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Hardware Prototype
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 Posted: Wednesday Jan 17th, 2018 05:40 pm
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mattbrain
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Hi All

I have some very exciting news to share.

Mr Chiu and his team of engineers have developed a prototype of a combined UCM/UHAI module in order to produce a commercial quality solution.

I am very excited to be receiving this module shortly and will start porting the code to run on it.

It will make a tremendous difference to the reliability of the solution, taking advantage of the Comfort PSU and watchdog timers available in the UCM and directly connecting the RPi to the Comfort system.

From the images I have seen, the quality of the prototype is exceptional, and I will share more news with you as we progress.

Thanks for your patience,

Matt



 Posted: Wednesday Jan 17th, 2018 08:28 pm
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schford
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Exciting!!!



 Posted: Thursday Jan 18th, 2018 03:55 pm
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Swiss-Toni
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Great!:-)



 Posted: Thursday Feb 8th, 2018 07:16 pm
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mattbrain
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Following up on this thread, I'd like to share with you the progress we are making.

We have identified a couple of small hardware issues with the first prototype and are working to resolve them. We have managed to overcome these issues on the prototype with a little creative thinking and I am now working on the software.

As a result of the SD card issues on the RPi solution, we have decided to lock to filesystem to readonly mode. This will mean that installation specific information needs to be stored elsewhere. I have 2 solutions in mind:

1. Store the site specific information on a server which is downloaded to the device at startup. This data will be locked to the device and encrypted using a key generate on the device at first boot. It will however require the UCM to have internet access at all times.

2. Store the site specific information on a separate partition on the device which is only mounted when it is needed to be read or written to. This negates the need for the internet connection for this purpose (although there are other benefits) but does increase the change of the data becoming corrupted if the power is interrupted during this window of read/write.

I'm also going to use this opportunity to change the backend architecture and ST integration. MQTT will now form the core backbone of interprocess communications allowing modules to be loaded, configured and updated without losing functionality and allowing new modules to be added on demand. Secure MQTT will also be used to send telemetry data and receive updates to our central server (and if 1 were used as above, this is how config data would be sent and received).

SmartThings will now be configured separately to the core comms module (as it may not always be required) and will allow each element to be configured according to its purpose (for example, a zone may be exposed as a PIR or Door to make it clearer in ST).

I plan to make this functionality available in Beta form for those of you wishing to try it on your existing hardware but it will require completely reinstalling both the RPi and ST components as they are going to be completely overhauled - and unfortunately won't benefit from some of the UCM specific features such as hardware monitoring.

Finally, as a little teaser, here is a photo of the prototype UCM.

Thanks,

Matt


[img][/img]

Attachment: IMG_3683.jpg (Downloaded 91 times)



 Posted: Friday Feb 9th, 2018 05:25 am
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John W
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Sounds very interesting.
What is jp5 for, a memory dimm ?



 Posted: Sunday Feb 11th, 2018 02:46 am
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schford
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I'm happy to be a crash test dummy with beta if it would help!



 Posted: Sunday Feb 11th, 2018 02:50 pm
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wexfordman
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Me too :-))



 Posted: Tuesday Feb 13th, 2018 10:16 pm
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mattbrain
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JP5 is for the Raspberry Pi CM3 Module.

We are still working through some electrical gremlins, but rest assured development is moving forward nicely. I have recently implemented UCMEth emulation so you can programme comfort from this UCM whilst the Pi is running :)



 Posted: Wednesday Feb 14th, 2018 05:35 pm
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John W
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matt this sounds great.

I have looked at the Pis, but had not previously seen any with an edge connector until looking now.
I was about to buy a pi but will hold off now until this is ready (seems odd that the simpler CM3 is 50% more than the pi3 SBC).

I notice other guinea pigs already in line, but if you want a 'fresh' one, that hasnt previously used this kit, I can give it a go. I've posted elsewhere what I want to do with it.

Keep up the good work :)



 Posted: Thursday Feb 15th, 2018 09:01 pm
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Swiss-Toni
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just looking at the r-pi module, Would I be correct in thinking that if the info was stored on board would it be through a usb stick? secondly from what I now understand about r-pi the biggest problem seems to be that it requires a constant power source. I think the power source on the comfort runs at 13.8v 1amp which usauly has to power a lot of kit, and obviously the more you add the greater the demand! I think it maybe a case that the transformer used in Comfort will need to be ramped up to cover the power situation and also the r-pi runs at 5V (various ampere ratings, depending) so I presume there is a step down voltage module incorporated or will there be a dedicated connection point to be introduced? or am completly of track here?



 Posted: Friday Feb 16th, 2018 01:05 pm
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slychiu
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The RPi module may need a supplemtaty supply voltage if the Comfort supply is not sufficient. Once we get it running, we will be able to know the currebt requirementrs more accurately



 Posted: Friday Feb 16th, 2018 05:17 pm
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mattbrain
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The RPi CM3 has 4Gb of built in flash which would store the operating system, code and configuration. I am currently working on having the O/S and code mounted in read only mode and considering different options for storing configuration data (including both central server and local options). The USB ports are for capability expansion and future proofing.

From a PSU perspective, we are currently running some tests. It is anticipated that the existing PSU would be able to provide enough current for the base RPi UCM provided the host panel PSU (Comfort or Slave) is not already unduly loaded (e.g. isn't powering other slaves or UCMs). The CM3 will utilise around 700ma @ 5v which is around 350ma @ 12v allowing for some losses in the voltage regulator. The additional support hardware (UCM, Ethernet and USB hub) will also consume additional current but should be within a reasonable tolerance so long as current hungry USB devices aren't plugged in (hard disks, wifi adapters etc).

If we do chose to utilise the USB for power hungry devices, we may need to up the PSU, provide a separate PSU for the UCM or use a powered hub but this needs to be considered in the context of the whole Comfort system, ease of integration and other PSU tolerances within the existing platform - and Chiu and his team have far more knowledge than me on those requirements.

Incidentally, during testing I was running last week, I had a test Comfort main board, 1 UCMEth, 1 UCMRPi, 1 Keypad and 2 PIRs running on a standard backup battery for a couple of hours whilst i investigated some issues. During this period I didn't experience any power related issues so don't anticipate (at this point) that most standard installs without additional peripherals will require changes to the PSU.

Thanks,

Matt



 Posted: Friday Feb 16th, 2018 05:45 pm
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Swiss-Toni
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Just looked at Cytech main website, they do a transformer in Accessories & Spares Code: T-230V this is 15V 3A which should be more than capable of handling any UCMs bar hungry USB ports with peripherals



 Posted: Sunday Feb 18th, 2018 09:43 am
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slychiu
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Beefing up the transformer will not help, because there is a rectifier and regulator circuit which is limited at 1.5 Amps.

Slaves have their own battery backup and power supply, so if the 12V are connected together then that could supply additional current



 Posted: Sunday Mar 4th, 2018 01:51 pm
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burtonjk
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Please count me in for any beta testing.

Thanks

Jim



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