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Global Cache GC-100-12's (for iRule) very cheap on eBay!

 
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gnnash




Joined: 10 Jul 2013
Posts: 216
Location: Lake Elmo, MN


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:56 am    Post subject: Global Cache GC-100-12's (for iRule) very cheap on eBay! Reply with quote


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Well, looks like I'll be joining the iRule crowd...

I had always been interested, but the entry coat of purchasing enough iTach hardware had deterred me. I need at least four IR ports (at 2 emitter heads per port) and two serial ports. A couple relay contacts would be great as well. Purchasing enough iTachs for all of this would be $$$$$.

So, I was perusing eBay this evening, and found this listing: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Global-Cache-GC-100-12-GC-100-Home-Network-Router-Security-lighting-Networking-/151213465335?pt=Home_Automation_Controls_Touchscreens&hash=item2335065ef7

Used GC-100-12 units (6 IR ports, 2 serial ports, and 3 relay contacts). Comes to just under $100 with shipping, less than the cost of a single itach. Only one connection available, so no simultaneous remotes, but that wont be a problem for me. Looks like the seller has quite a few left!

Not sure if these deals come by often, but I figured I'd share, since it pushed me over the edge!

[/u]
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Nashou66




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


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you can daisy chain them together trough the RS 232 ports if you want.


Athanasios

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gnnash




Joined: 10 Jul 2013
Posts: 216
Location: Lake Elmo, MN


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nashou66 wrote:
I think you can daisy chain them together trough the RS 232 ports if you want.


Athanasios


Hmm... daisy chain two GC-100s together, or perhaps daisy chain an iTech flex to a GC-100 for more than one simultaneous connection? I guess I'm confused here as to what the daisy chaining does.
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Curt Palme
CRT Tech



Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 23993
Location: Langley, BC

TV/Projector: All of them!


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks, I'm grabbing two. Am doing the 4 hour training course in 15 minutes. Looking forward to this, but not looking forward to the learning curve. At my advanced age, my brain may explode. Smile

Still, as the only IRule dealer in BC, this will be good!
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HogPilot




Joined: 21 Jan 2010
Posts: 2383


TV/Projector: Vizio P702ui-B3, Pioneer Elite Pro-151FD & 111FD


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm assuming these could be connected to a wireless network via a wireless bridge? I could potentially run a Cat5 cable from my wireless router to this, but they're not co-located and I'd prefer to avoid the long run of partially exposed wire.
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ecrabb wrote:
Curt Palme wrote:
Interesting, Mac isn't returning my emails. Go figure.

He's mad at us for making Hog a moderator. He took his ball and went home.

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Nashou66




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


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HogPilot wrote:
I'm assuming these could be connected to a wireless network via a wireless bridge? I could potentially run a Cat5 cable from my wireless router to this, but they're not co-located and I'd prefer to avoid the long run of partially exposed wire.


I don't see why not.

I ordered two myself and I still have a new one unopened !!!

I need to get learning iRule like you Curt!

Nashou

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Don't blame your underwear for your crooked ass~ unknown Greek philosopher


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

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gnnash




Joined: 10 Jul 2013
Posts: 216
Location: Lake Elmo, MN


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I need to start learning as well... I was averse to a touchscreen-only interface, it's nice to have volume buttons in the dark, but I'm sure I'll get used to it.

With all of you ordering two, I'm beginning to wonder if I should get another for my living room. You guys might have them all bought up by the time I get to try it out! Shocked
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ecrabb
Forum Moderator



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 15909
Location: Utah

TV/Projector: JVC RS40, Epson 5010


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HogPilot wrote:
I'm assuming these could be connected to a wireless network via a wireless bridge? I could potentially run a Cat5 cable from my wireless router to this, but they're not co-located and I'd prefer to avoid the long run of partially exposed wire.

With control, it only works as well as the weakest link, so if your network sucks, so will system control. Basically, you want as strong of a signal, and as little latency as possible. With that caveat, there's no reason you shouldn't be able to use a wireless bridge. You can always fall back to wired, or sell the GC-100 and switch to an iTach if you wanted.

More on the GC-100 in a sec...

SC
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ecrabb
Forum Moderator



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 15909
Location: Utah

TV/Projector: JVC RS40, Epson 5010


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guys,

That seller has been selling surplus GC-100's for months. I don't know how many they have, or where the heck they came from, but they must have pulled a BUNCH from a large install or something. I know that at least a dozen guys in the iRule thread on AVS have bought them, and who knows how many others have bought them that don't post at AVS, or more who don't even use iRule?

Just a few words of caution on the ebay GC-100's:

- As gnash pointed out, they'll only support a single IP connection, so no control of multi-room equipment like lighting or audio controllers where two users may want to control simultaneously. Not a huge deal for most, but it's worth pointing out. If a client is already connected, iRule will just fail to connect. It's not like there will be smoke or flames. Wink

- The GC-100 is a very old product. The firmware isn't field-upgradable, so if you get an older one and want it upgraded, you have to send it to Global Caché. It's not a problem once updated. Because it's such a mature product, it hasn't been updated for at least 4-5 years.

- On that same subject, because these are probably the older models, they default to a static IP address, even when reset. The newer firmware defaults to DHCP, so it'll get an IP address from your network like most network gear made in the last 10 years. It's not a big deal if you're comfortable with networking; you just have to connect it to a switch, or to your computer with a crossover cable, setup your computer's network settings to match the GC-100's default static IP, reconfigure it to match your network, reboot, and connect everything to your main network. If you're comfortable with a little networking beyond plugging stuff in, you'll be fine, but some guys on AVS have been a little frustrated and actually sent them back to buy an iTach, so I thought it was worth mentioning.

I always recommend the iTach because it's newer, more user-friendly, field-upgradable, and personally, I think it's a little less trouble-free. That said, it's a huge value: Six IR outputs, two RS-232, and some contact closures. If you can make use of most of that functionality, and you don't mind a little extra hassle setting it up, it's a good option.

I have a GC-100 in my theater rack, and a couple of iTach's for the living room and bedroom setups, so I use both. In the grand scheme of how much I've spent on my system, the price of a couple of iTach's is like the pocket change that gets stuck in the couch. I hate to admit that, but it's true. Wink

Feel free to post a list of the gear you want to control, how they are placed (room, proximity, e.g. these pieces here, these pieces there), and we can all help to make sure you have the best/right hardware.

Cheers,
SC
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ecrabb
Forum Moderator



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 15909
Location: Utah

TV/Projector: JVC RS40, Epson 5010


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gnnash wrote:
Nashou66 wrote:
I think you can daisy chain them together trough the RS 232 ports if you want.


Hmm... daisy chain two GC-100s together, or perhaps daisy chain an iTech flex to a GC-100 for more than one simultaneous connection? I guess I'm confused here as to what the daisy chaining does.


Definitely no daisy-chaining; there would be no reason to do so that I can think of. However, you can just put multiple GC-100's on a network, and iRule can talk to them at the same time.

For instance, you could have two GC-100-12's in a rack, connect Athanasios' two Marquees to one, and a Lumagen and surround processor to the other. When you pressed the "System On" button, the macro would fire off the commands to all four devices to turn on in sequence.

Complex systems are where system control really shines. It's so cool to reduce a complicated sequence of button presses (either on multiple remotes, or walking yourself around to black boxes) to a single press on a touch-screen.

SC
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gnnash




Joined: 10 Jul 2013
Posts: 216
Location: Lake Elmo, MN


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the clarification on these. I bought one for the value aspect - I paid nothing for my projector, and as little as I could for the gear I do have, so the small hassles are worth it to me. Plus, I'm just dipping my toe in the iRule water, I'm kinda worried about the lack of physical buttons in a control setup like this. If I like it, I'll probably get an iTach or two at some point!
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ecrabb
Forum Moderator



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 15909
Location: Utah

TV/Projector: JVC RS40, Epson 5010


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gnnash wrote:
Thanks for the clarification on these. I bought one for the value aspect - I paid nothing for my projector, and as little as I could for the gear I do have, so the small hassles are worth it to me. Plus, I'm just dipping my toe in the iRule water, I'm kinda worried about the lack of physical buttons in a control setup like this. If I like it, I'll probably get an iTach or two at some point!

Totally understand your concerns. I wondered the same thing when I first started… You know, the whole, "but I don't want to look down at my remote all the time to find the buttons" complaint. When I really thought about it though, other than a few functions like volume and mute, I was looking down at my old physical-button remote all the time, anyway… Switching the d-pad from one device to another, sources, etc. Basically everything but the couple of buttons that were easy to find via tactile feel. Hated doing it in the dark, too because really well-designed remotes with good, readable backlit graphics are almost nonexistent.

But, with gestures and hard-button support, I don't feel like I've lost anything, but I've gained a LOT. I think the only significant difference in functionality is having to leave a device on if you're channel-surfing or need to "ride the volume". But, these devices all easily last for hours, so it hasn't bothered me a bit. Even when I'm watching DVR'd TV and fast-forwarding every 10 minutes, and even if I've put my device to sleep, it takes less than a second to wake the device, let it connect, and fast-forward. No biggie at all.

I'm way more than happy to have given up simple/instant/tactile aspect of the old hard-button remote to have a completely customized touch-screen, with graphics and macros, and layouts that are how *I* want them. I also love being able to control multiple rooms from the same remote, and I love that it takes just a few minutes to swap out a device in the remote. Handy for those of us that change gear like we change our underwear. Wink

The bottom line for me was when my wife could use the system when I wasn't even home. That's when I know I'd really nailed it! Makes it much easier to spend money on gear when my wife doesn't need me to run the system for her. Wink

SC
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HogPilot




Joined: 21 Jan 2010
Posts: 2383


TV/Projector: Vizio P702ui-B3, Pioneer Elite Pro-151FD & 111FD


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ecrabb wrote:
Feel free to post a list of the gear you want to control, how they are placed (room, proximity, e.g. these pieces here, these pieces there), and we can all help to make sure you have the best/right hardware.

Cheers,
SC


Firstly, thanks for extensive info you've posted here. It's been incredibly helpful. I've been eying iRule for a while now, because I have about 8 remotes that I have to shuffle through in my theater, and it's gotten quite old.

Here's the list of gear I'd like to control:

JVC RS55
Pioneer Elite SC-07
Lumagen Radiance XE
Oppo BDP-93
Toshiba HD-A2
XBox 360 (on/off only, not an issue if this isn't possible)
Apple TV (1st Gen)
Carada CIH Masquerade

All of this is in my theater, so no need for multi-room control. It's about 30 ft from my FiOS Wireless-N router, but that's in another room hence my question about connecting via a wireless bridge. Of course, if I went the iTach route vs the GC-100, that would be a moot point, albeit a larger outlay for the hardware.

Thoughts?

_________________
ecrabb wrote:
Curt Palme wrote:
Interesting, Mac isn't returning my emails. Go figure.

He's mad at us for making Hog a moderator. He took his ball and went home.

SC
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ecrabb
Forum Moderator



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 15909
Location: Utah

TV/Projector: JVC RS40, Epson 5010


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hog, here's how I'd connect your gear, assuming you connect a bridge to your rack/equipment location:

Pioneer Elite SC-07 - RS-232
Not network-capable for control. RS-232 for full feedback of volume, surround mode, etc.

JVC RS55 - IP (ethernet), IR fine as alternative
Unless you can run an ethernet cable up to the ceiling in conduit or something, you'll probably just want to hit it with an IR blaster. If you have conduit, you can also run a piece of Cat-5 as an extension and just stick an emitter on it. That's how I controlled my JVC until I finally got it networked.

Lumagen Radiance XE - IR or RS-232
I'll ask Whitcomb about this one. He loves controlling the Lumagen from iRule… He used the AR buttons right in iRule, put it in a bottom drawer, and no matter what part of the remote you're in, you can swipe up and change the AR, or other Lumagen controls. Not sure about IR vs. RS-232, so I'll check it out.

Oppo BDP-93 - IR or RS-232
I control mine with RS-232, but IR is fine. With RS-232 you can actually get feedback on total time, time remaining, transport modes, etc. I don't even use it, though. I wish we could do IP, but Oppo's IP protocol is ridiculous. I've been swapping some emails back and forth with their engineers to get them to implement a simple control protocol like so many other manufacturers.

Toshiba HD-A2 - IR

XBox 360 - IR
The 360 does some sort of bit-swapping thing, but it's just picking the right device in iRule Builder. You'll have a pretty full command set, including x-box button, d-pad, a/b, transport, etc. Basically the Windows Media remote, I think.

Apple TV (1st Gen) - IR
With aTV Flash, the original Apple TV is IP-control capable, and pretty powerful... So if you wanted to mess with that, you could. Otherwise, IR works fine. You just have to unpair the Apple factory remote.

Carada CIH Masquerade - ?
I don't see codes for the Masquerade in Builder now, but I assume it's IR. There's a good chance we already support it; I just need to find out what motor controller they're using. If not, I'll have the guys get the codes from Carada and get them in.

That's about it. If you want to do with just the GC-100, then you can control the SC-07 and Lumagen RS-232, and everything else IR. You'll need emitters and one blaster (which isn't cheap for the GC-100, as it's a powered blaster).

So, your GC-100-12 will look like this:
RS-232-1: Pioneer SC-07
RS-232-2: Lumagen
IR-1: Oppo
IR-2: HD-A2
IR-3: Xbox 360
IR-4: ATV
IR-5: Masking
IR-6: Blaster: Masking, projector

If you buy the GC-100-12 off ebay, unless you can run some cat-5 IR extension cables to the projector and masking controller, you'll also need a GC-BL2 for $45 to hit at least the projector. If the ebay unit doesn't come with emitters, you'll need 4-5 of those for another $20 or $25 so, so total of about $150. Add a WiFi bridge, and you're probably around $180 or $190. Three Wi-Fi iTaches (1 IR, 2 serial, plus some dual emitters) will run over $300, so you're still saving at least $100, and you can network some other devices in your equipment location (like the Oppo, or if you get something new that doesn't have Wi-Fi built-in.

I've no doubt forgotten some details, so let me know if you have questions.

Cheers,
SC
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HogPilot




Joined: 21 Jan 2010
Posts: 2383


TV/Projector: Vizio P702ui-B3, Pioneer Elite Pro-151FD & 111FD


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ecrabb wrote:
Hog, here's how I'd connect your gear, assuming you connect a bridge to your rack/equipment location:

[snip]

I've no doubt forgotten some details, so let me know if you have questions.

Cheers,
SC


Wow...thank you so much for all the info! It was way more than I expected but every bit of it was incredibly helpful.

So here's my only real question after all of that: I don't mind spending the extra money for the Wi-Fi iTaches if you think it's worth it - which would you go with? I like that the iTaches are field updatable rather than having to send them in to the factory (something I'd probably do with the GC-100 before installing it), and having to add a wireless bridge to the GC-100 seems like one more piece of gear (albeit a relatively simple and easy to fix one) that can cause communication issues.

Thanks again for all your help with this.

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ecrabb wrote:
Curt Palme wrote:
Interesting, Mac isn't returning my emails. Go figure.

He's mad at us for making Hog a moderator. He took his ball and went home.

SC
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ecrabb
Forum Moderator



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 15909
Location: Utah

TV/Projector: JVC RS40, Epson 5010


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No problem. Happy to help.

Tough call. The Wi-Fi bridge/GC-100 route gives you some extra flexibility in that you could connect a switch and some other wired devices in the future. Of course, most stuff - even new higher-end AV receivers - are starting to come with Wi-Fi built-in, so that's probably not a big deal.

The iTach route will certainly cost more. The advantages are that they're newer, a little easier to work with, and they're much more salable if you decided to ditch them.

Worth it? Not sure. Kind of a toss-up, actually. Pluses and minuses to both. I wish I had a solid answer for you.

SC
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gnnash




Joined: 10 Jul 2013
Posts: 216
Location: Lake Elmo, MN


PostLink    Posted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update - I received my ebay unit yesterday. Appears to be in good shape, very minor scratches on the top, and some sticky tape residue that the seller couldn't be arsed with removing.

Powers up great, has firmware version 3.0, good enough!

I'm digging into my iRule trial right now, going to go downstairs and see how it works out this afternoon.
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