mr-russ wrote:It was great to see the whole design philosophy and understand the direction it's going in. I'm in the designing the system phase and trying to understand the most reliable way to automation without the requirement for a pc.
Great! I'd love to see more discussion about overall architecture, which is one of the reasons I started talking about my projects publicly. I hope it'll stimulate more public discussion about other approaches because I'd love to have seen that myself. My idea with doing the videos was to consider what *I* would want to know about but haven't been able to find much documentation on, and just start talking about it. From my point of view if I found someone who was publishing in-depth videos about their home automation projects as a holistic series, not just a quick "hey look what I built!" thing on YouTube, I'd watch every second of it looking for clues to help me with my own projects.
There's nothing wrong with those quick one-off videos about specific projects, of course, and I love watching those too, but they tend to be just about non-integrated hacks rather than going in depth into a system that has developed over time. I would *love* to see a complete, in-depth series explaining all the different aspects of how things are done, but I haven't found one yet.
So, anyone who sees these videos and has ideas or examples of how you'd like to build something or (better still) how you've *actually* built it, please speak up. I don't have all the answers, and I don't even know what many of the questions should be, so I'm relying on sucking the brains of people with more experience than me in order to pull this off.
mr-russ wrote:I have been looking a vscp and wondering how does that compare with the MQTT approach as I only heard about MQTT as part of the episode. Do anybody have any feedback on the reasons for this approach?
And that sort of thing is *exactly* why I want to hear from other people! I hadn't even heard of VSCP until @akhe's post, and I don't know anything about it other than what I've gleaned from a quick look at the website. From there I've learned that @akhe is actually the founder of the VSCP project so he's pretty much the best expert we could possibly have on the topic. I love it when I'm made aware of cool things I hadn't heard of before.
Just at first glance it appears that VSCP and MQTT are trying to solve very similar problems, and they seem to do it in quite similar ways. I just happen to have come across MQTT through people I know who have experience with it including @geekscape (Andy Gelme) but it looks like VSCP would be a very admirable alternative. If I'd come across VSCP first I may well have ended up using that.
mr-russ wrote:I agree with the question regarding 2 buttons vs 1. I thought you could do on/off/fade all with one button if you program it correctly.
Sure, easy. That would just be a software change in the logic that processes the incoming events from panels and dispatches events to the switchboards. In future I could certainly do that, but the reason I went for pairs of buttons initially was just to avoid having to maintain any concept of "state" centrally. Right now the logic code is sessionless and has no local storage: it just does a lookup from incoming button events and dispatches something as a result. It couldn't be much simpler (or dumber) which is intentional.
Maintaining a concept of state is certainly something I want to do, because it will also allow indication back to the panels. Right now the buttons are constantly illuminated, but their illumination could change to indicate the state of the device they're associated with. Changing the state of a device using one panel would require other panels associated with the same device to also change their displayed state.
mr-russ wrote:From previous video blogs I've seen you have 1 arduino for a single light switch. Is that correct? I would have thought you could share arduino hardware where switches are near each other. Is there a reason for that or do I have it wrong?
You're right, that would certainly be possible. In practice though I haven't found many situations where it actually happens: I can't think of a single location in the house where there are switches nearby on adjacent sides of a wall, or somewhere that it would be trivial to run a cable between them. The obvious scenario would be if you have a switch inside a bedroom door and another switch in the hallway on the other side of the door, but due to the geometry of our house that hasn't happened. Even switches that are physically within a meter of each other are in positions where they're on different segments of wall, or otherwise isolated.