When building a house of course the question comes up whether, and immediately after that, how much home automation should be implemented. First step after deciding that I want home automation was the selection of a system. I decided to use loxone. There are reasons:
One of my friends already has some experience with the system
The system is centralized, so in case it has to be replaced it can be done in that central place and no hardware updates are required in the living room. The centralized solution also allows to set up a backup system that provides basic functionality like switching of light and opening/closing of roller blinds.
The company delivers the configuration software with the hardware without additional costs and conditions. If I want to update anything in the future I can do that. If I want to stick with an old version of their software I can stick with that.
The home automation has the goal to be invisible for the user and offer all the functionality that you’re used to in a “normal” home as a base. If you enter a room there shall be a switch that will turn on the light if pressed. Only if you want to you can dim the light by holding the switch or by double clicking.
Also the basic setup should look the same in all the rooms. So I’ve decided for a combination of a normal sized light switch and a 6 pin switch below it.
My son got a tiptoi. I was interested how it works and a little bit of googling lead me to this page. It provides a tool to create your own pages, books, adventures or puzzles. I gave it a try and this is the result.
It does not look pretty and I could not print it in color, but the b/w version works. You can see the dotty area on each finger and on the i/o and play button. They contain the code that is read by the tiptoi pen. The example ha two modes. Mode one will just say the name of the finger when you touch it. Mode two can be activated by touching the play button on the lower right. If you touch the fingers in order starting with the thump it’ll tell the German poem “Das ist der Daumen …” or complain if the oder is not correct.
Find here the code:
klein: "kleiner Finger"
spiel_start: "Das Spiel wird jetzt gestartet. Beginne mit dem Daumen!"
spiel_end: "Das Spiel wird jetzt beendet"
vdaumen: "Das ist der Daumen!"
vzeige: "Der schüttelt die Pflaumen!"
vmittel: "der liest sie auf!"
vring: "der trägt sie nach Haus!"
vklein: "und der isst sie alle alle auf!"
vnochmal: "Versuchs nochmal!"
vanderer: "Versuch einen anderen Finger!"
For the second problem I don’t have a solution yet. For the not running raspberry pi there might be one:
The internal watchdog of the raspberry pi. It can be activated by loading the module, making sure it gets reloaded after a restart and installing the triggering software.
$ sudo modprobe bcm2708_wdog
$ echo "bcm2708_wdog" | sudo tee -a /etc/modules
$ sudo apt-get install watchdog
Configuration happens in the file
by uncommenting the following lines:
watchdog-device = /dev/watchdog
max-load-1 = 24
This is a very basic configuration and it will restart the raspberry pi in case the load is above 24 for a 1 minute interval.
Activation of the demon can be done like this:
$ sudo service watchdog start
Specific in my case is the additional option to check whether the file, that was not working as mentioned above, is written to on a regular basis. This can be achieved by adding the following lines in the configuration:
Each “file” entry specifies a file that will be checked by the watchdog whether it’s been touched and the “change” entry specifies the time that the file can stay untouched before the watchdog will not be triggered any more and by that lead to a system reset. The first file is touched at the start of the script, the second one at the end. So in case the script for updating the yield data is not called any more the system will be reset after 5 minutes. If the script is started, but does not finish properly it’ll be reset after 10 minutes.
After a long break I’ve started logging the PVIs in my father’s house again. The main reason for reactivating the scripts was that the two PVIs have shown different yield numbers at the end of the day. Further investigation has shown that the internal clock of one of the PVIs was wrong, so at around noon the yield counter was reset, which of course led to different results. Anyway the graphs are online now. Currently the graphs are generated using google charts. Hints for an alternative are welcome.
After not even switching my IGEL for a very long time I finally got it running using thinstation and the service tsomatic to build the files instead of doing it on my own. Unfortunately it takes longer to start and only run ssh than the desktop PC I own. Initially the idea was to have a machine that runs directly after switching on. But it’s running and not used only as a display support any more.
Long ago I’ve spent a day in Frankfurt. Since I’ve never been there I went for the first parking I saw. And I got the following ticket with an interesting date.
In the evening I got an amount displayed on the machine that slightly exceeds the credit level of my credit card. (Sorry for the bad quality, but taking pictures of LCDs in direct sunlight is a challenge)
After waiting for a long time and talking to the service people the amount was reduced.
Since my boss told me to reduce my overtime I’ve ordered a new toy to compensate the lack of work.
Currently I’m installing the system based on this description. Main idea is to get rid of the loud, big and of course power consuming solution I currently use as internet gateway and print server.
Sorry for the German title, but the translated one I did not like. Someone has stolen my partition in the basement. Not just some things from it. My complete partition is taken over by someone else. When I recently went down to put my suitcase I could not find my partition any more. The place did not look like before any more. After some searching it turned out that someone has broken my lock, filled my partition with his things, put paper on the inside of the metal grid (that’s why it looked completely different) and put a new lock. So now I have a partition with someone else’s things any my flat full of things.