of my troule came with wired in V2Dimmers on 9 deck lights.

In Houselinc if you click a light on the left side placing it in the middle screen to the right and the PLC shows in the box above AS WELL AS below in the responders with no red, brown or any color but black button 1 you are fine. If it has linked switches, they too should show above and below in black, no question marks anywhere on any items. If you have problems anywhere heres what I do.

First I delete any and all links to the switch and save CHANGES to Insteon Network clearing any garbage on the switch, Then remove the actual switch itself and save CHANGES to Insteon Network. In all reality if you have alot of problems it would be easier to just clear everything and start over.

Now add NEW insteon DEVICE and manually type in the 07.R2.D2 ( I had this switch pretty funny) and select what it is, now just click next and next, dont discover it on any of those next screens.

When it shows up on the left side it has question marks but isnt below in unknown, I then re-discover which should add the PLC above with a black button 1, now grab the PLC from the left menu and drag in down below and drop it in the responders, If above and below match with no errors save CHANGES to Insteon Network.

Now any links to this switch need to be added in the same way and after they all look the same you click the Master/Load switch so it shows in the middle device and you drag the link switches to the above and below boxes so theres a PLC and linked switches the same in the above and below boxes. Save CHANGES to insteon network. Now you have 2 way comunication and can show status of the lights on your floorplan even if someone turn on a light upstairs without automation.

The other thing is to setup ramp rates and Dimmed states here as well and make them ALL the same ( responders/linked switch and PLC) save CHANGES to.........

Anything else I have tried can create a problem, maybe not always, but it will.

Now if anyone is loosing switches or having problems with malfunctions theres answers to that too and if someone wants me to post How to hook up the physical switches themselves I have diagrams and such for this, these are not normal switches and need to be installed a certain way or you will have failure guaranteed
  #58  
Old 11-14-2006, 01:32 PM
Jonathan Jonathan is offline
 
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Exclamation Update on my progress

As previously mentioned, I've started working on a CQC 2.0 version of this driver that utilizes SDM3 (SmartHome Device Manager) over TCP sockets instead of raw USB communication. Now that SmartHome is using SDM in their own applications I'm slightly more convinced they are less likely to break it

It means you will have to be running CQC 2.0 beta as this driver needs the SendGET2 method that Dean added in the beta and you will need to have SDM3 running on the PC connected to the PLC running in the tray. The advantages you get are that we will now support the serial version of the PLC and I stop having to deal with strange USB and PLC issues which means a smaller and simpler driver that can support more functionality in the future. You won't need to change any templates, the driver functions the same externally.

For example, I've added X10 receive support to the driver (I needed the receive so that I could trigger events from X10 motion sensors that I have). I did this using raw USB code first, about 50 lines of code, then I replaced it with the SDM version and it became 5 lines of code.

I expect to have the first rev of this new driver available for testing in the next week.
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