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xAP newbie

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  • #46
    Sorry, wan't questing what you were going to update, just thanking you and stating how nice it would be to have that. No hurry.




    • #47
      OK, now I'll add my xAP experience. Michael has spent untold hours holding my hand through the setup of xAP and I intend to write my experiences down as a kind of howto guide to do what I did. That is really all I can do because I don't pretend to understand how xAP really works but I can outline what I had to do to make it work for the application I'm using it for.

      I am automating a farm/lakehouse which has a number of outlying buildings. (Two barns that contain show horses, a guest house and a boathouse) The main house utilizes Homeseer to automate all lights and 7 HVAC units. The guesthouse and the two barns are on separate power grids and therefore cannot be controlled by HS via traditional power interface devices.

      Enter xAP: Because there is lan cabling between the main house, one of the barns, and the guesthouse, I can use xAP to interface x10 control to the other power grids. To do this, I have installed Lantronics EPS1 serial print servers at the barn office and at the guesthouse. These servers connect via cat5 directly to the lan hub or switch and convert ethernet data to serial data. This enables me to connect the serial output from the EPS1s to x10 TI103 serial power interfaces. xAP provides the conduit to allow HS to have multiple power interfaces. I use a Powerlinc usb interface in the main house connected directly to the HS computer but am able to control other x10 devices on separate power grids via xAP.

      I am still deeply involved in making everything happen and have had little time to write about how it was done yet, but I will soon. When finished, I will have two barns, a boathouse, a guesthouse and the mainhouse all controled and monitored via HS. There will be 8 HVAC units on zwave thermostats, 32 zones of irrigation utilizing rain8net modules, a pump for the irrigation system, a pool heater, and the landscape lighting around the whole complex all controlled by HS.

      This gives me a level of control that I did not have before, but I won't say it is perfect. I can stand in the barn with my laptop and send a device command through HS via wireless lan to the main house where it is resent via xAP back to the barn via lan and serially converted to the barn serial power interface and thus control the device selected. This works somewhat seemlessly and reliably until I want to show off my great achievements. Then I say a prayer that it will work as it has in the past. Status seems to work sometimes and not work sometimes but I'm still working on it.

      The hard part will come when I try to get lan access up to the upper barn which will have to be done by point-to-point wireless as buring cable is too expensive. Once achieved, I will add another EPS1 and TI103 up there and control devices there also. I will try to chronicle my xAP experiences in a setup guide soon so that others that want to do something similar can learn from my experience. I could never repay Michael for all the hand-holding that he has done but I'll try.



      • #48
        Wow, TNichols, that makes my piddly little setup in England fade into insignificance. I can definitely see how xAP helps you out over multiple electricity supplies. I guess it can help others who have big houses where X10 can't quite reach every room. Oh to be in that position where it becomes a problem! ;-)

        Good luck with the rest of the networking and smoothing out the status checking. I know what you mean when you try to show off the system to guests and bits fail leaving a smidgen of egg on your face. But I think people laugh it off as the eccentric and his boys toys. No harm done :-)


        • #49
          Yes, it seems that there is always something to tweak and play with but that is part of the fun of HA.



          • #50
            Haven't forgotten the 'newbies - how to' I promised to write up. Just been really busy and trying to squeeze it in inbetween. I have some early stuff I'll put up soon that cover 'all about xAP' - just the continuation with application examples still to do.

            I went down a bit of a red herring with a nice easy demonstration applicatiuon I was going to use an example but now realised that it's not going to be useful to most , so back to other options.