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KBL's CQC Setup
kblagron Wrote:I was very lucky I didn't burn up a pump or the Jandy power center.

Anyway, after doing all this, I ran into some comm port issues, and although at the time I thought they were unrelated, I am thinking they are one in the same.

The Jandy Serial Adapter didn't work anymore, and also the Etherlite 16 adapter would power on but would not send out signals anymore. No worries on either - The Serial adapter was still in warranty, and I bought two backups of the Etherlite 16 box - at least I thought no worries.

Just an FYI - I was rewiring some things around my Jandy equipment and somehow didn't disconnect the power when I hooked the Jandy heater onto the control circuit. Long story short, even when there were no sparks or other signs of trouble, the Jandy Power Center control circuitry was smoked. Only recourse was buying a new Power Center. Multi-hundred dollar lesson learned - even if it's "just control wiring", always disconnect the main power!!
I finally figured out the Digi Etherlite driver a bit better, and learned that you can change individual comm ports to "Typical" or "Less Overhead" in Device Manager so all 16 doesn't have to be set to the same thing. This allowed me to move Rain8net and DirecTV serial control back over to the Etherlite 16, and eliminate the Moxa Uport. I went ahead and left the Moxa installed as it does RS 485 with a switch change, and I hope to get the RCS Thermostat installed soon.

On another note, it looks like I will be taking an assignment in London working 4 weeks there and 3 weeks here, while family stays behind starting in March. I am sure this will slow down my attempts to update the system as much as I have in the past, but I do plan on being involved with the board and CQC.
kblagron Wrote:.... I went ahead and left the Moxa installed as it does RS 485 with a switch change, and I hope to get the RCS Thermostat installed soon.

You can always use a RS-485 to RS-232 converter if you want to remove the card. I use this exact converter (bought from that exact E-Bay seller) with my RCS thermostat. So I can definitely say it works fine and the price is right too.

"Really dear, it was too good of a deal to pass up. Besides, look at what it does now...."
I think my wife is getting a little tired of hearing this :-)
I guess after a few years, you have to expect to start replacing items that just quit working for whatever reason. I have gone through 3 Jandy RS Serial Adapters (2 under warranty, 1 not), but at least I got the pool stuff working again. The Rainnet8 Pro I had quit working as well, and it is still under warranty, but haven't sent it back - possibly a lightning strike took both of those items out.

My biggest feat this weekend was replacing the motherboard on my CQC computer. The motherboard started acting up, causing the ethernet connection to get flakey, along with the fan sounding like a jet engine. It is a Dell Optiplex 745, and normally runs quiet and very little power consumption. Users on the net confirmed it was probably a motherboard issue, and even though it was in warranty, it would of meant boxing it up and sending it to Dell and maybe getting it back in 2 weeks. I found a replacement board, designated new (but I question that somewhat), and replaced it today, and it is back to whisper quiet operation. The best thing is the "new" motherboard cost $20 with free shipping. I bought 2, for the next time :-) it goes out.

I have also gone through numerous routers - I am probably at #5 now, and the one I have now works fine, but the wireless part is acting up. I have been a diehard Linksys fan (why I don't know) for 10+ years, but have made a switch to D-Link, for no better reason that they seem to be more reliable. In additon to the routers, I have had several of the Linksys switches bite the dust. The last router and switches were the Linksys/Cisco Small Business versions, which cost more, but apparently fail just like all of their other ones.

On the horizon, I am slowly coming up with a plan to redo all of my interfaces. The ones I have now are functional, but are basic and boring. I hope to start building these and implementing them in the near future.
For routers, I strongly recommend using something that is compatible with DD-WRT or Tomato. I also recommend using separat (e devices for router, wireless access point, and even a separate network switch.

Since moving to DD-WRT and Tomato (I use one of each), I have had zero problems. I'm using a Linksys WRT54Gfor the router and a La Fon router for the WAP.

"Really dear, it was too good of a deal to pass up. Besides, look at what it does now...."
I think my wife is getting a little tired of hearing this :-)
I got the D-Link DGL-4100 GamerLounge Router along with the D-Link DAP1522 Wireless Access Point, and it is up and running. I think the older Linksys routers were much more reliable, but I really wanted the 1000 Mbps and N Wireless capability, and since Linksys let me down, I am trying a different supplier.

I upgraded my internet to the Comcast Blast Internet Option, and I am now getting 31,000 Kbps download and 1700 Kbps upload speeds, which allows me to run both Slingplayers in London simultaneously.

I will keep the Linksys N router behind as a backup, as my wife and I depend on Slingbox/Slingplayer for all our TV viewing in London, and have already had to change it out once due to the failure.
I haven't posted here in 8 years, so I am guessing nothing significant was worth posting, although I do update my setup monthly at least.

One thing I finally did, and this has been on my to-do list for years, was to program the keypads that I had in each room for the whole house audio.  I had two B&K CT610's (12 zones total), and had keypads in every room, but never quite got around to programming them for anything other than on/off, volume, and input.

Finally, when I changed out the two CT610's for a CT600 as both of the CT610's failed, I decided to spend the time and program the keypads based on a suggestion from IVB a long, long time ago on something he did for the Concerto keypads.   All of the keypads send IR back to the CT receiver, and I was able to use an unused IR device that was built into the B&K keypad programming software to send a code back to the CT, which was then relayed to a USB-UIRT, and set up the client interface on the USB-UIRT so it would process the request.  

This really opened up the use of the keypads, and I find myself using the keypads more than my tablets, touchscreens and phones to turn music on and off throughout the house, especially if I am walking into the room and wanting to listen to music.

With my setup, I have a main menu with AM Radio, FM Radio, Sonos, and DirecTV.  The AM & FM Radio is built into the CT Reciever, but for Sonos, I am able to program each sub-button to control Pandora, Tune-In radio stations, and CQC Playlists along with Previous, Next, Pause functions.  All of these are done by sending an IR code to the USB-UIRT and then it processes the request similar to how it works within the IV.

For DirectTV, I have two rooms that use the B&K HD-6 video switcher and the IR code that is sent for that button turns DirecTV on, and then turns on the B&K HD-6 that sends HD video to the TV.  This requires separate programming for those two keypads, but it was minimal time.

It's a shame that the B&K multi-zone receivers are not made anymore (although I heard they are possibly coming back through the company that bought them).  The keypads aren't the best looking things in the world, but I really like how they work.

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