Audrey Support

torgrimj

Member
Just wondering if anyone is using a 3com Audrey with their M1G? I have an Audrey, and am still deciding on which controller to go with. If the Audrey would work with the M1 Virtual Keypad, that would be a huge bonus for me.

Another quick question. On the virtual Keypad under the lighting section. If you are wanting to run a scence can you, and would the keypad let you know which scene you were currently on?

Thank in advance.

Jeff
 

HighTest

Active Member
Also HomeSeer has a third-party plugin: http://www.homeseer.com/products/3rd_party_plug-ins.htm

So if you controlled your Elk with HomeSeer, you could reuse your Audrey.

The biggest problem with the Audrey is that 3COM discontinued the product in 2001 and took all the update images and whatnot off the net. There are some Audrey enthusiast sites that may be of use, but if you don't already own one, you may be better off with something else.

If you own it, I hope the info above helps you out.
 

HighTest

Active Member
Just curious, as I purchased an Audrey for the experiment off of ebay. Incredibly cheap so it's not much a loss if it doesn't pan out.

I've found that HomeSeer and MisterHouse both have support for the Audrey. HomeSeer provides a plugin and information on how to modify your existing images for the Audrey to work with it. MrAudrey as from my link above is a fully customized image for MisterHouse.

Could those of you that have experience with either one chime in with a short summary review of how they work for you and their capabilities? I'm also interested in how HomeSeer is in comparison to MisterHouse. I know that one is a commercial product and the other an open source project and it's sometimes difficult to compare.

Also if any of you have HomeSeer and an Audrey, had you tried using the MrAudrey image with it and how did that turn out?

Thanks in advance! :)
 

huggy59

Active Member
The Audrey is a great little device to use for your web-based HA touchscreen controls. I still have 4 somewhere in a box, but I had them set up and in use in my previous home for quite a while. The device has some limitations that make it less than ideal for much more than occasional or very simple use.

In my opinion, the shortcomings are:

- Odd shape/size, requires lots of power so it's not wireless
- Limited HTML support, no DHTML support
- Limited free memory/web cache memory
- Memory fragmentation issues for just about any streaming protocol, audio, or large HTML changes/quick downloads
- Slow CPU
- Limited java support (no streaming video, for example)
- No ongoing support or development
- Odd and older OS version (QNX - a Unix-like environment designed for embedded devices) also means limited development opportunities
- Small video size (640x480)
- Very limited or no support for some of today's standards and protocols.

On the plus side:

- Nice touch screen works with your fingers
- Can work on a network, including mapping remote storage
- Can remotely force browser to load web pages (remote control of sorts) thru its internal web server
- LEDs can be accessed and controlled remotely
- Can play audio
- Easy backup to Flash or network
- Many custom images can still be found out on the Inet, and right here at CocoonTech


I used it with mixed results for displaying a screen of buttons for touchscreen control (with a web server on a PC server doing most of the work along with HS) of my entertainment systems, announcement of CallerID and display of caller-ID images for known persons, playing MP3 and audio files, tried to use it as an alarm clock, MP3 player, web browser, etc.

For example, trying to go to weather.com on an Audrey is a painful, locking-up experience, because today there is so much active content that just fragments and eventually locks up Audrey just trying toi download and display the page. If you go small and KISS, it should work fairly well for you.

Holler if you have any questions.
 

smee

Senior Member
I agree with most of what Huggy59 said, but I think he sounds a little too negative. Not that any of his negative points are wrong, I'm just not sure that the good stuff was emphasized enough.

I think a very, very important part of being satisfied with an Audrey is developing your own web pages on your own server. If you keep them fairly simple, you can get an awful lot of control and information without noticing that it's particularly slow. You just won't get the flashy displays that people using higher-end devices ("real computers") are getting. I am quite happy with my Audreys. I use them for lighting control, entertainment (controlling BrowseAmp, for example), playing mp3s locally (sometimes, using PhJuke running on the Audrey directly), and getting information from HomeSeer (logs of caller id, security (which doors opened when), weather, etc.).

For things like weather, I created my own pages and only go out to the internet for content. I also get my own local data (from my own instruments) to display.

None of my screens are very exciting, but they all get the job done very well. Just don't expect to impress people who have seen fancier displays.

I do agree that the form factor leaves something to be desired. You can paint them, though, so at least you can do something. I'm sure they can be removed from the cases and repackaged - but I've never gotten around to doing that.

One thing I think you should watch is which image you use. I've found that I'm happiest with something very close to the stock image. In fact, most of my Audreys are just running the original hacked image (the one that allowed us to do any of what we are doing now). The other images, with many extra features or with overridden applications, tend to be the ones that have memory problems. You will find people have set their systems up to reboot the Audreys once a day to clear up problems. I don't need to do that. My Audreys run for months at a time with no problems. Very rarely, I will reboot one manually.

My biggest problem with the Audreys right now is plugging them in. I have a couple offline right now because I needed the outlets they were plugged into. I've managed to live without them because I still have my favorite home automation interface available - the x10 PalmPad.
 

huggy59

Active Member
You're right, smee, it is a little negative. But I want more than just a controller. I want to be able to watch streaming webcams, use DHTML/XML, and have javascript applets run so the device becomes more integrated in the HA system I have designed for the house.

When I get around to doing this house, I may just sell off the Audreys without even taking them out of the box they're packed in!

I still use the palm pads daily for most wireless remote control needs, too. but back to the guy's original question: I don't have an M1 so I'm not sure what the requirements are for using Audrey as a virtual keypad. Does anyone know?
 

smee

Senior Member
huggy59 said:
You're right, smee, it is a little negative. But I want more than just a controller. I want to be able to watch streaming webcams, use DHTML/XML, and have javascript applets run so the device becomes more integrated in the HA system I have designed for the house.
Please let me know when you find something that can do that for $20 (each, that's what I paid for my last 3 Audreys - not including network adapters, of course). ;)
 

DarrellEHill

New Member
Hi,

I felt it worth a mention of one other thing Audreys are Macromedia Flash 4 enabled. Although that is a limitation , it works well enough.

I built my interface to HS in Flash 4. I am not much of a coder but flash is easy enough that with some light scripting in HS and a simple flash design you can come up with a good front end. As far as lockups the stockHA image is for me the best, I stripped most of it out and added telnet.

I like that when I walk in to a room the Audrey wakes up and shows me the weather or when the phone rings she wakesup and shows me the Caller ID in case I missed the anouncements. I do everything HS from Audrey. For the price I am pleased.

I dont know about mrhouse but I would look at what you want to control and what method X10, Zwave and others will you use and if mrhouse supports it. What features are you looking for IR, VR, etc and go with the App that supports the features you will be looking to implement.


Darrell
 
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