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Advice: Want to learn Coding & Hardware

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  • Advice: Want to learn Coding & Hardware

    I currently utilize Homeseer for fairly basic functions but would like to expand my knowledge to be able to do more customized functions. The problem is that I know little about hardware beyond the basics and do not know how to code.

    I essentially want to learn enough about the hardware to build simple devices using things like Raspberry Pi or Arduino and then be able to control them through homeseer.

    Here is what I would like to know:

    1. What coding language should I learn in order to be able to do what I am looking to do?

    2. How can i learn the basics of what I need to know to build on the hardware side of things as well for the raspberry pi and arduino like matching resistances to components etc?

    3. Does anyone know of any good resources to pick up what I need to know fairly quickly and inexpensively without the fluff of say taking formal classes at the local university or tech school?

    4. Where should I get started?

    Thank you for your assistance.

  • #2
    1) VB.net is probably the most popular here, C#, VBScript and others are there but you will probably find vb.net is the most common for previous examples of scripts.

    2) Don't underestimate YouTube certainly, there is stuff everywhere in reality and it crosses a number of skills be it electronics/thinking about protocols to communicate to HS/software but don't get too involved in any if your applications are fairly basic. Companies like Adafruit are great because they really simplify libraries, example circuits and pretty pictures.

    3) You don't need to learn anything at college, I tried to do an electronics engineering course a couple of years ago and it was a painful experience. It covered quite a few areas which I know have an application (j notation, phasors, RC/LRC circuits, Thevenins, Nortons, complex AC waveforms - no thanks!!) but are not that tailored to this application, robotics or something like industrial control is probably the closest but still way outside of what is a bit of a niche application.

    4) Post your ideas and people may point you in the direction of where to start.

    I do think that as the whole IoT (as much as I am not a fan of the term) takes off HS should embrace it perhaps with merging a couple of forums on here to cover it.
    My Plugins:

    Pushover 3P | DoorBird 3P | Current Cost 3P | Velleman K8055 3P | LAMetric 3P | Garadget 3P | Hive 3P |
    Yeelight 3P | Nanoleaf 3P

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    • #3
      Originally posted by BtrSound View Post
      I currently utilize Homeseer for fairly basic functions but would like to expand my knowledge to be able to do more customized functions. The problem is that I know little about hardware beyond the basics and do not know how to code.

      I essentially want to learn enough about the hardware to build simple devices using things like Raspberry Pi or Arduino and then be able to control them through homeseer.

      Here is what I would like to know:

      1. What coding language should I learn in order to be able to do what I am looking to do?

      2. How can i learn the basics of what I need to know to build on the hardware side of things as well for the raspberry pi and arduino like matching resistances to components etc?

      3. Does anyone know of any good resources to pick up what I need to know fairly quickly and inexpensively without the fluff of say taking formal classes at the local university or tech school?

      4. Where should I get started?

      Thank you for your assistance.
      Not an easy answer as everyone has different learning styles. I tend to learn best by experimenting, not sitting in a classroom or reading books. For arduino and rPi, C like languages are typically used. For HS, most of the scripting you see is VB based although C# is also supported. So if you're going to pick one language, I would make it C. On the hardware side, there are a number of free tutorials on the net. Here's a good series for Arduino: http://tronixstuff.com/tutorials/ and here's one for basic electronics: http://www.hobbyprojects.com/tutorial.html. There are many others out there and lots on youtube as well.

      Cheers
      Al
      HS 3.0.0.548: 1970 Devices 1148 Events
      Z-Wave 3.0.1.262: 123 Nodes on one Z-Net

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      • #4
        Thanks guys. I have a lot of "homework" to do.

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        • #5
          Do you mostly work in Windows? I would suggest picking up an alternative OS first. Eventually you learn they are all pretty much Unix at the core with different layers of middle and front ends in between that core and the user. Switching between OS's or programming languages all becomes easier if you can learn that.

          There are only so many ways you can manipulate logic, geometry, or data. A line can be drawn between two points or through one point with rotations defined. All geometry is limited that way. Logic only has a few useful definitions that most of us can understand. You put files or get them. All of the programming languages and OS's in the world manipulate that same limited group of options. School was useful for learning that part but we were feeding punch cards into a mainframe and waiting 15 minutes for a paper output. There was a lot more time to think back then.

          That all said I don't have the patience for writing much code any more. Computers are picky.

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          • #6
            Lots of free online courses available.
            https://courses.edx.org/courses/cour...101x.2+1T2015/
            If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

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            • #7
              I am the same way as Al, just jump in and figure it out. I first started with arduino and learning to make sketches. From there I was in the same boat that I wanted to take HS to the next level in logic, and though the event engine is pretty good, it can't replace a script for certain things.

              Personally in the past I have tried to learn code and hated it. It's tedious and so much to understand. Recently I have started to learn VB.net and actually starting to understand the basics and building my own scripts. Of the 3 listed, I think it's the easiest because to me it's not short handed (like c) and reads more like a book to me. It takes more typing to do the same thing, but at least I can easily read what it's doing.

              Google and YouTube are your friend and will get you going. You start by taking code others have done and tweak it and see the results, this helps you understand what changes affect your outcome.

              I am still far from even being a novice coder, but I am enjoying now being able to do more complicated events, and know this is just the next step to bigger and better things.

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