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!

CPU Charts

I finished a new page today, containing CPU Charts for all of my virtual machines. This way i can keep track of what’s going on ‘ínside’ my virtual machines, without having to log on to the server all the time. The data for these CPU Charts are produced by a Powershell script running on the host, that periodically does some WMI querys and stores the results in a SQL Server table.

I’m planning on expanding the monitoring of the virtual machines by adding things like disk usage, uptime etc so i have a good view of how the systems are performing and whether they need attention or are just running fine.

Time for a new central heating

Yesterday we got a letter from the company that does the maintenance of our central heating. It said our current central heating was to vulnerable to failures and we were offered an upgrade to a newer central heating at a reduced price. Well, it is true that our central heating has caused us a lot of trouble through the 10 years that we live here. So i understand the reason why they want us to upgrade to a newer model from a different brand. But i’ve got my own wishes…
Our new central heating should be controlled by means of the Opentherm protocol for instance, so that i can ‘tap’ the communication between central heating and the thermostat and incorporate the data that i can get out of that, into my Domotica System. And i’ve made my choice: our new central heating will be a Remeha Avanta, controlled by a Remeha Celsia 20, including a so-called gateway for attaching a RS-232 cable to it and tap the communication.

Ethernet-enabling my hardware

In order to be able to virtualize my 3 24/7 PCs to one single machine (by using Windows Server 2008 with the upcoming Hyper-V), i need to get some devices Ethernet-enabled, like my ACT TI213, the LED-bar, PTZ-control for my Sone EVI-D30 cameras, RFXCOM receivers and transmitters, etc. etc.
I ordered a Ethernet-RS232 converter earlier this week to connect RS232 devices to my LAN and ‘talk’ to these RS232 devices by using TCP. It’s very simple; you set the IP address and Port for the Ethernet side, Baudrate etc. for the Serial side, and off you go. Together with some POE (Power over Ethernet) plugs this will reduce the cabling in our house, cause Ethernet is always nearby..

LEDBar accessible from Internet

A LEDbar is one of those gadgets that everyone should have. Connected to my HA system i can display anything i want on it; RSS feeds, traffic information, whatever i want. So i bought one, started programming and in a few hour it was operational. Just for fun i placed it on front of my webcam, and changed that page so you can enter a text, choose a color and speed, and display it on the LED-bar. Ain’t that funny?