Originally Posted by TVAddikt
Sorry for the delayed response. I appreciate you taking your time to share your experience.
What level of computer programming experience does it take in order to accomplish what you did? I am not a computer programmer. I am not afraid of learning but am wondering what type of learning curve it would be to integrate an RUC-01 with say Irule, demopad etc. I am a network technician with quite a bit of experience in building, repairing and networking computers but not writing code.
Right now I just expanded from 2 web mountain sw-7's to 8 sw-7's. My network consists of
8 sw-7's, 1 cm-01, 1 ir-upb, 1 Lm-01 and a Spim.
The good news is that I am not a programmer either. Technical, like you, but probably even less so.
Most of my time has been spent learning the in's and out's of DemoPad. It is more flexible than iRule, but much less mature in the area of the remote control databases. These will need to be handcrafted from scratch for the most part, since a common repository does not exist yet.
Relative to the RUC-01, both apps use the same IP communication protocol to talk to the RUC, but differ in terms of command code file structure. iRule uses an XML-based file layout which is simple to use. DemoPad requires you to send them an iRule command file, which they will convert to their structure (XML??) and send back. In the next release (due early next week), there is supposedly a function to create your own command files.
The biggest challenge relates to UPB itself. While extremely robust in nature, a lot of the power comes from the ability to "pre-program" the switches with LINK codes. Once programmed, you can easily send a LINK (LID) code from any device (switch) or app which communicates via IP or HTTP POST. All pre-programmed switches will then respond to LINK commands broadcast over the network. Additionally, you can send Direct (DID) commands to specific switches which act in the same fashion as LID's, but are designed to act on a single switch. Currently none of the programs mentioned above provide built-in command file creation, so in order to control external systems like UPB, Z-wave, and others, you must create a command for each discrete code you plan to use. This is compounded by fact that each UPB device has a unique ID, meaning control codes must be created independently for every UPB switch in your home.
As an example, in my home, I have over 50 UPB switches with 40+ LINK's that service scenes throughout the home and outside. If I create a command list of the following commands: ON, OFF, DIM-25%, DIM-50%, DIM-75%, FADE-UP, FADE-DN, and QUERY, then at a minimum I need to "hand-build" a command file with 440 discrete codes -- and that's just for UPB! Add the 20 other TV's, AppleTV's, etc, and the list adds up.
This could be made much simpler if the software manufacturer were to develop an API, but that scenario relies on them to make it work, not you, and on their own timeframe. DemoPad has done just that, with their custom Crestron, Lutron, and Rako modules, but there is no current timeframe for protocols like UPB, Z-Wave, Zigbee, and others.
I am currently working with a few others on a utility app which, in effect, will allow users to automatically build a DemoPad or iRule UPB command file by reading the standard export UPE file, but this is not planned for release in the "very near" future.
I will post a YouTube video of my DemoPad iPhone template when I get a little closer to completion and you can get a better sense of the UI control you can create with the app -- extremely powerful. On a similar level as Crestron or Lutron control panels, but for fraction of the cost.
The bottom line... take the time to learn the app of your choice. I started with Roomie -- its command database is second to none, but it gave me almost no control over UI. I moved to iRule, as I was able to build nice custom screens, but then became frustrated over the lack of navigation control and the static nature of their screens. After picking up DemoPad, I was able to quickly start building complex interfaces, but... it is seriously lacking in the area of command database.
There is no complete solution available today, and I have not even touched on topic of server-based solutions like Homeseer, CQC, or Elve, all of which I am testing, as well.