This page last changed on Oct 24, 2009 by juha.


Just found out the existence of this great project.

As I understand your primary focus is to use existing HW. My question to the users reading this forum: is anyone working on a open HW panel, or does anybody know a group working on such a thing?

As I'm an embedded SW engineer, GUI is not my thing, but if this group needs some HW to support other protocols then give a yell.

My current interest is in Zigbee and various 433MHz based systems (e.g. the dutch brand KlikAanKlikUit), now having some I2C driven co-processor boards for KlikAanKlikUit (this one is rebranded with different names) and SPI driven Zigbee co-processor (EM/ST-260 based).



Hi Joep, welcome!

While not an official answer, here's my opinion: it's a little hard to say what we are and what we're not except to say we are a community of people interested in smart homes and its technology. We want to reuse hardware where possible but we're not against building out own or getting someone to do it for us (like the touch screens). We have installers who probably won't want to use the one off custom hardware, users who can't touch high end systems and everyone in between.

You may have noticed a lot of KNX, I can't get that systems here in the States. So I'll be working on Insteon (I don't think this is available outside the Americas yet). There is also various software support for IP, RS232 and USB communications. There's a recent message from Akiba (Freaklabs) on building ZigBee and another on IPV6, ZigBee and LoPAN. All of these are appropriate to the project. Currently I think there are more software people than hardware people.

Posted by linuxha at Oct 24, 2009 17:07

My question to the users reading this forum: is anyone working on a open HW panel, or does anybody know a group working on such a thing?

The closest to this I know is the CrunchPad:

Supposedly almost ready to launch this summer but so far seems still quiet?

Posted by juha at Oct 24, 2009 21:56

Developing, manfacturing and testing new hardware is quite involved. It is also expensive. I think the best bet for a panel is to use off the shelf hardware that has open source software.

The nokia 770, 800 & 810 come to mind. They are cheap on ebay ($70-$150) and run open source linux derative (maemo).  Also the Always Innovating touch padlooks promising. It too can run ubuntu linux or even android, but it costs $300.

Posted by yzf600 at Oct 24, 2009 23:10

I have the 770 but I'm not impressed with it. Basically too small for the 800x400 screen (everything is too small). Don't get me wrong it does work just not what I'm looking for in a touch screen.

I have ordered the Always Innovating Touch Book but it looks like I'm going to be waiting a month or two before I get one. I agree that it looks very promising.

At the moment I have a nice Asus EEE 1005HA, the mouse pad support multi-touch (I accidently figured that one out.) Looks like we're about to start seeing the technology filter down to us. Hopefully this means more and affordable touch book technology.

Posted by linuxha at Oct 25, 2009 00:19

I'm considering it vaporware until someone has something in their hands.

Posted by linuxha at Oct 25, 2009 00:20

Hi group,

Thanks for the warm welcome! I think you're right to go for out-of-the-box HW, unfortunately none of those solutions are as nice as e.g. the Pronto (my opinion). But.. They're far more cheaper. It's even the reason for me to already bought the N810 (big hi-res screen). The new N900 phone has a smaller (but hi-res) display, that's a bit a pitty.. but still runs Meamo (that's the GUI/firmware seen by Nokia as the future for their new (hi-end) phones).

The problem I'm facing with my own domotica stuff is still the GUI, that needs to support "scene setting" etc.

Does OR support scene setting (and complex event handlers with various inputs/outputs)? I'm still learning what OR can do, it would be a waste of time to re-invent the wheel



Posted by duckyduck at Oct 25, 2009 09:19

Does OR support scene setting (and complex event handlers with various inputs/outputs)? I'm still learning what OR can do, it would be a waste of time to re-invent the wheel

Scene setting yes through macro commands in the UI which are demonstrated here:

Complex event handlers not yet, we are currently working on how the various protocols would push status events triggered from the devices into the UI in terms of updateable components. Once that event flow is in place, we can introduce scripts and rules in the controller that react to various I/O events.

Posted by juha at Oct 25, 2009 10:01

The CrunchPad is now officially a dead project.

Posted by juha at Dec 02, 2009 01:17

The whole story is actually worth reading:

Posted by juha at Dec 02, 2009 01:22

Fascinating story and a sobbering reminder of the risks of doing business in more than one country

Something is fishy there though.  I mean this Chandra guy isn't the only ones that can build it, or was there an exclusivity signed? (another reminder )

I am still really hoping for an android based panel.  The specs of the one showed are too big.  We would need what... 8 in diag...

maybe we should reach out?

Posted by marcf at Dec 02, 2009 10:45

I finally have some hardware going and should be getting some sensor boards coming soon. I'm going to be initially testing things out with a couple of sensors (humidity, temp, gas) and relays and both a Zigbee and an IPv6 (6LoWPAN) wireless network. The testbed will be set up in the Tokyo Hackerspace house. The 6LoWPAN one is still experimental since the IETF and IPSO (IP for Smart Objects) are still trying to define interoperability, routing, and a couple of other things.

The hardware is taking longer than I expected since I keep getting sidetracked by my part-time job or helping out the hackerspace, but I do have working MCU and 2.4 GHz radio boards now.

Posted by freaklabs at Dec 02, 2009 11:15

If you mean reach out to the folks who are trying to take it away from TechCrunch then I think you be held up by law suits. From my reading of another article the product is done but some legal/business issues got in the way.

Someone else will come up with something similar. I'm certain we're on the verge of seeing similar products become available. I'd still like to see 10" but 8" would be quite usable. The Nokia 770 is 4.5", the iPod Touch is about 3.5" and my EEE 1005HA (Netbook) is 10".

Posted by linuxha at Dec 02, 2009 15:25

I read that some of the HW IP was OSS? that would be interesting. A lot of the cost we are quoted when looking at HW is design of the boards... If the IP is indeed OSS then there is something to be salvaged no?

Posted by marcf at Dec 03, 2009 09:47
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