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Drivers and Documentation
#1
Hi ...

Have been waiting to pull the Trigger and order CQC but I'm worried about speed of getting drivers and documentation.
Let me 1st say that I think that CQC is a wonderfull product , very well written with lots of potential.
For a Newbie like me the 2 things that Iam worried about are..
1. Documentation... Although most of the anwers are somewhere in the forums, it takes a veeeery very long time to find it. As u guys have been doing this for a a long time you sometimes tend to talk over the average persons head a lot. This time is way too long and since it takes a long time to get everything working, the average person probably will get discouraged long before things start working.

A good How to guide will help ie How to set up a telephone server, Camera server, Music server, security, etc.. etc.. Specific recommended hardware may make this process easier.
2. Drivers..setting up my system but not sure when drivers for componets will be available ie.. Sharp LCD, Anthem D2, Axis Video Server, Most current 1080P projectors)( and many more that Iam sure u guys are aware of.) Is it possible to start a formal program so that we can pay for additional drivers that we want, if we are in a hurry.
If these are not possible, then would it be right to assume that CQC is more for pro's and not the casual DIY with good computer skills ( ie Not a programer) and if thats a case would it then to make something like a CQC Basic and a CQC pro and the basic would come package wilth all the drivers and basic interface and would do simple everday things like video and music distribution, basic security, etc but will require no programming skills.
In asking what system to go with in other forums the one thing that was most said about CQC was to be caucious about the difficulty in getting started...
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#2
Yeah, i'd agree with that difficulty in getting started - the biggest issue with a package like CQC is the same as it's biggest strength: It's not an off-the-shelf shrink wrap where you just install it and go. But, once you get your mind around some basics, you'll find it's all not too hard at all, and the wide-open configurability of everything will more than make up for any initial difficulty. Think about it this way: Would you rather spend a little time up-front learning how to use the package so you can make an easy-for-your-family-to-use setup, or have a fast setup and spend months if not years forcing your family to learn and accept how the package works? No right answer there, many of us are the type to take on some work ourselves so we don't get the call from the wife/spouse/kids with "Honey - (xxx) doesn't work again" or "honey - how do you do (xxx) again"?

I believe Dean is working on some "wizard" type stuff to auto-gen some of the screens you're talking about, and the monthly webinars can help with the rest. If you have an hour or so, this video recording of the last webinar may get your mind around some stuff. Obviously the best case scenario is that you actually attend one of those sessions, but I understand everyone can't make it.

FYI - I haven't needed programming skills for anything i've done, and I do a decent amount with CQC.
------------------------------------
Some of my devices: Sonos, Aeotec zWave, Nest, Rain8Net, Various H/T
What's next: CQC-Voice, Brultech GEM
My vlogs: https://www.youtube.com/c/IVBsHomeAutomation
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#3
1. Documentation

There are approximately 30 tutorial and 'how to' videos on the web site. IVB has just created a video from the last (monthly) webinar on getting started. There is also a fairly large amount of textual help in terms of manuals. All (except IVB's webinar) is available from the 'learn' tab

2. Drivers

It would be difficult to specify a price for a driver up front without knowing the protocol. Drivers have ranged from free (the vast majority) to thousands of dollars (a couple). If you are starting without equipment I would recommend carefully perusing the list of supported equipment (there are circa 200 drivers either ready or in development) and ask questions on the forums about relative merits. If you really must pick something that is not yet controlled via serial or IP you can (at least) do IR control as an interim or as a permanent solution. Although the vast majority here much prefer serial and IP (and rightly so), IR can run a system with no more than the drivers that already exist.

3. Getting started

I admit that this is difficult. It certainly doesn't take programming but you have to "get" certain key concepts. I recently brought one of our itegration partners from no CQC knowledge to a comfort level controlling IR devices (learning new codes, building interfaces, and blasting out codes) in
a day. Many who have participated in the webinars also quickly get to a competence level really quickly.

We have talked about a "packaged" where we had a 'ready to go' system. To do this would take specifying the equipment. So far our experience has said that if we said (something like) you must have a Parasound 7100 controller, Epson Home or Pro 1080 projector, DirecTV satellite box, Nexus Audio C6 whole house music distribution, etc and then we have a packaged system that works "out of box" that NOBODY is interested.

I can program. I do so for a living. But my first CQC setup a few years ago was with off the shelf drivers and IR where the drivers did not exist. So I had IR for a Marantz projector, a Comcast cable box, a Parasound C2 controller, a Lutron Grafic Eye, and a DVDO video scaler. There was ZERO programming to get to a well functioning state.

Over the past couple of years I have contributed a driver for the Parasound and the DVDO, someone else did the Marantz, so those devices are now serial. I am left with the Grafic Eye and the Comcast box on IR. Someone did a serial control for the Grafic Eye, but I don't have the interface and probably won't bother to get it (I can see the level of the lights in the theater :-) ). And Comcast/Motorola cable boxes don't have serial control, so that is likely to stay.
Mark Stega
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#4
One problem is that many of the issues you are asking about, like how to set up a camera server or a security system, have nothing to do with CQC other than that CQC will connect to it in the end. But we couldn't possibly document all of the issues involved in setting up those external systems. Those companies that sell those things probably themselves struggle just to keep their own stuff documented. We couldn't begin to do it.

And we definitely can't spin people up on all of the general issues of home automation, probably 50% or more, if not 75%, are completely outside of the scope of CQC itself or any other automation system and are just general automation information that would be the same no matter what controller you chose. It would require multiple thick books to really cover all that, and other people have already do it better than we can.

That's why we primarily target the professional market, because the whole issue of home automation is mostly something that only professional installers will want to do. We are DIY friendly, for those folks who are technical enough and who want to roll their own. But we'll never be able to make this is a plug and play prospect. There's just way too much of it that is out of our control. All we can do is provide the glue that holds it together and try to make the best glue out there.

As Mark said, there is always the possibility of putitng together pre-fab systems, but the only real market for that is someone starting completely from scratch who can buy everything at once as part of that package. But that's a very limited market for a whole lot of work. Eveyrone else will have some existing equipment and will insist on incorporating that, and as soon as you go there, you are in custom installer land.

You definitely don't have to be a programmer to use CQC. Mastering CQC is on the order of mastering some other type of large, professional level software product really. It's all point and click and fill in the blanks. There are just a lot of concepts to learn before you start pointing and clicking.
Dean Roddey
Explorans limites defectum
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#5
bandy111 Wrote:Is it possible to start a formal program so that we can pay for additional drivers that we want, if we are in a hurry.

An interesting idea, though I think it's probably something Dean doesn't want CQC to be in charge of. But I wonder if at least maybe a sticky thread could be made (in the Drivers forum?? doh!), if nothing else, where drivers could be requested. If enough people join in saying "Ya, I want that too", then you'd have some group synergy I think to get a driver created. Links to protocols could be included in the request so any potential driver-writers could evaluate it, and perhaps explain the difficulties in such a request...or even see how trivial it is to do, and pop it out in a couple hours effort just for fun. :cool

Anyway, something might be a little better than the current system of post-the-request-and-hope-someone-sees-it-and-can-do-it.
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#6
beelzerob Wrote:An interesting idea, though I think it's probably something Dean doesn't want CQC to be in charge of. But I wonder if at least maybe a sticky thread could be made (in the Drivers forum?? doh!), if nothing else, where drivers could be requested. If enough people join in saying "Ya, I want that too", then you'd have some group synergy I think to get a driver created. Links to protocols could be included in the request so any potential driver-writers could evaluate it, and perhaps explain the difficulties in such a request...or even see how trivial it is to do, and pop it out in a couple hours effort just for fun. :cool

Anyway, something might be a little better than the current system of post-the-request-and-hope-someone-sees-it-and-can-do-it.

That's a da$$ good idea. I'm supposed to assume the reigns of IVB's driver thread once the official release of the next CQC version is out. I will be starting a new sticky thread for driver's in progress. It shouldn't be difficult to add a Driver's Request portion that's maintained as well. Maybe the first post is in progress and the second post is requested, which consolodates requests with the proper links to protocols and then eventually when someone takes it on, it gets moved to the in progress post.
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#7
[QUOTE=Dean Roddey] That's why we primarily target the professional market, because the whole issue of home automation is mostly something that only professional installers will want to do. We are DIY friendly, for those folks who are technical enough and who want to roll their own. But we'll never be able to make this is a plug and play prospect. There's just way too much of it that is out of our control. All we can do is provide the glue that holds it together and try to make the best glue out there.

As Mark said, there is always the possibility of putitng together pre-fab systems, but the only real market for that is someone starting completely from scratch who can buy everything at once as part of that package. But that's a very limited market for a whole lot of work. Eveyrone else will have some existing equipment and will insist on incorporating that, and as soon as you go there, you are in custom installer land.

Hi all..


I understand that you are "DIY Friendly" but mainly from the Pro.. but as I said earlier I personally think that the big market in the future is for ordinary people who want to do things themselves. No Offence to pros but I have spoken to quite a few of them on setting up my system and they want to charge exobitant out of this world fees.Money that most people are not willing to spend on home automation. I just realy think that it would not hurt to go both ways and cater appropriately to both markets since the basic product is there already. - and by the way there are also a lot of people just starting out that would not mind buying specific recomended products

The Driver Request Thread seems like a Good Idea, but I suppose that unless ther Is a System to pay for it there would be little motivation to get it done in time and may still may take too long to get out. The Ideal system would be able to get a Driver out within a month. Maybe we can have a poll to see what people are willing to pay for drivers and how many people are willing to write them.

I just am giving the perspective of someone that got directed here from AVS that really wants to use CQC but not willing to learn CODE .(No time)
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#8
bandy111 Wrote:The Driver Request Thread seems like a Good Idea, but I suppose that unless ther Is a System to pay for it there would be little motivation to get it done in time and may still may take too long to get out. The Ideal system would be able to get a Driver out within a month. Maybe we can have a poll to see what people are willing to pay for drivers and how many people are willing to write them.

I just am giving the perspective of someone that got directed here from AVS that really wants to use CQC but not willing to learn CODE .(No time)

Well, I can't think of any greater statement as to what can be done with CQC without knowing a single THING about coding than IVB. check out his progress thread and be amazed. Confusedhock:

As far as writing drivers and pay and time and all that....from the perspective of someone who has written a few drivers and been well compensated for some of them, I can say this....as with all other things, money speaks. If you want it done right NOW, then be prepared to spend to get it. If you don't want to spend anything for it, then you can either wait for someone else to write it or learn how yourself. So those are your two extremes as far as time goes. Most people find a good in-between.

The other thing to realize is....I think it's probably somewhat safe to say that some of the more stable, and praised pieces of HA equipment will probably already have a driver for them, because they are so popular, or you'll have no trouble gathering support for such a driver (maybe from Dean himself).
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#9
bandy111 Wrote:The Driver Request Thread seems like a Good Idea, but I suppose that unless ther Is a System to pay for it there would be little motivation to get it done in time and may still may take too long to get out. The Ideal system would be able to get a Driver out within a month. Maybe we can have a poll to see what people are willing to pay for drivers and how many people are willing to write them.

I just am giving the perspective of someone that got directed here from AVS that really wants to use CQC but not willing to learn CODE .(No time)
I think you will find that the CQC Users are a pretty good group of people and that quite a few will go out of there way to help others.... shoot Vivek designed my first templates and even came to my house and got it setup for me...

Ripper helped me get started in designing my own templates and has helped me when I have a graphic problem I can't figure out...

Robert wrote the Epson driver for me as he liked my Rack templates...

This is just a few (sorry if I left you out)...(I could keep listng them but I would end up runnng out of message space :-))
The CQC DIY community is the best I have seen and everyone helps everyone with what they can and alot of the time it is for free... When someone does pay fo something they usually give it o the CQC Comunity for free..... but dean is running a business and he has to decide which direction is best for CQC.
Ron
tia, Ron

My HT equipment I want to control by CQC (some day hopefully)
Yamaha CX-A5100, Dune HD pro 4k, Dune HD Pro 4k plus, ISY 994i, LG 86" 4k FP, and a projector in the future
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#10
beelzerob Wrote:Well, I can't think of any greater statement as to what can be done with CQC without knowing a single THING about coding than IVB. check out his progress thread and be amazed. Confusedhock:
ROFL. I don't think this conveys the message you intended.

As for drivers for hire, there are several folks that do them. After you get yourself acclimated, you'll figure out who they are. Just PM any of us and we'll point you in the right direction for a driver as you need it. I can think of 3 or 4 off the top of my head. The driver development thread is a good place to start your search though. Those with multiples are pretty good candidates.

Russ...
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