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Maximite - anyone considered one?
#1
Greetings to all those I have not forumed with for a while.

Unfortunately I have been away from active CQCing for a while (although my system still chugs away nicely every day) working hard to pay the bills.

However in my travels I have come across, and gotten involved somewhat with a little device called a Maximite, which I thought might have an application with CQC.

Essentially this device is a little computer that runs basic, and is designed to be like a easy to use intelligent embedded device. However it will run standalone as you can plug a keyboard and monitor directly into it ad read and write files to a SD memory card. It has lots of real world interfacing options and more are being developed by various parties. Another benefit is both the hardware and software are open source.

I kind of see it in the same sort of role as the Elk, where it provides hardware interfacing to whatever you want, and then talks back to CQC via the normal driver arrangement.

The advantages I see are it is completely programmable (in fact it does nothing unless it is) and there is a growing list of add on boards (of which I am a part of) for interfacing into all sorts of hardware.

I’m really not doing the device justice with my brief description, but more information can be found at these links.

http://geoffg.net/maximite.html
http://www.hamfield.com.au/
http://www.thebackshed.com/forum/forum_t...asp?FID=16

The way I see it working is to have a CML driver that is sort of universal, and probably generates fields based on information it receives from the Maximite. The maximite has the CQC communications code already written to talk to CQC via serial (or ethernet with one of my add on boards) and the user then adds their own specific code to talk to whatever real world object they wish, as well as doing any sort of logic as well.

Anyway, its just a thought and I would be interested to hear what others think.

Cheers

Rohan
HAMFIELD
Software & Hardware Solutions
Makers of the Translink C-Bus Gateway
for the Apple iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.
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#2
So the bits for managing the hardware I/O are built in, right? I.e. if you don't want to add any logic, it would be effectively a small I/O box as shipped (or after you add the cards you want to it?)
Dean Roddey
Software Geek Extraordinaire
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#3
Yeah, pretty much.

For the purposes of what I’m proposing here the box can be considered as something that talks to CQC on one side and to the real world on the other.

However the I/O is not configured in any particular way out of the box, it is up to someone to load a basic program (almost identical to GW-Basic) that the box then executes to tell it how it should interface into the real world.

For example the box has 20 I/O ports, 2 of which would be dedicated to communicating with CQC, so that leaves 18 to do what you wish. You could make 18 outputs to control loads via relays or whatever or 18 inputs to read the state of stuff or any combination of both i.e. 7 outputs and 11 inputs. The other interesting point is the inputs can read digital state, analogue voltages, and frequency (are you reading this Mick) There are some limitations as to which pins can do what but generally there is enough to go around. The I/O can also be configured to talk specific protocols such as Serial, I2C, SPI with more being added regularly.

The practicalities of the solution would be to copy the basic program onto the Maximites SD card and turn it on. The Maximite will load the program and setup the I/O as specified (including comms to CQC) and start running.

So where does the Basic program come from?

I'm glad you asked. I would write a framework that does all the CQC comms part with a kind of block that says "Add your code here", however I also think that a few "Standard 10 out/ 8 in" type of programs would be available for those who prefer not to program.

Then there is the power of logic. Now I know that there is some overlap with CQC its self being able to do logic, but this is really lower level sort of logic, although it doesn’t have to be. Take the application of a watering controller like the Rain8, it has some of its own internal logic that it uses to make sure zones are not on too long and only 4 are on together at the same time and so forth. This kind of logic can be programmed into the box and modified to be exactly how you want it, rather than the default from the manufacturer.

I guess I’m really saying this is a universal I/O box with lots of capability and configurability. In fact the reason I first bought one of these was to monitor my water pumps and report back to CQC. I then realised I wanted an add on board to handle the actual interfacing, so I designed and made one. It turns out others wanted as well, I got requests for variations, so more boards were designed and built, and on it goes…..

Cheers

Rohan
HAMFIELD
Software & Hardware Solutions
Makers of the Translink C-Bus Gateway
for the Apple iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.
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#4
Yeah I'm reading. I posted a reply this morning but it's not here so I must have forgotten to hit post.

Anyway, how does this compare with a PLC - sounds very similar. I started a driver for the Koyo Click PLC that someone else finished. This was for the very same reason you went down this path. You program the PLC and then CQC is a supervisory system. I use mine for power meter monitoring and I have tested it as a rain8 replacement.

It's good to have options, and this a very flexible solution

is it available in a case, or packaging or is it just a pcb at the moment?

Are there any examples of real world installs?
Mykel Koblenz
Illawarra Smart Home
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#5
Yeah, it comes in a little case, however the interface from the basic Maximite is just a 26w IDC connector.

That's where my add on boards come in, they plug straight in, and provide the interfacing circuitry for in or outs or whatever.

Given your a PLC guy and probably have access to the necessary hardware and programming software, it probably doesnt offer you much, but for the rest of us it's a good alternative.

The kit is available from Altronics for $89.00 (was $79.00) and they have sold over 1000 of them.

Given the hardware and software is open source, there are a couple of spin off versions underway as well. One by Olimex in collaboration with Dontronics will support the Arduino shields. Their version is pre built and half the price.

Cheers

Rohan
HAMFIELD
Software & Hardware Solutions
Makers of the Translink C-Bus Gateway
for the Apple iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.
Reply
#6
Looks like you are facing the usual new concept thing. It's hard to get people interested in anything new, a concept I understand all too well. It might ultimately require just getting it out there for people to try, I dunno.
Dean Roddey
Software Geek Extraordinaire
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#7
Yeah, Ive got a bunch of hardware that people (on another forum) all told me was essential, but when it comes to parting with the folding stuff, they all seem to look the other way.

I need to do this for myself anyway so it's not really a problem. I just thought there may be some cross interest.

Cheers

Rohan
HAMFIELD
Software & Hardware Solutions
Makers of the Translink C-Bus Gateway
for the Apple iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.
Reply
#8
while looking at the low cost single board computer, I came accross Raspberry Pi(http://www.raspberrypi.org/),
A credit card sized computer having many I/O interfaces like USB/SPI/I2C/UART/GPIO+(1080p30fps graphics output over hdmi/dvi)
Ethernet version is 35USD and non-ethernet is 25USD,
Though it is not released yet, I am eagerly waiting to get hold of couple of these when released in January 2012.
Its hard to believe: A 25$ single board computer with 700Mhz ARM and open source Linux(its a great stuff for DIYers/Geeks/Home automaters)
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#9
adav Wrote:while looking at the low cost single board computer, I came accross Raspberry Pi(http://www.raspberrypi.org/),
A credit card sized computer having many I/O interfaces like USB/SPI/I2C/UART/GPIO+(1080p30fps graphics output over hdmi/dvi)
Ethernet version is 35USD and non-ethernet is 25USD,
Though it is not released yet, I am eagerly waiting to get hold of couple of these when released in January 2012.
Its hard to believe: A 25$ single board computer with 700Mhz ARM and open source Linux(its a great stuff for DIYers/Geeks/Home automaters)

I wish I could find something that is real inexpensive like that ( and use very little electricity) but could actually be a CQC server!
tia, Ron

My Go Big or Go Home Retirement HT...
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#10
What about a CuBox? Seems a bit more powerful.
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