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Version 1.6.15 is now available
#1
Charmed Quark Systems, Ltd is proud to announce the 1.6.15 release of CQC (the Charmed Quark Controller), its software-based control and automation system.

Charmed Quark System's automation products provide robust, flexible, and cost effective control of lighting, HVAC, security, home theater, media data, and other systems. It is available in various configurations, which will scale to meet your needs, whether large or small, open or secure, a single room or the whole home. Build your own hardware, or use our pre-built systems. Do it yourself or pair up with one of our integration partners, whatever fits your needs and budget.

What's New
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Version 1.6.15 is a refresh release that brings in some moderate fixes and features that didn't make it into the original 1.6 release. A couple of the new features though were very much requested. The most significant new features are:
  • Metadata Browsing. In previous versions, metadata was only available for the currently playing media, but now you can add metadata repository browsing widgets to your interfaces so that you can preview media before playing it.
  • Omni Pro II Driver. There is a new ethernet based driver for the widely used Omni Pro II automation panel, so CQC now has strong support for both the Elk M1 and HAI Omni panels.
  • Dynamic Field Assignment. The user interface system now supports dynamic field assignment which allows you to reuse a single interface template for multiple zones or multiple devices, and other situations where multiple identical templates would have been needed before, the only differences being the device/fields referenced.
  • User Action Event. A new broadcast event has been added that allows button presses on controlled devices to invoke a configured CQC action. Some devices provide such buttons that are just intended to cause user defined actions, and if the driver can be informed of those button presses, it can send these events.
  • DVDO VP30 Driver. There is a new driver for the DVDO VP30 video scaler/switcher, the followup to the iScan HD which CQC also supports.
  • System Volume/Mute. You can now control the Windows volume level and mute settings, for those folks who are using CQC in an HTPC type configuration.
  • Slider Widget. The interface system now supports a slider widget which can be used to set or display device values graphically, complementing the exising rotary volume knob widget.
  • Interface Variables. You can now set variables in the interface system, which can subsequently be used in other invoked operations. This allows for a lot of flexibility, particularly when used in conjunction with the previously mentioned dynamic field assignment capability.
Product Features
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CQC is a power, networked automation system which provides a broad set of features on which you can build the automation solution you want. It provides 'one stop shopping', so you don't need to combine multiple front and back end products yourself (with all the extra expense and complexity that involves) in order to get a full automation solution. CQC provides the following broad features:
  • Fully networked architecture, which allows you to run CQC on standard computers, wireless tablets, or handheld devices in your home network. You can control your home or home theater, or administer CQC, from anywhere
  • Strong security, so you the system administrator can control who can access what
  • Powerful and flexible and graphical front end which does not limit you in any way. You can build the interface you want using our Interface Designer.
  • Support for over 90 devices from core automation products (lighting, IR, automation panels, etc...) to a broad range of A/V components.
  • Weather data so that you can see current conditions and forecast data in your area at any time.
  • Built in, zero configuration, fully CQC integrated web server which allows you to access your CQC system in a secure way from the road.
  • Scheduled and triggered events allow you to have CQC perform actions at regular intervals or in response to changes in the state of devices under CQC's control.
  • Browse your CDs and DVDs by cover art with full metadata support, kick off the playing of the title you select, and control the player, all from the CQC interface.
  • Embed web browser windows in your CQC user interfaces, to integrate any web based content you want into your system.
  • Built in virtual machine based, object oriented macro language which allows you to write complex automation logic or your own device drivers, with graphical IDE.
  • Access CQC's features via your own code, using the XML Gateway Server, which provides a simple XML over Sockets style interface to CQC.
  • Control applications as though they are devices, so that you can integrate them into your automation solution.
Give it a Whirl
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The product is available in a 30 day unencumbered form, so you can use it to it's fullest extent during that time, in order to see if it works for you. If you decide to buy, you can just license your existing installation, so that you won't have any interruption of your work done during the trial period. To download the installer, click the Try/Buy tab of the main web site menu, or the Try It button in the upper right hand corner.

Then go to the Learn tab of the new web site, and select the Quick Tutorial link, which will talk you through the whole process. You might want to go through the Using CQC section (also under Learn) first, but if you are hands on person you can just dive right in and come back to the Using section later.

Our license is a site license, and all our device drivers are part of the package. So there's just one base package and a few optional packages to choose from. You can then run the client services on any other devices in your home network that you choose.

* There are two versions of the CQC product, a DIY version and a professionally installed version. The DIY version is available for purchase on the web site, and at a very reasonable price, in an 'as is' format, with best effort support provided purely through the CQC support forum.

Sample Interfaces
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Here are some example user interfaces, to give you a feeling for what can be done. These are not fixed interfaces, they were drawn using our Interface Designer, to create a solution that has the appearance, flow, and features that the particular customer desired.

[Image: Ripper1_Preview.jpg]
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[Image: Ripper2_Preview.jpg]
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[Image: Ripper3_Preview.jpg]
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[Image: BnGSample2_Preview.jpg]
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[Image: MoviesOverlay_Preview.jpg]
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[Image: CurMovieOverlay_Preview.jpg]
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[Image: MusicOverlay_Preview.jpg]
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[Image: CurMusicOverlay_Preview.jpg]
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[Image: WeatherOverlay_Preview.jpg]
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[Image: PPCSample.jpg]

[Image: Intf_TV2.jpg]
Dean Roddey
Software Geek Extraordinaire
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