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Query for Smartlinc Developers Kit

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  • Query for Smartlinc Developers Kit

    I'm seeking if anyone has the Smartlinc Application Language Developers environment (SALad). I've called Smarthome and accoding to a CSE there, this item is no longer available for distribution. Using their examples contained in an old online manual from 1998, I've managed to make a Touchlinc 4.0 respond to most of the documented commands and have drawn some graphics and displayed some customized text screen messages. This is at the expense of a lot of hand assembly coding. (Lucky thing I still have my trusty TI LCD Programmer hex calculator) I've digested the contents of this (unfinished) manual, and it looks pretty consistent with what I've been exposed to in the past being a low level driver bit twidddler from way back.

    Supposedly, this SALad Developers Kit is an onscreen editor/compiler that can make this task easier. Yeah sure, the Touchlinc is a monochrome display and isn't very big and fancy, but I can see with some interfacing, it could act as a remote HomeSeer display/interface for my application. If anybody knows about this item, please feel free to drop me a note.


  • #2
    Chuck, I think I have what you're looking for. I'll send you an email. Geoff


    • #3

      Thanks for your help. It sort of is what I'm looking for but not what I saw as portrayed on their (now obsolete) web page. It has, however, given me more examples into the inner workings of the Touchlinc. I got a three of these Touchlincs at fire sale prices and really badly would like to have them work with Homeseer as a remote I/O as they're cheap and readily available. I'm sure there's others out there with these devices. The item I was looking for is more of an interactive high level editor/compliler for constructing downloadable (.SAL) files to the Touchlinc.

      I found an old incomplete manual listing the memory map and command code formats for the device. It also details the format of the .SAL files which are actually Smartlinc's own assembly language files for the device. Being a device driver coder from way back, I easily had the thing drawing lines, outputting text, and taking actions based on button presses less than 24 hours after I got it.

      For the Homeseer community, maybe this device could be useful as a low cost touchscreen I/O device that is X10 based. Touchlincs are set up and configured initially via a serial connection. Given that not everybody could get and maintain a serial connection to this device for everyday use, I'd like to develop an X10 preset dim protocol similar to the RCS one used for their thermostats. I'm hoping I could develop a downloadable .SAL file to download to it to monitor X10 traffic on the power line. Running in the background, this would enable the Homeseer users to display their critical system data and take actions. Homeseer users could then easily and conveniently (re)program the device on the fly and it'd be more useful to all of us and react just like an X10 device. The above is based upon two things:
      1) The Homeseer user can has access to a serial connection to initially set up their Touchlinc. Using the Smartlinc supplied Touchlinc.exe utility which is included with each unit, a Homeseer user could then program their own custom menus and user configurable settings and, in addition, download to the device the new .SAL file specific to monitoring for the new preset dim command protocol.
      2) At least a few X10 addresses are available in a user's Homeseer system for dedicated use by this the proposed X10 Touchlinc protocol.

      Depending on community interest and my available time, I could get a prototype up and running fairly quickly as it's not the difficulty of the task at hand but the tedious nature of hand coding the assembly language.

      Again, thanks for your help and giving our Homeseer community the interface to the MR26A.

      Chuck Licata


      • #4

        I have two Touchlinc that I really haven't integrated into my whole HA setup yet. Your idea sounds very interesting.

        The only stuff I've ever seen for the Touchlinc is the SALAD manual and example files from Smarthome. I've never seen any info about a compiler/editor.

        System configuration in my profile


        • #5
          Grant (and others),

          That's the missing link to a lot of tedious asssembly language coding and Smarthome won't provide it any longer. Thanks for your interest and soon I'll post some stuff I've been tinkering with to get used to the device. Their manual that's available is very old, preliminary, incomplete, and has errors in it.

          I'd like to clean my stuff up and integrate into HomeSeer scripts for ease of use before I post it but as a simple example to illustrate my point of what this thing can do, you can have it spit out the time and date through the serial connection:

          You'll need:
          1) A serial port monitor such as the one by AGG Software capable of sending data bytes manually.
          2) A Touchlinc 4.0 and connecting serial port connecting cable. (I don't know if this will work for a Touchlinc 2.0). The revision of the firmware must be 3.8 or higher. Determine this from the boot screen of the Smartlinc software used to configure custom menus ("R441930T00" where "R44" is the major and minor revision numbers of the firmware).

          To do this:
          1) Set an unused comm port to 9600, 8 data bits, no parity, 2 stop bits
          2) Connect up the Touchlinc 4.0 to it using the serial cable.
          3) Boot the Touchlinc to the "desktop" of 6 icons or make sure it's functioning if you do not have a top menu "desktop" enabled in your configuration.
          4) Using the serial port monitor software, send the hex bytes $02 and $61
          4) In my case, for Tuesday, 09:50AM on 03/19.2003, the Touchlinc responds with a sequence of bytes as follows:
          $06 = an acknowledgement ($15 = busy so try sending again)
          $0D = a data framing byte (undocumented)
          $74 = unknown (undocumented)
          $49 = for 0900 hours (can be $40-$57 for 00 - 23 hours)
          $73 = for 50 minutes (can be $40 through $7C for 00 - 59 minutes
          $02 = day of the week in byte format:
          BIT 8 = not used (MSB)
          BIT 7 = Sunday
          BIT 6 = Saturday
          BIT 5 = Friday
          BIT 4 = Thursday
          BIT 3 = Wednesday
          BIT 2 = Tuesday
          BIT 1 = Monday
          $33 = For March (can be $31 - $3C for Jan to Dec)
          $43 = For the 19th (can be $31 - $50 for the 1st to the 31st)
          $83 = For 2003 (can be $80 - $E3 for 2000 - 2099)
          $0D = a data framing byte

          There's also a corresponding Set Time function. If you're interested in it, send me a note.

          For the 10,000 foot level view of an idea: Everybody doesn't have the capability to to have the serial port connected to their Touchlinc all the time (cable length, location, etc). Now, my idea is to make a downloadable .SAL file input upon initially configuring the device. Every Touchlinc user gets a serial cable and accompanying software for customized menus and downloadable drop in applications. This downloaded drop in application will run in the background on the Touchlinc and digest incoming preset dim commands (like the RCS thermostat does) and output preset dim commands containing information. This file would also monitor button pushes on the menus and output X10 preset dim commands correspondingly. By using dedicated Touchlinc X10 device addresses in your HomeSeer configuration, HomeSeer script(s) could be written to monitor and decipher these Touchlinc outputted preset dim commands thereby interefacing this thing into HomeSeer like an RCS thermostat. Also, it is possible to have it draw custom text and graphics screens. So now you can customize menus using that enclosed Smarthome software and have a HomeSeer X10 based I/O interface also by downloading a .SAL drop in application.

          Now for the reality: This device is old technology from 1994 and could be discontinued or replaced at any time. It's also monochrome and has resolution limitations. Also, there's a good chance there might be bugs in the firmware so the deeper you delve into it, the more chances there are of lockups. Also, I'm flying blind into development with an incomplete old manual in one hand and an ancient TI LCD Programmer hex calculator in the other with zero support from the creators.

          But it is kinda snazzy if something quickly can be done to interface it to HomeSeer ...


          [This message was edited by Chuck Licata on Wed, 19 March 2003 at 01:43 PM.]