Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Is CQC Community still alive?
#1
I'm new (again) trying CQC to expand my professional horizons as well as personal interest so I've spent the last several days on the forum and I have to ask.  Is the community dead?  Or are CQC systems so well deployed there's nothing to talk about?  Or there aren't any new deployments/users so there's nothing to talk?

Not trying to be an arse just curious as it's a very very quiet forum.
Reply
#2
(01-03-2020, 07:58 AM)simplextech Wrote: I'm new (again) trying CQC to expand my professional horizons as well as personal interest so I've spent the last several days on the forum and I have to ask.  Is the community dead?  Or are CQC systems so well deployed there's nothing to talk about?  Or there aren't any new deployments/users so there's nothing to talk?

Not trying to be an arse just curious as it's a very very quiet forum.
CQC is very solid  and most issues are fixed.
_______________
Denon 3808ci, 2112ci ,Sonos, NoVo Grand Concerto, Z-Wave(Lights,Locks), Hue, SmartThings,
iPads,Tivo,Hikvision,Elk-M1,TED5000,Somfy RTS blinds+ZRTSI, Amazon Echos+Dots, Polk XRT12,
Honeywell Wi-Fi 9000, Caleo Wi-Fi Thermostats, Rainmachine
Reply
#3
Not dead at all and yes CQC is extremely solid! The forums tend to go in bursts of activity, this time of year is typically slow due to the holidays.
Reply
#4
(01-03-2020, 09:13 AM)batwater Wrote: Not dead at all and yes CQC is extremely solid! The forums tend to go in bursts of activity, this time of year is typically slow due to the holidays.

I didn't think CQC was dead but the forum is very slow and not many posts from this year even... err.. last year? Smile

Dean is busy on the linux port which is awesome and should be very cool.  I'm just not seeing much other activity.  I suppose it's from not many new users with questions/problems?  As well as I think most CQC installs are done by installers?
Reply
#5
A lot of folks have leeched away to the various 'good enough' products from the big players marketing to the masses. Some have a working system probably but haven't updated it in years and probably won't. If they do make a move it'll probably be to something less complicated.

This business has always been really divided between low end and high end and not much in the middle. The low end has pretty much been taken over by the mass market products. Amongst the geeky crowd left in DIY world, most won't spend any money and just end up using the free products. And the integrators who provide the entree to higher end systems are uber-conservative and will use hardware based products pretty much exclusively, from well established companies. At least the ones who could bring in meaningful bucks.

So products like ours have suffered pretty badly over the last decade. Actually I guess there's hardly any products like ours left out there. Allonis is probably in the same situation. Homeseer might do a bit better since it's lower priced and targeting a more hobbyist market. There's that really expensive Mac based one that I can never remember the name of. I don't know what their situation is but I don't hear much about them these days. I could never figure out how they managed to make it with those prices to begin with. The others are freebie products which are not nearly as refined, but all importantly free.

In terms of the hardware based products that integrators will accept, Control4 pretty much has the low end of the pro market. Though they have been having their own struggles and keep doubling down on debt to move forward. The 'not great but good enough' products have probably eaten into their cake a good bit as well.

Of course CQC is a solid product, that's not an issue. But being a solid product isn't enough in and of itself. It needs to be a solid product with a solid market. Or, for that matter, as others have proven, a not so solid product but at least with a solid market, or at least money enough to market itself into a good sized group of consumers.
Dean Roddey
Explorans limites defectum
Reply
#6
(01-03-2020, 02:08 PM)Dean Roddey Wrote: A lot of folks have leeched away to the various 'good enough' products from the big players marketing to the masses. Some have a working system probably but haven't updated it in years and probably won't. If they do make a move it'll probably be to something less complicated.

This business has always been really divided between low end and high end and not much in the middle. The low end has pretty much been taken over by the mass market products. Amongst the geeky crowd left in DIY world, most won't spend any money and just end up using the free products. And the integrators who provide the entree to higher end systems are uber-conservative and will use hardware based products pretty much exclusively, from well established companies. At least the ones who could bring in meaningful bucks.

So products like ours have suffered pretty badly over the last decade. Actually I guess there's hardly any products like ours left out there. Allonis is probably in the same situation. Homeseer might do a bit better since it's lower priced and targeting a more hobbyist market. There's that really expensive Mac based one that I can never remember the name of. I don't know what their situation is but I don't hear much about them these days. I could never figure out how they managed to make it with those prices to begin with. The others are freebie products which are not nearly as refined, but all importantly free.

In terms of the hardware based products that integrators will accept, Control4 pretty much has the low end of the pro market. Though they have been having their own struggles and keep doubling down on debt to move forward. The 'not great but good enough' products have probably eaten into their cake a good bit as well.

Of course CQC is a solid product, that's not an issue. But being a solid product isn't enough in and of itself. It needs to be a solid product with a solid market. Or, for that matter, as others have proven, a not so solid product but at least with a solid market, or at least money enough to market itself into a good sized group of consumers.

The market has definitely changed a lot and especially in the last 5 years.  There's a couple things I've seen and have experienced as well as I've gone through them all as well...

End users want to dabble and they start with free or cheap and then they want more control (local vs cloud) or they want better control (local vs cloud vs devices) then they want more devices and more integrations.

The majority of SmartThings users that I knew are now using other platforms.  The vast majority went to Hubitat
The majority of Vera users ... left and went to HomeSeer or now Hubitat is getting many of them
Iris users went to Hubitat after Iris folded
Wink users are now flooding Hubitat and some are dabbling with HomeSeer
ISY has gotten many new users recently I suspect those that are tired of Z-wave issues and inconsistency
Indigo (the Mac platform you can't remember) they are Mac users... so some of them go HomeSeer the rest stay put because of their Macs
HomeSeer users stay because of invested time/money in plugins but many aren't happy.  Not happy with many things and growth/updates of the system as a whole and evolving with modern devices and capabilities is a bit hit against HomeSeer.  Their latest to appease the SmartThings users is a UI redesign which will have rippling effects in a very negative way.

Many look to Home Assistant / OpenHAB2 because they are free... everybody loves free.. until they learn what the cost actually is... their time or privacy or both and then after weeks/months they still don't have what they are wanting so they are looking again but Home Assistant is a very fun "toy" I have it installed and play with it from time to time too.  Gives me ideas of some things to integrate with and some things of what NOT to do.

Point of it is there is a market.  HomeSeer has a large share of complacent users, Allonis has basically walled themselves away from "home automation" and are business oriented now (sports bars etc), ISY is still the Insteon powerhouse with a huge base of hungry users wanting to do more and use more devices but they (I do to) love the reliability of the ISY and functionality of Insteon.  

If everyone had the money I'm sure they would switch to ELK for sensors and Lutron for Lighting and ... well what for aux purpose of power plugs?  Lutron has basic but not a wide array so this still leaves an area for z-wave for those "unique" devices.  Also Z-Wave is like the gateway drug to home automation.  Give them a little and they want more... now the buzz word protocol today is Zigbee which as it's benefits but same thing of low end low cost but everyone starts somewhere. 

Best to take a hold of a low end market with a low end offering and provide an upgrade path to bigger better.... rather provide a path than fade away to the next "hub" that is cheap and nothing more.
Reply
#7
I have been around since 2007, and seen a lot of guys come and go - many that wrote some great 3rd party drivers.  Probably for the reasons stated before, they moved on, found something else, or just are happy with the system they have.  We used to have Webinars where 5-10 users would get together and show off their system, explain how they were doing things - those were always helpful, and would be interested in seeing those again.

I purchased a license before I built my house, and had a lot of help with wiring, equipment, etc. from alot of current and past users.  I am very happy with what it have, love using it and tinkering with it.  I have taken several of the drivers written and tweaked them for my own setup or to fix quirks within my setup.  

I posted this over a year ago when someone asked on the forum about HomeSeer .vs. CQC - this was my reply:

My $.02 cents worth, and I know anything about HS - support for CQC is as good as you will ever find with a computer software product. I worked as a Computer Support Analyst for 6 years, and CQC is the best I have ever seen, and that includes the company I worked for. I have been using it for 12 years, and would never consider another product, as over that time, my system has been upgraded, changed, and enhanced, and the cost remained the same. If I have a problem, you will get a reply. Most times it is an answer, and if not, it is a workaround or a new version that fixes it on a very short time frame. You won't see that in most software companies these days. If they do fix it, it may be 12 mos. down the road.

Still believe this is true.

Regards,
Blake
Reply
#8
I was an avid user and developer for HS and now I'm not. Lots of blood involved Smile

I see market where people are foaming at the mouth for what CQC can do but they are mixed tech environments or in best case they are at least standard on Insteon or Z-Wave but there's always a bunch of Zigbee fans because it's cheap and they buy cheap junk the internet purveyors of cheap junk.

At the moment there's 2 players in the top end DIY spectrum. HomeSeer and CQC. That's it. I don't include Allonis MyServer because their focus has been made clear it is on commercial installs.

People of entry level "hubs" are clamoring for a more stable system wanting things to work and wanting flexibility and power. Sure that's not the majority and never has been. But the market is there and it's growing as people are sick of "cloud" based hubs and devices. I'm hoping CQC will pull itself upwards as it's a pretty open market at the top currently.
Reply
#9
Ultimately, the problem is that a product is either free and it gets the assistance of lots of people who will write drivers for it. Or it's commercial and you generally don't. Or or it's some in-between thing like HomeSeer where they let third parties charge for drivers.

If you don't have lots of (competent) third parties writing drivers then the burden falls on the system vendor to write almost all of the drivers and that's just not sustainable. That's the curve a product sort of has to get over. If MS had to write all the drivers for the devices Windows supports they'd never have made it. They had to get over that curve where the device manufacturers felt that they had to support Windows, not the other way around. None of the products at our level will ever get over that hump.

And that's very different from end users writing them. The person who pays for a device has some leverage over the seller who does the driver. If it's end users, not doing it for money, then the driver writer has no obligations and can walk away any time or respond on whatever time scale he wants. This isn't really very viable for a commercial product. At the least it still means that a large swath of core drivers have to be written by the automation system vendor so that they are always there and available. Or worse, be forced to take over drivers written by other folks no matter what sort of shape they are in, and without any existing of the knowledge of the device that the person who wrote the driver had. If the product is free, then no one can complain if a driver goes fallow, since they didn't pay for it or the automation system. Well, they can, but it's just complaining and no one entity can be the legitimate target of those complaints.

And of course the Homeseer model has it's problems as well. They have no control over these third party drivers, and often I assume don't even have access to the code. So if the writer walks away there's not even the option of someone else just taking it over. And no matter how clear everything is that you are buying this driver from Joe Blow and he's responsible for supporting you and it, the blame will ultimately come back to the automation system vendor if the driver becomes untenable. And now you have maybe hundreds of customers screaming at you that they can't run their whatever doo-dad and want you to stop whatever you are doing and fix that, even though it might take weeks or months to understand the product and get the driver written.

And those core drivers can be soul killers. Ask anyone how much blood ended up on the floor for our current Z-Wave driver. It was brutal and ate up months and months of time. Going back and making any significant changes would be really difficult as well because it's so complex. And that's the FOURTH Z-Wave driver so far, with a lot of time having gone into the previous three as well.

And now there's a new doo-dad every other day that people want to have supported, at least in the DIY world. That's not so much of an issue in the commercial world. In the DIY world people just buy random whatevers and want them supported, instead of buying an automation system and choosing things that work with it (even if those things don't support some particular feature that feel like they can't live with out.)


Anyhoo, it's a losing game if you aren't either at the bottom (free) or at the top (big enough that people have to support you instead of the other way around.) We could do something Homeseer like to try to get a driver writer community going, but I doubt it would work, and we'd inherit all of the problems that scheme involves.
Dean Roddey
Explorans limites defectum
Reply
#10
(01-04-2020, 07:51 AM)Dean Roddey Wrote: Anyhoo, it's a losing game if you aren't either at the bottom (free) or at the top (big enough that people have to support you instead of the other way around.) We could do something Homeseer like to try to get a driver writer community going, but I doubt it would work, and we'd inherit all of the problems that scheme involves.

The HomeSeer model is broken.  For many of the points you mentioned.

HS does not do quality check/review on plugins.  It's a free for all as they don't care about quality of plugins they just care about their 30% from each sale.  Because there's no quality check/control this leaves a lot of people very unhappy.  

The HS SDK is terrible, old and documentation is just as terrible.  Plugin development is a disaster in the making.  There have been a few developers that have cleaned it up or tried and provided "sample" templates" that make is a lot easier but it's still a "hope it works" ordeal.

Now what does work is it attracts developers.  People develop for home automation for two reasons only.  Personal interest of integrating something or for profit (or both).  When there's no profit to be made you get very few developers (look at ISY Nodeservers as example).  Or you end up with Home Assistant with a bolster of 1000+ integrations... yeah but most of them are bad or low functioning if they function at all.

Take this model and do it "correctly" and you have Control4.  They have a developer program, you must follow the prescribed guidelines for development/integrations and you have to submit your integration and code for review before it will be allowed to be installed.  This model works because it provides C4 assurance they have the driver and can continue it if the developer folds or vanishes and it provides the end-user assurance that the driver will work.  Now in the same token I think Control4 is too difficult for developers to get involved with and far too costly as you have to be a "dealer" and pay their rediculous fee and meet quota etc to be part of the dealer program.  This limits development to only medium sized dealers and development shops.  In the same token the cost of each individual driver is too high for the common user.  But the argument is that Control4 is high end not for common users....

I think a solution lies in the middle between the HomeSeer model and Control4 model.  Bring initial software price/package down to a good fit and price and people will buy it.  They buy HomeSeer at a high price.  Then half the buyers are shocked they have to buy plugins for HS to actually do anything but they get over that quickly and buy plugins.  Control4 is the same.  High purchase then have to buy the drivers for everything.

In the middle in the sweet spot where there's no competition.  Entry level hub users are begging for better solutions but they can't afford them the way they are price modeled today.  Well I should say they don't want to pay but ultimately they do.  I see it all the time on the HomeSeer forum of new users coming from system XYZ.  They squawk about the cost for a bit then they are loving what they can do now that they couldn't do before and then they are buying plugins left and right to extend functionality.  CQC could enter this market space as well but be the "professional" player in this camp.  HomeSeer doesn't have the support staff or model to deal with growth their forum is the only support and bugs don't get fixed.  People stay and use HS because their don't know of a better option and they don't want to spend another $$$ on another platform that they're unsure of.  CQC is a sleeper in this market with not a lot of people aware of it.  Time to change that.
Reply


Possibly Related Threads…
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Need help building HTML page for my community website IVB 8 2,281 12-30-2008, 06:02 PM
Last Post: IVB
  CQC Users Community ToyMaster458 81 17,192 02-07-2007, 04:23 PM
Last Post: IVB

Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)