Hi all (well currently that will just be me as this is my first post!),
Over the last few weeks I've been playing around with some home automation, specifically a heating control system comprising the following elements:
- Electronic central heating radiator valves
- Electronic room thermostats (FHT80 I think they're called)
- A USB wireless computer interface (a CUL device from the folks at www.busware.de)
- A server controller application called FHEM
There have been some fairly sizable stumbing blocks to getting the above to play nicely, hence me starting to blog about my experiences, so that hopefully others can follow in my footsteps and maybe these devices will become a little more popular here in the UK. The following three problems stick out in my mind right now...
Language Barrier - These devices are manufacturer and distributed primarily in Germany, there is a whole load of information about these devices available in German, but not so much in English! And sadly I don't speak German or have any immediate plans to learn the language.
Operating System Barrier - The software that most people seem to use for serious computer control of these devices is targeted at the Linux OS, although as it's a Perl app it is possible to get it running on Windows, but there's a fair bit of tweaking that would be nice to have documented!
Unofficial Hardware and Software - The guys who manufacture these wireless devices also sell their own computer interfaces (FHZ1000 and FHZ1300 are the two that spring to mind) with their own software, but high cost of the official device and the closed nature of the official software have led me down alternative unsupported routes.
Well that should do for an introduction - at the moment I've got the stuff setup in a test environment on my laptop, and I'm working on some upgrades to the FHEM software, including a brand spanking new .Net front end, so expect my next blog post to go into a little more detail on these areas.