Details on How CQC works?


Ok, I just started a thread asking for alternatives to Mainlobby and it is going very well. I didnt want that thread to get off topic so I have started this one.

As I have stated before, I am currently using HomeSeer, MainLobby and an Elk M1G.
I understand how these three products work indepently as well as together.
I use HS as my "backbone". Elk and HS work together beautifully! I then use ML as my "Pretty" interface.
All 3 products play very well together.

So, CQC. I have read through the website and call me crazy, but I just dont get it.

Will CQC play well with HS? Will it play well with Elk?
I like HS WAY to much to give it up.

IVB posted some great looking screen shots that included an awesome looking Elk keypad. Does CQC charge extra for this? ML has a ton of plug ins that I want/need but they charge for each one. I know and respect the fact that they are in this to make money, as they should be! BUT, if CQC keeps coming out with interfaces to 3rd party products for free, that is something I have to consider.

The interfaces I have seen on the CQC website are AWESOME!! Realistically, how hard are these to create?
Can I create a button that will send a command to HS?
Will CQC pull info from HS?

Is there anyone out there that is using CQC as a "pretty" interface to both Elk and HS?

Sorry to sound so uneducated, but I am having a hard time getting my head around CQC.


P.s. I would kinda like to keep this topic dedicated to CQC or CQC vs. Ml in a very polite and factual basis. I am not trying to start a flame war between the two. I am just trying to make an educated decission.
If you went with CQC, you'd end up dumping HS basically. If someone wanted, they could probably provide a driver in CQC to send commands to HS I guess. But that's not really been done, since none of our current users want to use HS. One of the biggest reasons they chose CQC was to have a single integrated system, and CQC provides all the back end architecture itself (and fully network distributed, unlike HS), so they've just not had much desire to want to maintain a dual system, with all the extra complexity and lowered robustness that tends to involve.

In the end, if you are going to use CQC, you should probably just use it totally and get the full benefits of it, which is that you get full two way control of all your devices throughout the network, and one ring to rule them all.
That was a nice tease.
So, I guess the part I am not getting, is.....

How does CQC replace HS?
I am under the impression, obviously wrong, that CQC is a "pretty" interface.
From what you are saying, it sounds like CQC can do what HS can do and is a pretty interface to boot!

I am just not getting it. Can you shoot me an email with a phone number of someone I can call? I have way to many questions and switching would turn my Home Automatin world upside down. But, I REALLY like the idea of having one system control everything as long as that system is flexible enough to do everything I need so I am very interested.

Consilidating to ONE program would be great!

Tymon AT gardnerlife DOT com
CQC is both a front and back end together. And the back end is far more extensive that HS's. What HS has, mostly, is a lot of device drivers for a lot of devices (though of highly variable quality and support and cost) and some things like voice recognition if that is important to you. But in terms of architecture, CQC is far more advanced than HS.

The quickest way to get a feel for it is to read through the Using CQC section under the Learn tab of the web site, and then go through the Quick Tutorial, also under the Learn tab. The tutorial doesn't require that you have any actual devices installed. It uses a device simulator program so you can go through a quick installation and overview of how the product works.

Once you get through those, you'll have a better idea of what's going on and will be better placed to ask the right questions.
Here is a basic architectural diagram of CQC. It show a two machine system, but you can have numerous other maches of the sort on the right:


There is a master server that runs on one machine, where macros, images, user interfaces, security info, user accounts, and so forth are stored. So you can manage the system from any system on the network, because all of the tools are network distributed and work in terms of the master server.

There is a CQCServer component that loads drivers and provides access to them from anywhere on the network. This can be loaded on any machines that need to directly manage devices.

The client tools provide you with the programs to manage CQC, to write macros, draw interfaces, write device drivers, etc...

And there are other, optional, components not shown here, for doing things like scheduled and triggered events, a built in web server, media services, a .Net based client so you can access your CQC interfaces from .Net devices, and an XML gateway program for third party apps to access to CQC.
IVB posted some great looking screen shots that included an awesome looking Elk keypad. Does CQC charge extra for this?

Nope. If you go to the "Download" section on the website, you'll see Image Packs. A few of them have jpg previews, a few don't. Ripper wrote half of them, and has provided them free to folks for non-commercial usage. If you want to see the ones that have no preview, go to his page here:

(can't seem to post it cleanly due to the "spam-hating-cyborg".) (http://www .touchscreengraphics. com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=13&Itemid=29 .

They're shockingly nice, and he's absolutely fantastic at this. In addition to those, both he & a variety of other users are volunteering other graphics and backgrounds for public consumption.

You should poke around the Charmed User Systems forum for other screenshots. If you see a screen you like, folks are pretty nice about exporting their templates or just an image pack [all images used in a template] so that you can easily import them into your system.
As a recent purchaser of CQC, maybe I can be of some help.

I'm transitioning from a Meedio/Girder/Housebot setup to CQC only.

I'm only just really delving into what CQC can do today but I'm slowly making progress and getting a feel for how it all works. There's a lot to learn but thankfully there's a lot of people with the answers who are more than happy to provide them.

Understanding a new program of this type is never easy and while I was/am finding some things I don't understand I'm already happier with what little I've done with CQC than I ever was with my previous mash of programs.

I jumped in and bought CQC because I had the cash to burn and I needed a new solution right away. I'd recommend checking out that demo and seeing how you like it. If you're shopping around anyhow, giving CQC a good look isn't a bad idea.