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Author Topic: X10 Checkbox  (Read 114 times)

Morry

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X10 Checkbox
« on: September 07, 2017, 11:34:54 am »

I first got involved with Home Automation back in the mid-80s.
The Canadian Radio Shack stores all sold their version of the X10 products and I needed an easy answer to a "timing" problem with my house.
A couple of appliance modules and a timer and I was hooked.
And after all these years I am still working with it!
One of my main beliefs with HA is that the solution has to be easier to work with than what you are already doing, and the one thing that I felt was missing was a desktop equivalent to the Palm Pad. Well now I have one!
There are times when I just need to be able to trigger a unit or two remotely from my computer and this is an easy solution for that.
This app works with the CM 15 and before you install this you must have both Activehome Pro installed as well as the Developers Toolkit.
After unzipping the archive, double Click on the setup.exe file and the installation will start.
Everything will be put in the following path C:\apps\checkbox and a new folder called Checkbox will be installed in your Start Menu.
The first time you start Checkbox you will see the default labels and house codes.These are all editable through the options menu and there are no restrictions as to any kind of sequence or house code.
This allows you to have 16 unique units available for control from your desktop.
I normally keep mine minimized in the lower right corner of my desktop only maximizing it when I need to use it.
The direct link to the file is included below

http://tuicemen.com/downloads/checkbox.zip

Have fun!

Morry


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Morry

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Re: X10 Checkbox
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2017, 01:03:11 pm »

Although this app allows you to have 16 unique units to be able to control, I have already found the need for more.
I compiled Checkbox to be able to be run more than one iteration and it is not that hard to set up a second unique copy.
Use File Explorer to access C:\apps and create a new folder called checkbox2. Then open the checkbox folder and copy its contents to checkbox2.
Go into checkbox2 and create a new shortcut for checkbox.exe. This shortcut will always access the second app and can be copied pretty much anywhere including your desktop.
This shortcut will always start up the second checkbox app.
After firing this up any changes you make to either codes or labels will be saved for the second app.
I have changed the background colour for it so I don't get the two confused.
Morry

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roger1818

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Re: X10 Checkbox
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2017, 07:11:46 am »

Although this app allows you to have 16 unique units to be able to control, I have already found the need for more.
I compiled Checkbox to be able to be run more than one iteration and it is not that hard to set up a second unique copy.

Rather than running multiple iterations, why not add a pull down to select which Housecode you want it to use (similar to the old CM17A Firecracker software)?  It could be configurable to limit which Housecodes are in the list and names  could  be assigned to each Housecode and the unit labels on the buttons could be updated depending which Housecode was selected.
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Morry

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Re: X10 Checkbox
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2017, 12:42:08 pm »

Remember what I said in my first post, in order for HA to work the solution has to be easier to use than what was there before.
When I was first wanting to install X10 HA I had to convince my wife that she wouldn't be having to "go through hoops" every time she wanted to turn a light on. The most common switches are the mini-controllers which will at the most access 8 consecutive codes on one letter.
The deal we made was that there would be one mini-controller per room and that the same buttons would trigger the same light or appliance in each room.
Number one would be the main overhead light, two would be her lamp, three would be mine and four would be for whatever was left to control.
Now obviously as long as I set the controller up correctly this could also apply to five through eight without her knowing about it.
As you can see this can be made to work BUT we have five major areas of our house, the living room, our media centre, the laundry room, my workroom and our garage. If you count our yard that makes six.
I have this all working and she is happy with it but to do so I had to use seven house codes with anywhere from three to four unit codes per.
This makes it a little tricky to keep everything under control.
My first iteration of the app is set up so that my desklamp for my computer station is set for the top position, the overhead light above me is next, the hall light behind me is next and so on. I have everything around me in an order that works for me regardless of its code.
The second iteration has the first six set exactly the same so there are no surprises but after that I have some from the garage, back yard and the front and back door (when I am in my computer room it can take a while to answer either door so by flashing the porch light my visitor knows I am coming).
I am also planning to set up a third one for my Christmas lighting. Again the first six will be the same but the rest will be used for the inside and outside decorations.
You do realize that there is nothing to stop you from mimicking the Palm pad with each iteration running with its own house code. You could even label them appropriately so that you could read each house code from the desktop label?
Morry



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