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Topic:
Controlling Serial Devices from iPronto
This thread has 14 replies. Displaying all posts.
Post 1 made on Monday November 29, 2004 at 01:48
mzecchi
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I have some elements in my house which are controlled by Serial Commands. These elements are connected to one PC. Is there any possibility to send commands to these elements via a message from the iPronto to the PC? Having the WiFi connection should be easy, but I could noy find it in the Remote Controller Design Programs. Thanks.
Post 2 made on Monday November 29, 2004 at 07:27
pipman
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Philips have promised an rs232 NetX controller that will do what you will require. However, don't hold your breath as it seems that Philips are taking their time on delivering...

Alternative would be to setup a webpage on your pc that links into the rs232 controlled units...
OP | Post 3 made on Monday November 29, 2004 at 11:36
mzecchi
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Setting up a webpage on my PC is OK, but then I would not be able to mix IR commands and RS232 commands. Is this true or can I mix web pages with IR commands? Thanks for your fast answer. Regards.
Post 4 made on Tuesday November 30, 2004 at 10:26
pipman
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sadly this is not possible, unless you want to trade up to a crestron/amx style controller (which is a massive investment!!) then for now the iPronto will not do as you need.

To be frank, I have been using my iPronto now for a year, I am very happy with what it does but not overjoyed by what Philips put in its original marketing material vs. what is actually available.

Personally, I doubt I will invest in Philips products again due to their apparant lack of ability to deliver what they marketed, but thats a whole other subject in itself!
Post 5 made on Saturday January 15, 2005 at 23:25
Barry Gordon
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With the PC in the loop you can do anything you want. In fact my whole theater runs that way. The ipronto sends only IR which the PC receives. It then decides what button on the ipronto was pressed by thereceived device/function codes. It then decides just what actions will be executed. The actions allow testing of status, genertion of IR sequences, Audio messages, and RS232 sequences. It is based upon tables of IR codes and RS232 sequences and a simple language the employs subroutines, conditional branching and IR/RS232 generation. If yoiu are interested drop me a line. Check my profile.
Post 6 made on Saturday January 22, 2005 at 16:07
Alan Lindsay
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Hi Barry,

Your solution sounds really interesting . Based on your description your inexpensive PC is acting like a Control Processor in a Crestron sytem and your iPronto is your acting more like a Crestron wireless touch panel sending single commands to a control procesor that outputs ir& rs232.

How does this compare both in cost and funtionality with the solutions from Crestron/AMX type systems?

What software/ hardware components are involved? Your PC receives IR commands through what type of interface? What hardware interface is used to communicate with the devices both ir and RS232 ( Global Cache ?)?. Lastly what is the software that drives the setup( HomeSeer?)? How reliable is the pc, do you need to reboot often? How high maintenance is the PC? I assume that the PC is always ON , would you use a laptop or a desk top?

Sounds very cool.

Thanks
Alan
Post 7 made on Monday January 24, 2005 at 00:10
Barry Gordon
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Might be better to take this off line. Check my profile for my email address.

The PC is never rebooted unless I change something and need to do a little "regression rebooting". The system runs 24x7 on an IBM A21M laptop. In fact I just changed it to WinXP from Win2K today. Did a simple upgrade and needed to change one set of drivers and all is working well. Also sails through Power glitches(The PC does) since it is battery driven on a power supply. I use a small UPS to power the Slinke and the IOnetworks devices, but am looking at auto reinitialization after power loss to handle that better.

IR in is handled by a NECIR2PC which understands only NEC protocol, but I have programmed the iPronto to only put out NEC protocol. The nice thing about the NECIR2PC is that it is an RS232 serial device and provides a fully decoded hex string giving device and key codes. All for about $40. IR out is handled by a Nirvis Slink. RS232 port expansion is By an IO networks USB to 8 serial (just bought a spare for $36 on ebay).

I figure I can duplicate all of the hardware needed for under $1000. The most expensive device being the PC, followed by the Slinke.

The software is the result of years of work and I am in the process of building a more open version. The problem is controlling RS232 devices. There are so many protocols used by each mfg that you practically need a custom driver for each one.

Yes it is basically a Crestron or AMX with the PC being the control element and the iPronto (Or any pronto) being the user interface
Post 8 made on Tuesday February 22, 2005 at 11:05
menino
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Dear Barry,
I am interested in your solution too.

can I write you offline?
Post 9 made on Tuesday February 22, 2005 at 16:53
tkrug
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Have you guys looked at a program called Girder?
www.promixis.com

It is PC based software that can be instructed to handle ANY commands received ANY way you want. All you need in order to control it via iPronto is an IR Receiver/Transceiver (like USB-UIRT). You could also control it from WIFI I believe. Basically, you tell it what action to perform when a particular code is received. It can transmit signals, open programs, whatever.
-Tim

Pronto Neo FAQ: [Link: remotecentral.com]
Post 10 made on Thursday February 24, 2005 at 07:47
Jean-Max
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On 02/22/05 16:53 ET, tkrug said...
Have you guys looked at a program called Girder?
.... All you need in order to control it via iPronto
is an IR Receiver/Transceiver (like USB-UIRT).
..... Basically, you tell it what action to perform
when a particular code is received. It can transmit
signals, open programs, whatever.

Hello,
I have USBUIRT module on my HTPC , Girder (I use the USBUIRT plugin) and Ipronto : All is fine
But I would want to send (like everyone in this thread) RS232 commands from the HTPC to some HT devices (for me : a projector and a scaler)

You tell that Girder can do that ?

Thanks for more infos (or a web link) about that !

Best regards From France :)
Jean-Max
Post 11 made on Friday February 25, 2005 at 00:52
tkrug
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have you tried using the girder serial port plugin?

[Link: promixis.com]

then search the girder forum for threads on serial devices...
[Link: promixis.com]
-Tim

Pronto Neo FAQ: [Link: remotecentral.com]
Post 12 made on Friday February 25, 2005 at 11:40
Barry Gordon
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Menino,

Sure contact me offline via my profile.
Post 13 made on Friday February 25, 2005 at 11:48
Barry Gordon
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As I stated in an earlier post in this thread, the biggest problem with RS232 is that no two devices use the same protocols and rules. There are perhaps some exceptions), but in general you have to build a serial based (RS232) driver to handle every device that you wish to control via RS232. I have built them for The lexicon MC-1 A/V processor; The BenQ PE8700 Projector; The Pioneer F07 DVD changer; Some KDS Component video switchers; RCS line of Thermostats; The Polkk XM Sat radio tuner; and other devices.

If you are a reasonably competent programmer in lets say VB or C++ it is not at all difficult. What is difficult is getting the Protocol specs from the manufacturers. They are generally unwilling to provide them because of agreements with firms like Crestron or AMX. I have had to sign NDA's, Reverse engineer, pull my hair out, etc.

In many cases it is not simple Serial out, it is closed loop with error messages, acknowledgements, etc. Not hard, just tedious.



If I want to buy a new piece of gear that features an RS232 port I either get the specs I need or I don't buy it
Post 14 made on Sunday February 27, 2005 at 04:45
Jean-Max
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102
Hello
Because it's difficult to know the good Serial codes to comand specific HT hardwares, what about using the Serial original soft corresponding to the HT hardware, running on the HTPC and called from the Ipronto by VNC ?
Who as tried this ?
Jean-Max
Post 15 made on Sunday March 13, 2005 at 13:42
Brazilian Oscar
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March 2005
3
Hello Barry,
Congratulations!
Would I like to know his/her system of control of several interfaces was transformed already in only hardware if I can use pair to command Central of Automação PLC?

Oscar
Oscar Figueiredo
www.conexxa.com.br


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