Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V is doing fine

After some problems with the NIC driver, my Windows Server 2008 is running fine.

With all the BSOD’s i had in the beginning, the index was below 5.00 at some point. But since i replaced the NIC driver, the Sysytem Stability Chart is rising steadily.

No problems whatsoever, everything is working very stable. The only disadvantage of working with 5 virtual machines on Hyper-V is that when you have to install updates on the host that require a reboot, all VMs have to be restarted. Besides that, i can only see benefits of working this way.

Sending SMS from my Home Automation software

One of the things that has been on my wishlist for some time, was being able to send SMS from my Home Automation application. For example, that when the door bell rings or one of the smoke detectors issues an alert, i would like to receive an SMS alert with information about what’s going on at home.

I don’t have a GSM modem yet, so i had to look for some SMS service provider on the web. Today i did some research and i found out that VoipBuster does exactly that. For EUR 0,05 per SMS you can send SMS messages just by doing a HTTP call with some extra parameters like from, to, etc.:

Pretty straightforward, i’d say:

* username: your VoipBuster username
* password: your VoipBuster password
* from: your username or your verified phone number in international format, like +31612345678
* to: the number you wish the sms to be sent to, also in international format.
* text: the message you want to send

After some trying some things with SSL i got things going in an hour with 50 lines of coding:

I think this will do just fine, untill i’ll have my own GSM modem one day.. 🙂

PLCBUS Signal and Noise level monitoring

Yesterday i had some extra time to work on my PLCBUS driver. Being able to monitor the ‘quality’ of my powerline seemed like a good idea, since PLC protocols always seem to suffer from noise produced by electrical devices like TV’s, computers, fluorescent lights etc. So it’s very handy to have a good insight in what is goig on on your powerline.

all PLCBUS modules can report Signal and Noise level, i decided to
implement querying the modules to report Signal and Noise level at a timed interval.

Here’s what it looks like on my web site:

I also made a Signal Level chart for a PLCBUS module that’s currently located in my office, for testing purposes.

Aviosys 9100A+ IP Video Server

This week i bought an additional IP Video Server, a Aviosys 9100A+


Motion detection, including e-mail and/or FTP of the images.
Resolutions:640×480, 352×288, 320×240, 176×144.
Quality :Low, High Medium, Clarity, Motion.
Color Setup: Brightness, Contrast, Hue, and Saturation
Supports Fixed IP, PPPOE, DHCP , DDNS.
Supporting IE and Firefox.

I am planning on using this Video Server in the future for connecting some additional camera’s that will be located around the house.

There seems to be quite some information on the Internet about this Video Server. There are even websites where you can find firmware that gives you another interface and.. iPhone/Touch support! That’s very cool…

PLCBUS is Okay

While working on my PLCBUS driver a couple of days ago, i was again very pleased with how it all works.
Reliability is 100% till now. I’ve got 7 plugin modules working for a period of 3 months now and none of them has failed yet. And
it’s fast…getting back a ACK from the module itself in something like
500 ms is one of the main advantages of PLCBUS i would say.

Here’s a small snippet from my logs;the first number on every line is in milliseconds, so as you can see the time from the click of a button from within my HA application untill the ACK comes back from the module, takes only 516 ms:

39836468: ADH  : New Actordata ID=39836453, Address:D2C01 data:4F4646 (OFF)
39836468: DVC  : Device TPLC2027:D2C01 is handling the Actordata
39836468: PLCBS: Start sending Command:20230000, Retrycount=3
39836468: PLCBS: Start new PLC1141Command NetSend:0205D22023000003, Waiting for PLCBUS Response...
39836953: PLCBS: LANDataAv Start39836953: PLCBS: Rcvd:0206D2202300001C03
39836953: PLCBS: Address:D2C01
39836953: IDH  : New Interfacedata ID=39836953, Address:D2C01
39836953: PLCBS: LANDataAv End
39836953: DVC  : Device TPLC2027:D2C01:Source:TPLC1141CommandHandler, Data:=D2202300001C
39836968: DVC  : PinValue is:0
39836984: PLCBS: LANDataAv Start
39836984: PLCBS: Rcvd:0206D2202300002003
39836984: PLCBS: Address:D2C01
39836984: IDH  : New Interfacedata ID=39836984, Address:D2C01
39836984: PLCBS: LANDataAv End
39836984: DVC  : Device TPLC2027:D2C01:Source:TPLC1141CommandHandler, Data:=D22023000020
39836984: DVC  : PinValue is:0

The nice thing is that you can be sure that the actions that you wanted to take place, did take place. And that confirmation comes in half a second. I can live with that, for now 🙂

I hope i’ll have some spare time in the next few weeks to try out some more ‘exotic’ PLCBUS modules, like an IR transmitter, a filter, a transceiver and a signal/noise meter.

An anemometer and rain gauge for € 0,00 !

While going through the log file of packets that arrive on my RFXCOM receivers but that are not recognized as coming from one of my own devices, i discovered one of my neighbors must have bought some stuff from Oregon Scientific. It looked like i was receiving signals from a Oregon Scientific, namely a RGR918 (a rain gauge) and a WGR918 (an anemometer). Wow, this hasn’t happened before; this is the first time I’m receiving interesting packets from devices that are not mine…

The RGR918 transmits the current rain fall rate, total rain fall, and battery status. The accuracy is 1 mm. Transmission is done every minute IIRC.

The WGR918 sends out information about wind speed, average wind speed and the wind direction. And battery status ofcourse.

So all i had to do was add some lines of code to my HA application et voila, i had all the information mentioned above right where i wanted them; because of the ‘modular’ structure, it was very easy for me to start collecting and storing the data, produce charts of them, and so on. I can even watch the battery status of those 2 devices and warn my neighbour when the time has come to replace them 🙂

All i have to do for that is find out who that neighbor is … i haven’t found the location of the Oregon devices yet!

Back to earth… holidays are over!

Holidays are over, back to the daily routine…

We have had 2 wonderful weeks in Alvor, Portugal.

Ok… we
missed our flight, by the time we arrived our accomodation was
overbooked, the car we rented had an empty battery twice, but we didn’t
let those minor issues spoil our vacation!

We had a wonderful time in a beautiful environment, nice climate, nice people and a hotel room that wasn’t bad either.

Compared to our 2007 vacation in Alanya in Turkey, this trip to Portugal was much, much better. More relaxed, better temperature.

The Algarve region really has a lot to offer for us, so choosing the location for next year won’t be very hard…