Category Archives: Uncategorized

OK, I’m back

In the middle of home renovation: the 3d always start itching

SHOWER_02 2016-09-27 18374500000 SHOWER_02 2016-09-25 19090600000

I should be able to focus a bit more in next weeks (months?).

Lot of new features for the DirecTV Remotes  ( configuarable autotune, full channels list, sharw favourite shows?)

Refined the code for the Onkyo/Integra receivers and added zones support.

Porting to Universal Windows  app universe the applications (bye bye full screen and confuse settings)

Finally publishing the zwave controller

…who knows

Zwave progress

Ok, I survived stupid Sunday and the Server side of the Zwave projust is almost ready for primetime.
The server should be pretty solid. It keep checking every 20 seconds if anything is changed on the Zwave infrastructure and update correctly the devices avaible to the user.
The server/client protocol I wrote is still pretty immature but it does the job and turning on and off switches is blazing fast (especially compared to when the commands go trough the Smartthings hub).
Im using the Aeotec Zwave usb stick ZW090-A as a secondary controller of the Smartthings hub and it automatically recognize all the Zwave paired with the main hub.
One advantage is that the USB stick will works even if internet is now avaible (only recently Smartthings start to implement a offline solution on the revision 2 of their hub).

Home Automation: ZWave progress with the Aeotec USB ZStick

The Z-Stick Gen5 ZW090-A is here.
as expected the stick expose one of those virtual serial ports that really enjoy appear and disappear randomly under msWindows.
Note to myself: much more reliable and consistent behaviour under Linux in case I’ll decide to use it on a Raspberry PI.
The goal is to write a ‘Windows Store Simple remote’ with just the basic functions to give the users a quick straigh forward control over the devices linked to the ZStick’s zwave controller without worring too much about a complete home automation solution and maybe a tool for troubleshooting zwave networks.
Since Windows Store applications don’t seem to support serial ports directly I’m forced to develop a “server” application running on the desktop side of msWindows and let msWindowsStore apps access it as a gateway to the Zstick.
One advantage would be to have multiple remote apps running on different computers on the same network controlling devices trough the server/gateway.
I will eventually investigate if Windows IoT (aka windows 10 on raspberryPI) have support for the ZStick.
I would be surprise if Microsoft decided to not support these kind of devices since Home automation is one of the main use of the whole InternetOfThings 2015 obsession that WindowsIoT is targeting.
Note: very impressed by the Aeotec technical support so far.

Visual studio and serial ports

Im developing a program to control those handy Zwave USB stick controllers for some nifty home automationing.

Problem is microsoft VisualStudio keep losing the grip over the otherwise perfectly working virtual COM port created by the USB stick driver.

I can’t be the only one with this problem.
Usually deleting the driver and the windows reinstalling it let visual studio see the light again.
Pretty annoying.


New Directv Remote Control for Windows OUT

Version 6 is out. Improved Favorites and general refinements.
Simplified the layout quiet a bit and creeping in the feedback chat to let the most advanced user directly contact me.
I could introduce a full scan of each receiver channel list to mimic a guide, exploiting the fact that the DVR are on 24/7 anyway.
I want implement a better management of skip and rewind with an graphic representation similar of what I did with the Onkyo Remote.
Directv Remote Control
Onkyo Integra