Tag Archive: Bridge


Sonos up and running… ish

A month back there was a special offer on a package comprising 2x Sonos Play 5 (or S5) and 1x Sonos Bridge- so I decided to see what all the fuss was about. After a rather painful wait for stock I finally took delivery of the units.

I have to admit I’m pretty impressed. Setup was an absolute breeze- all 3 devices in no more than 5 minutes. Within 15 minutes I’d updated the firmware on all the devices and tested most of the functionality.

As I’m trying to be conscious of my energy consumption I did a little analysis… The Sonos Play 5 uses approx 9W whilst idle, then between 14W (low volume) and 21W (full volume) whilst in use. I find the idle figure to be a little higher than I’d’ve hoped, but the active figure isn’t bad.

I have several issues with what I’m now left with:

1) Whilst I can stream to both S5 devices simultaneously, I cannot simultaneously stream the same source to my living room a/v equipment (onkyo amp). To address this drawback I’ve ordered a Sonos Connect (Zone Player or ZP90)
2) I cannot stream from my devices like I’m used to with airplay / appletv. I’m thinking of potential solutions for this… I could go from appletv -> amp -> connect but that’s a bit wasteful. I could also purchase 1 (or more) airport express devices but again, that seems rather wasteful. I read somewhere that Sonos released the API / documentation for streaming to their devices, so I guess I’m hoping there is already a better solution out there?

As always- I’ll do my best to keep you posted.

L

Home Automation Progress

An update since last week.

I decided I’d like to keep my CurrentCost netsmart pro posting electricity consumption data to pachube so spliced into the cable to see if I could pickup on the serial data using my home automation hub without disrupting communication between the enviR (CC128) and the bridge.

Taking the leftmost pin of the two connectors with the notch/clip facing downwards the pins are joined as so:

RJ45 -> RJ11
1 -> 1 (Yellow)
4 -> 2 (White)
7 -> 3 (Blue)
8 -> (White)

Rather annoying that they used white for 2 of the cores! On my USB serial cable for the enviR the pinout was as so:

RJ45
4 (Red) -> Spliced into White (pin2)
7 (Green) -> Spliced into Blue
8 (Yellow) -> Spliced into White (pin8)

After hooking the bridge, enviR and usb up to the laptop I could see data coming in over through the serial port- voila!

I punched the CurrentCost details into the hah web interface:

Then configured the extra data streams to pachube:

Just waiting for a few hours for some data but it appears to be flowing in nicely:

<eeml xmlns="http://www.eeml.org/xsd/005"xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.eeml.org/xsd/005 http://www.eeml.org/xsd/005/005.xsd" version="5"><environment><data id="2"><tag>Light</tag><value>0.00</value></data><data id="3"><tag>Humidity</tag><value>0.00</value></data><data id="1"><tag>Temperature</tag><value>0.00</value></data><data id="13"><tag>CCIAM3</tag><value>44.00</value></data><data id="12"><tag>CCIAM2</tag><value>157.00</value></data><data id="11"><tag>CCIAM1</tag><value>5.00</value></data><data id="15"><tag>CCIAM5</tag><value>0.00</value></data><data id="14"><tag>CCIAM4</tag><value>82.00</value></data><data id="10"><tag>CCTotal</tag><value>415.00</value></data><data id="16"><tag>CCIAM6</tag><value>0.00</value></data></environment></eeml>

I took delivery of the two water meters today- just waiting for a friend to help me fit them and my additional jeenodes to arrives so I can get the data into the hah!

The crazy looking squid thing is the cheapest usb hub I could find to allow me to plug both the jeelink and currentcost enviR into the hah at the same time- hideous but does the job :)

L

Energy Monitoring Update

So I’ve neglected the whole energy monitoring interest for a few months but spotted the new CurrentCost Individual Appliance Monitors (IAMs) are finally available (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Current-Cost-IAM-Pack-1-UK-Version-Only-/170673700726?pt=UK_AudioElectronicsVideo_Video_TelevisionSetTopBoxes&hash=item27bcf1ff76) so ordered a few and started playing again.

In addition to monitoring overall household consumption I now have the fridge, servers and living room a/v equipment each giving their own power readings BUT these are not currently posted to the internet using my original CurrentCost bridge. After doing a little reading it appears a new bridge has been released now branded as the CurrentCost "NetSmart". You can send off your existing device to be upgraded (presumably a firmware flash): http://currentcost.com/netsmart-upgrade.html or buy new.

Upgrade pricing:

£5.99- NetSmart 12 (12 month subscription with up to 3 additional energy data channels)
£7.99- NetSmart 24 (24 month subscription with up to 3 additional energy data channels)
£11.99- NetSmart Pro 12 (12 month subscription with up to 9 additional energy data channels)
£14.99- NetSmart Pro 24 (24 month subscription with up to 9 additional energy data channels)

New pricing:

£34.49- NetSmart 12
£37.49- NetSmart 24
£39.94- NetSmart Pro 12
£45.94- NetSmart Pro 24

I opted for the NetSmart Pro 24. I’ve yet to receive the device but I’ve seen a sneak peak of what to expect on the forum:

The other addition to my existing system I’ve been wanting to see is the ability to monitor gas and hopefully even water consumption. Neither have officially been delivered BUT a new device is available which may help achieve one or both of the aforementioned: Introducting the CurrentCost OptiSmart- http://currentcost.com/product-optismart.html

The OptiSmart can be used as an alternative to the clamp/transmitter that originally shipped with the energy monitor(s) if (and only if) your electricity meter is compatible. The same device can in theory be used to read gas and water meters should they contain a pulsing LED to indicate consumption. Unfortunately, mine do not! However, whilst examine my gas meter (Slumberger R5) I found an RJ11 socket which after some research appears to provide direct connectivity to the pulses! With a bit of luck the lead on the OptiSmart can be modified to plug in to this RJ11 socket. I’ve sent an e-mail to CurrentCost to see if they can confirm this before I order one. If that fails I may try with the CurrentCost development board.

I mentioned in a post a while back that Google were retiring their Powermeter service so I’m still on the lookout for a replacement service (or building something myself).

After a bit of research I discovered CurrentCost are already feeding the energy consumption and temperature to pachube. There is a nice little pachube app which utilizes google’s charting ability:

You can find your feed_id in the http://my.currentcost.com dashboard (on the right side in the devices section):

Unfortunately only a month’s data is currently retained (this may be a limitation with the free pachube account being used to post the monitor data?) and I really want years of data so I can compare same time last year figures etc. The search continues…

I also stumbled across the Home Automation Hub: http://www.homeautomationhub.com/ which is an open source project which involves ref lashing a Livebox to interact with various devices (including the CurrentCost energy monitor). I really like the idea of this as there’s so much more potential for two-way communication and other applications (linking in nicely with some of my other long term goals) but at the moment I’m going to shy away from it on account of the language being new to me and the apparent lack of current community support.

Expect another update once the NetSmart device comes through and potentially after a start logging gas consumption!

L

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