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Any practical use for multiple instances of Homeseer?


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#1 upstatemike

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 09:07 AM

I just purchased a Hometroller Zee at the 1/2 price sale mainly because i want to learn a little bit about the linux/raspi version. My assumption is that it will just be an isolated test platform but I'm curious if there is any practical application for multiple instances of Homeseer that would let it work with my main Homeseer system (Windows) somehow? Thinking about different scenarios:

 

Some sort of direct communication.

Some duplicate plugins that point to the same subsystem such as having both linked to my Elk M1.

Some other unifying platform that might support multiple instances of Homeseer; maybe Hubitat (also bought one of those to test) or Amazon Echo.



#2 mikefamig

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 09:53 AM

Seems overkill to me but the first thing that comes to my mind is redundancy. It can be a back-up in the event that the first system fails.

 

Mike.



#3 LarrylLix

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 10:00 AM

Automatic backup can be very complex, especially for a home automation system.

 

Manual backup can be semi-complex for an Insteon system where every device is linked by absolute enrolment. Each device, and central modem, has it's own address/ID and switching over takes special software to relink every link in every device to a new address.

 

Running dual links in each device may be an option but trying to run two central HA hubs can get real complicated as some arbitration software then needs to supervise both.

 

I don't know how Zwave stuff links, but with any kind of similar security in the protocol, it should be about the same problems.



#4 upstatemike

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 10:10 AM

Unfortunately there are too many "Windows Only" plugins running on my main Homeseer system for this to act as a practical backup or redundant system. I was thinking more along the lines of load sharing with the Zee acting as a dedicated Z-Wave network for certain critical leak or door sensors or something. Unfortunately because it is Linux it is probably useless for hosting speaker clients with decent voices. Maybe could use to create a talking mailbox using wav or mp3 files?



#5 mikefamig

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 10:30 AM

I'm thinking outside the box when it comes to backing up a system. I plan to buy a 500GB (or suitable size) sata ssd and clone the computer to it via a usb adapter cable. Then I can just clone it back in a failure or even just install the cloned drive. These drives are available for about $50 - $75 new on ebay. This way I don't need to concern myself with whether I got all of the important stuff in the backup plan.
 
Mike.

EDIT - I do have a tower PC with an external sata connector that is much faster than usb which is nice but usb is fast enough if you just run it overnight.

Edited by mikefamig, 01 May 2019 - 10:33 AM.


#6 pete_c

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 11:52 AM

Here second instance of Homeseer 3 (Zee2) is used a bit for testing stuff.  (and thinking of a third one these days).  Mostly this is all about tinkering in the home sandbox.
 
The original RPi Zee started me on the conversion to Linux.  Homeseer 3 Pro today is running on Ubuntu Linux and wanting to keep my collection of SAPI fonts utilize a Windows Virtual box running on same said computer just for that.
 
The Zee2 started initially with the RPi, then I moved it to a dual core AMD cube computer, then the Pine64 and today a tiny Octocore computer which is running Homeseer and Home Assistant. 
 
Most plugins should work in both Mono Linux and Windows except for those that utilize Windows kernel calls. 
 
Plugins written with common nomenclature used for Linux and Windows let the plugin work in both Linux and Windows with no changes.  (same identical plugin).
 
The Windows only plugins can be run on a separate computer with a remote connection to Homeseer running on Linux.
 
IE: Windows to Linux ....plugin.exe server=ipofhomeseer
Linux to windows....mono plugin.exe server=ipofhomeseerserver
 
Before utilizing ser2net on my POE RPI ZWave device I used this type of remote.
 
Relating to redundany just do a copy of the Homeseer directory and keep one image snapshot or back of the OS drive.  I did the same running Homeseer 2 many years ago on Windows 2003 server (and used a 20Gb partition for easy and fast imaging)

#7 macromark

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 02:01 PM

I just purchased a Hometroller Zee at the 1/2 price sale mainly because i want to learn a little bit about the linux/raspi version. My assumption is that it will just be an isolated test platform but I'm curious if there is any practical application for multiple instances of Homeseer that would let it work with my main Homeseer system (Windows) somehow? Thinking about different scenarios:

 

Some sort of direct communication.

Some duplicate plugins that point to the same subsystem such as having both linked to my Elk M1.

Some other unifying platform that might support multiple instances of Homeseer; maybe Hubitat (also bought one of those to test) or Amazon Echo.

 

Yes, we recommend that all of our users buy (at least) 2 systems!  ^_^

 

Seriously though... thanks for the order. I know that developers typically run a system just for plug-in development. Power users and tinkerers (like Pete) often have a number of systems (HomeSeer or otherwise) running. Apart from that, I'm not sure how a second system would be beneficial to your main system except as a backup. If you have an outbuilding and wish to isolate those devices from the main building, that's another possibility.

 

Curious to know what you think of the Hubitat hub... I have one installed here in my office and have formed my own (somewhat biased) opinion but am curious to learn what others think.



#8 wkearney99

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 02:37 PM

heh, I bought their pi box a while ago (during a sale) and promptly lost track of it.  It's probably here in my piles of stuff somewhere but I never got around to setting it up!



#9 macromark

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 02:43 PM

heh, I bought their pi box a while ago (during a sale) and promptly lost track of it.  It's probably here in my piles of stuff somewhere but I never got around to setting it up!

 

Well, if you can't find it, be sure to pick up another one during the sale!  :D



#10 upstatemike

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 08:03 PM

Yes, we recommend that all of our users buy (at least) 2 systems!  ^_^

 

Seriously though... thanks for the order. I know that developers typically run a system just for plug-in development. Power users and tinkerers (like Pete) often have a number of systems (HomeSeer or otherwise) running. Apart from that, I'm not sure how a second system would be beneficial to your main system except as a backup. If you have an outbuilding and wish to isolate those devices from the main building, that's another possibility.

 

Curious to know what you think of the Hubitat hub... I have one installed here in my office and have formed my own (somewhat biased) opinion but am curious to learn what others think.

 

The Hubitat was just purchased recently so I haven't had a chance to set it up yet. I mainly wanted to check out their logic engine but rationalized the purchase as a future Zigbee interface for Homeseer. 



#11 BraveSirRobbin

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 06:52 AM

I like my Zee, it never locks up like my older Windows based HomeSeer did (though that only happened once or twice a month).

 

Voice announcements though are just plain horrid!  Half the time my wife can't understand what is even being announced.  This would be an outstanding system (vs just being 'good') if the announcements were the same quality as my old AT&T voices that was on my older Windows based system!



#12 pete_c

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 07:57 AM

Here using a windows computer virtual box to run Microsoft SAPI voices for Homeseer.  Testing using python and turning the Alexa devices in to media players via HA and that can be used with Homeseer 3 today.  This is running on the HS3 Pro machine (iSeries 3 and 16 Gb and Ubuntu 18.04 64 bit).  There are multiple instances of speaker dot exe on the VB and these connect to the multiple instances of HS3 running.
 
So ...
 
1 - Homeseer 3 running on Linux is using speaker dot exe with whatever voice font for TTS - announcements like garage door is open, doorbell, hourly chime
 
2 - HA is using Alexa devices as media players.  IE: when garage door is open a specific Alexa or all Alexa devices state that garage door is open.

I have one dot connected to Russound system mixed in audio with speaker dot exe.



#13 wkearney99

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 09:42 AM

For me Windows 10 Pro and HS3 Pro has been very reliable.  I've got a bunch of plug-ins running and it never locks up.  

I agree regarding voice announcements and voice styles.  I find them problematic regardless of the voice used.  I don't think the brain is 'wired' to recognize and process voice announcements just blurted out at random intervals.  It's one thing to have a voice confirmation of a requested action (but they have their own annoyances).  Ones that "come out of the blue" are problematic as our minds don't tend to 'catch them' right away.  Leading to a "what was that?" kind of situation with no way to ask the system to repeat what it just announced.

I'm guess someone at Amazon knows this already and that's a reason straight TTS announcing hasn't been easily implemented thus far.



#14 macromark

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 10:06 AM

For me Windows 10 Pro and HS3 Pro has been very reliable.  I've got a bunch of plug-ins running and it never locks up.  

I agree regarding voice announcements and voice styles.  I find them problematic regardless of the voice used.  I don't think the brain is 'wired' to recognize and process voice announcements just blurted out at random intervals.  It's one thing to have a voice confirmation of a requested action (but they have their own annoyances).  Ones that "come out of the blue" are problematic as our minds don't tend to 'catch them' right away.  Leading to a "what was that?" kind of situation with no way to ask the system to repeat what it just announced.

I'm guess someone at Amazon knows this already and that's a reason straight TTS announcing hasn't been easily implemented thus far.

 

I have my system play a little tune before announcing that the washer or dryer have stopped. The tune is the same one my LG washer normally plays down in the basement. Anyway, the little tune is an effective prompt that causes me to listen more carefully to the message.



#15 upstatemike

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 11:02 AM

Pre-announce tones are a good way to capture your attention and set an expectation about the type and urgency so you don't miss the actual announcement. After years of having lots of announcements all the time I find I am programmed not so much to listen to every one of them but rather to notice right away if an expected announcement does not happen.

 

Not sure I can ever do anything as elaborate as Pete for using Amazon Echos as a zoned announcement platform but in the absence of anything else I still plan to put a Dot and an instance of Speaker dot exe into an isolation box so I can do house-wide announcements over my many Echos via Homeseer. I guess i could also use this to issue commands that kick off Alexa routines that speak things in specific areas as well. 






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