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    Palm Pilot as Home control center

    There seem to be 2 ways to go for a home control center for the family to use:

    1) Airpanel / Audrey etc. Install a full blown computer with touch screen and use wireless networking to interface with homeseer & internet

    2) LCD Serial text screen. Use an inexpensive serial driven LCD. Use stick a swithces / rf remotes to send commands.

    I am hoping for something in the middle. I have a Palm V palmpilot I no longer use. Its a back lit touch screen, has an OS and serial port and I have software tools for writing applications for it. The idea is to mount it and use is as a home control / information center.

    I am wondering if anyone has used something like an ocelot ASCII bobcat, shorthaul modem, or other serial interface to talk to a palm device. The trick is that that serial software inteface is written around Hotsync. I dont know what extent a program could be loaded in the palm to act like client and output to serieal interface for a PC to read via VB Script. Since the Palm supports a modem, i have to believe its possible.

    Any thoughts or recommendations?

    Paul
    Paul


    #2
    Does the Palm Pad not have a browser? If so why not keep it simple and use the touchpad interface with the PPC skin? It may be too slow but it's worth a try. There is also another stripped down PPC called rover that is lightning fast and was designed to work on a PPC type device.
    -Rupp
    sigpic

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      #3
      http://palmvnc2.free.fr/

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        #4
        I've used both palmVNC and a browser on my Palm Tungsten (using Rover, that Rupp mentioned) but it was the speed that put me off. I was connecting to my bluetooth enabled HS server. By the time I'd opened the Tungsten, started the browser, made the connection, and chosen the option I wanted to take, say, turn a light on, it would have been quicker to stand up and do it manually. Granted, my Tungsten wasn't a dedicated control device so it could be a bit quicker if it was and had the browser running all the time. I may give it another go, as I've got one spare now.

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          #5
          Yep, that all makes sense, if heading down the browser path, which would be preferred. My Palm 5 is 2 mb and 16Mhz processor however, so I dont think that TCP/IP will be possible, let alone the browser.

          I do have an application creation environment for the, palm, and I'm still intersted if someone's done that; create some simple button based apps on the palm that can send serial messages to and get messages from HS.
          Last edited by pbibm; March 23, 2005, 10:47 PM.
          Paul

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            #6
            Thinking back a couple of years, I had a version of OmniRemote on my palm III/V/Handspring Visor (delete as applicable. I can't remember which!) and their pc based remote creation software. I was able to download the X10 hex commands (from remotecentral.com iirc) and create a remote that way. This was before my IR7243 IR to X10 convertor decided to break. That would be an easier solution than having to write some bespoke code to only be able to use the palm in a cradle.

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              #7
              Yep, I have that too, and used it to train my MX500. I want to have something my family to use, a step along the way to an airpanel. The code environment for the Palm is actually quite easy to, and my coding needs on the palm are limited.

              I need to display some status text and buttons to controll "master" HVAC functions, lighting and irrigation. I would actually mount the palm somewhere, sort of a mini-airpanel. I do need to know I can control the serial port directly, it now looks like I can.

              Paul
              Paul

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                #8
                When you say you have a serial port, are you referring to the Palm cradle? You intend to keep it in the cradle all day?

                Additionally, my understanding of using the Palm as an IR remote isn't that great, as the strength of the IR is weak (maybe 5-6 feet)

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                  #9
                  Thats right. I dont intend to use IR at all. (Though the IR does work well as a remote. Lots of fun with the TVs at a bar....) Its my old palm V, its just sitting in a box. I dont need it otherwise. For this application, I do not have the requirements to move around with it, surf the net, that sort of thing. Just basic, simple home control. Sort of an alarm panel on steriods.

                  I will find a convienient place to mount it permenantly, and it will be my touch screen Home control interface. Since it has a serial port, and it would be easy to get it to the PC, serial would the naturual choice. I will build a fixture of some type and mount it to the wall. Its size is close to that of a RCS tstat, and I am trying to view it as amd extended set of functionaliy from that size of package:
                  • Some basic status text (HVAC, weather, last calls..)
                  • Program the 4 palm button for basic functtions (Arm/return, Comfort/HVAC, sprinkler, system status).
                  • Write simple touch screen apps that provide those functions, and communicate with HS via the serial port

                  Since I have an old one, the package size, functionality and band width all line up, I am thinking this is worth looking at. The question is, can the palm serial port be addressed both ways, initiated from HS and from the palm. I am thinking yes, time to play.

                  Paul
                  Last edited by pbibm; March 23, 2005, 09:52 AM.
                  Paul

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                    #10
                    Plam pilot... I think this is a great idea, as cheap as you can get old palms for on ebay, you could afford to have several of these around your house, or entry ways etc to control homeseer. The web browser concept would work, but it's really not the nicest interface, running on a plam... I'd prefer more of an interface like you see on the crestron pads.

                    You can do some pretty amazing things with an old palm pilot.
                    for instance emulate a Matrix Orbital display:
                    http://palmorb.sourceforge.net/

                    I bet you could rig that up so that homeseer is controlling that display.

                    build a robot:
                    http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~pprk/
                    not really useful for homeseer, but cool nonetheless.
                    Joe (zimmer62)

                    BLSecurtiy, AC-RF2, RCS Serial Thermostats, RFXCOM SMarthome SwitchLinc, mcsXap, Global Cache GC100, SqueezeBox, TWA_ONKYOINTEGRA, BLLogMonitor, BLPlugins, BLRadar, BLSpeech, BLZLog.aspx, HSTouch (Windows, iPhone, iPod), USB Mimo touchscreens, VMWare Server, Vortexbox, Windows Home Server, MyMovies, Windows Media Center, X10, ZWave, and much much much more.

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                      #11
                      Thanks! That is helpful. I have the 16mhz 68000 2MB version, so I am thinking that IP and web are just going to crawl. My handspring TREO has the right performance, but I wont be nailing it to the wall anytime soon...

                      I have an IDE called castle that is simple and will support what I want to do here provided I work through the physical communication issue.

                      But the PalmOrb looks even beter. Thanks for the lead.

                      Paul
                      Paul

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                        #12
                        I've just been looking through palmgear.com - There used to be software that allows you to control your pc via a palm in the cradle.

                        Here's what I found. Might be of use..

                        Pebbles PC
                        http://www.palmgear.com/index.cfm?fu...1&prodID=12301

                        TriConnect
                        http://www.palmgear.com/index.cfm?fu...1&prodID=97328

                        I'm sure there's more but I couldn't find them.

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                          #13
                          Thanks! PalmOrb looks pretty close. I dont know if its compatible with beta bright, but you seem to have me on the right trail now.

                          Paul
                          Paul

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                            #14
                            This topic has me intrigued since I have a bunch of ethernet to serial adapters coming soon.

                            Some software that looks perfect for this sort of application is found at www.picpalm.com. The attached example screen image could both show HS info and send back commands. Unfortunately, the page for ordering is not working... I wonder if the software is still actually available.


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                              #15
                              Boris

                              You're on the right track here. You can imagine the screen with relevant house data and action buttons. The terminal model is what's implied here, the button pushes send a char to a HS script, the script responds, or events send their own data (weather, temp, CID, etc....)

                              This screen is very compelling for what I want:


                              It looks like the order site is gone. I emailed the author, I will post back with the answer.

                              Thanks!


                              Paul
                              Paul

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