Windows CE touchscreen controller


Mavromatic – well-known home automation geek, shared his opinion about Windows CE based touchscreen controller CUWIN 3500. It seems really cool! For about $600 we get 7″ touchscreen panel with resolution 800 x 480, SD slot, Ethernet port, RS232 x 2 / RS485 x 1 or RS232 x 3, USB, Visual Basic, EVC supports.

Theoretically, it can be use as LinuxMCE Orbiter. Because it provides a software for Windows CE. If yes, it can be the best combination of the price and functionality for wall-mounted control panels.

New Smart Home System from Pulse Technologies

Pulse Technologies Smart Home System

About 1.5 years passed since the first version of Pulse controller was announced. Now it’s time to present a whole home automation system from Pulse Technologies. It’ll include a new Pulse controller equiped by Z-Wave / KNX/EIB adaptors, 2 ethernet ports and RS232 and run Windows CE, and three types of touchscreen control panels – two in-wall and one – portable. Additionally, the system offers native clients for the iPhone/iPod Touch and Windows Mobile devices (if I understand clearly – web based).

The Pulse Technologies will allow to control not only lighting or temperature. It also supports popular multi-room media systems, DLNA Certified and UPnP network entertainment products and client software for Vista Media Center.

The new Smart Home System from Pulse Technologies will be launched officially at the up-coming Light & Building 2008 exhibition in Frankfurt (April 6th to 11th, 2008).

[via AutomatedHome]

Control4 announced its new controller

control4 hc500

Control4 has added Linux-based, ZigBee-compatible home automation/media networking controller – HC-500. It’s positioned as the mainstream controller choice in between Control4’s low-end HC-300 and luxury HC-1000. The primary goal of producing of HC-500 is a media server, intended for large home theaters requiring extensive I/O connections for device control. However, it also will coordinate lighting, temperature, video cameras, and manual controls such as blind- and garage-door openers. The HC-500 sprots a 160GB hard drive which is, in my opinion, extremely small even for modern media center. Additionally it’s equipped with two USB ports, one Ethernet port, four serial ports (DB9), analog and digital audio I/O jacks, and ZigBee and optional WiFi adapter (Control4 chooses ZigBee because it’s an open standard, unlike Z-Wave, and has more bandwidth. However, support of Z-Wave is gonna be added as well).

The HC-500 can be controlled via on-screen GUI on TV, a various touchscreens or web interface. Using Windows-based Composer Home Edition application, users can customize the system according to his/her requirements.

The HC-500 is shipping now and tagged at $1500.

[via LinuxDevices]

Medallion Touch Panel Computer for your ZigBee network

TPC-43 Medallion

British Columbia-based embedded board and development services vendor Techsol announced a customizable touch-panel equipped single-board computer based on Linux. The wall-mounted, 4.6 x 3.7 x 1-inch TPC-43 comes with a 4.3-inch touchscreen with resolution 480×272. It’s powered by an undisclosed ARM-920T-based system-on-chip (SoC) clocked at 200MHz or 266MHz and has 64MB of “mobile SDRAM” and 64MB NAND Flash. The TPC-43 is based on Linux and supports both Qt and GTK+ for producing GUI.

Additionally the TPC-43 comes with zPoint Experimenter’s Kit to setup and control a ZigBee mesh network. As you may know ZigBee is a modern wireless technology for home automation. It’s a competitor of Z-Wave which looks more perspective for me.

In any case the price in $400 seems reasonable to such device. To have possibility play with ZigBee devices you should be 100 bucks additionally. So, the whole set will be $500.

A few useful INSTEON products

INSTEON seems a good candidate to replace old-school technology X10. Especially, if it’ll take into account compatibility between them. I see the only one disadvantage of INSTEON – it isn’t adopted to European electricity standard yet. But I hope it’ll be done soon. But now I’d like to introduce you three cool INSTEON devices.

INSTEON 8 Button Keypad Countdown Timer with Dimmer allows to define countdown timers to switch ON/OFF lighting. There are 8 predefined timers from 2 minutes to 4 hours and they can be applied not only lines connected to the device but to every INSTEON device in your home. Additionally, keypad can be used as a dimmer to set comfort level of the light.

INSTEON Thermostat Adapter offers a simple way to add Venstar T1700 thermostat into your INSTEON network. As advantage it might to expand 1-Day Programmable thermostat functionality by creation and storing scenarios on the central controller.

INSTEON KeypadLinc Dimmer w/ Amber LEDs combines two devices in one: In-wall controller and 400-watt dimmer. It allows to monitor and control six different devices or sets of devices and easily create whole-house lighting scenes. Mounting into Tabletop Enclosure gives you possibility to have a portable controller which can be plugged it into any indoor outlet.

Well, I really like to have European version of INSTEON devices. Especially after INSTEON interface was added into LinuxMCE.

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