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  • Watchdog for my System

    I have not implemented any type of watchdog strategy. I am not even sure of what that means. Does "watchdog" mean a strategy for making sure that hardware is up and running?

    I am away on vacation and noticed that it appears that my router is down. Another time I cam home and noticed that NAV was locked up which didn't affect HomeSeer but incoming email stopped.

    These issues are rare but I do not want to put up with it now that I am unable to check things while I am away.

    So I would like to do the following:

    <UL TYPE=SQUARE>
    <LI>Make sure that router is working. If not restart it. Use an appliance module and have HS turn it ON and OFF.
    <LI>Make sure that email is working. Hmm.. Have HomeSeer send an email periodically back to same machine and then balk if it does not receive it within an appropraite amount of time? Ten minutes? Restart Outlook or machine itself?
    <LI>Lastly, and most importantly, restart HomeSeer if it is not working. What is best method to know it isn't working? Try hs.shutdown or since it may not be working at all then reboot machine. What is best method for rebooting machin remotely?[/list]
    Jim Doolittle

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  • #2
    Jim, search the board for Ocelot and watchdog (or watchcat?). Many of us use the Ocelot as a watchcat. I have added relays on my PC power switches and reset buttons so I can have the Ocelot turn things off and on. I believe you will find the CMAX code you need that way as well. I use an appliance module on my Roadrunner modem. I just ping the web and when it doesn't come back, I shutdown my wingate based PC and modem, then bring the modem back, and after a minute restart the PC. I check the web every 15 minutes. Stopped most complaints at home on the web connection. I also run Guardian Angel to catch high CPU utilization problems and shutdown/restart HS. I need to run HSWD from Rich again to catch handshake failures between HS/HSP.

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    • #3
      Jim,
      I have used one of these for years to reboot either of my PC's and my router if needed:

      http://www.smarthomeusa.com/Products...goryDesc=TR16A
      -Rupp
      sigpic

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      • #4
        I haven't used it on HomeSeer yet, but there are PC cards that perform that exact function. Basically they have a settable timer in them, and if you don't reset this timer at some interval, they reset your PC. You can reset the timer from HomeSeer using VBScript, or you can do it from a C program. Just search for something like "Watchdog PCI Card."

        Once you know that your PC and HomeSeer is running, you can have that test your router, e-mail, etc. and reset the power on it using HomeSeer if its not responding correctly.

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        • #5
          Thanks guys. I know I could do a search but was looking for some ideas to search for. You guys mentioned several different methods so now I will figure out which one will work best for me.

          I guess the question becomes whether I want to initiate the fix or to have it automatically. Maybe I will do both.

          Manually, the touch tone controller sounds like the way to go since web-based solutions will not work if router is down.

          For automatic supervision, the WatchDog PCI card would use up a slot so USB and I think I should keep such things external from the PC itself. So, I suppose the Ocelot is the way to go but I do not have the Secu with relays and that would have to be budgeted. I can't argue with Ocelot reliability as it has been running 24/7 for nearly 6 months and I have no prolbme programming with CMAX code.
          Jim Doolittle

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          • #6
            Jim, I looked at a separate serial attached PC watchdog and later felt that the relay controls of the SECU16 were a better value actually. I got both detection and relay control for my HS machine and my Wingate web machine out of that one box (plus some ratshack relays). Turned out cheaper than the serial attached watchdog. Had to string it together and write CMAX code but was very, very controllable that way and HS could be kept informed via Ocelot variables of what was going on. I use those variables for logging etc.

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            • #7
              Wish I would have bought the Secu16 instead of a Secu16I and this would be a no brainer. I think I will go ahead and buy a Secu16 but it will be a few months.

              Meanwhile, I need to try to figure out what is exactly wrong with my system. I cannot connect to either of two web servers which made me suspect that router was down but I connected to my mail server (at another location) and there was no mail suggesting that the HomeSeer box was still getting mail. SO, I don't know what is going on but I'm sure that it will be obivous once I get home. Well, obvious with respect to what is wrong but probably not obviosu how it happened.

              I would try to connect with UltraVNC (it supports 128-bit encryption) but I forgot to open the port to my HomeSeer server it is only opened up for my test machine .
              Jim Doolittle

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              • #8
                Hi Jim,
                I sympathize.
                I used to have a lot of issues with lockups and such, but those days seem to be gone. I do run an Ocelot watchdog combined with an appliance module. Also, I use CpuUse.exe and I look for more than 45% CPU usage in a script over a 10 minute time to trigger a reboot.

                So if I run too high a CPU, it reboots, if the computer locks solid, then the Ocelot doesn't see a response and the computer gets a hard reboot. The system takes care of itself. No more surprises in the morning or while out of town.

                But, what keeps my system running it's healthiest, IMHO, is I have HomeSeer do a soft reboot every night at 11:45PM. I have gotten rid of this a few times just to have mysterious issue arise that I can not attribute to anything concrete. There is no reason not to do this that I can think of other that HS uptime bragging rights.

                Good luck!

                Bill


                ~Bill

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                • #9
                  Jim,
                  Here is the code that I use for my Ocelot watchdog. I think I have it commented within the PGM file.


                  ~Bill

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                  • #10
                    Jim,
                    Here is my Ocelot code. I think it has enough comments built into it to figure it out.

                    Bill
                    Attached Files


                    ~Bill

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                    • #11
                      I have been reading older posts and still think I will utilize Ocelot for my WatchDog system. I will probably work with relays but for now I would like to have Ocelot control an appliance module.

                      I just happened to take advantage of the X10 offer for the FireCracker kit just to have a CM17A to play with. My HomeSeer Server uses a CM11A. I was one of the lucky ones who got CM11A to work very reliably with my 2500 sq ft home (plus basement) with no couplers or repeaters.

                      Any drawback to using the CM17A with the Ocelot for sending X10?

                      William,

                      Thanks for CMAX code.
                      Jim Doolittle

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                      • #12
                        One of the reasons I went with the relays was to avoid X10 signals. Didn't want to not have HS reboot if the powerline was flooded with X10 for some reason.

                        Checked Ebay but no SECU16's!

                        Seems like the SECU stuff was cheaper back when I bought....

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                        • #13
                          SteveP,

                          I agree about spurious X10 but I have only seen issues with stuff on HouseCode "A" as that is what I started with and have almost all 16 used up for lamps. If a couple kids "simultaneously" use their X10 mini-controllers, other lights may trigger. This is very rare.

                          I wonder what house code is more isolated from "A" and "B" based upon protocol and possible occurrence of spurious signals.

                          I think ultimately I will use Ocelot to control HomeSeer and HomeSeer to control router.

                          If DooNetwork cannot ping router then HomeSeer will turn off an appliance module that router is connected to and then create a delayed event to turn appliance module back on several minutes later.

                          If Ocelot doesn't receive confirmation that HomeSeer is still running, then PC will reboot. I still have to decide how that will happen but it will probably end up with connection to reset button as opposed to shutting power down through more drastic measures.
                          Jim Doolittle

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                          • #14
                            I have also been searching for the possibility of using my APC UPS to "reboot" computer. If computer hangs, I would like it to do the same as if the power had gone off. So far, I have not found anything for Windows. There was stuff for Linux though.
                            Jim Doolittle

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                            • #15
                              Jim,
                              Don't forget about the absolute best watchdog there is. Your neighbors. Last time I was on vacation I called our next door neighbors, which we exchanged keys with many moons ago, and had him reboot my PC. The option can't be beat.
                              -Rupp
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