Tag Archive: Clarke-Tech ET9000

More Home Automation Chat

I’m away from home at the moment so not much to report. I’ve not had a chance to install the water meters with my friend yet nor connect the gas meter to the hah but I have taken delivery of a bunch more jeenodes and room plugs:

Starting to put one together:

I now have 3 nodes collection temperature, light and humidity data and posting to pachube along with my total household power consumption and appliance level detail for 6 devices:

Whole house power consumption:

An example of individual device consumption (this happens to be the boiler):

Room data:

I’ve tried to create a "naming convention" where the data stream id contains the nodeid (first digit) followed by 1 for temperature, 2 for light and 3 for humidy.

You can quite clearly see where the temperature rises in line with the boiler coming on. You can also see the light pattern during the day (wow- it’s getting dark real early!!!). Humidity isn’t really of much interest.

Interestingly I think node 2 is in the same room as the receiver/hahcentral/hub but seems to drop out every few hours. Node 3 in the room next door is rock solid. And node 5 in the room next to that is extremely flakey! Brett from over at hah has suggested lengthening the antenna on the nodes to resolve these issues- I will do some experiments when I have a little more time on my hands :)

And one final note- whilst on the topic of "home automation". I have replaced my sky boxes in recent months with the Clarke Tech ET9000: https://tickett.wordpress.com/2011/09/20/getting-started-with-clarke-tech-xtrend-et9000-and-sky-hd-uk/ and pipe the picture round the house from these and my home theatre pc (htpc) running xbmc with a cheap 4×4 HDMI matrix I picked up off eBay. I now have full control over these devices from my mobile phone (iPhone):

DreaMote Lite (for Enigma2 satellite receivers):

And XBMoteC (for XBMC):

All slow, but steady progress toward a completely integrated/automated home!


I mentioned in an earlier post that I wasn’t entirely happy with the AB IPBox 9900HD and intended to order one (or several) alternatives. Well, I’ve been using the Clarke-Tech ET9000 for quite some time but haven’t gotten around to blogging about it. I ordered another Xtrend ET9000 and thought I’d take the opportunity to blog about the steps necessary to get the box up and running with Sky HD UK.

The first step is to download the latest vix firmware. I found the world-of-satellite a great resource so downloaded from there http://www.world-of-satellite.com/forumdisplay.php?209-Clarke-Tech-Xtrend-ET9000-ViX-Team-Images.
Once downloaded you need to unzip the archive and place the et9000 folder on the root of a USB stick.

Ensure the ET9000 is powered off either at the mains or using the switch on the back, plug the USB stick in then power it on.
Open the flap concealing the buttons/card readers etc and when the box prompts "flash image" press OK (the box should now display "flashing…")
Once flashed and booted the setup wizard should automatically start

Configure the basic options as you see fit
When prompted to configure tuner(s) use the configuration shown below

When prompted to run a scan select: No scan later manually
Determine your ET9000’s ip address: Menu, Setup, System, Network, Device, Adapter

Download the latest Sky settings from http://www.world-of-satellite.com/showthread.php?8060-ViX-Team-Enigma-2-HD-settings-for-28.2E-amp-UK-DTT
Connect via FTP using the client of your choice (the default username is root and password is blank)
Upload all of the files from the archive to /etc/enigma2

And upload satellites.xml to /etc/tuxbox

Then download the picons from http://www.world-of-satellite.com/showthread.php?8056-ViX-Team-ALICE-Picons-For-UK-Channels-28.2E-and-DTT-By-Silverfox0786&p=60088#post60088
Extract the archive and upload the picon folder to /media/usb

Now we need to configure the guide to show the picons. Press Guide, Menu and configure as below

Press green to save then restart the box (Menu, Standby / Restart, Restart)
Now run a Service Scan (Menu, Setup, Service Searching, Automatic Scan)

Once complete you should be able to view free to air channels

The following instructions are from http://www.world-of-satellite.com/showthread.php?9735-How-to-Install-CCcam-MGCamd-Others-on-Duo-Solo-Uno-ET9000-ET5000-ViX
Download enigma2-plugin-cams-cccam.2.2.1_1.0-r0_mipsel.ipk from http://www.4shared.com/dir/wnyHV50A/VIX_CAMS.html
And ftp to /tmp

Now install the package (Menu, Setup, Vix, Install Local Extension)
Once installed you need to start Cccam (Blue, Softcam Manager, Green- Start Cccam.2.2.1)
Then enable autostart (Blue, Softcam Manager, Blue- Enable Startup)
You should now be able to view all channels you entitled to by your Sky subscription
If you press Guide you’ll notice the listings are mostly missing

We need to configure CrossEPG (Menu, Setup, System, EPG, CrossEPG, OpenTV providers, Sky UK OpenTV (Astra2 on 28.2)- Green enable

And configure the box to download regular updates (Menu, Setup, System, EPG, CrossEPG, Configure)

We can now download EPG data (Blue, CrossEPG Downloader)
And the guide should now have a complete set of listings

I decided I didn’t want to put a hard disk in my ET9000 but instead wanted recordings to be stored on the fileserver. I won’t go into that now.


I’m still yet to find a decent replacement for Google Powermeter (i’m starting to think i’ll need to write something myself… php/mySQL possibly?)

Anyway- i’ve noticed my baseline (always on) power consumption is pretty high so picked up an extension lead from maplin http://www.maplin.co.uk/power-strip-with-energy-and-co2-meter-348228 (£12.99) with a built in display (current consumption, max consumption, cumulative consumption, power factor etc) to check all of my devices to see where I might be able to realize some improvements.

Here’s what I found with some commentary:

Fish Tank Pump: 4W (Reasonable & not really optional)
32″ TV Standby: 4W (Not great but it’s normally turned off at the mains not left on standby)- On: 110W (Pretty poor but it is relatively old tech)
Sky+ Box: 20W (Appeared to draw the same power whilst in standby and whilst in use)
Clarke Tech 9000 HD Satellite Receiver Standby: 26W- On: 31W
42″ LG TV Standby: 1W (Expected for a relatively recent model)- On: 68W (Not bad considering it’s not LED backlit)
Boiler Idle: 3W
50″ Panasonic Plasma TV Standby: 20W (Very poor, but unsurprising for old tech)- On: 400W (ouch!)
Mordaunt Short Subwoofer Standy: 3W (Seems reasonable with the auto-on feature active)- On: 18W
Acer Revo r3610 XBMC HTPC Off: 3W- Idle: 32W- Watching a movie: 28W (why it uses more power when idle than whilst playing a movie i will never know?)
Mini TP-Link 5port Gigabit Switch: 2W (impressive!)
Linksys Enterprises Managed 24Port Switch w/POE : 41W (expected this- may do some research into alternatives)
4×4 HDMI Matrix Switch: 14W
Nintendo Wii Off: 3W- On: 16W
Onkyo 608SR Amp Off: 0W (impressive!)- On: 45W- Playing Loud: 55W
Netgear Router: 10W
HP Proliant Microserver in use: 40W (impressive!)
Giant American Style Samsung Fridge Freezer: 100W (pretty good from what i understand)
Dell Poweredge 2950 III Off: 30W (ouch- this is with both PSUs plugged in- i have already ordered replacement Supermicro servers which I believe use 40W roughly whilst on/idle!)- On: 350W (ouchhhhhh!)

That’s about all… We know the usual appliances: Kettle, Oven, Microwave, Toaster, Washing Machine, Tumble Dryer, Hover, Hair Dryer etc draw ridiculous amounts of power but I was predominantly interested in always on devices. I will try and add some makes/models above where i haven’t already put details. If you can recommend any green devices please do share!


Getting on really well with the AB IPBox 9900HD but feel I need something with a bit more grunt (and a bit more community support). I looking to order the Vu+ Duo or Clarke-Tech ET9000 (or potentially both) and play around with the latest ViX team image.

I will also need to order a new octo LNB and some more ccable for my dish so I can have all these boxes hooked up at the sametime :)

I’m a little tempted to try building my own linux pvr (using something like the acer revo r3610 which I’m currently using for xbmc) with a usb twin dvb-s2 tuner. Not only should this have a lot more power, it will be a lot smaller and save me using two separate devices for pvr + htpc!


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