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Prefect's CQC Setup
#1
Howdy all.. I've been a CQC user for over a year now. I started out using it to control my dedicated home theater, but in the last year I've started to branch out into some other fun stuff, and there will be a lot more going on in the future as well.

Presently I'm controlling the following gear (updated April 3, 2007):

THEATER
=======
Outlaw 990 preamp/processor (RS232 control, via CAT5 back to main server)
Panasonic AE700U projector (IR control with 12V power trigger status feedback to ELK zone)
Custom HTPC with VGA connection to 8" Lilliput touchscreen (for CQC control), and DVI connection to projector.
HTPC runs Zoom Player (dedicated on secondary projector display), Alcohol 120% driver (for mounting DVD .ISO images), and a software video processing chain to scale DVD to my projector panel resolution.

LIVING ROOM
==========
Custom HTPC running Windows Media Center Edition
LCD flat screen
Minimal integration with CQC thus far

WHOLE HOUSE AUDIO
================
Two a/d/s/ SC4 8 source/4 zone+2 whole house audio controllers (RS232 control)
Russound 6 zone stereo 50W amplifier

SECURITY/AUTOMATION
==================
ELK M1 Gold panel (RS232 control)

LIGHTING
=======
Insteon (about 20 devices at current time) via Jonathan's Insteon driver

MASTER SERVER
============
Old Athlon XP machine running Windows XP
Moxa 8 port PCI serial card
USB UIRT for IR output (USB)
Insteon PowerLinc PLC (USB)
Planar 15" touchscreen (located in kitchen/dining room via CAT5 VGA extender)
Lots of disk for media storage

I will try to keep this updated as I add and change the system.. Next up, some screen shots of my new interfaces for the theater (not yet completed).
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#2
How are you doing the power triggering for the projector? Mine's RS232 controllable but I have other things I'd like to do this with.

Russ...
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#3
First, the basic screen, in movie browse mode:
[Image: theater-template-concept1.jpg]

Using the new popup features of CQC 1.7.x/2.x, when you press on one of the covers, you get the movie detail view:
[Image: theater-template-concept2.jpg]

And using the popout feature in CQC 1.7.x/2.x, when you press the "Menu" arrow on the bottom of the page, the navigation panel "rolls up" from the bottom:
[Image: theater-template-concept3.jpg]

While my main goal is to make the system task driven and highly automated, I still find it very valuable to have direct access to the individual components. Not only that, but people find this kind of thing very impressive. There was a big reason I needed to do this in the first place - my equipment is not visible from my seating in the theater, so being able to replicate much of the front panel of the processor has been helfpul.. Here's my Outlaw 990 template:
[Image: theater-template-concept4.jpg]

And, lastly, a work-in-progress, the controls for Zoom Player:
[Image: theater-template-concept5.jpg]
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#4
I got in on that Planar deal a few months back and picked up one of the 15" touchscreens. We've been renovating our kitchen (almost done...), and I planned a spot for the panel. I mounted it using a "Premier Mounts Victory Series Universal Tilting Small LCD Wall Mount (XUT-1330L)" from mountsandmore.com , and a piece of oak that screwed to 2 studs for more secure mounting of the display.

I run video to the display using a pair of VGA over CAT5 extenders that I bought on ebay. The touchscreen runs over RS232, using a pair of DB-9 to RJ45 adapters that I soldered together (I do this same trick to control my preamp in the theater from the master server in the basement). Power for the touchscreen and the VGA/CAT5 converter runs from the wiring closet in the basement to the kitchen over 14ga in-wall wiring, using some additional custom wiring (a DIN-5 jack and plug on the kitchen side, and inline fuses and coaxial power connectors in the server closet). This means the display "floats" on the wall with no wires dangling, and I don't need AC right at the display.

Here's a photo of the display, mounted to the walls (which have yet to be finished -- don't mind the joint compound and blue walls! EDIT: Replaced with newer picture!)

[Image: kitchen-touchscreen.jpg]
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#5
Very nice looking. Quite different from anything else so far I think. Did you intend to show the slide out menu in the third capture? You mention it, but don't show it.
Dean Roddey
Software Geek Extraordinaire
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#6
zaccari Wrote:How are you doing the power triggering for the projector? Mine's RS232 controllable but I have other things I'd like to do this with.

Russ...

Presently I'm running the trigger output of my projector over CAT5 back to the basement. I threw a simple circuit together that lets me hook this into a zone input on the ELK M1 automation panel. I can check the state of that in CQC for powerup/powerdown macros, since my projector unfortunately does not have discrete power on/power off commands, or RS232 control. The ELK isn't my first choice for this task, but it's convenient and already interfaced to CQC. Long term I may do something else, but the idea will be the same.

I also happen to be using a pair on the same CAT5 for the IR emitter on the projector, which connects to the USB-UIRT in the wiring closet downstairs.

My goal is to fully automate startup/shutdown of the theater.. I'll probably end up running another IR emitter to the Lilliput display and tap off of something inside to get a status back (yet another device with no discrete on/off codes).. This way the touchscreen can also be turned on/off automatically.
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#7
Dean Roddey Wrote:Very nice looking. Quite different from anything else so far I think. Did you intend to show the slide out menu in the third capture? You mention it, but don't show it.

Thanks! I made almost all of the graphics myself in Fireworks.

The third capture actually does have the slide-out .. It's just very subtle, and overlays the bar at the bottom. Look for BROWSE, DVD, LIGHTS, AUDIO, PROJECTOR buttons. Those won't necessarily be the final scheme for navigation, but they're placeholders for now (and roughly follow my old templates that are currently in production in the theater).

The slide-out is sort of like a "hidden panel" which covers up the other controls which are always there. You pop it in with the arrow in the lower left, and can dismiss it with the reverse arrow (red/down) when it's visible. Or, if you click any of the nav buttons, it'll slide out (having set a global variable before doing so), and the main template will switch.
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#8
That is an amazing implementation. I'm glad I turned you on to CQC for controlling the Outlaw! You've got me inspired to get my system back up and running after my move to new digs. Everything is on hold now while I remodel my bathrooms, but once that's done I'll start in on finishing the basement and building a dedicated HT.

Would you mine sharing your screens for controlling whole-house audio?

Also, are you looking into ways to leverage that touchscreen in the kitchen, perhaps with some sort of recipe database?

- Ken
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#9
kwoodrow Wrote:That is an amazing implementation. I'm glad I turned you on to CQC for controlling the Outlaw! You've got me inspired to get my system back up and running after my move to new digs. Everything is on hold now while I remodel my bathrooms, but once that's done I'll start in on finishing the basement and building a dedicated HT.

Would you mine sharing your screens for controlling whole-house audio?

Also, are you looking into ways to leverage that touchscreen in the kitchen, perhaps with some sort of recipe database?

- Ken

I was wondering how I came to find CQC.. Was it through you on the Outlaw forum?

I don't presently have really useful screens for the whole house audio stuff.. They're mostly just test screens I did for selecting sources, muting, and setting volume of all the zones. I'm still trying to come up with the best way to implement it. Once I have something I'll certainly share it. I will probably also release image packs and template packs of what I've shown here.

A recipe database would be cool. It will earn its keep with weather, lighting and music control (probably its main use). I will likely also add some things like browsing movies, so when we have people over the company can browse through the movies and choose one. I'll tie in the automated theater startup macro so once they've picked one it'll fire up the theater and queue the movie for playback. Should definitely earn some "wow, that's cool" points from friends.

Lastly, I may add the ability to watch movies/TV content (recorded via MythTV) from the touchscreen. I did a series of experiments running Zoom Player in a small window with no title bar/borders/etc. and "always on top" so it was made to look like it was actually natively rendering in the CQC interface. I had also mostly gotten it to work so a CQC command button would make Zoom go fullscreen, and tapping the full-screen Zoom window would make it shrink back down so it looked like it was part of the CQC interface.
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#10
Is this Downloadable as a Preset for newbies to play with?
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