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iRule - The iPhone/iPod touch/iPad remote solution
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ecrabb
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Joined: 13 Mar 2006
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TV/Projector: JVC RS40, Epson 5010


PostLink    Posted: Thu May 24, 2012 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


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jcwhite57 wrote:
jcwhite57 wrote:
Got a Global Cache GC-100-12/18. I already have an iPhone 4 and an iPad 2. Waiting on buying the iRule pc software until I get an IR blaster to control the G90. My question; will any IR blaster with the correct plug work? At $60, the GC-BL2 IR blaster is a bit too pricey I think.


Okay so maybe knew the answer to this question, MAYBE.

The reply to the question "will any IR blaster with the correct plug work?' is yes. Well maybe not any but I had some extras from another project and they control my equipment without issue. No reason to purchase the GC-BL2 for my application. Maybe for some other setup it may be necessay, I don't know.


Thanks for posting your comment, jcwhite. Single emitters are generally nothing more than an infrared LED, so yes - in general, emitters are emitters. iRule even sells a "generic" non-Global Caché dual emitter. I have no idea why the blaster is so expensive, but nevertheless - glad you got yours working!

SC
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ecrabb
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Joined: 13 Mar 2006
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TV/Projector: JVC RS40, Epson 5010


PostLink    Posted: Thu May 24, 2012 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry I didn't notice this reply earlier!

Lundmark wrote:
Thanks a lot for your reply. I think it's great that you're so supportive of this app and though I don't remember exactly how I found this thread, I do know I was searching for iPad remote solutions.

Speaking of those, there are a whole bunch available now, none of which I've tried myself. After some research, I've concluded that none of them match my needs. Peel, Harmony Link, Gear4 Remote and RedEye among others, of which the latter seems to be the best out of those.

My gripe is that all these apps either have ugly UIs or too bloated UIs that takes away from actually using the equipment. I don't want to watch my remote's screen more than necessary. I want to watch what's on TV. Peel and Harmony Link for example focuses too much on interactive TV guides and RedEye doesn't seem to be customizable enough to actually be any better than a Harmony remote. I think an iOS remote app must be really, really good to be worth the trouble of swiping to unlock the screen and keeping the iDevices charged. Do you have any experience with RedEye or any of the other alternatives?

The other products you mentioned are very similar to the Harmony itself, which it sounds like you have plenty of experience using. What I mean is that they're typically pretty activity oriented, and offer little in the way of customization. Given the choice, I'd still rather use some of the apps over the Harmony, because as you said yourself, the Harmony is just kind of slow, and in my opinion, the graphics and screen leave much to be desired. So, the apps are a step in the right direction, but if what you really want is customization, then I don't think you'll be very happy with them.

Lundmark wrote:
The Harmony 1000 I had came the closest in matching my needs, namely I could get rid of all the crap commands I never use and just line up the ones I need on screen. The problem is that the buttons were text-only (i.e. no icons) and that the OS was excruciatingly slow. With some time, it looks like I can get iRule to display only the commands I need in a way that's both beautiful and easy to use.

If something very task-oriented, and very much customized exactly how you like, then yes - iRule is probably right up your alley.

Lundmark wrote:
I have no experience in Pronto, Nevo, RTI or similar remotes, but they all seem to require professional programming, which is something I don't want to afford or be bothered with. I actually quite like tinkering with nerdy software as long as the results are worth it. Since I sold my Harmony a long time ago, I guess I must have concluded that it wasn't worth it. Smile

I felt exactly as you and did precisely the same thing. Customizing my remote (once I had something I could customize, and be happy with the end product) became a little hobby project just like the theater itself. Now, I have a remote as customized as my theater. It's very personal.

Lundmark wrote:
That said, I'm now using the very ugly and plasticky remote of my Yamaha receiver to operate all my equipment so I don't think I've evolved in terms of how I use it. At least with the Harmony, my girlfriend could watch TV on her own.

I got a good price on a brand new Harmony 1100 (150 euros) which I will probably try to see whether all the bugs of the 1000 have been squished. The touchscreen is still terrible though. I can't seem to find any issues with iRule (aside from the tedious procedure of drawing my own graphics) so while the Harmony might do the job in the meantime, I will also embark on my quest of creating the perfect remote control in iRule.

Good luck. I was never happy with the Harmony. I wanted much, much more. I love that iRule is IP-based, so there are no RF or line-of-sight issues. It just works, whether I'm in the theater, or in the driveway. Wink

Yes, even my wife can use the theater, now. Setup isn't trivial... It will take some time investment, but the payoff is well worth it in my opinion.

Cheers!

SC
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Spanky Ham




Joined: 22 Mar 2006
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PostLink    Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anything new going to be released at Cedia?
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ecrabb
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TV/Projector: JVC RS40, Epson 5010


PostLink    Posted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course! It's CEDIA, so the updates are mostly interesting for professionals, but there are some goodies the DIY enthusiasts like us will enjoy, too. Can't say anything right now, but everybody is working really hard to bring some cool, new stuff to the show!

I'll post here as soon as I can. Wink

SC
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MarchingCRT




Joined: 14 Nov 2008
Posts: 29
Location: Baltimore, MD


PostLink    Posted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:10 am    Post subject: help with rs232 setup Reply with quote

After two years on and off- mostly off- I finally changed the channel on my satellite box using iRule and a global cache gateway. I thought this project would be a bit more plug and play... Shocked but with the help of many google searches and learning about networking, I am up and running. Not too bad for a trombone player. Now I would like to get my Marquee 8500 working through serial commands, but I don't think I can figure this one out on my own. Would one of you be willing to coach me through getting this part of iRule up and running?

Thanks
Trent

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VideoGrabber




Joined: 09 Apr 2006
Posts: 933
Location: Michigan


PostLink    Posted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SC,

you have a PM about gateways. I thought I'd give up a heads up here, since I know you sometimes don't see your PMs right away.

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ecrabb
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Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 15909
Location: Utah

TV/Projector: JVC RS40, Epson 5010


PostLink    Posted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got your PM and responded Tim.

Trent, somebody here got iRule controlling a Marquee... Shouldn't be a big deal at all. I can help.

Here's the protocol docs on Tim's site:
http://www.etechvideo.com/downloads/rs232pdf_bulletins.zip

Page 13 of the protocol manual shows sample command strings, such as this one for POWER ON:
01 07 00 00 03 FF 08 1B 81 00 0E

The Builder uses a "\x" to denote a hex byte, so the string would look like this in Builder:
\x01\x07\x00\x00\x03\xFF\x08\x1B\x81\x00\x0E

There's a tutorial on the iRule support site for learning IR commands. The process of creating a device and device codes and pasting in the code in the Builder is similar; you'll just be creating "Network Codes" instead of "Global Cache" or "Pronto Hex" codes, which are IR.

Copy/paste the commands you need (I wouldn't recommend duplicating the entire Marquee command set in iRule unless you don't have a remote. Program the stuff you use 80 or 90% of the time and use the factory remote the other 10%; doing geometry touch-ups for instance.

Then, make sure you have the GC serial port set up like the Marquee, and you should be good to go. Let me know how you make out.

SC
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MarchingCRT




Joined: 14 Nov 2008
Posts: 29
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PostLink    Posted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SC

Thanks for pointing me in the right direction! I would not have connected the dots by myself. I have a couple of codes ready to upload and am waiting on a serial cable. I will post back when I try it all out. Thanks again!
Trent
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ecrabb
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Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 15909
Location: Utah

TV/Projector: JVC RS40, Epson 5010


PostLink    Posted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No problem, Trent! Let us know how things go and if you have any issues.

Cheers,
SC
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Flopp




Joined: 11 Dec 2012
Posts: 3



PostLink    Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ecrabb wrote:

Lights Page
These tap the serial part on the gateway to send simple X10 commands, that my home automation controller receives, and runs Insteon and X10 "scenes". I sort of "abstracted" it that way so I can tweak the lighting without touching any of the remote stuff. Plus, I only execute one command from iRule, but that can do a whole number of things without setting up a macro in iRule. I added a "clean" button that runs my lights up "retinal scan" mode, which is otherwise never used. Wink


I dont have any equipment, yet.

I have some x10 at home and planning to buy nexa or more x10.

I guess you have an itach with rs232 port, correct?

But what commands do you send, have you found the commands yourself or can you choose it in iRule builder?

Another question:

Do you or anyone else know if it is possible to control tellstick net from irule?
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ecrabb
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PostLink    Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Flopp,

I'm not very familiar with Nexa, but if it's relatively "open" in that the command protocol is published and available, and there's good support, then I would think iRule should be able to control it. I do see some Nexa devices shared in the user library - both IR and RS-232, but I don't know anything about it.

As for X10, something has to go between the iOS or Android device and the X10 devices, and that "something" is an X10 controller. The controller can be a network device that iRule talks to directly, or an IR or RS-232 device that iRule talks to through an iTach or GC-100 IR emitter or serial port. The controller you use will dictate what the command protocol looks like.

In my system, I first used a Smarthome Insteon controller, so my commands were formatted for that device... They were basically a series of hexadecimal codes like this:
\xFF\x0A\x0F\x33\x21

Later, I switched to controlling my lights with Indigo software for OS X, which uses a RESTful API, so now my commands look like this:
devices/HT%20Rack%20Light?isOn=1&_method=put

That gets mapped to an HTTP gateway since Indigo is basically a web server.

I'm not familiar with the TellStick, but a quick bit of googling leads me to believe the TellStick Net may be controllable by iRule in the same way that Indigo is for me. How difficult it is depends on several things, but primarily how widely-used the device is (for support), and how much documentation is available on the control protocol. I did some googling, and found a couple of forums in a language foreign to me talking about iRule/TellStick Net integration. From the translation, it seemed like somebody was doing it, but I'm not sure how it was working - possibly controlling a computer. If you can point me to some protocol or support documentation, I can forward it to the iRule techs to see if control is possible.

Regards,
SC
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Flopp




Joined: 11 Dec 2012
Posts: 3



PostLink    Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ecrabb wrote:
Hi Flopp,

I'm not very familiar with Nexa, but if it's relatively "open" in that the command protocol is published and available, and there's good support, then I would think iRule should be able to control it. I do see some Nexa devices shared in the user library - both IR and RS-232, but I don't know anything about it.

As for X10, something has to go between the iOS or Android device and the X10 devices, and that "something" is an X10 controller. The controller can be a network device that iRule talks to directly, or an IR or RS-232 device that iRule talks to through an iTach or GC-100 IR emitter or serial port. The controller you use will dictate what the command protocol looks like.

In my system, I first used a Smarthome Insteon controller, so my commands were formatted for that device... They were basically a series of hexadecimal codes like this:
\xFF\x0A\x0F\x33\x21

Later, I switched to controlling my lights with Indigo software for OS X, which uses a RESTful API, so now my commands look like this:
devices/HT%20Rack%20Light?isOn=1&_method=put

That gets mapped to an HTTP gateway since Indigo is basically a web server.

I'm not familiar with the TellStick, but a quick bit of googling leads me to believe the TellStick Net may be controllable by iRule in the same way that Indigo is for me. How difficult it is depends on several things, but primarily how widely-used the device is (for support), and how much documentation is available on the control protocol. I did some googling, and found a couple of forums in a language foreign to me talking about iRule/TellStick Net integration. From the translation, it seemed like somebody was doing it, but I'm not sure how it was working - possibly controlling a computer. If you can point me to some protocol or support documentation, I can forward it to the iRule techs to see if control is possible.

Regards,
SC


Thanks for a very good and long answer.

This is what I have got from telldus, manufacturing of tellstick net.

http://developer.telldus.com/blog/2012/03/02/help-us-develop-local-access-using-tellstick-net-build-your-own-firmware

I have no experience of programming or HTML. But if I can get one line how it works then I can guess how it works and try and error.
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Flopp




Joined: 11 Dec 2012
Posts: 3



PostLink    Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ecrabb wrote:
Hi Flopp,

I'm not very familiar with Nexa, but if it's relatively "open" in that the command protocol is published and available, and there's good support, then I would think iRule should be able to control it. I do see some Nexa devices shared in the user library - both IR and RS-232, but I don't know anything about it.

As for X10, something has to go between the iOS or Android device and the X10 devices, and that "something" is an X10 controller. The controller can be a network device that iRule talks to directly, or an IR or RS-232 device that iRule talks to through an iTach or GC-100 IR emitter or serial port. The controller you use will dictate what the command protocol looks like.

In my system, I first used a Smarthome Insteon controller, so my commands were formatted for that device... They were basically a series of hexadecimal codes like this:
\xFF\x0A\x0F\x33\x21

Later, I switched to controlling my lights with Indigo software for OS X, which uses a RESTful API, so now my commands look like this:
devices/HT%20Rack%20Light?isOn=1&_method=put

That gets mapped to an HTTP gateway since Indigo is basically a web server.

I'm not familiar with the TellStick, but a quick bit of googling leads me to believe the TellStick Net may be controllable by iRule in the same way that Indigo is for me. How difficult it is depends on several things, but primarily how widely-used the device is (for support), and how much documentation is available on the control protocol. I did some googling, and found a couple of forums in a language foreign to me talking about iRule/TellStick Net integration. From the translation, it seemed like somebody was doing it, but I'm not sure how it was working - possibly controlling a computer. If you can point me to some protocol or support documentation, I can forward it to the iRule techs to see if control is possible.

Regards,
SC


Maybe this one also

http://developer.telldus.com/doxygen/html/TellStickNet.html
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ecrabb
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PostLink    Posted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spanky Ham wrote:
One thing I haven't seen is a complete walkthrough from beginning to end with Irule. This is from setting up the hardware to software to using the system. Steve, are you guys working on anything like this in a video or still shot format? Also, what is the average time to set up both the hardware and software?


We've talked about putting together a video like that, but the problem is how open-ended it is, and how different every system is. I can show you how to set up a typical living room system or a basic HT, but probably every single thing in your system will be different from mine, so we show you those steps piecemeal, in a general sense. We do want to do a video like that just to show how fast and easy it can be.

Time-wise, I can do a living room-type system in under half an hour, start to finish, including hardware, and maybe even a little light customization. If it's a guy's first time, it'll be way more than that - even if he's a techie - but it totally depends on the system... Wireless or wired? One source or three? One handset or two? Customizing or just using the template as-is?

I'd say a typical guy from this forum, knowing some computer stuff, a little networking, and basic A/V stuff... Assuming a typical HT with projector, AV receiver or prepro, BD, sat/cable, and a media player or something could get a basic working remote together in two or three hours on a Sunday afternoon. That includes some tweaking, some learning, some trial and error, etc.

Then, if you're anything like most of us OCD types, that's not the end; it's just the beginning! You start having fun tweaking, making things how YOU want them, not how the manufacturer wanted them. Then, a month goes buy, six months go by, then you realize how much you know, and you throw it all out and start all over - just because you can. Wink

Here's another metric you can use as a point of reference: Professional installers sit though a four-hour training session that covers all the basics. Not only do they learn all about how to use and deploy the product in customer installations, but they also create their own working showroom/demo remote, live during the training.

Cheers,
SC
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Spanky Ham




Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 5643
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PostLink    Posted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is some good info. I think a lot of people might be intimidated by the time factor. If someone knew that they could have Irule up and running in a couple of hours, then it is less a barrier of entry.

The video would be cool. I understand that everyones system is different product wise, but I bet that 90% of the people in the world have the same four or so products - display (flat panel or pj), media player (BR, dvd, Roku, etc.), cable/sat box and AVR. A video showing a beginning to end generic set up would give customers an idea of what is involved and how easy or hard it may be for them.
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Nashou66




Joined: 12 Jan 2007
Posts: 16170
Location: West Seneca NY


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve, I have been looking at someip based light switches and plugs like Wemo and Insteon. Can those be integrated to iRule?

http://www.belkin.com/us/Products/home-automation/c/wemo-home-automation/


http://www.smarthome.com/_/INSTEON/_/23b/land.aspx?src=WG1002597&gclid=CKX-mpvDlLwCFZRr7AodbFIAMQ


Not sure if you mentioned it earlier in the thread or not.

I like the on off of the WeMo plug I could use that for my marquee's and front amps.

But I like the Insteaon for the greater flexability.

Nashou

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ecrabb
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PostLink    Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Athanasios!

iRule can control either WeMo or Insteon, as well as several other lighting and automation solutions. For you, I'd highly recommend Insteon over WeMo, though.

WeMo currently falls into more of the "techie/geek" category for guys (and girls) who want to play with controlling things with with their iPhone or Android device. There are some nice conveniences with regard to ease-of-setup and for control right from your iPhone, and from off-site with their cloud service, but otherwise, the system's capability and flexibility runs out very quickly. It's significantly cheaper to get started, but the price delta closes as you expand your system.

Insteon on the other hand works well for automation enthusiasts, those who don't just want control, but also want to to automate. It's a little more expensive to get started - about $180 for a controller (software or hardware appliance) and a PLM (PowerLinc Modem), and that's before you buy a single switch or appliance module. However, for the extra up-front investment, you get a system that's super-flexbile, über-expandable, with lots of third-party compatibility, and extremely powerful controllers.

Do you happen to have a Mac sitting on your network running 24/7? You have a mini, don't you?

SC
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Nashou66




Joined: 12 Jan 2007
Posts: 16170
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PostLink    Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ecrabb wrote:
Hi Athanasios!

iRule can control either WeMo or Insteon, as well as several other lighting and automation solutions. For you, I'd highly recommend Insteon over WeMo, though.

WeMo currently falls into more of the "techie/geek" category for guys (and girls) who want to play with controlling things with with their iPhone or Android device. There are some nice conveniences with regard to ease-of-setup and for control right from your iPhone, and from off-site with their cloud service, but otherwise, the system's capability and flexibility runs out very quickly. It's significantly cheaper to get started, but the price delta closes as you expand your system.

Insteon on the other hand works well for automation enthusiasts, those who don't just want control, but also want to to automate. It's a little more expensive to get started - about $180 for a controller (software or hardware appliance) and a PLM (PowerLinc Modem), and that's before you buy a single switch or appliance module. However, for the extra up-front investment, you get a system that's super-flexbile, über-expandable, with lots of third-party compatibility, and extremely powerful controllers.

Do you happen to have a Mac sitting on your network running 24/7? You have a mini, don't you?

SC


Yes I have amax mini server, but updated to maverick and dropped the server software as I have no idea how to set this up as a server like I had planed with a static ip address to host photos and maybe a small web site for the Odyssey.

But I want to be able to fire up the marquee and all associated theater equipment from the web so it be ready when I get home form work etc.

Aslo want to get a web based thermostat and some light controls along with the ability to monitor my garage as it opens from time to time from the small airplanes landing at the small buffalo airport up the street. I often come home to an open garage.

nashou

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"Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the Democrats believe every day is April 15." --- President Reagan

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garyfritz




Joined: 08 Apr 2006
Posts: 11387
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PostLink    Posted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nash, you will probably have to get the static IP from your ISP. Normally they determine the IP your network presents to the world. Then you'll have to determine how to make your server visible to the world without opening yourself up to attack. Probably you'll set up your router to open up port 80 pointing to your mini.
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Spanky Ham




Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 5643
Location: Comedy Central


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When are you going to have a Window's option?

In the other thread, you mention world domination. Smile I was in Home Depot and I saw a door lock that you could open with your phone. Absolutely cool, as I have already locked myself out a couple of times. Last time, I had to repel down the side of the building to my balcony to get in. I am all over this.

http://www.kwikset.com/Kevo/default.aspx?utm_source=buffer&utm_campaign=Buffer&utm_content=buffer18fe2&utm_medium=twitter#.Uuph4KE24iA


Oh and don't think I didn't see your update, Steve. Are you spending more time in Michigan?Shocked

I bumped this thread to keep Irule on top. Take that HKSteve. Wink
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