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'[PIC]: Home Automation with PICs'
2003\06\04@091758 by Ruben vd Merwe

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Hi


I am very interested in Home Automation and was wandering if I can get a
few pointers to web sites with info on this topic. I am thinking of some
serial comms with a PC, I2c or something similar. And PIC based modules
all over the place, talking back to a pc.


Any advice would be appreciated.


Thanks

Ruben


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2003\06\04@104421 by Anand Dhuru

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Hi Ruben,

My suggestion would be to go the X10 way; then, whatever you design/build
would be compatible with a host of things available ready. For example, if
you design your own PIC based X10 receivers, you could either make your own
controller, or just purchase one, and its bound to work with each other; you
will have a choice of transmitters/receivers/controllers to pick from.

A good place to start would be http://www.geocities.com/ido_bartana/  lots
of information on the protocol, schematics, and even plans to make your own
receiver!

I have also developed X10 stuff based on the 16F628. If you need any more
information, do let me know.

Regards,

Anand Dhuru


{Original Message removed}

2003\06\04@140234 by Hazelwood Lyle

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{Quote hidden}

I agree that X-10 is a common and well supported system.
For many people, it meets all their needs with a minimum
of extra wiring.

I've been using X-10 since somewhere around 1979.
There are a few problems I have found with it though.
First, as traffic increases, command collisions become a
LOT more of a problem. X-10 commands are pretty slow.
I have also found that their reliability is dependent on
the environment. They used to be quite reliable for me,
but in recent years they seem to be getting temperamental.
I think the cause is probably the more common use of SMPS
in the home. The more of these you have, the higher the
noise floor of your house wiring.
For myself, I'm working towards a wired system using CAN
to communicate between PIC based modules in each room of the
house. This is NOT a simple way to go. There will be a huge amount of in-wall wiring to support this. I hope I can design
enough useful features into my system to make it worthwhile.

Just my X-10 cents. 8^)
Lyle

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2003\06\05@015106 by Andreas Nyholm

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> For myself, I'm working towards a wired system using CAN
> to communicate between PIC based modules in each room of the
> house. This is NOT a simple way to go. There will be a huge
> amount of in-wall wiring to support this. I hope I can design
> enough useful features into my system to make it worthwhile.

> Just my X-10 cents. 8^)
> Lyle

I've been thinking of something similar, but using the IP protocol. I
think that would be a good solution for the future, easy to connect
other devices to the same server. The biggest problem I found so far is
the price, the solutions I found is about $15-20. Or does anyone have an
idea how to build a microcontroller that communicates over IP for less
than $10?

/Andreas

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2003\06\05@040546 by Anand Dhuru

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I guess the decision one has to make at the onset when automating a house is
whether you want a wireless solution; in which case X10 would pretty much be
an obvious choice.

But, like you guys pointed out, if reliability is not to be compromised at
all, other technologies might be more attractive.

Regards,

Anand Dhuru

{Original Message removed}

2003\06\05@052633 by lindokuhle mbatha

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Hi Andreas

Could you please help me with the proper cct. for a PIC communicating over the supply line. I would like to use the CAN protocol, which according to your mail you are using.

thank you,
Lindo Mbatha

Andreas Nyholm <andreas.nyholmspamspam_OUTINSALKO.FI> wrote:
> For myself, I'm working towards a wired system using CAN
> to communicate between PIC based modules in each room of the
> house. This is NOT a simple way to go. There will be a huge
> amount of in-wall wiring to support this. I hope I can design
> enough useful features into my system to make it worthwhile.

> Just my X-10 cents. 8^)
> Lyle

I've been thinking of something similar, but using the IP protocol. I
think that would be a good solution for the future, easy to connect
other devices to the same server. The biggest problem I found so far is
the price, the solutions I found is about $15-20. Or does anyone have an
idea how to build a microcontroller that communicates over IP for less
than $10?

/Andreas

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2003\06\05@055411 by Ruben vd Merwe

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Thanks for all the feedback.

I am just starting to build a new home and I am building it with HA in
mind, meaning that all electrical systems would be able to be wired up.
I have been investigating all the different systems, and I must agree
that X-10 is way out there.

I have two problems with it, one being in this country and having to
import most of the stuff, it tend to be quite expensive, Secondly I have
seen lots of people having problems with it. That said so does a lot of
the other systems. Please note that I am not trashing X-10. Even the
systems that is more common here like Clipsal uses a wired system.

I want to do this on by myself. This way I gain a lot of experience and
if something goes wrong, I know how to fix it. This also makes the
system cheap and gives me the satisfaction of my own creation.

I have currently got a system that I made which is working fine, but the
problem is that is a parallel bus system. So all the connected items
have to be wired back to the control system. Where a serial system can
have controllers all over the place and devices just wired to the
closest controller.

All of this taken into account, and what I have seen from looking
around, HA will most probably be a combination of a stack of different
Technologies.

I am keen on I2c and maybe CAN, and I like the IP idea, but as pointed
out, expense in doing so.

Some more input welcome. Thanks for all the cool replies so far!

Ruben

{Original Message removed}

2003\06\05@062012 by Nigel Orr

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pic microcontroller discussion list <> wrote on Thursday, June 05, 2003
10:30 AM:

> mind, meaning that all electrical systems would be able to be wired
> up. I have been investigating all the different systems, and I must
> agree that X-10 is way out there.

For a new build, wired is _definitely_ the way to go.  Why battle with the
weaknesses of mains-borne X-10 (missed commands, extra commands) when you
can run an extra cable and fit a relay or dimmer module for less cost?  I
have several X-10 modules, a timer and RF controller among them, and they
are useful for short term changes, but I wouldn't trust them with anything
remotely important.
The RF receiver switches its built in relay on and off when it feels like
it (must be a glitch on the local switch sense), and sometimes it and
another module on the same house and module code switch on 'because they
feel like it' (so they have 'seen' a non-existent X-10 command).  Sometimes
the RF receiver 'crashes' and needs a power cycle to start responding to
commands again.  That's OK (almost!) because they are just controlling
lamps, but I like to be able to control central heating etc. as well!

> lot of the other systems. Please note that I am not trashing X-10.

I am not either, but if you can run cables instead, that will _always_ be a
superior solution.  Only the cost or inconvenience of running cables can be
a reason to use X-10, and if it's a new build that should be insignificant.

> I have currently got a system that I made which is working fine, but
> the problem is that is a parallel bus system. So all the connected
> items have to be wired back to the control system. Where a serial
> system can have controllers all over the place and devices just wired
> to the closest controller.

Have a look at http://www.ibutton.com .  I am using more of that now,
especially for temperature measurements, it's reliable (and should soon be
controlling my central heating), and only needs a single 2-wire bus, but
avoids the complications of building CAN controllers.  Cheap too...

> All of this taken into account, and what I have seen from looking
> around, HA will most probably be a combination of a stack of
> different Technologies.

Yes, definitely.  I have one row of Krone terminals for each 'technology',
and currently have space for 20 rows, with 15 allocated ... why fight
phone, audio, video, security etc onto one protocol when you can spend a
couple of euros and run another length of cable?

Nigel
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2003\06\05@063252 by Alex Monaghan

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You might want to look at xAP as this is an open protocol for HA

http://www.xapautomation.org/

There's code about for a variety of devices and you can use it to talk to
X-10 devices and your other kit all using a single framework. There's also a
Yahoo group if you want to ask technical questions.

I've got some very simple xAP code for an 18F452 at
http://www.monaghan.co.uk/xap/ but you might be better off looking at the
spec and writing your own :-)

There's a variety of interfaces being developed for a whole variety of HA
systems such as C-BUS.

> {Original Message removed}

2003\06\05@065534 by Lyle Hazelwood

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>On Behalf Of Ruben vd Merwe
>Subject: Re: [PIC]: Home Automation with PICs
>
>Thanks for all the feedback.
>
>I am just starting to build a new home and I am building it with HA in
>mind, meaning that all electrical systems would be able to be wired up.
>I have been investigating all the different systems, and I must agree
>that X-10 is way out there.
>
>I have currently got a system that I made which is working fine, but the
>problem is that is a parallel bus system. So all the connected items
>have to be wired back to the control system. Where a serial system can
>have controllers all over the place and devices just wired to the
>closest controller.

CAN is not quite that easy. It is serial, but there is a single run that
includes all nodes. There can be no "forks" in the line, and only two
endpoints. star configuration is not possible as far as I know.

>I am keen on I2c and maybe CAN, and I like the IP idea, but as pointed
>out, expense in doing so.

I am not very familiar with I2C for this kind of application. I believe
it was designed for connecting chips within a product. I am skeptical of
how well it could handle the noise you might pick up if you wired it around
the house. I considered IP, but the cost per node, cost of hubs, and higher
levels of "software overhead" made it less attractive.

Some advantages of CAN: Most of the protocol overhead is built into the
18Fxx8 PICs. Only an 8 pin line driver is required at each node for
interface.
CAN was designed to work in noisy environments. Automatic priority
arbitration.
Flexible addressing scheme. Well documented interface. 2 wire
bi-directional.
Automatic error detection and re-transmission, simple twisted pair wiring.
Faulty nodes are automatically "kicked off" the bus.

Disadvantage of CAN: maximum 8 byte packets.

>Some more input welcome. Thanks for all the cool replies so far!

>Ruben

I should mention here that wireless CAN is available. Mr. Danmeyer has
created
http://www.autoartisans.com/products/index.htm
in case you need to go wireless. I have not used these (yet), but it's nice
to know.

There are many projects using CAN on the web. Example code for a CAN node
and
a CAN bootloader are available from the Microchip "Application Maestro". I'm
working with this now, though I haven't made it to the CAN code yet.

Good Luck,
Lyle

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2003\06\05@082110 by Andreas Nyholm

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Hello Lindo!

I'm not using CAN, Lyle is. And you just got some good information about
CAN in a previous message.
You can't use the CAN protocol over the supply line, you need extra
cables.

Greetings,
Andreas

{Original Message removed}

2003\06\05@082721 by so-8859-1?Q?Ing_Igor_Pokorn=FD?=

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Have you considered LIN protocol?  I guess it could be cheap and robust
solution.

http://www.microchip.com/download/appnote/pic16/00729a.pdf

Igor

{Original Message removed}

2003\06\05@082905 by Ruben vd Merwe

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Thanks Lyle

What are the possibilities for RS232 or 485? By the sounds of it I might
have to go to a type of star config, as all my nodes will collaborate in
one place.

Ruben

{Original Message removed}

2003\06\05@084858 by Quentin

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Keep in mind, Ruben, that X10 uses zero crossing for timing and
datalength and the mains AC as carrier. Most X10 were designed for the
US market which works on 60Hz and X10 will not work on 50Hz. Look at the
UK HA market for products.
Other alternatives for mains carried comms are the CEBus chips.
Companies such as Intellon(.com?) and  Domosys(.com?). They do high
speed stuff. Also Phillips has a mains based modem. You most prolly will
find these chips in networks like the one LG advertise on the TV (in SA).
OK, having said that, my research (a few years ago) has pointed out a
lot of problems with mains comms. For instance a light dimmer on your
line means death to x10 comms. Anti Spike systems (RC, coils, etc) also
play havoc. Put a AC Drive on the line (not likely in a home) and the
harmonics fed back also stuffs it up. Motors (like washing machine and
fridge) cause spikes. Fourescent light ballast, etc. etc.
You see what I am getting to? It is not as easy just because the wires
are already there. Try the upmarket chips I pointed out earlier, they
can handle these things. But they are expensive.

As a hind site if I do HA now, I will stick in a seperate comms line in
my house. And prolly use CAN, as I am developing a system using CAN for
work. Good points made about CAN by another person in another post.

And since as you say you are building a new home, this is the best time
to get the cables in. Don't worry about the protocol for now, get that
cables in! Think Home Networking.

Quentin
(Cape Town)

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2003\06\05@085518 by hael Rigby-Jones

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: Quentin [SMTP:qscEraseMEspam.....IPTECH.CO.ZA]
> Sent: Thursday, June 05, 2003 12:53 PM
> To:   EraseMEPICLISTspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU
> Subject:      Re: [PIC]: Home Automation with PICs
>
> Keep in mind, Ruben, that X10 uses zero crossing for timing and
> datalength and the mains AC as carrier. Most X10 were designed for the
> US market which works on 60Hz and X10 will not work on 50Hz.
>
I'm fairly sure X10 works on either?  I've certainly seen some modifications
for using US modules on 240v in the UK and all the mods related to the
voltage change.

Mike


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2003\06\05@085924 by Hazelwood Lyle

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>From: Ruben vd Merwe [RemoveMErubenvTakeThisOuTspamspamAMPNET.CO.ZA]
>Subject: Re: [PIC]: Home Automation with PICs
>
>
>Thanks Lyle
>
>What are the possibilities for RS232 or 485? By the sounds of it I might
>have to go to a type of star config, as all my nodes will collaborate in
>one place.
>
>Ruben
>
-<Lots of networking dialogue snipped out>-

Standard RS-232 is not addressable, though the "AUSART" in the
newer pics supports an addressing scheme.

I have stretched RS-232 over much longer wires than are suggested,
but your mileage may vary.

I have no experience with RS-485, but I believe the hardware layer
has many of the advantages you appear to be looking for. I do believe
it requires a driver chip.

With RS-485, you can create a network of your design, but you are left with
creating all the details yourself. If this is what you want, great.
One reason I chose CAN is that most of the error detection, bus arbitration, and other low level details are already done for me. I just set up the
necessary stuff and wait for messages that are pertinent to this node.

I am not an expert on CAN. There are many on this list with far greater experience than I. I am working towards knowing it better though.
If I have offered misleading or "wrong" information, I hope someone with
better knowledge will step in and offer a correction.

I think your time will be well spent by reading more details on each of
the methods you are considering. The CAN system was designed by Bosch.
I'm sure a bit of time researching this with Google will provide you with
a great deal of information.

There is a site "out there somewhere" that is a working community effort
to create a home automation system based on CAN controllers. I don't have
a link.

The choices are all yours. There are many methods available, each with
advantages and disadvantages. It's up to you to evaluate them and decide
which best fits your needs and experience. I've offered about all I CAN
without interjecting too much personal opinion (I hope).

Good Luck,
Lyle

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2003\06\05@090520 by Anand Dhuru

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The US versions do indeed work on 240V, once you have made the proper
modifications to the power supply components. The data signal is sent almost
immediately after the zero crossing, so the 50 / 60 Hz difference is not an
issue. This could theoretically cause a problem, if your transmitter and
reciver are on *different* phases, in which case the 60Hz module being run
on 50Hz mains would see the data signal coming slighly later than what it
would expect. But, I think the timing envelope is tolerent enough to handle
this, as I have tried US modules on 240 V, 50 Hz, different phase
installations succesfully.

Regards,

Anand Dhuru

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To: <PICLISTSTOPspamspamspam_OUTMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Thursday, June 05, 2003 6:24 PM
Subject: Re: [PIC]: Home Automation with PICs


> > {Original Message removed}

2003\06\05@091316 by Nigel Orr

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pic microcontroller discussion list <> wrote on Thursday, June 05, 2003
12:53 PM:

> Keep in mind, Ruben, that X10 uses zero crossing for timing and
> datalength and the mains AC as carrier. Most X10 were designed for the
> US market which works on 60Hz and X10 will not work on 50Hz. Look at
> the UK HA market for products.

That's a little misleading.  There is no reason why X10 should not work
just as well (or badly!) on 50Hz, and X10 is widely available for 50Hz
countries.  It just means that the data takes _even longer_ to arrive!

Nigel
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2003\06\05@091515 by Kenneth Lumia

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Ruben,

Not RS232, use RS485.  Note that a star configuration is both
and bad.  Bad because you can't terminate the connections
which can cause huge amounts of grief, really good because
each link is separate - if one goes down, the rest still work.

I've recently built a house and was planning to route the
lines serially from point to point, however decided star
was a better choice. In my case, I plan to
power some devices from extra pairs in the CAT5/e/6
cable.  Having only one device present makes this option
viable. In terms of cable, the way my house is laid out and the
prospective locations, very little ($) extra wire and effort
was required for a home run system. You will probably
need to create some sort of a "hub" device that takes these
circuits and properly terminates each one. One PIC with
a pin devoted to each link is sufficient. The hub could
also be used for the aforementioned power distribution as
well.

The actual protocol is up to you.

Ken
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ruben vd Merwe" <EraseMErubenvspamEraseMEAMPNET.CO.ZA>
To: <@spam@PICLIST@spam@spamspam_OUTMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Thursday, June 05, 2003 7:28 AM
Subject: Re: [PIC]: Home Automation with PICs


> Thanks Lyle
>
> What are the possibilities for RS232 or 485? By the sounds of it I might
> have to go to a type of star config, as all my nodes will collaborate in
> one place.
>
> Ruben
>
> {Original Message removed}

2003\06\05@092641 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>I think your time will be well spent by reading more details on each of
>the methods you are considering. The CAN system was designed by Bosch.
>I'm sure a bit of time researching this with Google will provide you with
>a great deal of information.

Having watched this thread, and being about to build a shed down the bottom
of the garden for my hobby area, I have been thinking about how to run
burglar alarms, security lights etc, from the house, and CAN looks like it
would fit the bill quite nicely. Hence I asked a colleague who used to work
for Lucas here in the UK, and since being here has done a little with CANbus
on a spacecraft about it. He had a hardcopy of the Bosch CAN spec 2.0 which
I have copied (no I will not be able to scan and send), but he has annotated
it with "replaced by ISO 11898" which probably means it will cost
significant money to get a copy of the ISO spec.

>There is a site "out there somewhere" that is a working community effort
>to create a home automation system based on CAN controllers. I don't have
>a link.

If anyone does have it, I'm definitely interested.

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2003\06\05@093343 by Bala Chandar

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Quentin wrote:

> Keep in mind, Ruben, that X10 uses zero crossing for timing and
> datalength and the mains AC as carrier. Most X10 were designed for the
> US market which works on 60Hz and X10 will not work on 50Hz.
X10 does work in 50Hz. If the line frequency is 50Hz instead of 60Hz, it
means that in a second there are 100 zero crossings instead of 120. The
microcontroller in X10 circuit board detects the zero crossings and
sends/receives signals irrespective of whether the line frequency is 60 or 50
or anything in between.
There could be occasional problems with X10 and its reliability may not be
high if the mains line is noisy. But X10 means low cost and secondly, there
is no need for wiring. I have been using X10 to control lamps and appliances
for the past three years here in India. I got a few modules from US and
modified them for 240 volts. Using PICs 16F84A and 16F628 I also succeeded in
making my own X10 receivers with custom features and they have working
satisfactorily.
Regards,
Bala

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2003\06\05@093347 by Hazelwood Lyle

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>From: Alan B. Pearce [TakeThisOuTA.B.Pearce.....spamTakeThisOuTRL.AC.UK]

>>There is a site "out there somewhere" that is a working community effort
>>to create a home automation system based on CAN controllers. I don't have
>>a link.

>If anyone does have it, I'm definitely interested.

http://caraca.sourceforge.net/

I don't know how active they are, I have not been monitoring
their progress. They seem to be AVR based, though it shouldn't
be too hard to meet them on the BUS...

Being an obstinate fool, I'm trying to do it all from scratch
on PIC 18's. I will check around occasionally though to see if
anyone is doing something really cool that I might want to
implement in my own system.

Lyle

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2003\06\05@094352 by Michael Reid

picon face
I know that price is an issue with designing a home automation system but I
would stay away from X-10. I work in this industry and have traveled the
world for various lighting control companies and my clients all have horror
stories about the reliability of X-10.  As mentioned before, it spits its
info out during the zero cross and is very suceptible to noise on the AC
mains.  There are many products available for boosting the signal and
filtering and for those who have managed to get a degree of consistent
reliability, it has been from investing in these add on products.  If you
can live with a system where you will frequently have to push buttons more
than once to get a response, go for it.

Check out the home automation products http://www.homeautomation.com.  They have an
online catalog with a lot of X-10 products.

Take a look at this new power line chip from Phonex in Utah. It will be
shipping 3rd quarter.  If it actually does what is promised it will be
incredible.

It's called the ReadyWire Power Line Carier ASIC. They're claiming it will
provide up to 15 separate simultaneous near-CD-quality audio channels over
the powerline!

http://www.phonex.com

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2003\06\05@095350 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>Being an obstinate fool, I'm trying to do it all from scratch
>on PIC 18's. I will check around occasionally though to see if
>anyone is doing something really cool that I might want to
>implement in my own system.

Thanks for the link. Guess the PIC version becomes CARACP :))

Certainly does not seem to be too much there on a brief scan through the
site. I had hoped for a definitions document for CAN commands that might get
one started, but they don't seem to have one.

PIC 18's with the built in CAN interface was the way I figured as well.

Oh well, I guess it is a case of get what information I can together and see
where it leads.

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2003\06\05@095807 by Marc Nicholas

flavicon
face
DalSemi 1-wire is useful for home automation projects:

- cheap temperature sensors, switches, analog to digital convertors
- uses a "1-wire" bus (data plus ground)
- you can often "steal" power from the bus to power sensors (parasitic mode)
- you can often do cable runs in excess of 100m easily, further if you use
"MicroLAN couplers" or build 1-wire hubs

I currently have 1-wire thermometors, barometric pressure, water level
(hydrostatic), humidity, and light level sensors that I've built myself that
communicate on 1-wire.

http://www.dalsemi.com


-marc

On 5/6/03 08:57, "Hazelwood Lyle" <spamBeGoneLHazelwood@spam@spamspam_OUTMFGNC.COM> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

--------------------------------------------------
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UNIX, Database, Security and Networking Consulting

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2003\06\05@112619 by Dale Botkin

flavicon
face
On Thu, 5 Jun 2003, Andreas Nyholm wrote:

> I've been thinking of something similar, but using the IP protocol. I
> think that would be a good solution for the future, easy to connect
> other devices to the same server. The biggest problem I found so far is
> the price, the solutions I found is about $15-20. Or does anyone have an
> idea how to build a microcontroller that communicates over IP for less
> than $10?

Yep - a PIC16F877 or 18Fxxx with code for IP.  I would suggest UDP for
simplicity, though if you need TCP there are some tricks you can use to
save a lot of code space and complexity.  The tougher/more expensive part
is Ethernet, if you're going to use that.  You could of course use IP over
serial or some 2-wire interface or whatever, but that pretty much kills
any easy interface with other systems.  There are solutions for that,
depending on how much effort you want to put into it and how repeateble it
needs to be.  For example, there have been people who used old ISA bus
Ethernet cards, which works but of course would not be a good way to go
for anything commercial, if that matters to you.

Microchip's got an app note and there are other sources for parts or all
of TPC, UDP, IP, HTTP, SMTP and some other protocols.  IP is not too
tough, the RFCs are all there and it's pretty easy to understand.  In a
lot of cases, you can safely ignore or at least work around some things
that would otherwise present significant challenges.  For example: if you
know that ALL of your HTTP TCP connections will only consist of one packet
each way, then your sequence number and packet ordering job just got a LOT
simpler, didn't it?  There's a lot more.

I played with a really cool little device a while back, an Ethernet web
server on a tiny module (http://www.siteplayer.com/).  While I didn't end
up using it for what I had planned, I did learn a lot about what could be
done to cut down on the size of the stack.  They did a lot of stuff I
could have sworn would never work, but in reality do work as long as the
thing doesn't need to be a fully 100% RFC compliant device, which many
don't.  Stuff like:

ARP?  What ARP?  Just send responses back to the MAC address the request
came from, with the same IP address.

Default gateway?  Sorry, no.  See ARP.

DHCP?  Nah.  Just watch for ANY packet with my MAC address (or just watch
for an ICMP ECHO with my MAC address), take my IP address from that.
Have to trust all your local devices, of course.

Packet reordering?  Nope, not if you can assume all requests coming in
will be in one packet.

If I'm a web server, I can ignore the port number and just treat ANY
incoming TCP packet as an HTTP request...  for that matter, if I'm serving
tghe same thing every time, like a status web page, I can ignore the whole
request and just send the stuff.  If the packet wasn't really an HTTP
request, well, tough luck.

The list goes on.  The stack can be pretty compact, if you need to have it
so.

Dale
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2003\06\05@114838 by Herbert Graf

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> >I am keen on I2c and maybe CAN, and I like the IP idea, but as pointed
> >out, expense in doing so.
>
> I am not very familiar with I2C for this kind of application. I believe
> it was designed for connecting chips within a product. I am skeptical of
> how well it could handle the noise you might pick up if you wired
> it around
> the house.

       I'd agree with you on a commercial application, however for a "do it
yourselfer" I2C is a very attractive solution. I use I2C on my house monitor
network and about the only thing I had to do to make it reliable was reduce
the speed of the bus, it runs pretty slow (around 20kHz) but is very
reliable. Make run length is probably around 50 feet, in a star config
though. TTYL

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2003\06\05@131350 by Andreas Nyholm

flavicon
face
Hi Dale!

I didn't ever think about using IP over serial, but it's a nice idea,
but like you said it kills any easy interface with other systems.
I guess it's better to use something like CAN instead.

I did take a brief look at the Microchip's app note a few weeks ago and
now taking a look at the siteplayer site I start wondering what kind of
hardware I really need to use Ethernet with a PIC? A chip, eg. Realtek
8019? and some kind of filter? and of course a RJ-45 port..
Do I have things somehow clear or am I completely wrong? :)

/Andreas

{Original Message removed}

2003\06\05@141043 by

flavicon
face
Alan B. Pearce wrote :

> "...I have been thinking about how to run
> burglar alarms, security lights etc..."


Well, it *is* nice living somewhere those gadgets
aren't needed...

:-) :-)

Jan-Erik.

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2003\06\05@143657 by M. Adam Davis

flavicon
face
Alan B. Pearce wrote:

>>There is a site "out there somewhere" that is a working community effort
>>to create a home automation system based on CAN controllers. I don't have
>>a link.
>>
>>
>
>If anyone does have it, I'm definitely interested.
>
>
http://caraca.sourceforge.net/

AVR, CAN nodes.

-Adam

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2003\06\05@163953 by Dale Botkin

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face
On Thu, 5 Jun 2003, Andreas Nyholm wrote:

> I didn't ever think about using IP over serial, but it's a nice idea,
> but like you said it kills any easy interface with other systems.
> I guess it's better to use something like CAN instead.

Well, you could use PPP, which would then be easy to interface to a PC
host...  BUT then you're limited to a point to point connection.

> I did take a brief look at the Microchip's app note a few weeks ago and
> now taking a look at the siteplayer site I start wondering what kind of
> hardware I really need to use Ethernet with a PIC? A chip, eg. Realtek
> 8019? and some kind of filter? and of course a RJ-45 port..
> Do I have things somehow clear or am I completely wrong? :)

Well, the Siteplayer folks sell an Ethernet jack with the inductors and
stuff built in, so just an Ethernet chip like a CS8900 or Realtek...  but
those seem to have some pretty hefty I/O requirements, IIRC.  On the other
hand, they do have packet buffers so you can wait until they have a
packet, then peek at it without having to burn a lot of RAM.

Dale
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2003\06\05@165027 by hard Prosser

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face
Overall :-

a) Put those cables in as soon as you can (and as many as you can).
b)Before the wall linings are on photograph all the framing so you record
exactly where all the cables (including power) and pipes are located. This
is about the best thing I did when we were building - it has saved so much
time & effort since.
c) Adding a bit of Coax cable to the mix as well as twisted pair may be
worthwhile also - you may want to add TV connections etc around at a later
date.

If you do  decide to go the way of RS485, you can get  "slew rate limited"
driver chip which reduce the requirements (= hassles !) as far as
terminations and star connectios are concerned.

Richard P




Hi Dale!

I didn't ever think about using IP over serial, but it's a nice idea,
but like you said it kills any easy interface with other systems.
I guess it's better to use something like CAN instead.

I did take a brief look at the Microchip's app note a few weeks ago and
now taking a look at the siteplayer site I start wondering what kind of
hardware I really need to use Ethernet with a PIC? A chip, eg. Realtek
8019? and some kind of filter? and of course a RJ-45 port..
Do I have things somehow clear or am I completely wrong? :)

/Andreas

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2003\06\06@171627 by Peter L. Peres

picon face
I do not think CAN or any other dc coupled bus will perform well in a
place large enough to have two or more mains feeds. Imho look at ac
coupled differential buses, not necessarily using magnetics.

Some projects I worked on involved such systems (control cables) and the
ground potentials with a/c units switching on and off and other big loads
in the building were unmanageable. You can get 3Vac between ground and
neutral in the same room, without any noise source, let alone 50 meters
away.

Peter

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2003\06\06@172753 by David VanHorn

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>
>Some projects I worked on involved such systems (control cables) and the
>ground potentials with a/c units switching on and off and other big loads
>in the building were unmanageable. You can get 3Vac between ground and
>neutral in the same room, without any noise source, let alone 50 meters
>away.

It's a real eye opener when you connect a cable, and it starts to melt.

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2003\06\06@191109 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
> I do not think CAN or any other dc coupled bus will perform well in a
> place large enough to have two or more mains feeds. Imho look at ac
> coupled differential buses, not necessarily using magnetics.
>
> Some projects I worked on involved such systems (control cables) and the
> ground potentials with a/c units switching on and off and other big
> loads in the building were unmanageable. You can get 3Vac between
> ground and neutral in the same room, without any noise source, let
> alone 50 meters away.

This is often achieved with CAN by using opto-isolators.  Usually the bus
contains an extra pair of wires which can power the bus side of the opto
circuitry.  A good example of this is NMEA-2000.


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2003\06\07@164907 by Brandon Fosdick

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Ruben vd Merwe wrote:
> I am very interested in Home Automation and was wandering if I can get a
> few pointers to web sites with info on this topic. I am thinking of some
> serial comms with a PC, I2c or something similar. And PIC based modules
> all over the place, talking back to a pc.

With all the interest this thread has generated I guess I should go
ahead and plug my own work. I started out on a similar project a few
years back to wire a house my parents were constructing. I ended up with
a set of nodes organized on a star shaped CAN bus (yes, you can do that
with CAN, works great). Each node is based around an 16F877 and MCP2510.
Input nodes can handle 26 SPST switches and output nodes can handle 26
relays. The software isn't very user friendly and I haven't had time to
work on a central control applet, but it all works. Since moving to
California I haven't thought much about the project (parents are on the
east coast, US), although if I had to do it again I'd probably use one
of the 18F parts, too bad they weren't available sooner.

Here's the little bit of info I've gotten around to posting.
http://terrandev.com/~bfoz/lakehouse/

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2003\06\09@041453 by Ruben vd Merwe

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face
Hi

I want to start by saying thanks to all the people that collaborated on
this topic. Boy do I have a lot to go look at and learn!

I want to ask. Out of all the replies it seemed that CAN is a good
"Network" to do this on, but out of the list and from of my searches via
Google, RS485 also seems to very widely used for this type of
application.

Can you guys give me some feedback on witch is the better, easier, more
functional, more reliable technology to go and invest my time in?

Thanks
Ruben

PS Remember this is new stuff for me. I am only starting in the PIC
environment, and my sole goal for now is HA.

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2003\06\09@081110 by Patrick J

flavicon
face
Ok, I am also very interested in HA (how rare on this list ;)

What are you opinions on where should the actual
switching/sensing/monitoring
should take place? From what Ive read here most seem to think that HA
should be done by simply switching wall sockets on/off ?

I kinda think it should be done in the appliance intself, say for instance
you have a tablelamp and you want it to dim to 70% at 20.30 each day.
Now this can be done with a dimmed wallsocket ofcourse, but what it
you move the lamp? Then you must find out what is the ID of the new
wall socket and tell  your controller to dim that instead and reset the
previous
socket to default values. If instead the lamp had the abillities built in
it could be moved around and your settings follow it whereever you
decide to put the lamp.

The problem w adding HA to an old house is the wireing, a simpler start
might be to just add small boxes to the outlets (like those new cheap
digital
timers one just plug in) w all the smarts in them.

As for technology to transfer your signals theres a number of different
ways, all more or less good/bad
X10 slow, unreliable? and expensive (atlest here)
Extra cables with RS485, CAN, Profibus etc etc
fast, reliable, fairly simple but messy to add to an existing house.

Radio is the way I am considering. A small trancivercard that can be
built in where its possible and in some places (like the garage that hasn't
wires built in in the wall) can fairly easy be rewired to a central
switchbox
that control a group of lamps and outlets and door, motions sensors etc

And if you add a bridge between you radio-HA-lan and your ethernet lan
you can control it from whereever u want...

Just my $0.05 (inflation)



{Original Message removed}

2003\06\09@081316 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
> I want to ask. Out of all the replies it seemed that CAN is a good
> "Network" to do this on, but out of the list and from of my searches via
> Google, RS485 also seems to very widely used for this type of
> application.
>
> Can you guys give me some feedback on witch is the better, easier, more
> functional, more reliable technology to go and invest my time in?

Yes, CAN.

Microcontrollers with built in CAN are still pretty recent, so there will
be a lot of literature out there that uses other approaches.  RS-485 has
been around forever, and electrically it is also a good choice.  However,
RS-485 is an electrical spec only, whereas CAN includes a few protocol
layers that are all embodied right in the silicon of chips like the
18F258, 18F458, etc.  Five years ago RS-485 would have been a reasonable
choice.  Today CAN is the clear choice.


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2003\06\09@085033 by Ruben vd Merwe

flavicon
face
Hi Patrick

I am busy with a brand spanking new house. I am laying the foundations
beginning of next month, so I am including the necessary wiring
infrastructure everywhere.

The problem with Radio is the cost involved. I think (Speculate) that
even Ethernet will be cheaper.

So with your lamp example, I will have the infrastructure, at every
plug, necessary to move any automation (Light Dimmer) with the lamp and
just plug it in.

I do understand that with an older house is a bit of a problem to
rewire!

Lyle sent out a mail to create a DL list for HA, if you are interested.

Ruben


{Original Message removed}

2003\06\09@093503 by Patrick J

flavicon
face
> The problem with Radio is the cost involved. I think (Speculate) that
> even Ethernet will be cheaper.
u can get trancivers for like $12, the ethernet chipset is more?

> Lyle sent out a mail to create a DL list for HA, if you are interested.
> Ruben

DL list ?

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2003\06\09@102146 by Ruben vd Merwe

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Patrick

Sorry Distribution List!

Ruben

Lyle Wrote:

I am committed to continuing my own work, and would be willing to share
with others as working code becomes available. I am currently working
with some folks at MChip also to refine some of the Maestro code.

I don't claim to be an expert, but I would be happy to try and manage
some kind of informal offlist group to exchange ideas and information.

If anyone is interested in the same, please write me at
lylehazeEraseMEspam@spam@bellsouth.net




{Original Message removed}

2003\06\10@125428 by Peter L. Peres

picon face
$0.2:

CAN is both an electrical specification and a bus protocol. It requires
special silicon to support it fully (i.e. you have to buy someone's chips
- perhaps Microchip's). The CAN bus is not very well protected against
transients. This means that it will eventually blow up in my experience,
taking out one or more devices. Since you have to use CAN capable drivers
of the kind you designed into the devices, you will have to buy them, say,
five years from now. Also CAN is not differential and it does not like
ground potentials and lots of noise (like running CAN cable parallel with
a mains extension cord for 10 meters or so).

RS485 is an electrical specification (without specifying a protocol) for a
differential line used to send and receive serial bits. You can send RS232
or something else over RS485. RS485 drivers are second sourced by almost
everyone and you can make your own in a pinch. RS485 is used in very badly
polluted industrial environments and it works well. There is no limit on
the protocol you can use on it, nor on the speed (you can do 115kBauds if
the distance is short enough with suitable drivers). It can use CAT5
(normally for ethernet) cabling as is. It is relatively imprevious to
ground potentials and serious noise (like 10 meters of RS485 running
parallel with 10 meters of mains cable - as above).

As protocol I would suggest one of the Modbus protocols (pick one, either
ascii or binary - ascii is easier to debug). Modbus simply sends a string
of bytes normally over a serial line at a standard speed. This can travel
well over RS485/cat5 cabling with some additional matching resistors. You
do not have to call it Modbus, or imitate it perfectly.

The cat5 cabling can also be 'misused' to send telephone, video, and sound
unlike most other cabling, at least over shorter distances.

Others will say they like CAN more. I would suggest you spend some time
reading up on CAN. CAN is a clever protocol but the proprietary silicon
requirement makes it less interesting for me.

Peter

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2003\06\10@151321 by andre abelian

picon face
Peter,

Speaking of RS485
I built very basic rs485 cable tester that checks to
See if connectors are ok. Technically it checks each
Pair. On my last installation made mistake on connector which the
Tester shoed ok I was getting speed lose I suppose to get
1500 kbits per second I was getting 300 Kbits so back and forward
I found that I didn't fallow dose pairs properly and
I didn't like my tester at all and now I am thinking
To build a tester that after testing connection
It will transmit data from one side and it will count how
Many byte of data received from the other side I just do not
know what speed to use and how long data will be enough.
I was thinking to send rs232 thru rs485 like you said
Should I use maximum baud rate the pic support or is
There better way of checking the cable for data communications?

Any idea will appreciate

Andre

{Original Message removed}

2003\06\10@161804 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
> CAN is both an electrical specification and a bus protocol. It requires
> special silicon to support it fully (i.e. you have to buy someone's
> chips
> - perhaps Microchip's).

No special silicon is required by the standard.  You could implement a
complient CAN controller from discrete parts if you wanted to.  Off the
shelf silicon has emerged because CAN is a useful concept and the
automotive industry (which invented CAN) has large purchasing power.

I don't see "buying someone's chip" as a big deal.  CAN is widely
supported by many manufacturers, including Microchip.  Certainly this is
no worse than having to buy a PIC from Microchip.  You can get both in one
package in the 18Fxx8.

> The CAN bus is not very well protected against transients.

Pure bullshit!  CAN is specified as differential, and most implementations
are.  See NMEA 2000 (layered on the CAN standard) as an example.  It is
intended to run 100s of meters in a ship using unshielded twisted pair.

> This means that it will eventually blow up in my experience,
> taking out one or more devices.

More bullshit.  Any bus that goes reasonable distances is subjet to common
mode transients and ground offsets.  Proper design in these evironments
dictates some sort of isolation.  The CAN standard leaves this up to
individual implementations, but it in no way prohibits you from doing so.
Again NMEA 2000 is an example of CAN where devices are encouraged to be
opto-isolated from the bus.


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2003\06\10@162425 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
> On my last installation made mistake on connector which the
> Tester shoed ok I was getting speed lose I suppose to get
> 1500 kbits per second I was getting 300 Kbits so back and forward
> I found that I didn't fallow dose pairs properly and
> I didn't like my tester at all and now I am thinking
> To build a tester that after testing connection
> It will transmit data from one side and it will count how
> Many byte of data received from the other side I just do not
> know what speed to use and how long data will be enough.

Phew, take a breath already!  Here are a few extra periods: .........
Use them.


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2003\06\11@010730 by Brandon Fosdick

flavicon
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"Peter L. Peres" wrote:
<snip>
> CAN is both an electrical specification and a bus protocol. It requires
> special silicon to support it fully (i.e. you have to buy someone's chips
> - perhaps Microchip's). The CAN bus is not very well protected against
> transients. This means that it will eventually blow up in my experience,
> taking out one or more devices. Since you have to use CAN capable drivers
> of the kind you designed into the devices, you will have to buy them, say,
> five years from now. Also CAN is not differential and it does not like
> ground potentials and lots of noise (like running CAN cable parallel with
> a mains extension cord for 10 meters or so).
<snip>

Pure crap. It is differential and it handles transients faily well. I
haven't had a single one blow up yet and I've seriously abused them.
There is abuse and then there is me. I have CAN nodes that run just fine
inside a metal box with mains and lots of noisy relays. I even run a few
of the signal lines along the mains line for 10 meters or so (maybe a
little more), no problems. Do us all a favor and check your info before
typing.

As far as availability is concerned I found a ready supply of CAN
drivers last time I looked, and that was about 2 years ago. I would
imagine there are more now.

FWIW, I'm running my CAN over CAT5 along with 12V power for the nodes.
No problems. The cable ends are wired for ethernet jacks in case I ever
change my mind.

What do you mean by proprietary silicon? Aren't PICs proprietary silicon
too?

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2003\06\11@035321 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>>Also CAN is not differential and it does not like
>> ground potentials and lots of noise (like running CAN cable parallel with
>> a mains extension cord for 10 meters or so).
><snip>
>
>Pure crap. It is differential and it handles transients faily well. I
>haven't had a single one blow up yet and I've seriously abused them.

This sounds like the original poster used CAN processor chips without the
interface driver chips.

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2003\06\11@082625 by Micro Eng

picon face
Also......look at DeviceNET, a favor change of CAN.  Widely used in the
industrial segment.  I have to agree with Olin.....it is a rather robust
connection.  Multidrop, but be sure you terminate and there is a finite
distance.


{Quote hidden}

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2003\06\11@084320 by Hazelwood Lyle

flavicon
face
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Micro Eng [micro_engspam@spam@HOTMAIL.COM]
>Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2003 8:26 AM
>To: EraseMEPICLISTRemoveMEspamSTOPspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU
>Subject: Re: [PIC]: Home Automation with PICs
>
>
>Also......look at DeviceNET, a favor change of CAN.  Widely used in the
>industrial segment.  I have to agree with Olin.....it is a rather robust
>connection.  Multidrop, but be sure you terminate and there is a finite
>distance.

As I understand it, DeviceNET is a High Level Protocol (HLP)
for CAN networks.. I'd love to use it in my own personal
designs, but every time I go looking for more information,
I end up with membership costs and certification charges.
I agree that it would be well worth it for a company wanting
it's designs available to a wider audience, but for a hobbyist
with limited funds, it just looks too expensive.

I have seen (for a fee) software libraries that offer DeviceNET
compatibility, but so far, not for the 18F PICs.

It looks like the choice or creation of a HLP is likely to be a
big part of the design deliberations. Unfortunately, mine will
probably evolve as the requirements of the project unfold instead
of starting with a clearly defined HLP up front.

If anyone knows of an existing HLP that is free and available,
I'd love to read more about it.

Lyle

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2003\06\11@090444 by hael Rigby-Jones

picon face
{Quote hidden}

Has anyone considered using the SNAP protocol? http://www.hth.com/snap/

There are many examples for the basic stamp, so should be easy to use with a
"real" controller :o)

Mike


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2003\06\11@135147 by Peter L. Peres

picon face
You can send data down the cable and monitor BER or such. If you get the
wrong pair the amplitude at the receiver should be one half of expected.

Peter

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2003\06\11@135149 by Peter L. Peres

picon face
> No special silicon is required by the standard.  You could implement a
> complient CAN controller from discrete parts if you wanted to.  Off the
> shelf silicon has emerged because CAN is a useful concept and the
> automotive industry (which invented CAN) has large purchasing power.

Yes but isn't the CAN version used in cars the kind with one wire and
shared ground ? I am under this (strong) impression. And so are most
interface chips.

> I don't see "buying someone's chip" as a big deal.  CAN is widely
> supported by many manufacturers, including Microchip.  Certainly this is
> no worse than having to buy a PIC from Microchip.  You can get both in
> one package in the 18Fxx8.

I do not have a problem buying somene's silicon at all, I do this all the
time (I do not cook my chips in the kitchen, you know). The way I see it
you build this technology into a house, it works well for 3 or 5 years,
then the unavoidable surge/lightning happens and takes out most of the
network.  Will you be able to source the same chips you did it with then
and rewrite them from backups or do you start over every time this
happens. That is what I meant. I agree that having a CAN controller in a
chip is a good idea. So are many other kinds of bus. It's the long time
reliability of the driver that I am thinking of.

> > The CAN bus is not very well protected against transients.
>
> Pure bullshit!  CAN is specified as differential, and most
> implementations are.  See NMEA 2000 (layered on the CAN standard) as an
> example.  It is intended to run 100s of meters in a ship using
> unshielded twisted pair.

The kind of CAN that is most commonly used is the one wire plus ground
kind. Twisted or not. And it does not like transients. The open drain/bit
squashing part that does the arbitration requires that the bus be
relatively high impedance at least part of the time.

>> This means that it will eventually blow up in my experience,
>> taking out one or more devices.
>
> More bullshit.  Any bus that goes reasonable distances is subjet to
> common mode transients and ground offsets.  Proper design in these
> evironments dictates some sort of isolation.  The CAN standard leaves
> this up to individual implementations, but it in no way prohibits you
> from doing so. Again NMEA 2000 is an example of CAN where devices are
> encouraged to be opto-isolated from the bus.

I like the part about 'leaving this up to individual implementations'. You
can opto-insulate RS485 too but really robust buses use magnetic coupling
into the bus. Ethernet is a pretty good example. Ether is used in a lot of
large buildings and it seems to work well. The occasional lightning strike
will take out a bunch of routers or hubs. It's okay, they are cheap and
everyone makes them.

As to the bullshitting, thank you for bullshitting my $0.2 opinion.

Peter

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2003\06\11@145807 by Vern Jones

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face
Hello all,

If you start with a well protected power supply, home automation
processors will run for many years, even on old silicon (Z80). I may
have to reprogram the ROM someday, but my home automation system has
been operational for 23 years. Some commercial appliances attached to it
didn't fair so well, but the core system has provided flawless
performance for a very long time. The system controls the heating a
cooling systems, and other baby-sitting jobs for a solar house. It has
many remote sensors and uses a 24 volt AC system for outputs to the
various appliances. So the system is isolated from the controlled
appliances. The power supply has MOVS, Line filters and ferroresonant
power transformer and heavy filtering on the output.

All of the original hardware still functions on a 24/7/23yr basis.

So if you are careful with the overall design, the system should
function for many years.
If I were doing it again, I would think network, be it CAN, TCP/IP,
1Wire or what ever. Just be very fussy with the power and power
protection. PICs would have been neat for my project, but there weren't
any in 1979.

My 2 cents worth.

Vern



"Peter L. Peres" wrote:
>
> > No special silicon is required by the standard.  You could implement a
> > complient CAN controller from discrete parts if you wanted to.

You can get both in
{Quote hidden}

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2003\06\11@145812 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
> Yes but isn't the CAN version used in cars the kind with one wire and
> shared ground ? I am under this (strong) impression. And so are most
> interface chips.

I don't know.  That's possible since every penny counts and they can
afford a slow bit rate, but I would have expected differential due to high
noise environment.  All the CAN driver chips I've seen are differential,
and this is what is described in the standard as I recall.  However, that
is merely one implementation of CAN in any case.

> I do not have a problem buying somene's silicon at all, I do this all
> the time (I do not cook my chips in the kitchen, you know). The way I
> see it you build this technology into a house, it works well for 3 or 5
> years, then the unavoidable surge/lightning happens and takes out most
> of the network.  Will you be able to source the same chips you did it
> with then and rewrite them from backups or do you start over every time
> this happens. That is what I meant. I agree that having a CAN
> controller in a chip is a good idea. So are many other kinds of bus.
> It's the long time reliability of the driver that I am thinking of.

The CAN logic on the micro is separate from the actual bus drivers.  These
are separate chips that are available from different manufacturers and are
usually direct replacements of each other.  See the Microchip MCP2551 for
example.  This chip would connect directly between a 18Fxx8 (or most other
CAN micros) and the actualy differential signals of the CAN bus.

> The kind of CAN that is most commonly used is the one wire plus ground
> kind. Twisted or not. And it does not like transients. The open
> drain/bit squashing part that does the arbitration requires that the
> bus be relatively high impedance at least part of the time.

I haven't seen that type of CAN system.  All this proves is that it's
possible to create bad implementations of CAN (I'm not even sure this
would be true CAN anyway).  I was objecting to your statement that CAN
inherently has these problems.  CAN is designed to work with differential
signals, and this is widely supported by various semiconductor
manufacturers, including Microchip.  I'm quite sure Phillips has a can
driver chip similar to (probably even drop in equivalent) to the MCP2551.
I think Microchip is merely a follower here.  If I remember right, they
claim superiority in power consumption, but are otherwise trying to be as
compatible as possible with industry standard CAN drivers.

In short, my point is that it is well within reach of hobbyists to
implement robust CAN systems using inexpensive and multi-sourced parts.


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

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2003\06\12@041325 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>> Yes but isn't the CAN version used in cars the kind with one wire and
>> shared ground ? I am under this (strong) impression. And so are most
>> interface chips.
>
>I don't know.  That's possible since every penny counts and they can
>afford a slow bit rate, but I would have expected differential due to high
>noise environment.  All the CAN driver chips I've seen are differential,
>and this is what is described in the standard as I recall.  However, that
>is merely one implementation of CAN in any case.

Looking at the CAN driver schematics I can see why Peter thinks they may be
a single ended system. It would appear that they are not a "true
differential" drive with one side going to both positive and negative
voltages. The driver chip has a transistor which pulls the CANH line to
positive, and another to pull the CANL line to ground, but it looks like the
"other" state is open circuit. It would seem the receiver is a true
differential item with the threshold set high enough to minimise receiving
any noise.

....

{Quote hidden}

I cannot see how it could be run as a one wire plus ground, and be called a
CAN bus (see my email from yesterday). I have just had a look at the
Microchip MCP2551 and the Philips PCA82C250 and PCA82C251 transceiver chips,
and they are indeed pin compatible. The MCP2551 is claimed to be suitable
for 12 and 24V systems, Philips only claim the PCA82C251 to be suitable for
24V. Have not done a close comparison of the specs otherwise, but it would
seem they are drop in replacements.

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2003\06\12@051521 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
Having just poked my nose into the thread about transient protection on
CANbus systems I opened my (snail) mail to find a Maxim notification about
+/-80V protected CAN transceivers designed for 42V automotive systems. Check
out the MAX305x family. Sounds like the sort of device to use for an HA bus
for transient protection. They appear to be pin compatible to other 8 pin
devices, although I think pin 5 changes function slightly.

They also have RS485 versions as the MAX343x/344x families.

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2003\06\12@091504 by

flavicon
face
Hm, what has "differential" to do with "positive" and "negative" ?
Isn't the whole idea with differential that you don't need
to know wheither one or the other line is positive or
negative, as long as one is *more* positive (or *less* negative)
then the othter ?

There is no ground reference in a differatial line, right ?

Jan-Erik.

Alan B. Pearce wrote:

> Looking at the CAN driver schematics I can see why Peter thinks they may be
> a single ended system. It would appear that they are not a "true
> differential" drive with one side going to both positive and negative
> voltages.

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2003\06\12@123119 by Robert Reimiller

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On Thu, 12 Jun 2003 09:12:56 +0100, you wrote:
>Looking at the CAN driver schematics I can see why Peter thinks they may be
>a single ended system. It would appear that they are not a "true
>differential" drive with one side going to both positive and negative
>voltages. The driver chip has a transistor which pulls the CANH line to
>positive, and another to pull the CANL line to ground, but it looks like the
>"other" state is open circuit. It would seem the receiver is a true
>differential item with the threshold set high enough to minimise receiving
>any noise.
>
I'm using some TI CAN transceivers on a network here. The idle state
is both lines at 2.5 volts (5V bus). For the active state one line goes
to 1.5 volts and the other 3.5 volts.

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2003\06\12@125443 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>I'm using some TI CAN transceivers on a network here. The idle state
>is both lines at 2.5 volts (5V bus). For the active state one line
>goes to 1.5 volts and the other 3.5 volts.

This is illustrated in the Philips application note (AN96116) as well. It
seems that this is the normal way for the "fault protected" chips to work,
and there are some more complex chips around (e.g. Maxim MAX3054/5/6 and
Philips TJA1054) which are also termed "Fault Tolerant" and will carry on
working even with one line connected to the vehicle battery or ground. These
have more pins on them and use somewhat more external components which
actually pull the two lines to Vcc and Gnd so there is a reverse voltage
across the inputs of the receiver, instead of floating at Vcc/2. Seems to
depend on how fault tolerant you need as to which chips you use.

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2003\06\12@135926 by Peter L. Peres

picon face
> many great answers, especially from Vern Jones

I think that the litmus test would be to destructively test your CAN
station (or other station) in the way the UL would do it. F.ex. you have
an intelligent effector/sensor group connected to mains, a heater, and a
bunch of sensors in a NEMA box. And the bus. Now comes the UL man and puts
2500V transients into the mains while snipping off diverse parts from the
input transient filter and finally puts mains into the bus input. If at
the end of this there is a path between the mains (the real one) and the
bus terminals the bus will be toast, together with whatever is at its
other end. Agree ?

Aside: It would be interesting to set up a set of tests (and document them
on a webpage) that would allow a hobbyist to check out his designs before
leaving the newest and untestedest gizmo operating in the living room
while going off to work. Like surge injection, fireproffing, proper fusing
of ALL inputs and outputs (even if by flameproof resistors), checking on
heat generated over time in final enclosure, such things. What do you
think ?

The question is, what next imho. I.e. if the garage
antifreeze/ventilation/door/alarm/light controller is destroyed because a
mojo decided to sit on the wrong part of the pcb will it take out the
whole house system ? Having a single dc coupled bus winding its way
everywhere is dangerous imho, if it is dc coupled. Opto is a way but it is
expensive in parts and labor and the floating part of the bus will blow up
taking a lot of parts with it (assuming bus wiring, as opposed to star or
tree).

As Vern Jones has pointed out the power/decoupling systems are very
important, but also the fact that his wiring is in fact 24V on/off signals
mostly (excepting the sensors I presume). This is an industrial standard
(see PLCs, many work with this standard of signalling). 20mA current loop
and RS232 current loop are in the same family of ultra-robust industrial
well-proven systems.

So if someone would propose, say, using fiber to wire the house I would be
all for it (using MOX?? modular transceivers and standard 3.5mm plugs).
Hey, you can always use the fiber for spdif and video later. Ditto carrier
current using CAT5 cabling (there is no law against sending X10 and like
signals on a separate wire). I think you can send CAN over fiber if you
want to.  RS232 certainly. I did it (multidrop using spliced plastic
fiber). It is very nice.

I have experience with carrier current remote measuring and control using
CMOS40xx series chips for implementation, with signals on the mains or on
a separate pair (partly outdoor phone line, partly buried, etc). Needless
to say this was not chosen out of fancy. It is interesting to see the neon
bulbs mounted as transient suppressors at the coupling transformers
flicker when certain transients are on the mains and have your circuit
continue to work ... (this with the insulated 'phone' pair, which was
grounded through resistors at both ends !).

I have also seen a lot of transient and lightning damage (and ground
faults etc) and I know what I am looking for in a bus system I would
trust over the long term. Maybe CAN will cut it too, I am sure that the
people who devised it knew what they were doing.

I know that there are lots of chips out there. It's just that I have the
habit of walking into the supplier's store and chatting up the owner or
the salesperson about this and that part, and I am pretty good at seeing
when his eyes glaze over although I am not very good at poker ;-) That
gives me clues about parts which not to order ... or not just right now.

Peter

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2003\06\12@144759 by Micro Eng

picon face
As far as UL and AC goes......hipot testing and ground bond test the input
side at least.  Been there...done that.  Quite fun to see a board arc at
1500 volts.

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2003\06\12@232323 by Vern Jones

flavicon
face
Thanks for the comments Peter. Some additional notes on my House system.
The central processing unit is housed in a standard NEMA enclosure.
There is also remote control for the domestic hot water as a backup to
the solar system. This uses a contactor rated at 60Amps. using standard
24 volt control.

For other control systems where power control is concerned, I use some
buffer driver between the controlling device to drive an opto coupler. I
have used this method for switching High voltages up to 2KV using the
buffers, opto couplers, and FET Switches at the 2KV level. Whether it is
differential, single ended, network, CAN or whatever. Isolate and
decouple. It may cost a few extra dollars up front, but I don't think 23
years of flawless operation (no repairs) is a bad track record. Most
homes 23 years ago had never seen a CPU, much less used it for heating
and cooling purposes.

Today there is so much more to work with, prices for doing these types
of things are pennies on the dollar compared to what I had to spend even
at 1980 prices. Even then it was possible to remote a hard disk drive up
to 75' from the processor in disk farms using differential isolated
control and data lines. If you use fibre today that can be increased to
several hundred feet at 2 to 4 GB/Sec. So my opinion FWIW is go for it.
Isolate things around heavy appliances. Decouple, decouple, decouple,
keep the power clean. I clean expensive supply can serve for the entire
system. Use phantom power to the ends of your network elements.

Most of the odd, weird and confusing problems that I have encountered in
systems and industry over the last 40 years have all been related to
some fault in the power system whether large or small. Could be a 5M
Watt turbine or a 200 Watt inverter. Either can be a pain if not done
properly.

So my 2 Cents worth again. Just wish I had had all these goodies 20 or
30 years ago. I sure like PICS for small apps. there is software for
most of the common network connections or I2C or what ever networking
elements you decide to use.

I really like the High speed fibre. 100% isolation, and lots of
bandwidth.

Later,

Vern

"Peter L. Peres" wrote:

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2003\06\13@031043 by Peter L. Peres

picon face
> Having just poked my nose into the thread about transient protection on
> CANbus systems I opened my (snail) mail to find a Maxim notification
> about +/-80V protected CAN transceivers designed for 42V automotive
> systems.  Check out the MAX305x family. Sounds like the sort of device
> to use for an HA bus for transient protection. They appear to be pin
> compatible to other 8 pin devices, although I think pin 5 changes
> function slightly.

I still think that automotive destination devices will not likely pass a
mains based UL test. Which anything that has any mains on the same board
must pass. If not for production then for your own peace of mind. After
all you are putting it into your house, no ?

> They also have RS485 versions as the MAX343x/344x families.

Ah. Need to look at this too.

thanks,

Peter

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2003\06\13@131253 by Igor Pokorny

flavicon
face
Guys,

there is another standard in an automotive industry, especially in Europe.
It's called LIN  http://www.lin-subbus.org
One wire bus, rather slow with one master. It's supposed to be connected to
CAN.

Igor


{Original Message removed}

2003\06\15@144211 by Brandon Fosdick

flavicon
face
"Alan B. Pearce" wrote:
>
> >>Also CAN is not differential and it does not like
> >> ground potentials and lots of noise (like running CAN cable parallel with
> >> a mains extension cord for 10 meters or so).
> ><snip>
> >
> >Pure crap. It is differential and it handles transients faily well. I
> >haven't had a single one blow up yet and I've seriously abused them.
>
> This sounds like the original poster used CAN processor chips without the
> interface driver chips.

That would definately cause problems over long runs.

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2003\06\15@160018 by gtyler

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Hi Guys,
       Have a look at AN228.pdf on Mchip's website, all will be explianed!

----- Original Message -----
From: "Brandon Fosdick" <RemoveMEbfozKILLspamspam@spam@TERRANDEV.COM>
To: <PICLISTspamBeGonespam.....MITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Sunday, June 15, 2003 7:43 PM
Subject: Re: [PIC]: Home Automation with PICs


> "Alan B. Pearce" wrote:
> >
> > >>Also CAN is not differential and it does not like
> > >> ground potentials and lots of noise (like running CAN cable parallel
with
> > >> a mains extension cord for 10 meters or so).
> > ><snip>
> > >
> > >Pure crap. It is differential and it handles transients faily well. I
> > >haven't had a single one blow up yet and I've seriously abused them.
> >
> > This sounds like the original poster used CAN processor chips without
the
> > interface driver chips.
>
> That would definately cause problems over long runs.
>
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2003\06\15@161122 by Marc Nicholas

flavicon
face
I also happen to know that Dalsemi have sold their 1-wire parts for use in
the automotive sector, so that's a 3rd one! :-o


-marc

On 13/6/03 13:14, "Igor Pokorny" <RemoveMEigorpRemoveMEspamEraseMEAPPLET.CZ> wrote:

> Guys,
>
> there is another standard in an automotive industry, especially in Europe.
> It's called LIN  http://www.lin-subbus.org
> One wire bus, rather slow with one master. It's supposed to be connected to
> CAN.
>
> Igor
>
>
> {Original Message removed}

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