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My "Hello World" in Premise

Posted by Shinyshoes , in Wiring, Weeder Digital I/O, Sensors, Premise, Nuvo Grand Concerto 02 May 2011 · 989 views

Friday was a big milestone for me with Premise.  I have been able to make changes to the state of devices in premise like turning concerto zones on and off but I had yet to have premise actually react automatically to something.  That all changed on Friday.

I had been dragging my feet on getting the driveway sensor burried because I didn't have my Weeder digital I/O board working in Premise.  I took some time friday night and hooked the Weeder into the computer.  I then hooked a couple of I/O ports into a single Cat-5 cable and routed it to the port under my computer desk upstairs.  (now I could watch the hockey game while working on the computer.....)

After tinkering with Premise for a little bit and getting the Weeder configured correctly, I could see the I/O port reacting when I touched the 2 wires together.  Next I moved on to installing the "Text to Speech" driver and creating an "OnPropertyChange" script that would take advantage of the Speech driver.  I wired my computer's audio into one of the inputs on my Concerto so I could hear what was going on.  

I went back to my computer desk and touched the 2 wires together and.......script error.  I forgot to close the brackets.....   I fixed that, then, Success.  Microsoft Sam announced my "Hello World" over the kitchen speakers. Hurray!  But that Microsoft Sam voice is terrible.  

I looked into switching the voice, but it was the only one installed on my computer.  I did some research and found that there was a new TTS voice released with Vista called Microsoft Anna and she was widely thought of as the best sounding Microsoft voice out there.  Unfortunatly, there is no direct download for Anna in windows XP.  The easiest way to get her installed was to download and install a trial version of Microsoft Streets & Trips.  This would install Anna and (althought I havn't tested this yet) would leave Anna behind even if you unistall Streets & Trips.  I downloaded the trial (1.32 GB???) and installed it, configured the TTS module in premise to use Anna and re-tested.  Much better.  

The concerto has a built in function that you can configure input #6 to be a paging system.  The theory is that you can mute whatever is playing and play an announcement over whatever zones you have pre-configured.  This sounded like the ideal feature to use for Premise announcements.  I cut the end off of a 1/8th to 1/8th headphone jack cable and stripped the 2 wires back.  I plugged it into the mute interface of the concerto and touched the 2 ends together.  The wall plate lit up (even though it was off at the time) and I was able to play my announcements from Premise.  Tonight I hope to get to Radio Shack to get a relay so I can have the Weeder determine when to enable the paging on the Concerto.  

Then I need to bury the driveway sensor. =)




January 2021

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