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Will this hardware do?
Been scouring the net looking for a decent server for home automation. Will initially run my MainLobby code, but will transition to CQC within 6 months.

Found this:

at Newegg for $259 with a $90 rebate.

I know it's last minute, but it's in my shopping cart and I was wondering if anyone had thoughts on it's capability with respect to CQC. Most say an Atom will get the job done if you don't load it up too much.

I'll put 4GB in it, and an SSD with embedded XP


Looks pretty reasonable to me. It has 5 internal com port headers, so if you could expose those that would make it even better as an automation server.
Dean Roddey
Explorans limites defectum
Thanks Dean,

You need to get a life... Smile

I say that with much appreciation for all your responses to date; babysitting noobies shouldn't be your source of entertainment.

The link doesn't show me any specific model. Which one is it?

Mykel Koblenz
Illawarra Smart Home
I also think it will work fine. It should have enough CPU power to do just about anything CQC related. The only potentially limiting thing I see is the limited number of PCI slots (2 PCI-e and 1 PCI). But the need for PCI slots is simply dependant on the hardware you are going to be using.

Many of us are using a sound board for multi-zone audio needs (ie several music stream playing at one time). Some use a PCI board for a serial input expander (but there are non-PCI solutions available too). There are a lot of other things out there that use PCI and PCI-e slots. But unless your hardware needs more PCI or PCI-e slots than what is available, I think that system would be fine for CQC use.
Brian - a long time user that rarely messes with the system now
Other systems used:
SageTV w/ cablecard tuner & multiple extenders for viewing
BlueIris and IP cameras for CCTV
Incredible PBX for home phone
znelbok Wrote:The link doesn't show me any specific model. Which one is it?


I had to go to it twice before it went to the actual model.
Dean Roddey
Explorans limites defectum
Thanks guys,

For my existing ML install on my power hungry htpc, I run a pci serial card that gives me an extra 4 ports. I use all 4 of them; 2 Sony 777es, 1 Harman Kardon 325 amp, 1 CE Labs switcher.

I have 3 quatech devices that I picked up on the internet. They attach via tcp/ip as serial ports through their drivers. So, with the 5 internal ports, 1 external, and possible 12 quatech serial ports, I think I'm covered there.

I see the near future need for

1 component switcher (CE Labs)
2 777es
1 Harman Kardon
1 UPB interface
1 projector
1 HDMI switcher

That's a total of 7 serial ports. Even if I double my needs, I'll be ok. That's assuming of course that my networked serial ports work as advertised. I bought them off e-bay and they've been in a box for 2 years waiting for this move and eventual need.

I get the audio issue, and I need to start researching that part of my setup.

As they say (in all my other forums too)... welcome to the madness.

PS, what type of audio cards are you guys using... how many input/output, and are they 5.1 etc, or only stereo?
Am I looking at the right one -EPC-6566

For the price it is a bargain. Anything that is rackmount ususally commands a much higher price. The case alone is hard to find at that price.

The only issue I see is how are you going to expose the 5 coms ports (it actually has 6 in total, 5 headers inside and one on the backplane). There is a punchout for a DE9 for Com2 but what about the next four?

you can do something dodgy like have ribbon cables hanging out of the case with the de9 on the end, but it would be nice to be mount them properly. The expansion card slot will take two easily but that leaves another two.

As for the PCI slots - even though there is three expansion slots, only one is exposed to the outside, so keep this in mind as well.

Mykel Koblenz
Illawarra Smart Home

Thanks for the comments. This was one of those "I've been searching for the perfect solution forever and it hasn't knocked on my door". So when I saw the great price, I just bought it and decided I'll figure out the rest along the way.

Of the all the blogs I've read on projects, the best ones are the ones where guys put together a mental plan and then started buying stuff. Usually they end up changing plans along the way, but for me the lifecycle of doing all the research and getting a game plan in place would be longer than the lifecycle of the hardware and software I was researching... you see the problem.

As for the internal serial ports, it wouldn't be a DIY job unless I had a few cables hanging out of cases, right?

My research right now is to decide between a trimmed down XP install, or getting XPe somehow. Getting XP embedded is a little more complicated. I think they run $90 per license, but buying into the programs to generate your own images is the expensive part.

Surprisingly little info on the web about buying XPe. Most links take you to hardware manufacturers that will install a custom image (which you probably provide or they develop). They probably also want to do it for runs of 1000 or so.

There are a lot of good write-ups on how to do a cut down version of XP. I run XP as a CQC Server on 256mb and an old pentium processor and it does very well. has been running like this for over a year.

its probably easier to go this route then XPe.

is there a newer version of windows embedded (W7 equiv)?

Good luck with it all. I wish I had seen this when I was looking for something.

Mykel Koblenz
Illawarra Smart Home

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