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 Posted: Tuesday Feb 26th, 2008 02:32 pm
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DavidJ
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Has anyone got any experience of using the Phil Colley Plug-In for Homeseer. I am having some problems with basic scripting to activate X10. Anyone who could help?

Thanks



 Posted: Tuesday Feb 26th, 2008 03:54 pm
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lms
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What is it you're trying to do?

I've used the plug-in quite successfully with X10. Although I still have problems with X10's inherent unreliability, I've moved all my X10 commands from Comfort to Homeseer - much more flexible this way. (Not that I'm criticising Comfort - just needed to do things that needed several times the memory that Comfort has!)



 Posted: Tuesday Feb 26th, 2008 04:25 pm
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DavidJ
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Thanks for responding. I am actually using Comfort to parse the information to Homeseer. So for example HS sends a script to Comfort X10 A1 on. I have actually found this far more reliable than simply using HS and the CM12U, possibly because Comfort is hard wired into the mains. I am not storing these in Comfort.

The things I really need to understand would be: what a script looks like to turn on A! at say 50% dim? How I can make the alarm pad chime? How to activate the outputs? How to control CBus?  Any or all....

Any help/advice greatly appreciated.

Thanks, David



 Posted: Wednesday Feb 27th, 2008 02:35 am
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lms
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Strange - I've found HS and the CM12U more reliable than Comfort & the XM10U (and believe me, I've spent countless hours on this, trying different locations, X10 boosters, and so on) - but I suppose that's what you get for using an unreliable protocol such as X10!

If you're sending commands to Comfort which then in turn sends the X10 commands, I expect you'll have to use Counters to trigger responses in Comfort - so the actual "script" has to be done in Comfort. When I want Comfort to execute something triggered within HS, I set a counter to a specific value in HS, such as:

Sub Main
    hs.PlugIn("pjcComfort2").Transmit_SetCounters "CounterName,Value"
End Sub

I then have a Comfort response which is triggered by that Counter which can then send the X10 command. The Counter value can dictate to the response to what dim level you want to set the light, but this will have to be coded in a Comfort response. This should not be difficult, but if you have many devices to control, you may run out of memory in Comfort - this is one of the reasons that I'm doing things in the opposite way.

Similarly, you can have a Comfort response to make the alarm pad chime which is triggered by a specific counter/value which is set in HS. Same with the outputs. I have no experience at all with CBus but would expect something similar.

You can also get HS to respond to Counter changes originating from Comfort (or other Comfort triggers) so this effectively becomes a two-way communication mechanism. I've got some reasonably complex HS scripts which essentially communicate with Comfort responses using this method. For example, an HS script sets Counter to 1 ... Comfort sees the Counter setting, triggering a response which does what it has to do, then sets the Counter to 2 ... HS sees the setting and triggers a further response, and so on. With the large resources on the HS PC, this makes large and complex actions easily possible - the only negative is that the PC has to be continuously running, but this is, in my opinion, a small price to pay and I've installed a dedicated PC.

Do you lnow about the HS message boards at http://board.homeseer.com/ ? Have found this quite useful.

Phil Colley has also been quick at responding on the few occasions when I've had difficulties with the Plug-In - don't have his email address handy but you'll probably find it on the HS board.

Leon



 Posted: Wednesday Feb 27th, 2008 06:40 am
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slychiu
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Comfort sending data to X10 is very reliable and consistent. However the performance of the XM10E  and CM12U could vary signiificantly abd even from unit to unit affecting the signal amplitude on the power line. Comfort cannot determine the signal strength of the X10 signal as that depends only on the interface device ie XM10E



 Posted: Wednesday Feb 27th, 2008 09:03 am
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TheMax74
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I've spent a lot of time with HS, (Activebackup, SMS plug-in, Saferestart, Kickoff.. are  some plug-ins that i wrote for HS) but finally i bought a Comfort.
Now i can do exactly what i want.
I love HS, and i think it's a great product but for real home automation integration and reliability, i think Comfort is the best solution.
Intercom, keypads, doorphone, high level security system, are only some examples that Comfort can do natively, and HS can't.
About X10, i had some problems with CM11a, making TX and RX of X10 impossible with HS (CM11a hangs).
Non problems with Comfort and their interface, but yes, sending X10 trough Comfort is a little bit slow.
Sometime , after upgrading my Ultra II from 5.079 to 5.112, in the "Disarm" response, some x10 appliances turns on instead of others. This is a little annoying, but has no serious effects, because i use X10 for non critical operations only.
This problem appears only when disarming the alarm system fires a "Disarm" response, that turn on some courtesy lights.

Regards.



 Posted: Wednesday Feb 27th, 2008 12:37 pm
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DavidJ
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I does'nt appear that within comfigurator I have any counters set up. Do I understand correctly that counters effectively become the virtual device that communicate with via the UCM to Homeseer?

If thats the case I guess most of what I want to acheive can be created as a counter. In that case is there some simple instructions that explains how to create counters?

Thanks

Last edited on Wednesday Feb 27th, 2008 12:38 pm by DavidJ



 Posted: Wednesday Feb 27th, 2008 01:39 pm
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lms
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Just to set the record straight.....

I was not intending to start an argument and my comments about X10 were not to criticise Comfort but rather to criticise X10. In my situation there is no doubt that the X10 commands work more reliably from HS than from Comfort but there could be many factors contributing to this. And I still get occasional X10 problems. I suspect that some old wiring is probably the culprit.

Overall I'm extremely happy with my Comfort and agree with most of what others have posted on this thread.



 Posted: Thursday Feb 28th, 2008 04:36 am
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DavidJ
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Any chance of answering my last question which formed the basis of the thread?

Thanks



 Posted: Thursday Feb 28th, 2008 07:59 am
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slychiu
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I am not familiar with Homeseer so my answer applies to counters in general
Refer to the rs232 protocol document in http://www.cytech.biz/Downloads/Files/163/rs232.pdf
There are 256 counters in Comfort which can be used as simple registers or as below.

The command C! to the UCM will set the names counter to  the assigned vaue and activate a Counter Response which can take the value as a parameter. Hence this is a way of sending commands to Comfort

If Comfort changes a counter, it sends the CT command to the UCM port which can serve to update values in the external device ie Homeseer.

Comfort also has an action SEND RS232 to UCM which can send any data string to the UCM


This is a short summary of what can be done via the UCM communications



 Posted: Thursday Feb 28th, 2008 10:18 am
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palmlodge
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David

Here's one way - add this as a script function in a HS event
&hs.plugin("pjcComfort2").Transmit("X!P1005")
The line above sends X10 P16 On - using standard Comfort RS232 as outlined in the document above.

 

You could try Colley's forum on homeseer.com - but be warned - I tried to ask a question - my first in the forum - and I was shown the middle finger and told to 'get lost' as he 'was too busy' - Homeseer.com were not interested in pushing this. Strangely, not too busy to add major CBUS support in the latest build.

And I PAID for the plugin.

Last edited on Thursday Feb 28th, 2008 10:18 am by palmlodge



 Posted: Thursday Feb 28th, 2008 10:30 am
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DavidJ
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Thanks for that. However the only thing that I can script is an on command. However it took me about two days to get that far! I wish I put up the query in this forum.

I really want to go beyond that but without knowledge of scripting and no examples to follow its virtually impossible. I would like to know things like; turn on P16 to 50%, How to make the chime work, etc. If there were some basic examples somewhere I am sure I would start to pick it up.

I share your concern regarding support though what can you expect for a few quid, frankly I'd be happy to pay for it. But as with a lot of the HS software its written by enthusiasts and when they lose their enthusiasm.....  Trying to get the best out of £4k's worth of home control with a £15 plug-in is hardly ideal.

Cheers

David

 



 Posted: Thursday Feb 28th, 2008 10:39 am
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palmlodge
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There's another way. With the Sonos plugin, I set a counter to a value, and then let Comfort do the rest. In Comfigurator, you tell it to fire off a response when a counter changes.

 

Set a counter that you want to trigger, and put all your X10 commands and other functions in there, rather than letting homeseer control it. For example, the HS Sonos plugin send this type of command when a Zone starts playing :

&hs.plugin("pjcComfort2").Transmit("C!C901")

So when the Lounge Zone starts playing, HS detects this via the Sonos plugin, and tells Comfort to set Counter 201 (C9 in Hex) to a value of 1. Comfort now knows that lounge has started playing, and sends the IR commands to the Amp for the lounge, etc. HS is a conduit only for settings some flags and all the logic is in Comfort

 

 

As for HS doing commands, refer to this - http://www.cytech.biz/Downloads/Files/163/rs232.pdf

Search for X!P1005 which is the command I posted above - this shows you examples of what to send as an RS232 command.

Last edited on Thursday Feb 28th, 2008 10:40 am by palmlodge



 Posted: Thursday Feb 28th, 2008 10:43 am
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DavidJ
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Thanks, very much, really appreciate that "real" advice. I might even try to get my Sonos kit integrated..



 Posted: Thursday Feb 28th, 2008 10:45 am
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palmlodge
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At least if you get any X10 queries, and you use the counter method, you can just pop here for x10 support.

Shout if you want any help with Sonos. or drop me a PM and we can talk over email.



 Posted: Friday Feb 29th, 2008 03:06 am
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lms
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Interesting to read the comment about lack of support from HS/Rod Colley - I had quick responses but that was a year or more ago - probably when the enthusiasm was still there!

I had forgotten about the "Transmit" command as pointed out in the thread. Note that there is also a "TransmitX10" command in HS which doesn't need hex codes as in the Transmit("X!P1005") command. I don't use these so am not sure whether you can set dim levels via these commands.

Note also that there are various other commands which you may find useful, specifically "ControlOutput" for your question on how to control outputs.

If you can't make Transmit or TransmitX10 work, then you'll probably have to use counters. Are you aware of the PDF that comes with the plug-in? It should be in C:\Program Files\Homeseer2\Docs. This explains how to map counters to Comfort and all the plug-in commands.

For your example of activating the chime, one way of doing this with counters is ....

Create a response, say "DoChime" containing the following:

Siren Chime

Then select a counter in Comfigurator (say Counter1), and set the Response column to "DoChime". Now, whenever the counter gets set (to any value), "DoChime" will be triggered and the chime will be activated.

In HS, set up a script, say "TriggerChime" as follows:

Sub Main
    hs.PlugIn("pjcComfort2").Transmit_SetCounters "Counter1,1"
End Sub


Now, when you run "TriggerChime" in HS, the counter gets set and Comfort runs the "DoChime" response.

You could obviously get much more elaborate, possibly for your X10 commands, by setting the counter in HS to different values denoting different dim levels, and then the Comfort response, say "DoLightOn" could resemble the following:

If Counter Counter1 = 1 Then
    X10 A1 On
End If
If Counter Counter1 = 2 Then
    X10 A1 Dim
End If

Hope this helps.



 Posted: Friday Feb 29th, 2008 04:03 am
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DavidJ
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Thanks for that response, its really useful and although may appear basic, the plug-in assumes reasonable knowledge, or as they say a little bit of knowledge can be dangerous, that maybe where I am at.

 I have lots of questions but if you could answer a couple that would be great.

Do I understand correctly that the process of setting up the counters in Comfigurator is as simply as selecting a spare counter, using the drop down ment for the action you are trying to achieve, upload to Comfort? You don't have to set up references/responses, etc in Comfigurator?

Then in Homeseer Create the Counter (I have'nt yet read up on that)? What do I want to do if I am adding new counters, do I simple just increase the number of counters and hit create? i.e I don't need to re-read the CCL file?

Thanks, your real scripts are a massive help, as I can then work from something known.

Cheers, Dave.



 Posted: Friday Feb 29th, 2008 04:38 am
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lms
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Yes, on the Comfort side just use a spare counter.

The PDF referred to previously should give some help in setting up the counters, but I did struggle when I first did this - the doc isn't written too well, in my opinion (just my opinion, I don't wish to start another off-topic argument :)).

In my opinion (again!) the counter HS/Comfort mapping isn't too robust (but it's a small price to pay - I'm still impressed by the plug-in - and HS and Comfort!). Also, I haven't upgraded my HS or Plug-in for some time so don't know if there is a later version available.

Every time I wanted to change something during initial development/experimenting, I ran into some problems with the counter mapping - I can't quite remember the details and it may simply be that I don't understand the mapping methodology - I normally only learn enough about a product to be able to do what I need to do!

I found that if you use the Comfort default counter names, and you then changed a counter name in Comfort and then re-run the plug-in setup (i.e., re-read the CCL), you'd lose the mapping or portions of it (or something to that effect). So what I eventually did was to rename all the counters in Comfort to non-default names (Counter_001 to Counter_254) and to create ALL the counters in HS just once. Then, if I subsequently changed a counter name in Comfort to make it more intuitive, like "cChime" (the leading "c" being my way of identifying counters easily), I could then simply change the name in the plug-in setup and also change the name of the HS device - a couple of extra steps but has been well worth it. OK, so you end up having lots of unused counters displayed in HS Devices, but I simply hide the ones that I'm not interested in seeing. (Maybe there are other negatives to my method, but it works for me!)

Good luck!

Leon



 Posted: Friday Feb 29th, 2008 04:45 am
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palmlodge
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Isnt TransmitX10 in HS referring to direct X10 control of a CM12 - and not the comfort plugin ?



 Posted: Friday Feb 29th, 2008 05:09 am
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DavidJ
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I typically use: eg.
hs.Plugin("pjcComfort2"). TransmitX10 "A",01,05,00
I don't use the CM12 so can only assume that it speaks directly to the plug-in through Comfort.

 



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